Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Japan Holiday – Day 4

At last, we slept right through – perhaps we're at last, getting used to the time-zone. Ironically, on the day we had to check-out, we slept-in until 8.30am!

Breakfast was the usual disappointing selection of luke-warm half-English-style; more boiled vegetables; duff pastries perfected by a non-baker; yoghurts and cereals. As for the coffee, it tasted like it had been brewing since last Saturday! It's a shame really, because everything else about the hotel is superb!

We checked out and full-marks to the Porter-ess who anticipated our need to get the cases to the front-door and into a taxi – service is one thing they excel at in Japan!

IMGA0067 We were transported to the Station in luxury by a Toyota people-carrier, the fare only costing around 7 pounds 50. A short wait on the platform whilst the 'pink ninja' team cleaned the train with ruthless efficiency – and on IMGA0066 the stroke of 11.03, we were on the bullet-train ('shinkansen') heading west on our just-under-three-hour journey to Kyoto. The train pulled into Kyoto bang on time (no surprises there!) and after a quick  drop-in to the local
McDonalds IMGA0069for a nutritious lunch, we took the short taxi ride to the Hyatt Regency Hotel.



P1000502 P1000503Boy, this place is posh – even the toilet seat is heated and there is no such thing as a flushing handle – it's all automatic with a remote control! The bathroom, too, is exceptionally well-equipped, including a full wet-room and a separate bath. It's all very nice indeed. In the main room there's a wide-screen TV, DVD player and forty-eight different sorts of naff tea. 
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P1000505We noticed that the National Museum of Kyoto was opposite the Hotel, so we made that our first stop. It didn't look much from the outside and there is a new part being added, but once we were inside, it was fantastic – but no photography allowed. It was full of really old manuscripts dating back as far 5A.D. – and most of them were in perfect condition – how deydoodat? :)

And, if that wasn't enough culture, we saw a sign for a really old temple – The Sanjusangen-do Temple just opposite. It was massive and very busy and another place where photos weren't allowed – a shame really because inside was something that would take your breath away – 1000 statues of Buddha, all identical, filled the complete length and height of the interior. There was a strong smell inside and having had to remove my shoes, we feared the worst – however if was just the incense burning! Numerous signs warned of cameras being checked on exit, so it wasn't worth the risk of trying to take pictures! Never mind, exterior shots will have to suffice!

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Click on the images for a larger version

The humidity was getting worse, so we returned to the Hotel. Ann tried out the gym and I tried out the TV – perfect then!!!

There are plenty of paces to eat inside the Hotel, so we ate-in tonight. We tried the Italian restaurant inside the hotel – Trattoria Sette, not knowing what to expect. It actually turned out to be a superb meal! Ann had the pizza, whilst I tried the beef medallions. I also had a dessert – the pannacotte. Ann also got her first cup of earl-grey tea since our arrival – harmony is restored!

It's free Internet in the lobby, so guess where we are now?