<strong>Wednesday, 09 August 2017: Hakone - Odawara - Kyoto</strong>
Left Hakone and the cool mountain climate on the local bus to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odawara" rel="nofollow">Odawara</a> (小田原市) (10m above sea level) where we had time for a quick nip to look at the castle before getting the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinkansen" rel="nofollow">Shinkansen</a> (新幹線) to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto" rel="nofollow">Kyoto</a> (京都市), arriving just after midday.
[I did lose Rosa just before we were due to get on the bullet train to Kyoto - which almost gave me heart failure!]
HOT but clear skies so not so humid.
Left overnight bags at the Hotel Ibis just across the road from the station and headed out on the local train network to Gion district - for onomoyaki (? It's a savoury pancake filled with tasty things) at a bar/restaurant that was popular with American troops in World War II (with saucy souvenir drawings on the walls to prove it!) and then the shrines / temples and our walking tour of Gion (but no Geiko or Maiko). We did see lots of Japanese tourists dressed up in traditional dress at <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasaka_Shrine" rel="nofollow">Yasaka Shrine</a> (八坂神社) though, and tried our hands at ringing the 'love' bells... and chilled out with the dragons in the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennin-ji" rel="nofollow">Kennin-ji Temple</a> (建仁寺).
We got back to the hotel around 7.15pm and after a speedy shower each, nipped out for take out from one of the station kiosks. All a bit Russian Roulette on the veggie front. Indeed, the only real area where things have been tricky so far has been meals out. It's fine when Charlea is around but when we are completely DIY there have been a more misses than hits.
My feet are v tired, and we've another long (hot) day out and about tomorrow!
Read more on Sparkly Trainers: <a href="http://www.sparklytrainers.com/blog/tag/insidejapan-tours-hyperjapan-j-pop-go/" rel="nofollow">InsideJapan Tours: HYPERJAPAN J-Pop & Go!</a>