Hello and Konnichiwa!
We had arrived in Kyoto, our second destination on this wacky thing that we have called an adventure but this chapter will not include an escapade around a Castle, shrine or historical landmark of interest…..no, this time I will talk about a rather…annoying part of the honeymoon that almost caused a serious fallout between the two of us! An event that we were not prepared for and were…to be honest, useless at figuring out, resorting to begging for help…we got a little bit lost and had no idea how to get to our hotel!
We found a tourist information place and asked where about our hotel was and that we could board a bus at a nearby station that would take us straight to the hotel, sounded too good to be true but we went ahead and looked for this station on the map before attempting to find the correct train to board but thought we’d step outside for a moment to read the map properly because we got a bit confused by the train map.
Leaving the train station, we were under the impression that we were to board a bus that goes all the way to the hotel but we had to get to another station first which I thought would be no problem because we had rail passes but…most of Kyoto is served by a subway…meaning that our passes were useless and yes, Kyoto had some trains above ground but they were privately owned and the rail passes did not work on them. Having no choice but to pay, we boarded the subway a little bit ticked…well I was anyway! So with that done, we headed off towards the station…or so I thought we were because as we were soon to find out…we had boarded the wrong subway train and were going in the wrong bloody direction!
Getting a bit fed up, we got off at the first station and boarded another train heading in the right direction and after 15 more minutes, we arrived at the right place HOWEVER….we messed up again….or I did! As we tried to exit the station, we needed to go through some gates that needed the tickets you purchased to board the train, I reached into my pocket for them but…only found one of them! I never found the second one, probably because it had fallen out of my pocket! I panicked and didn’t know what to do so we went over to the barrier and saw that no one was there, no guard or ticket person to help us out, just a button to push so we did and someone responded….in Japanese (What was I expecting in Japan?) We of course responded in English and I have no idea if she understood or not but the gate didn’t open so I assumed that she hadn’t…we felt stuck and had no idea what to do as no one else was around…however we saw one old man appear and he approached us….probably thinking two tourists are lost and he tried to help. To this day, I’ll never really know if he understood a word I said as I explained the situation but I used hand gestures to explain that we had lost a ticket and he spoke to the woman on the intercom and the gate opened….thank god! We were so thankful for that!
Next, we exited the station and came up onto the street, only to have no idea where we were on the map at all or which way we needed to head next but we didn’t ask for directions because I assumed I knew what I was doing….so we headed one way and kept going for about half an hour down a very long straight road along a massive wall that went the entire way….I assumed that we were going around the city’s palace and I knew on the map that the hotel was not too far from it so we just had to follow it until we found the turn off but after a while, in the scorching heat of the day, the suitcases began to weigh us down as we had made them heavier with all the stuff we had bought in Tokyo. We found a path that went inside the palace grounds but it didn’t lead anywhere that we thought was helpful….looked lovely though.
I was getting crosser by the minute because I was tired, hot, lost and angry that so far, Kyoto had been a disaster for us…Emma took over after seeing how angry I looked and she asked someone for directions who could speak English and it turns out that we were heading in the wrong direction! Turning around, we spent the next half and hour going back where we came from, only this time we turned down the other way at the end and followed the palace wall up another straight for say ten minutes before we saw the name of a street on the map that was very close to the hotel but I paused and sat own on the ground for a moment, fed up that my arm was beyond sore from hauling the case for so long, I actually thought I had pulled a muscle!
We started to argue for a while, blaming the other person for everything and almost imploded but I took the blame and said that we shouldn’t fight because we’ll get to the hotel and it would be worth all the struggle to get to it…making up, we continued down the small street and walked past many houses that looked quite cool, nothing that I see back home at all. A mystic feel to it, the houses as you could see the sliding doors….the style of the houses…so Japanese and so many vending machines!
After a moment, we arrived at a crossroads, not sure how to choose the right way to go but at that moment, we saw a little blue bus come by and turn up the road and we saw the name of the hotel on it! We rushed and followed it, seeing it turn in so we went around the corner and there it was! Our expedition was over!
I never knew getting to your hotel would be such a challenge!