Man, I’m tired. I raced back to the apartment after JBPP, frantically packed, tossed out anything I didn’t need, repacked, still had too much, but left anyway. Yuck. Too heavy. I tried to take the bike to the station, but realized instantly that that was a horrible idea. The walk to the station wasn’t much better.
I really want to be one of those dudes who can just travel with a toothbrush and a spare pair of underpants. Seriously, how do they do that?
I managed to get a seat on the train to Nagoya, then grabbed a Nozomi to Kyoto.
PINning Down My Tickets
Here’s a tip: if you want to use a credit card, and you don’t have or remember your PIN number, buy your shinkansen tickets at a smaller station and talk to a human, if you can speak Japanese.
If you can’t, then go to the bigger stations, like Nagoya or Tokyo, and stand in line. The people working the counters there speak excellent English, or can find someone who does. (I learned this in 2007.)
If I had gotten my ticket at Okazaki instead of Nagoya, I would have saved 20-30 minutes of standing in line.
If you have/know your PIN, just use the machines. It’s a LOT faster. But if you’re trying to do something complex, humans are more helpful.
I got to Kyoto at around 6:30, then headed straight to the APA Hotel, which was right outside of JR Kyoto. Fortunately, I had my confirmation number with me, because nobody in either Japan or the US can spell my name to save their lives.
The room was okay, but pricey: 10,000 yen.
I checked in, crashed for a few minutes, then headed over to Bic Camera to finally get a circular polarizer. I’ve been putting off buying one for too long. I looked around a bit, and found one.
Then I headed up to the restaurants on the 11th floor of Isetan, because it was starting to get late.
The Christmas decorations are already up:
I found a good okonomiyaki shop, and had a good modern yaki with bacon. That’s good stuff!
After that, I headed down to the second floor of the station, and went to Cafe du Monde for a beignet… only to find out that the Cafe du Monde in Kyoto Station does not serve beignets. What the hell?? It’s Cafe freakin’ du Monde! They do sell hot dogs and coffee. But no beignets? There was a Mister Donut next to it, so I waited for 10 minutes and ordered some donut-looking things from them.
It Has a Hole in the Middle
As I headed out of the station, I took a couple of photos of the Kyoto Tower Hotel, which was very purple tonight:
Then I went to the Lawson outside of the station, and it was jammed full of people. It was a madhouse. I decided to go ahead and get breakfast as well as beverages, because I wanted to save a trip here in the morning. (Seriously, it was nuts.)
I headed back to the room.
My room if full of amenities. See?
Then I ate my donuts. The MisDo (as they call Mister Donut here) donuts were really mediocre, like not very good grocery store donuts that had all of the flavor chased out of them by the bland police. Frankly, Harris-Teeter’s chocolate donuts taste better, and they’re average at best.
Now I understand why the lines at Krispy Kreme are so long here; these people haven’t been eating proper doughnuts! (There’s a difference between donuts and doughnuts, but I don’t want to get into it right now.)
The MisDo chocolate donut just tasted like it was… brown flavored.
I called home to let them know I was still alive, then I sacked out early. Gotta get up early, too. Tomorrow will probably be chaotic on a level I haven’t seen yet.