Sayonara Kyoto

We had to say goodbye to Kyoto today. 😦 Fittingly, the day started super rainy and gray. Tori and Jody took a day trip to Hiroshima today, so we were on our own.

We slowly packed our things, hating to leave the super-comfortable Westin Miyako (and hoping that maybe if we stalled long enough, it would stop raining).

Though the rain was coming down pretty hard, we were determined to do something with our little remaining time, so we headed to the shopping street along Gojozaka Slope.

The rain definitely made things a little difficult, but we powered through. Ami even learned how to hold an umbrella, sort of, OK not really.

There were, again, lots of ladies wearing kimonos.

A few souvenirs were procured, and we had a really good cone of ice cream at a honey shop. Well, technically, Ami had a really good cone of ice cream. She did NOT want to share.

Deciding we were soaked enough, we hopped a cab back to the hotel, collected our backpacks, and took the free shuttle to Kyoto Station. Thankfully, there are left luggage facilities there, so we decided to drop our bags to explore the station a bit and grab lunch.

Conveyor belt sushi! Fast, decent, and cheap. 

Then, it was time for a stroll. Ami insisted on carrying the umbrella. Calls of “Kawaii!” (Cute!) followed her pretty much wherever she went. I’m not sure what she’s going to do when she gets back to the States and people aren’t cooing over her all the time wherever she goes.

I was really excited to have some time to tour Kyoto Station. It was apparently quite controversial when it was built, ignoring as it does the city-wide ban on tall buildings. The architecture is super modern, with lots of soaring glass.

Also, they have a Cafe du Monde. It sells hot dogs. ???? I think that is actually the most controversial part of the whole thing.

There is a huge staircase up near the top of the structure that doubles as a performance space. How neat is that?

Up at the top is an observation deck and a small garden. Super toddler-friendly.

There is also a long glass corridor suspended waaay over the concourse. Ami loved running across it. I kind of wish the floor was glas, but I guess they wanted to avoid causing horrible vertigo.

All this exploring tuckered Ami right out, and she suddenly fell asleep on Logan’s shoulder! Poor girl!

She stayed asleep through us picking up our luggage at the left luggage counter, thankfully, and we were able to transfer her into the stroller no problem. Yay! We hefted our bags and pushed her over to the gates to the bullet train tracks, when I realized…

My Japan Rail pass was missing. My $400 piece of paper, which I had been told was super important and which could not be re-issued, was not in my purse. Nor was it in any of my pockets. Nor was it in Logan’s camera bag. 

I thought I was going to vomit.

I knew I’d had it at Kyoto Station, though, because we had to show it to make reservations on the bullet trains for later in our trip, so we thought we would check with the lost and found.

AND THEY HAD IT. Holy hell, guys, I was relieved. I’d heard stories like that about Japan, that people are overall very honest and that lost items aren’t truly lost, but seeing it in action was incredible. 

Ami slept through all of this, as well as us actually getting on the train to Osaka and the 15-minute crazy high-speed trip. There was enough room on the train that I could actually wheel her stroller on. It fit between the rows of seats, which was great.

And now here we are in Osaka! Jody and Tori arrived from Hiroshima about an hour after we did. I’m totally beat, so I stuck around the house to play with the eleventy remote controls for the lights and heaters and such, while the other three adults took the toddler out partying. 

Tomorrow, Osaka! 

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