What is Evolution?

“We began as a mineral.
We emerged into plant life, and into the animal state, and then into being human, and always we have forgotten our former states, except in early spring when we slightly recall being green again.
That’s how a young person turns towards a teacher.
That’s how a baby leans toward the breast, without knowing the secret of its desire, yet turning instinctively.
Humankind is being led along an evolving course, through the migration of intelligences, and though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually startle us back to the truth of who we are.”
— The Story of Evolution
Rumi, 13th Century


Visiting Kyoto: A Solo Journey

During Golden Week 2018 I finally decided to visit Kyoto, Japan's first capital. The decision to go SOLO was honestly because if I were to sit around waiting for a travel partner to go anywhere I'd be sitting at home forever, waiting in vain like Bob Marley. 

So I finally did it. Booked my transportation and accommodation and set out for a solo adventure of a lifetime. 

Luckily, with 4 + years living experience in Japan it was not nearly as daunting a task as it would have been if I were traveling to Japan for the first time with virtually no understanding of the language and customs. Nevertheless I committed to the solo journey and set out to see as much as I could see in less than 7 days. 

Kyoto is probably one of the most popular travel destinations in Japan for both locals and tourists alike. Add that to the most popular holiday in Japan (Golden Week) which meant that I had to be on the ball with making arrangements because things were bound to book out QUICKLY. 

Follow my solo journey to Kyoto...

Getting There 

The most cost-effective method of getting to Kyoto via ground transportation is by bus. If you are traveling from overseas then I HIGHLY RECOMMEND applying for the Japan Rail Pass before your trip.

If you're traveling from within Japan then the information below might be helpful. 

From Fukuoka, I took the overnight bus (approximately 9 hours) to Kyoto station and let me tell you.... unless you enjoy sleeping on a bus I suggest you contemplate another mode of transportation. Of course, if you're not trying to spend too much money getting to Kyoto like I was then you'll just have to make do. 

Let me be clear, the overnight bus was not ALL THAT bad:
  • The seats recline WITH a footrest 
  • There are plugs to charge your phone
  • Some buses even have privacy shades

Image result for kyoto overnight bus willer express

Here are some useful tips to maximise your overnight bus experience:

The key is to be sure to use the restroom on the final rest stop before bedtime. 
  • Brush your teeth and empty the tank (you know)
  • change into something comfortable (socks included) 
  • buy a bottle of water (gotta stay hydrated)
  • use an eye mask & ear plugs if you're a light sleeper
 FYI: In the event that you might need to use the bathroom in the night the buses are equipped with toilets (no thanks) or you'll just have to hold it until the next rest stop (whenever that may be).

All things being equal, you get to your destination bright and early the next morning albeit with a slightly sore back. You win some you lose some. 

Another option (and by far the quickest) for getting to Kyoto from Kyushu is to take the shinkansen (bullet train). It is however, the most expensive so choose wisely.

Where to Stay 

If your intention for visiting Kyoto is solely for sight-seeing purposes and you're on a tight budget then your best bet is staying either at a hostel or a capsule hotel. Ryokans (Japanese Inns) are a great experience but they tend to be quite pricey in tourist areas. 

That being said, my accommodation of choice for my Kyoto trip was a capsule hotel. 

I have a few reasons why: 

  1. I wasn't planning to spend much time lazing around in my room. I simply needed somewhere to sleep, shower and change. 
  2. The capsule hotel I chose was centrally located, there was a bus stop just a few steps away from the entrance.
  3. The capsule hotel had an onsen (hot spring bath) as well as individual shower stalls. 
  4. The capsule hotel provided a complimentary breakfast along with FREE Wi-Fi. 

While in Kyoto, I ended up staying at 2 separate capsule hotels. The first one, Centurion Hotel Cabin & Spa was Samurai-themed with nicely designed Japanese-styled wooden sliding doors.

The air flow inside the cabin wasn't the best but otherwise it was sufficient. However, if you're claustrophobic then a capsule might not be such a good idea. 

Towards the end of my trip I ran into some transportation issues and ended up spending the weekend at Anshin Oyado Capsule Hotel & Spa which had an outdoor foot bath as well as complimentary alcoholic beverages. 

Aside from a few hiccups, rain showers and unforeseen circumstances I made it to Kyoto and back in one piece with a WHOLE HEAP of experiences and memories to last a lifetime. Too much to encapsulate in simply one blog post. So I'll be spreading them out in a Visiting Kyoto Series. 

So much more to come about my solo adventures while visiting Kyoto. 

Stick and stay. 


traveling solo  

Nadya Dee 

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Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."