Personal Space

Kyoto with Teenagers – Part 4 (Westin Kyoto Miyako Hotel)

(Read Parts 1-3)

After touring Kiyomizu-Dera and had another round of Kakigori, we took a cab to Westin Kyoto Miyako Hotel. Our luggage, which we dropped off earlier at Kyoto Station, was waiting for us.

The hotel has everything an American traveler expect in a high-end American chain hotel. Well, almost everything. It lacks one thing that is important to me – WiFi in the rooms. As my AT&T  iPhone refusing to talk to the 3G signals in Japan (and it would have been very expensive even if it were able to talk to 3G), the lack of WiFi meant no tour-critical information was at my fingertips while I lounged in my bed. I either had to borrow my mother’s Softbank iPhone or had to go all the way to the lobby (and paid a large sum of yens for the WiFi) to get the signal. I tried both options which were both equally inconvenient.

Other than the lack of WiFi, however, the stay there was enjoyable. Our room had an excellent view of the city (the first photo). There was a convenience store, Lawson,  just down the street for inexpensive meals and snacks. My 16 year old reported that the gym was small but adequately equipped. And Nanzenji, one of the most important temples in Kyoto, is located just a few blocks away, providing a perfect excuse for a morning stroll or jog (the second photo).

The hotel has a shuttle bus that takes you to Kyoto Station. It lets you get off at the Sanjo-Keihan terminal which is a convenient stop for catching a city bus or to walk over a few blocks to the major shopping district. Some of the shops we enjoyed include LOFT (the third photo) where you can find things you didn’t know existed but are glad to have, Graniph T-shirt shop (where my 16 year old bought his Looney Tunes shirt), as well as many of the shops lining the Shinkyogoku Pedestrian mall (the fourth photo). Even with the ultra-weak dollar, we were able to find reasonably priced clothes and souvenirs.

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