We had reserved bikes directly from the hotel the day before, which weren’t cheap because they get them from Kyoto Cycling Tour Project (KCTP) and sub-rent them to their guests for a considerably hefty commission.
We could have gotten them directly from KCTP which has multiple terminals across town, but the reality is that the hotel was far away enough from the center and this was way more convenient. Stepping out of the hotel and grabbing a bike, imagine that.
Kyoto is the perfect town to cycle on, since it’s more flat than hilly, and you can easily access any point on the map relatively quickly.
If you ever find yourself in Kyoto, do yourself a favor and get a bike from these guys. Their bikes are nice and comfortable (unless you’re super tall), you can pick them up and drop them at any of their locations, and they don’t even ask for any ID — that’s how trusting Japanese are.
With that, we headed straight to the city center and found ourselves near the Kyoto Station. Just across the road, the Kyoto Tower. Seemed like the touristy thing to do to avoid the scorching sun for a few minutes, so we headed up convinced it would be packed.
But we even felt kinda uncomfortable when we saw 3 young female workers waiting for some sort of business and had the elevator door opened for us when we got there.
Upstairs, the same scenario, just 3 or 4 couples and families wandering around. I guess it’s not that touristy, but the sights are certainly worth the admission price.
After we chilled — literally — for a while, we decided to hit the road again and visit the Kyoto Aquarium. Seems kinda strange that an inland city, considerably far away from the sea, has its own aquarium. Well, not all aquariums focus on the sea, and Kyoto, vastly bathed by fresh waters, holds a whole different ecosystem.
Notably, the giant salamander, that enjoys the humid weather and the abundance of water, is a prime example of that network. It has become such a symbol for the aquarium that almost the entire gift shop was crammed with its kawaii plushies and other plasticky paraphernalia… which, regrettably, I don’t have a picture of.