For those of you that know me will know that I
like LOVE to travel and since being in Okinawa I have been absolutely itching to get out and explore not only Okinawa but mainland Japan and also Asia. So when we found out that a 4 day weekend was on the horizon I totally jumped at the chance to book a wee getaway.
It was a toss up between Taipei, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto but in the end we decided on Kyoto simply because it was close, cheap to get to and we thought other places (Tokyo & Taipei) we would need more time! We got great cheap tickets through Japan’s Low Cost Carrier, Peach; who to date, have been the best LCC I have experienced despite a small flight delay and a baggage issue on our return flight.
So on to the good stuff! We left Okinawa on a Friday morning, having left it too late to book our car into the parking at Naha airport we drove to Camp Kinser and parked the car there and took a 2,000Yen taxi ride from the base to the airport. On arrival to the airport the bus transporting travelers from the domestic terminal to the LCC terminal was about to depart so we quickly jumped on hoping we didn’t need to check in first. Luck was on our side and we didn’t! We were quite surprised to see that the LCC terminal was pretty much a warehouse, very minimalistic! Nervous about what was to come we checked in and made our way through security eager to find somewhere to eat. There was one small, one maned shop, serving many many people! We loaded up on soba and a taco pizza; interesting yet delicious.
We were pleasantly surprised once we boarded the plane, with a pink and purple color scheme, it was really nice, with great service too! The kids even got a sheet of peach air stickers (we don’t even get this much on long haul flights these days). For Eden, this was simply another plane ride, Clio, however, was a little more difficult! Thankfully its a relatively short flight only 1 hour 45 minutes so between coloring, an endless supply of snacks and even a little ‘Princess and the Frog’ we made it without too many tears.
Once arriving into Kansai Airport, Osaka, we headed over to terminal one to catch the train to Kyoto, which takes approximately 80 minutes. Quite possibly the longest train ride we have ever had, Clio, now extremely over tired, was not at all happy and we took turns at holding her (being head butted and even bit) in the area between carriages so not to disturb too many people with cries of tiredness. Within minutes of putting her in the backpack in Kyoto she was asleep, phew, but by this time we had another tired little girl who started protesting about the walk from Kyoto Station to our hotel, Daiwa Roynet, only a little shy of 2 kilometers away.
With some creative story telling we managed to get Eden’s mind off the walk and 30 minutes later we were checking into the hotel.
We were immediately shown two baskets, one for the kids and one for the adults and we were allowed to pick anything we wanted out of them. Clio chose a toothbrush, Eden a pinwheel and Matt stocked up on toiletries and coffee! To pay, we headed over to a machine, I have never seen this before, granted we don’t usually stay in this sort of hotel, so not sure if this is standard these day or a Japanese thing! In the end our card didn’t work in it anyway.
The room, nice but extremely small, consisted of a bed (queen size maybe) and a crib with a tiny bathroom attached. Not ideal for a family of 4 but it was only 3 nights and we knew we would only be here in the evenings to sleep, so it was all good.
After dinner (I don’t know the name of the place we ate at, it was good, but nothing overly different to what we are used to here in Okinawa) we put Clio down while the rest of us hung out in the bathroom and waited for her to fall asleep. Eden & I sat in the bath filled with blankets and watched a movie, while Matt found the only space on the floor to sit.
Not a very exciting first day in Kyoto, but pleased to get early nights after a long day of travel and knowing that the following day was going to be fun filled and jam packed!