Although the Japan National Tourist Organization plays up the idea of old Kyoto, the city is the seventh largest in the country, at about 1.5 million people. At the intersection of Gojo and Horikawa, looking southeast from the pedestrian overpass, it’s the modern Kyoto we see.
Looking west, that’s the Comfort Inn Kyoto Gojo (on the left/south side), where we stayed.
We picked the hotel for (a) moderate rates, (b) high-speed Internet access included with the room, (c) free breakfast, and (d) close proximity to bus routes. Diana found the Japanese breakfasts worth writing about. The breads and cereals are pretty standard …
… but the rice balls stuffed with a small dab of tuna or salmon are uniquely Japanese.
Diana had to point out the instructions on how to unwrap the plastic wrap the separated the rice from the seaweed.
On our first day, we were out of the hotel before 8 a.m., and were absorbed in the mundane of Japan. Walking east on Gojo, we noticed that hoses at gas stations come down from the ceiling …
… and it’s the car wash that moves, not the car.
Turning south on Horikawa, we puzzled at the type of fruit on the trees …
… and saw the first of many vending machines.
Pedestrians share the sidewalk with bicycles.
We could see the roof of our first temple — Nishi Hongan-ji — just 15 minutes from our hotel.