My stubborn parents have completely changed their mind about Japan in less than two days. The air smells nice, the water is crystal clear, the meat and veg in supermarkets are fresh and tasty. Most importantly, they can understand the Chinese characters which makes communication easier. Way better than UK apparently! If they had known, they wouldn’t have discouraged me from going out with a Japanese man!
We have been here for one and a half days and we have been overwhelmed by all the strangers who went out of their way to help us. A young man in a suit, as well as an elderly grandpa, held the elevator doors for us because of our huge suitcase in the subway. A man walking his dog walked past and returned to give us direction. A teenage girl in school uniform asked if we were OK with the bike park machine (such a cool system, as well as many other things) and made sure we understood before she went away (with limited English and body language – so brave and adorable!). An older lady walked past and offered to take a photo for us, and had a friendly little chat with us in English (the English level of the older people I met is surprisingly high!).
Our temporary home is a guesthouse in the north part of Kyoto called Murasakino Guesthouse. It’s a traditional style house with tatami flooring, paper sliding doors and futon beds. It makes our stay pretty exciting and authentic – and it’s such a photogenic building! The owner certainly has an excellent taste in decorating the space with miniature plants and vintage furniture. Here are some photos to give you a glimpse:
The slight downside of the house is that being an authentic old house we are constantly worried about smashing the fragile glass panels and putting our fingers through paper doors. Also with the rest of the group being taller than me, we are all constantly bent double to avoid hitting the door frames going in and out. The whole place is also pretty cold since the windows and doors have absolutely no insolation. But these are all pretty minor. The shower is steaming hot and the duvet and futon beds are luxuriously comfy. Overall, I wouldn’t swap this for a modern hotel!
Photo credit: Myself and Daddy Fu (as Denise often calls him!)