We didn’t see as much of Kyoto as we might have liked, but there were still a few things that surprised us about the city:
- In many of the Kyoto subway stations, the subway worker – dressed like the conductor from the Shining Time Station show we watched as children – often says ‘Thank you’ to each customer as (s)he leaves. I have to believe that this gets tiring over the course of a day, but they say it each time someone puts their ticket through the terminal.
- Many restaurants offered restaurant ordering on iPads at the table – more so than in Osaka. This might be because we stayed in a more residential neighborhood here, with more local chain restaurants.
- We also thought that the food in Osaka was generally better – though, again, this could have been largely impacted by our suburban location.
- My dad had suggested that Kyoto is the spiritual capital of Japan, but it’s hard to overstate how true this is. There are temples and shrines everywhere!
- It felt like the touristy parts of Kyoto were actually more condensed into one area than they were in Osaka.
- There are also fewer subway lines in Kyoto: two primary ones criss-cross the city.
- There really were a lot of foods flavored with matcha, a green tea powder that’s surprisingly bitter, given how often it’s used in desserts.