Many thanks to Muyujyu Sato who made our stay at White Hotel in Kyoto a very pleasant one. Mister Anders and Madame are very satisfied :-)
For those who are considering a trip to Kyoto, why not check out a brand new isakaya (Japanese-style eatery) which will become part of the Watami franchise on October 3rd. I met the owner, a hard-working fellow who does speak english, who seemed like a hard-working guy eager to take on a venture. His name is Yasumasa Ohnaga.
Here's a shot of Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺 Temple of the Golden Pavilion), which indeed was beautiful. It is located in the north-east corner of Kyoto. We were told that we should go there, and we didn't regret it.
We followed the highway - the slow route - from Kyoto to Kobe, ignoring the GPS and randomly pusing buttons with Japanese text until it finally gave in and supplied us with the non-toll directions. There was absolutely no country side between Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe - the cities are closely knitted together by populous suburbs. Just take a look at a satellite photograph of this area, and you'll see what we mean.
We're staying at Hotel Tor Road, where we got surprisingly much for the money. A room at the top floor with everything we could ask for, great standard, and downtown. We found a great "resort style" place called Bora Bora pretty much next door, which serves fun food and drinks, and even has karaoke rooms of good standard upstairs with or without video games, ping pong, darts, or billiards. We had to try the karaoke, and it was a lot of fun :-)
There's also a degree of dodgyness about the area - we couldn't help but notice a number of prostitutes lingering, and, of course, a certain presence of customers that could be less polite than what we've gotten used to...