Saturday, 5 April 2008

Oki-na Gaijin, Chisai-na Kuni (Big Foreigner, Small Country) #5

March 24 - To Kyoto and Back

Today was an early day. I managed to get up by myself and left by 6:45 to catch the train for Tokyo station and, after that, the shinkansen or bullet train to Kyoto. The train to Tokyo station was very crowded - no men with white gloves pushing people into the trains, but getting there.

The Shinkansen is not cheap - ¥13 000 ($130) for a one way trip - but there aren’t a lot of other options for transportation to Kyoto (370 km or 230 miles) and it is fast and clean. It took about 2 and a half hours to get there.

Once I arrived I knew I was going to meet up with my daughter, Colleen. She had been on a one week exchange with a family in Miyoshi (near Hiroshima) along with eight other students from her Japanese class at school.

There were staying at the Kyoto Tower Hotel which, I was told, was across the street from the station. As luck would have it, I exited the wrong side and spent a half an hour finding my way around the station to the hotel! Kyoto station is big!

It was great to see Colleen! She looked good and happy and not the least bit homesick. The exchange had gone extremely well but she was looking forward to her trip to Tokyo.

After some shopping and a nice lunch, we said goodbye to her friends that were returning to Canada and took the Shinkansen back to Tokyo.

Colleen was a huge hit with everyone back at Kinshicho. Her Japanese was clear and her appetite was good - both essential for visiting!

We went to the Tempura restaurant round the corner and Colleen did very well. She did have some issues with the oshinko (pickled stuff), though.

After, we chatted at length in Yoichi’s apartment and then headed for bed - although the bed I was sleeping on and the futon Colleen was curled up beside me made the apartment fell a bit cramped!


Heinz & Frenchie said...

That is great that you have a daughter learning Japanese. Her world will be so much more International than ours has been. Although we are a French American couple and have lived both in Europe and here, and visited Taiwan and Hong Kong, our experience with the Far East has been very limited. We are really enjoying your blog. Thanks!

Dave Dixon said...

heinz and frenchie

Thanks so much for the encouraging comments. I'm glad to share the experience.
My daughter is quite the world traveller after living a year in Scotland for a teacher exchange, a house exchange in France and now an exchange in Japan.
The world is getting smaler so it's probably a very good thing that she is becoming a more international citizen.