The last leg of our Japan honeymoon was in Kyoto. If Tokyo was bright lights and fast cars, and Hakone was peace and tranquility, this was a good mix of those two extremes. It was darling, and if I go back to Japan, we are for sure visiting Kyoto again. I like it so much that I don't think I can fit everything into one post, so this is the first in three (or four...haven't decided yet!) installments.
Our stay was made even more amazing because of the staff at Hotel Mume, a boutique hotel in the Gion District. I have never in my life had such personalized service. They treated us as if we were old friends coming to visit their home, except that home is super posh, complete with free breakfast, drinks all day, and an insane toilet with a lid that automatically lifts when it senses motion. The owner mapped out a site-seeing itinerary for us, made all dinner reservations, and upgraded us to a nicer room.
[Top: Our room ("Wind") at Hotel Mume. Middle: The view from the room. Bottom: Breakfast! Our room rate came with breakfast every morning. Pastries, soup, hard-boiled egg, grapefruit juice, marmalade, jam, tea, coffee, fruit, and my favorite (I ate both of our servings,) home-made yogurt.]
I promise, we managed to leave the hotel occasionally.
I'm smiling in that photo above, but I was really dying from mosquitos as this shrine is located next to a stream in a forest of trees. They seemed to all love my legs, and I was in pain for a few days (luckily this was at the very, very end of our trip.) I counted my bites...wait for it...33 MOSQUITO BITES. On one spot of my leg, it's just one after the other in a line. It's like the same mosquito bit me once, hopped down, bit me again, and hopped further down.
We escaped the outdoors at the International Manga Museum, which was like walking into a librarian's dream: adults and children were reading at tables, on the floor, on the steps, and the walls were covered in books. The children's room was packed, and there was a special art area where they could draw their own manga.
I had my portrait painted by a manga artist at the museum. The boy really likes the picture and has since referred to it as "Mo Jr.".
[Above: The manga artist painting my portrait. Bottom: Mo Jr.!]
More Kyoto fun to come, sans the mosquitoes.