Golden Mix

We were awoken by a crow this morning. It was cawing outside our window.

Here is our homestay. We arrived last night one hour later than we expected to (Which is pretty good all things considered since the plane had some 'Routine Maintenance' (Which also had some 'Routine Paperwork' associated with it Which took about half an hour) not to mention that it took us two days longer to get to Japan than we had expected and we missed our chance to stay in a Manga cafe.)

We decided while we were waiting to get out flight to Japan that we have a vacation jinx. The first night of every vacation that we have ever traveled to as just the two of us has had some sort of disaster and we have never slept in the location that we planned to. This has happened three times, and it seems to be getting worse. (this time it lasted for two days for instance).

The plane ride was fairly uneventful. We watched Brave and Galaxy Quest, practiced out Japanese, read various books, and ate amazingly delicious airplane food. I wasn't quite sure if the steak was supposed to be breaded or not, but Alison's definitely was not supposed to be as dark as it was (Alison reminds me that she likes her food with a little bit of carbon scoring).

After we got off the plane an official Japanese customs inspector took away our beef jerky and then we got a bus to Kyoto.

Thoughts about Kyoto:

They use perforated metal walls as sound barriers on the freeway edge instead of cement (They drive on the left, by the way).
Kyoto has an impressive urban sprawl.
Toll roads seem popular.
I noticed 5 putting greens in the middle of the city (one of them was even built floating over the water.)
They are very environmentally conscious (There are solar panel arrays on > 20% of the houses)
Pachinko is really popular. Really really popular. We saw 20+ parlors. It was like being in Las Vegas again.
Spinning circular lights on the edge of the road are merge signs. Apparently clockwise means merge right.

We arrived at out homestay at about 8:00. Their house is pretty cool. Our room was nice (it probably still is, though we are not entirely through unpacking everything). Some thoughts about a Japanese home.
Take your shoes off at the door. Alison and I already do this, so it doesn't seem weird.
Super compact bathrooms (The sink is built right into the top of the toilet (which has a bidet and fan to dry you off))
Futon beds are normal here (which don't have normal western sheets... they have what seems more like a mattress cover.)

We will probably update more soon.

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