Day 8: October 29th 2008 Wednesday
So, it was time to leave Tadami. After breakfast, I checked out from the ryokan, and headed out to the station. The train, which after several transfer would take me all the way to Kyoto, was departing at 9AM. As I arrived to the station some 15 minutes early, I waited by the station building. After few minutes of waiting, the lady from the ryokan came hurrying to the station. I begun to wonder what I had forgot at the room. But instead, she handed me gift wrapped box. Can you say hospitable? Inside the box, there were Japanese sweets.
Several hours later, I reach Tokyo, where I change to bullet train taking me to Kyoto. In Kyoto, I had booked home stay for 3 nights. The place was located in one of the Kyoto suburbans, Ishida. I had directions how to reach Ishida, so as I came to Kyoto, I transferred to surface train, and then to subway to reach Ishida. The place was located close to the Ishida station, and reading the map, I started to walk towards the assumed location. For some reason, the map and surrounding didn't match good enough, so I asked passerby for help, and she told me I was walking correct road, just incorrect direction. After turning around, I soon found the place.
It was already starting to turn into night, but as cities never sleep, I decided to head out to Kyoto downtown. Train took me quickly to downtown, and I just walked around without any general idea. Having eaten only snacks, I tried to look for conveyor belt sushi. As I spotted police box, koban, I went there to ask if there was one around. They gave me directions to walk back to station, the station building had one inside. I thanked the policemen, and headed back to the station.
The sushi place wasn't the cheapest one, actually it was the most expensive kaitenzushi I ate during whole trip, but conveyor belt sushi is always quite cheap, so even with one beer, I ended up around $25. Ha! With full stomach, I again surveyed the station area. Across the street, there was the Kyoto Tower. It was quite clear night, so I went in to see the city. To my disappointment, you couldn't get outside at the tower. Not sure if it's because of the high suicide rates in Japan or why, but there wasn't any similar observation deck outside, like they have for example at the Space Needle in Seattle.
After walking around a bit, it was time to return back Ishida. Now with the Lonely Planet guide to Japan, I finished up my plan during Kyoto. As I learned, the Oku-No-In graveyard wasn't really close to Kyoto, so with not-so-good connections, I decided to skip it this time. Instead, I'd spend time in Kyoto, and one day in Nara. Around Kyoto, there seemed to be more than enough to see without any extra trips to countryside of Kansai-region.