After a great stay in rural Japan with awesome company, I finally arrived in Kyoto for my WorkAway experience. After paying the fare at the strange ticket window, I could pass the gates and I was free!
Okay so, first thing I did was, of course, look for WiFi. The one at the station was so overused that I couldn’t get on that network. I saw a Starbucks across the street, beneath Kyoto Tower, and as Starbucks usually have WiFi, I tried again there, but still nothing. I walked on, because I did kind of remember the direction I had to go, and at Yodobashi, I found WiFi! Yay! I needed WiFi to find the guesthouse, I had forgotten to make a screenshot when I still had WiFi. 😦
So, a tip for everyone arriving at Kyoto Station and looking for free WiFi… Exit the station, walk straight for a few hundred meters and find Yodobashi, a 6-floor building with more than just Yodobashi in it. 😉
I still had some time, before my expected arrival at the guesthouse, so I walked around in Yodobashi for some time, while trying to get the map to load. It turned out to be quite easy; just had to follow the main road, get to big crossing, turn right, follow street until pedestrian bridge, follow alley on the left.
When I found the guesthouse, called Peace House Sakura, I entered, but no one seemed to notice so I sat down in the common space and started talking to a Dutch couple. Some time later, the manager entered and after studying me for a few minutes, he asked me whether I was Laura for WorkAway. He explained that I didn’t have to start that day nor the next, because we’d wait until my friend Hanna arrived as well. He also told me that I’d be sleeping in the staff room, which was a bit overbooked because of the transition period of the helpers (and the guesthouse was fully booked). When my friend arrived, we’d be able to move to another room, which we’d share with guests.
After some explanations, I was free to explore. I rested a bit more in the common space (Kyoto seems to always be just that bit warmer than the rest of Japan, so I was exhausted after the hours of train travel and walking all the way to the guesthouse) and then decided to get dinner.
Since I didn’t know much about Kyoto yet, I went to my favourite ramen chain: ICHIRAN! Spicy Hakata ramen is the best! ^_^ Everyone that knows me in Japan, will automatically link me with Ichiran because I love it so much. 😉 I went there, and found this huge line waiting… (that’s only part of the line on the picture; there were over 30 people waiting in front of me, and inside there were still more people waiting)
Pretty much all people in front of me were Chinese, by the way… 😛 After a 45-minute wait, I was finally admitted to the store. The family in front of me was Chinese, so the staff spoke broken English to them. When it was my turn, the same staff spoke to me in … JAPANESE! Haha, I was super happy. I must’ve looked like I totally knew what I was doing. Which I did. I’ve been to Ichiran over 20 times, so I know the routine. 😀 I’d already filled out my little ordering form, and as soon as I sat down in my little box, I rang the bell and handed them my paper. It was my first time alone at Ichiran, wow.
Just a few minutes later, my delicious bowl of hot ramen arrived.
I never finish the bowl, because it’s too hot (as in temperature, not spiciness). But this time I did, I was starving. And you know what I thought when I finished? “I accidentally ate the whole thing!” (Anisa, that’s no joke, that really was the first thought that popped up in my head)
When I got out of the store, it had already turned dark. It always gets dark early in Japan, as if it’s winter all the time. 😦 I walked home and passed the river. I only had my tablet with me, so the picture isn’t great, but I hope it gives you an idea of the atmosphere for now. ^^
The next day, I was up early and went for a walk before I’d go pick up my friend at the station. Here are a few snaps of my walk: