It was very clear from the beginning that we have different approaches to travel. Instead of pushing him to do all the things that I want to do, I figured it would be easier to start with his preferred approach and make changes slowly.
In 2012, our first ever trip together was a 9 day architecture tour of Chicago with three stops in Wisconsin.
In 2013, our 10 day visit to San Francisco included a bike trip around Napa.
In 2015, our 11 day trip around the Pacific Northwest included biking around Mt Hood and hiking along the People’s Coast.
In 2016, our 12 day trip to Germany and Austria included biking around Salzburg lakes, biking along the Mosel river and castle walks. The fact that we had an amazing trip despite getting off at the wrong train station and me suggesting that we walk to the next train station gave us a huge confidence boost.
This year, we are doing a 16 day trip to Japan with a stop in Vancouver. I don’t love big crowds but, having lived in Shanghai and Beijing, I have my ways of finding serenity in a sea of people. This is his first trip to Asia so not quite sure how he will respond.
For the three days in Kyoto, I’m thinking we can break it down into six segments. This way, if we get run over by tour groups, we will just tough it out knowing that a quiet break is right around the corner.
Segment #1: We are staying in an apartment in Nakagyō-ku (中京区) so I’m thinking we can kick off our first afternoon adventure at Cao Cafe Ishikawa (picture above) which is open from 11:30 to 3 am on Sundays. Nishiki Market followed by Nishiki Tenman-gū (天満宮). Pickle shopping at Murakamijyu Honten. Pontocho Alley followed by Shirakawa-minami Dori.
Segment #2: 6 am bamboo forest stroll followed by coffee at % ARABICA (picture above). Walk across Togetsukyō Bridge (渡月橋) followed by exploration of Tenryū-ji (天龍寺): “The main 14th-century Zen garden, with its backdrop of the Arashiyama mountains, is a good example of shakkei (borrowed scenery)” (lonely planet). Looking forward to comparing and constrasting with Humble Administrator’s Garden, which is also famous for 借景. Followed by all you can eat lunch at Gyatei.
Segment #3: Coffee at efish followed by pottery admiration at Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Hall. A stroll around Ninen-zaka, Sannen-zaka, Ishibei-koji (picture above).
Segment #4: 6 am Hōnen-in (法然院) visit. Climb to the viewpoint above Ginkaku-ji followed by lunch at Omen. Paper shopping at Kamiji Kakimoto followed by tea at Ippodo.
Segment #5: Walk around Nijō Castle from 3 pm to 5 pm (supposedly this place is very busy in the middle of the day). Tour Sanjo-kai Shotengai. Gotta see the Matatabi-sha Shrine which is right inside the shopping arcade.
Segment #6: 6 am walk around Inari-yama