One of the cool things about trains in Japan is that you can often watch the drivers do their thing. Heading back from our trip to Koyasan, on the rapid train between Osaka and Kyoto, the kids enjoyed the driver’s view.
I love the white gloves! The drivers take their jobs very seriously. I’m no Japan rail expert, but in my limited experience, trains run on time to the second. The handover between the drivers as they come aboard, with exchange of bows, and the checks at the start of each trip, are impressively formal – there is a definite pride in the rail system!
Between our trip to Koyasan and heading north to Nagano prefecture to the ski fields of Nozawa Onsen, we spent a quick overnight back in Kyoto. Because we arrived in the late afternoon and left in the morning, we booked a hotel room right near the station. To our delight, we overlooked the Shinkansen platforms of Kyoto station – I’d been trying to get a good pic of the bullet trains, and there they were!
I’d filmed a great video of the Shinkansen arriving at Tokyo to take us to Kyoto, and the packed station, but then realised I hadn’t pressed record, so this was cool!
As for dinner, one of the Japanese food recommendations from Japan expert Jen Jen was okonomiyaki (which I learned is a cabbage and egg sort of pancake with added ingredients of your choice – we had pork, prawns and cheese) so we searched TripAdvisor for a nearby restaurant of the cook-your-own-food-on-the-grill style and found one in the Yodobashi building just on the other side of the station. 6th floor – Tsuruhashi Fugetsu. Yum!
Mmmmmmmm katsuobushi (fish flakes)!
Phoebs had prime train-watching position for sleeping.
More trains in the morning.
First, the Thunderbird.
Then, the Shinkansen.
Blake was impressed with the speed, though apparently they can reach 320km/h on some routes.