Kyoto with Teenagers – Part 2 (a Quick Lunch at Kyoto Station)
Shinkansen arrived in Kyoto in the early afternoon. The Kyoto Station itself is a magnificent piece of architecture worth some exploring if your schedule allows.
Kyoto is a MAJOR tourist destination for Japanese people as well as for overseas tourists, so there are tons of lodging options for any budget and preferences (i.e., western or Japanese styles, with or without meals). Lucky for us, my mother has some “connections” and “knows people” (aka she retired from a large life insurance company with full benefits including subsidized hotel stays) so we got to stay at the posh Westin Miyako Kyoto Hotel at a bargain price.
Westin is a 15-minute shuttle bus ride from the station. However, they have a little outpost at the station where you can remotely check in and drop off luggage. They would transfer the luggage to the hotel for you.
So we dropped off our suitcases and went to the top floor of the station building where a dozen ramen noodle shops were gathered (i.e., “Ramen Alley“). We were starving despite the sandwiches we had on Shinkansen. We settled into the first shop we came across with empty seats, and had a quick and satisfying meal.
When traveling with teenagers, spontaneity is important. I know my parents would have liked to browse around more restaurants before settling in. But my priority was to keep the teenagers’ whining to the minimum, which required us to be spontaneous and flexible.
Then we took the #206 bus for Kiyomizu-dera.