Today, for the first time, Jules will relate the story of the day. We indeed asked the kids to write one day per week: Jules will write the Wednesdays, Florence the Saturdays and Ludivine the Fridays; and Isabelle will write the Thursdays. I think it will be beneficial for the kids, to help them remember the day and to reflect on it. It will also help me. Sometimes I will add my comments to their stories (or, at the beginning, even tell my full story since I forgot that someone else was in charge of narrating the day).
Jules’ story of the day (Jules prefers to record his story and then Isabelle types it):
So today, we woke up and we ate on the floor. Then we went somewhere to get the wifi box but we forgot the picnic while going there so the girls went to go take it from home. Then they came back and we started to go to the metro station, but Mom and I went back home because we needed to go to the bathroom and we took umbrellas because the weather was cloudy. At the metro station, there was no one, so we waited 10 minutes. So, I go check upstairs and there is no one, so Mom called Dad and we found each other at the other entrance of the metro station and we took the metro. We went for a 50-minute walk and it was very nice because we had a very nice view at the end. There were big orange things above us and to our sides and we walked through them and there were stairs and going up and down and straight and it was really hard. But finally, after a couple of km, we saw a view that was really nice and then Ludivine cracked her phone and we started going down and there were bunches of spiders and we took a short-cut. But there there was no more orange things so we started regretting it but we were too far ahead to go back so we just continued. Then we saw a little temple sort of thing and there was a lot of wolves’ statues and statues in wood. We started going down. I found a magnet but I did not buy it. Then we bought some things made out of green tea. They are pretty good. Then we went to buy corn and an orange and it was really good. We took the metro and we came back. The girls went to play on their iPhone at the house and Mom, Dad and I went to get food for tonight and tomorrow morning. We ate pasta (on the floor like this morning) and we took our showers. Mom and Dad went to the restaurant. I sat on the couch and played on my iPad. Ludivine gave me her phone and I started recording. Then we will go up and go to sleep. Bye!
We wake up quiet late, around 10am (Ludivine even later, at 11am). I go and buy croissants and chocolate breads in a nice nearby bakery, where the woman speaks good English.
Everything is so quiet and clean.
The district is very nice; there are plenty of shops.
We’ve been very efficient since our arrival in Kyoto: after finding a bus bringing us directly from the airport to the apartment yesterday night, this morning we go to the small nearby post office to collect the wi-fi device that Isabelle ordered and then to the main post office of our district to collect the registered mail that failed to get delivered to the house this morning (it is the tickets for the sumo competition on Friday).
It seems easier than in China (which is not difficult…).
We go to Fushimi Inari Taisha, by metro. We buy a card, which is valid not only for the metro but also for the buses and the trains (and also to buy items from the vending machines in the stations). It’s really the country of the vending machines. There are vending machines everywhere in the streets (without mentioning the stations).
We started with this Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine since, as per the guide books, it is one of the most impressive and memorable sights in all of Kyoto. It’s one of Japan’s most popular shrines; there are a lot of people, including tourists and pilgrims. Many girls (and guys) wear kimono. The alley from the station to the shrine is full of food street vendors.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is a Shinto shrine, with seemingly endless arcades of 10,000 vermilion torii (shrine gates) spread across a wooded mountain. From ancient times, the colour vermilion has been considered to symbolize the life force and counteract spells. There is a nice atmosphere. We walk uphill, wandering for an hour through this magical tunnel of gates.
Weather is grey, but no rain so far.
We buy some food on our way back to the station: orange, corn, sake ice cream (for Isabelle) and matcha “waffle”.
We go back to the apartment, by metro. We go to a supermarket to buy some food, including the meal for the kids tonight. Isabelle and I go out. Kyoto being the capital of the food (including kaiseki, fine cuisine – see below), I indeed booked 2 restaurants before our arrival (thanks to Tomoko, our guide for the Fire Festival in Kurama on Sunday, since we needed a local phone number to book them).
I’m the one who prepare Japan (the next 2 countries, Philippines and Australia are Isabelle’s ones). It is the country I’m the most impatient to visit in this world tour trip.
I prepare pasta for the kids.
We go to Guilo Guilo restaurant (Giro Giro Hitoshina), in Downtown Kyoto, near Pontocho. Very nice dinner, with a 8-course set menu. A great (culinary) discovery. We enjoy such local discoveries.
Kaiseki is the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine, where ingredients, preparation, setting and presentation come together to create a highly ritualized, aesthetically sophisticated dining experience. The meal is served in several small courses, fiving the diner an opportunity to admire the plates and bowls, which are carefully chosen to complement the food and season.
We walk a bit in Pontocho district, on Pontocho and Kiyamachi streets. It’s one of the most animated night districts of Kyoto but there is not much animation tonight (it’s Wednesday night and it’s raining). It’s nicely lit with lanterns.
We go back home by taxi. I write one post, until 2am.