Kyoto, last day
Who knew this would have been our last day in Kyoto and our last day of vacation. It was a culmination of things but leaving was the right thing to do. We have had enough. Everyone wanted to get back. I just want to get back to my own bed and unfortunately we are going to spend more than a few more nights at a hotel in NYC but it is what it is.
In the morning we moved our stuff to the Hyatt. On the way there we went to Honke Owariya, a soba restaurant that has been around since the 1600's. The noodles were just awesome. Some of us had hot and others had cold. Just stellar.
We then checked in and made the decision to leave. After a few hours on the phone and some emails I was able to get us a flight out of Tokyo the next day. We are missing Naoshima but life goes on.
We returned to the Gion area for dinner. We were early so jumped into the bar next door. It was a really cool bar. This small old building in the front and when you walk in it is like a small modern box. Bar across one side of the room and seating across the other.
Dinner was at Sushi Matsumoto. It was the perfect end…and the sushi was fantastic. Sushi is a little different in Kyoto than Tokyo. The rice is a bit sour but it totally works. We began with a sweet seaweed.
Then a mixture of sashimi octopus.
Marinated white fish with sesame seeds.
Clam. Much sweeter than the other clams we had.
Tiny small scallops. This was pretty awesome.
Different types of fish roe. You can see the variations in color. Outrageous!
Back to the hotel to spend the night and leave the next morning. We got on the bullet train back to Tokyo in the morning and took it to the station before Tokyo then transferred to the Narita Express out to the airport. We saw Mount Fuji on the way to Tokyo from the train. Very cool. We got on a flight back to JFK that was delayed around 545pm their time. We landed in NYC around 3ish and got to our hotel in NYC around 530. A very long day. Glad I am back.
An interesting trip for a variety of reasons. I am glad we went and I am glad we came back. Glad we got to explore and see Japan. The culture, the traditions, the pace, the toilets, the hot towels but no napkins, the bowing, no tipping, the food and everything else is something we can look back on. As a family it ended up being a really positive experience which is the best part. Certainly memorable.
Last and certainly not least is Tripbod. Sally Broom introduced herself to me when I was visting Jessica in South Africa. I ended up talking to her, eventually meeting her and then Jessica spent a summer in London working for Sally. We used her service. It was amazing. She hooked us up with Martin who is a local tripbod in Tokyo. He listened to who we were, what we wanted and how we wanted to take in Japan. He got it. The trip was seamless and that rarely happens. I highly recommend using Tripbod for any trip at any level you want to experience a new place.