I finally got to ride the Shinkansen! This bullet train got us from Tokyo to Kyoto in approximately 3 hours, with beautiful Japanese landscape to keep us entertained on the way.
We walked from the station to our hotel in Kyoto as the sun was setting. This was the first time we were out of the bigger city, and the houses, bicycles, trees and roads were like something out of an anime. It was absolutely gorgeous.
We were checked in to the Executive Floor and unpacked before heading to MOS Burger for dinner.
MOS Burger sort of reminded me of a cross between McDonalds and KFC. Luckily it was right underneath our hotel, so we didn’t have to go far for some dinner. We relaxed in diner style booths and accidentally ordered iced coffee instead of coke (not fun!) and ended up finishing the whole thing which made for an extra long evening.
After dinner we agreed to try out the hotel’s spa and after digesting our dinner, we made our way downstairs. Little did we know that, like an onsen, you have to be completely nude. The attendants at the spa’s front desk didn’t speak very much English so we spent a good 10 minutes wandering around the change rooms trying to figure out how far we could go while keeping our clothes on. We finally managed to make it to the baths and spent the next hour and a bit soaking and rotating between the hot and cold baths and the sauna. Something that really struck me was how comfortable these Japanese women were with their bodies and how natural it was for them to be in these baths with complete strangers without any clothes on. At first I was actively trying to avoid looking anywhere but the ceiling but seeing how natural this was for the locals definitely helped me relax. Knowing that we had plans to go to an onsen in Kurama was the only thing that got me away from those baths.
After heading back to our rooms to dress up, we headed to the 7-Eleven connected to our hotel for snacks and breakfast for the next morning. Thanks to the iced coffee, I was up until late in the night, but it was nice to look over photos from the trip that had been taken so far.
Tomorrow we finally get to see some deer in Nara!