What a beautiful city! Though much of the city is modernized it is not uncommon to turn off a busy street and be right in the middle of traditional Japan. From the hotels, restaurants, architecture, and temples this city is where to find the Japan we foreigners imagine it to be. My friend Eriko and I stayed at a traditional Japanese hotel with bamboo matted floors and paper sliding walls. As a westerner it was a bit strange when i first walked in. There was a separate room at the entrance where you take off you shoes and the room looked like a place to eat lunch not sleep! Except that the table was low and there were small pads on the floor. At 8 pm sharp a member of the hotel staff came to the room, pulled the tabel to the side, and layed down our mats to sleep on. What an expirence!
One of the best lunches I have had in Japan was on our second day in Kyoto. Entering the restaurant, shoes removed, it was hard to tell what the place was going to be like or what they served. We were guided up some steep and narrow steps and the room at the top was small and traditional. Again, bamboo mats and floor seating. The options of the day were either fish or chicken. I ordered chicken and this is what I got: