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RepoMan 2010-10-14 9:46

Japan Travelogue Vol. 4: Kyoto
We left Miyajima and headed to the bustling city of Kyoto.

Big city streets...
DSC_0443 by RepoMan84, on Flickr
DSC_0459 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

Narrow streets with tons of shops and restaurants...
DSC_0455r by RepoMan84, on Flickr
DSC_0472 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

The first night we stayed in a capsule hotel, which was an experience.
DSC_0486 by RepoMan84, on Flickr
DSC_0487 by RepoMan84, on Flickr


The next day we went to the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine on Mt. Inari. There are over 10,000 torii along the 4km path up the mountain.
DSC_0541 by RepoMan84, on Flickr
DSC_0510 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

Walking along the path video

Later that day at another temple. I forget which one.
DSC_0578 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

Super-crowded streets.
DSC_0605 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

Next day at the Golden Pavilion.
DSC_0667 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

Entrance to Nijo Castle
DSC_0774 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

There was no photography allowed inside, but I was a "bad gaijin" (disrespectful foreigner) and turned the video camera on in my pocket to record the sound of the "nightingale floors", floorboards designed to whistle and squeak when walked upon so that the palace guards would be alerted to the presence of assassins coming to kill the shoguns. It was impossible not to make noise, even being really sneaky.


Maybe if I had ninjya shoes.
DSC_0154 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

Mountain over Kyoto with kanji symbol for "big". Indeed. At least once a year they light it on fire.
DSC_0812 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

Rock garden at Ryōan-ji
DSC_0828 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

Random geisha sighting back in town.
DSC_0858 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

Kyoto sunset, our last night there.
Kyoto Sunset by RepoMan84, on Flickr

b0rg9 2010-10-14 19:34

This whole series is great, Repo! Thanks for sharing.

I dig that you did the capsule thing. Was it economical (relatively)? And was it quiet and restful or was there someone talking/yelling in their sleep in the pod next-door or any weird shit like that?

B L 2010-10-14 23:03

Seriously, thanks for sharing. Speaking of sharing, I'm guessing the capsule rooms degrade into a fart symphony. Am I right? I think I'd as soon sleep in the lobby.

NocturnalGuy 2010-10-15 6:43

So cool.

RepoMan 2010-10-15 10:40

Thanks guys! It's helping me keep stuff straight too. We did so much it's becoming a blur.

So, the capsule hotel definitely deserves a separate post. Here's the deal:

It was called 9 Hours.
DSC_0468 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

You enter, put your shoes in a locker, and take the key.
DSC_0440 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

You give the key to the front desk and they give you a pair of slippers and a key to a locker on your bathroom/locker floor.
DSC_0482 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

The floors are sex segregated, as are the elevators. The elevator for your sex only stops at floors for your sex.
DSC_0483 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

Your locker number is also the number of your pod.
DSC_0484 by RepoMan84, on Flickr

I didn't get a pic of the locker room because there were guys in there most times and I didn't want to look like a perv. Basically you have a locker for your stuff, there were shelves where you'd pick up your sci-fi outfit which was black pants and a black shirt (which I totally should have stolen, but didn't). There was also a row of doors that led to single showers. So you'd get cleaned up, dressed for bed, then head to the elevator to go to your floor.

My experience wasn't too bad. I was tired, had headphones on, and for the most part didn't end up hearing too much, so I got a full night's sleep. My sister had worse luck. She said the girls on her floor were loud.

In the end, it was only about 20 bucks cheaper than a real hotel room... so was it worth it? As an experience, definitely. As a way to travel cheaply? Not really.

B L 2010-10-15 11:37

Awesome. I'd never heard of a capsule hotel, and now I don't have to worry about trying it for myself. Done and done.

toki 2010-10-15 14:49

I love Kyoto, and still have a lot of friends there from when I was working in that city. The temple whose name you forgot is Kiyomizu-dera -- it's up the hills to the east as you come out of Kyoto station. A must-see for anyone going to Kyoto!

Despite all the times I've been to Japan, I've never stayed at a capsule hotel, but I've always wanted to. Not necessarily because I think it'll be a great experience, but just to say I've done it and to cross it off the list. The real cheap way to stay around Japan? Rent a "booth" at a comic book/internet cafe and stay there all night with a sleeping bag. There are entire websites devoted to people that do this.

Man... I really want to go to Japan, now. It's been a while since I've been. Great pictures and I'm glad you had an awesome time.

RepoMan 2010-10-15 14:55

I can see why you love Kyoto. I had an awesome time there and I barely scratched the surface. Thanks for the name reminder, too.

Renting a booth at a cafe sounds entirely bizarre. And entirely Japanese.

Domestic Goddess 2010-10-15 18:25

Yeah, the pods totally wouldn't happen with me. I'm a bit claustrophobic (like, totally freaky) and that place looks kinda sci-fi Matrix-y to me. I wouldn't have slept.

This is cool that you're sharing all of it with us. I'm enjoying the photos!

RepoMan 2010-10-15 21:04

Yeah, they aren't very good for claustrophobia. I mean they were big enough that you didn't feel like you were in a coffin, but still.

Oh, I forgot to mention a great story told by one of my sister's friends. He checked into a capsule hotel somewhere else a few years ago. Unfortunately he didn't know it was a notorious gay capsule hotel. He was trying to get to sleep when some random guy opened his screen and tried to crawl into bed with him. The amorous fellow was met with more than a few kicks before he backed out. I believe the story ended with this guy immediately checking out.

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