Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yatta! Kyoto, part one....

Or Kyoto: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The good: we got here! We made it from Daejeon to taxi to train to bus to plane to train #2 to taxi #2 to the machiya, which is the guesthouse we reserved for the four of us.

The bad: halfway through "train #2," I got whomped by a migraine. My first in months, I might add. Love that timing. Nothing like my first sights of my most hero-worshipped country, as viewed through tunnel vision and a haze of "oh god kill me NAO pls kthx." Fortunately, with time, meds and TLC by my Rosiebuddy, I recovered by night.

The ugly: I felt like I've reverted to a second, even more incredibly awkward adolescence! As many tall young Japanese kids as I see wandering around, the architecture was not designed with us in mind. I just couldn't seem to keep from tripping, flailing my hands into inconveniently placed objects like antique tea sets or, yanno, WALLS, or bashing my head on ceiling protrudences. Smashing a just-barely-post-migraine head = epic fail.

And the amazing, since I really can't leave on a negative: everything else! The machiya itself is such a charming, historical artifact and just looking around at the care and tradition in all the tiny details--the tatami floors, sliding doors, bedrolls, low tables, fans and art decorating the walls and what I can really only describe as an Asian nativity on the table, deep cast iron wells of tubs, and an amazingly gracious hostess who speaks much better English than she says she does--I can't believe we're getting such a deal. It's $200 a night for the four of us to share this house all to ourselves. Easily worth 2-3 times that for the experience. I would recommend it to absolutely anyone traveling to Kyoto. <3 <3 <3

We had the elegant beauty of shrines and the geisha district on one side of our alley, and the bustle of a hip, electric shopping and dining district on the other.

So this is where we stayed for three wonderful nights. During this time, we ventured out on many adventures, some of which we completed and some of which took unexpected turns for incompletion. I'm going to separate that into another post for brevity's sake, so let me just close by saying again...