Kyoto By Bicycle And By (The) Water

Saturday was warm and sunny, so we started the day with lunch by the river and then rented some bicycles for further explorations. Kyoto is an amazing city for bicycling:

  • There are several dedicated bicycle and pedestrian lanes, including the long, gorgeous ones that run by the river.
  • Elsewhere, it’s easy to navigate the city on the  many small lanes with little vehicle traffic. These lanes tend to be a visually fascinating mix of residences, small shops, and restaurants, so it’s where I’d want to be riding even if I weren’t avoiding cars.
  • When the two options above fail: on larger streets without bicycle lanes, it’s generally acceptable to ride on the sidewalk. (This is nice as a bicyclist, but sometimes harrowing as a pedestrian attempting to herd a bouncy four-year-old. No crashes yet!)
  • There are tons of other bicyclists in the city, and car drivers seem practiced at looking for bicycles.

We rented bikes from this shop and were very happy: two reasonable bicycles and a child seat for less than 13 USD for a day.


Continue reading “Kyoto By Bicycle And By (The) Water”

Tea Ceremony

Our host Momoko has a friend in the neighborhood who performs tea ceremonies and was kind enough to host us. Tea ceremonies are pretty extensively documented, and I’m not an expert by any means, so I will mostly just relay our experiences.

The ceremony was held in a tea house, a separate, smaller structure from the main house, with a view of the garden.


Continue reading “Tea Ceremony”

Month-long Grandparents

One of the nicest things about our stay near Kyoto, Japan were our AirBnB hosts, who lived in a separate living space within the same house as us. They frequently sent over food, toys, books, and offers of rides, and chatting with them in the garden while Theo played was lovely and informative. In several ways, they acted as month-long grandparents to Theo, from taking him on walks to gathering scrap lumber and tools to feed his creation impulses.

IMG_1374 IMG_1461

Continue reading “Month-long Grandparents”