On Christmas Day we got up early (earlyish) and caught a train to Kyoto. We caught a local train, it took about 45 minutes, so we were in Kyoto before 9. We chucked the overnight bag and umbrellas in a coin locker at the station and caught a bus to the flea market.
Note on travel in Japan. It’s very very unusual to see people with large suitcases or large bags on trains (other than those to the airport). There is very little luggage capacity on any train, and a lot of people, especially around new year. Most people send their suitcases on ahead, either through private delivery companies (similar to fed ex but much better) or even the post office. You are charged on a per piece basis by size. It cost us about $25 to send two suitcases from Osaka to Kyoto. We took the, to the front desk of our hotel the day before we left (by midday for that hotel) and they were waiting for us the next day when we checked in). When you add in the cost of two lockers to store them ($6 each) plus the hassle of the train station- so many many stairs and no escalators in some parts, it is worth it.
Picture from the bus ride (street scape). I took a video but can’t find it.
At the flea market we wandered around, bought some spices and got some small cups of coffee. There were a lot of stalls.
There were kimono stalls, but compared with the amounts and quality in Osaka, they weren’t great.
The iron monger stall. G got the kitchen knife he wanted. We bought one here last time but the wooden handle didn’t like the dishwasher…
It is held on the grounds of a temple, and there were people there for that too.
After a couple of hours we took a bus into the centre of town. We were heading to a needle place I had heard of. We found it, but it was shut! But only for the day, Thursday’s are the day they close.
We had a Christmas lunch of ramen and fried rice (me) and fired chocked and fried rice (G). And since ramen is considered in Japan to be Chinese, we had Chinese for Christmas.
We wandered down the shopping arcades- Kyoto has two covered over pedestrian shopping arcades- not quite shopping malls, but a bit protected from the elements. We then turned onto the Nishiki market Street.
This is a street of mostly food shops. The food is generally on show, and it is amazing
I got some yummy tofu mini donuts ( no pics because I scarfed them). And then we headed back to the station and our hotel. The hotel is near the station, but they also supply a free shuttle bus to and from the station, so we grabbed that.
On checkin, we discovered we had been upgraded. They didn’t tell us that, but our room is bigger than expected, and our reservation info says a different floor.
Later we went back to the station, bought some more desserts from the department store there and looked at the Christmas decorations. A nice Christmas Day!
And this below was the Christmas dec at our hotel. Gone by Boxing Day!