Technically we'd arrived in Kyoto a day earlier, but that day was lost entirely to travel. Our heads were soaked in sake and karaoke music and we had vague memories of paying a cab to drive us back to our hotel the wrong way down one-way streets after midnight because the trains had been mysteriously shut down early the previous night.
Between this and the car accident I'd been in exactly one week prior in Los Angeles, I was beat. My back had finally started to hurt from days of walking and standing, and the various forms of pain medication I'd been told to flood myself with weren't working. (Kristen kindly offered to carry my backpack for me, leaving Greg to lug around two suitcases on his own. If I was too delirious to do so at the time, MANY MANY THANKS for that.)
I remember little of that day. It was a blur of trains and napping.
So, basically, our first day in Kyoto happened the following day.
Looking through the pictures, it seemed more like that day must have been 3 weeks long. I can't believe we did so much in about 15 hours. It was warmer by now, we were further south, and Sakura season was coming along. The blossoms everywhere were heavenly. We walked and walked and walked. The temples were amazing, and there seemed to be millions of them.
Around sunset, we arrived at a Hanami (flower watching) festival at a temple in Gion. It was perfect timing. The sun was streaming through the blossoms and everyone was celebrating. We grabbed a beer, sat beneath the trees and checked out the different street food stands. Evening in Kyoto is quite magical.
It was a very long, very incredible day. And our time in Kyoto was just beginning.