From the japan Collection
We checked out of our AirBnB in the morning and headed over to our pre-booked ryokan. We wanted our last day in the Kyoto area to be one of mostly relaxing as we'd be heading toward the insanity of Tokyo next.
We dropped our luggage off at the ryokan and then headed to the Pokemon Center in Kyoto. I grabbed the Kyoto-exclusive Pikachu merchandise while there (This one was considerably smaller than the Osaka one). It is located in the Takashimaya tower, so we decided to grab lunch there on the top floor. We settled with an Italian restaurant アルポルトカフ to grab some pasta.
After that we took a walk around Kyoto's downtown area. This portion of the trip was mostly shopping and stopping by eateries. We found another ARABICA and even stopped by a dessert cafe サンマルクカフェ for some sweets.
It was then time to finally check in to the ryokan! We chose to stay at Kikoku-so (枳殻荘) which is run by an elderly couple and their children. They were accomodating and understanding, spoke great English. The elderly mother showed us to our room and performed a tea ceremony with green tea and a home made sugary snack.
We then settled in our room and took a light nap until 7pm when our dinner was ready. It was a traditional Japanese dinner served over multiple courses. The first course consisted of tofu, sashimi of squid, sea bream and tuna followed by some bamboo shoots, sea snail, yuba, some of fish wrapped in sea urchin and then a green paste which had the same consistency as mochi. The second course was some sticky rice in a congealed sauce consisting of fish and eel. Third course was a piece of fresh grilled mackerel. Fourth was a tempura dish. Fifth was rice and miso soup with pickled vegetables. Finally desert consisted of some fresh strawberries and grapefruit jelly. All of this was washed down by a nice bottle of dry cold sake. It personally enjoyed every bit of it.
After some more green tea to cleanse our palettes it was time to try out the traditional Japanese bathhouse. A tiny little stone bath heated up to 45 degrees Celsius that opened up every single pore in our bodies. Nearby there were shower nozzles and a stool, just like in public bath houses! After about 15 minutes it was just simply too hot for us and we toweled ourselves off and went to bed (I didn't want to bring my camera - too much steam!). We needed the best night's sleep we could get because tomorrow we head for the concrete jungle known as Tokyo.