Ancient temples? Check.
Cherry blossoms? Check.
Tourists? Excuse me ma’am your right shoulder is getting into my camera frame.
I had it all planned, my Kyoto dream had a plot which looked something like this:
1. Stroll along the zen gardens and streets lined with cherry blossom trees
2. Down copious amounts of hot green tea and have a grand Kaiseki meal.
3. Stay in a Ryokan. Find inner peace in a shrine, any shrine.
4. Bump into Geishas in the Gion quarter, and ideally be mistaken for one.
In truth, the Kyoto dream did come true (with the exception of the second part of point 4), and maybe i had some difficulties finding inner peace amidst the hordes of tourists having the same Unoriginal Kyoto dream.
Surely, Kyoto can’t be all about the old?
In a desperate attempt to remove myself from the well-beaten touristy path and regain my street -cred, I decided to seek out the new and the original. With one more night to spare in Kyoto, i thought that I would trade in the Ryokan for a Capsule Hotel. In the name of novelty, I thought it would be a great idea to strip away the fuss and luxury of a 130 year old Ryokan (What street-cred?) for a night in a sleeping pod which offered enough arm-flailing space from a mild nightmare.
A Google search of ‘Cool capsule hotel Kyoto’ got me to one by the name of 9 Hours.
Capsule hotels were meant for the office man who couldn’t make the last train home. 9 Hours had just decided to add in a whole lot of design oomph to this concept, and there you go- a ‘Cool capsule hotel Kyoto’.
Perhaps, what I really needed to complete my experience of Kyoto and all its artistic intricacies was a fresh spin on what makes a good night’s sleep for the peak season cherry blossom tourist. A locker, towels and toiletries, and a sleeping pod.
Everything else? Probably unnecessary.