Japan 2015: Keiko-mama in Kyoto

Our Kyoto Airbnb was so awesome that I’ve got to dedicate an entire post to it. Keiko-mama, our host, was such a balm after what we went through our first night in Osaka, constantly checking in on us even before we arrived in Kyoto. Keiko-mama’s house sits atop a hill, so how it worked was that she’d drop us off at a bus stop or station in the morning and pick us up from the nearest bus stop at night. If that’s not dedication enough, our first night in our room was spent exchanging introductions with Keiko-mama, and getting tips on our rough itineraries for the next three days. She literally sat with us for the next hour or so refining our plans for Kyoto! We hadn’t even unpacked our suitcases yet.

Planning our Kyoto itinerary with Keiko-mama while warming up under the kotatsu in our room! Ai and Ru had been intrigued by the Sagano Romantic Train pamphlet at the tourism in Kyoto Station, and when we mentioned it to Keiko-mama, she got so excited at the romance of it that she sought about transportation logistics in squeezing in a highly-recommended boat ride into our plans.
Just take a look at that scenic view going down the hill from the house!
We were incredibly lucky to arrive at a time in between other guests, so we managed to get full access to the adjoining room. The closed sliding door leads to another room which was just vacated.
Small pebble garden!
The most beautiful Japanese Maple grew right outside our room. Here’s a shot with our super warm kotatsu in the foreground one morning when we opened the sliding doors to the balcony.
Vacant room in the background.
View from the balcony in the morning.
Introducing B-chan, a chirpy little dog masquerading as a black mop. It just so happened that he was here to stay for a short while, and when Keiko-mama mentioned him when she came to pick us up, we had to tell her that Ai is muslim and forbidden from interacting with dogs as they are tak halal. And as briefly mentioned in my previous post, Ru is a little afraid of cats, dogs, and deer. Keiko-mama spent the rest of our entire stay making sure that B-chan was safely separated by a door whenever he posed a danger to us. Sorry Keiko-mama and B-chan!
Keiko-mama’s breakfasts are such a motivation to wake up for. Day one started with a four-dish feast – just how early did Keiko-mama have to wake up to make this?! So amazed.
Day two was Chahan and soothing miso soup with a view.
On Day three, we made Takoyaki. Keiko-mama had heard about our obsession with Takoyaki in Osaka and brought us to the nearby grocery store just to get ingredients for this the previous night! Here’s Keiko-mama starting off the first round. We took turns cooking the next three or so batches. ATE SO MUCH BUT IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.
Tempting B-chan with some nomz because I’m evil.
Me, Keiko-mama, B-chan (being very well-behaved in the chair), Ai, Ru, and a whole lot of Takoyaki!