The first stop of my run of Asian shows this year was in Kyoto, Japan. I’ve been to Japan once before, but to Tokyo, so I was really excited to head to a new city!
Despite living in Australia, and it being relatively close to parts of Asia, Japan is a little further away. So very early on a Thursday morning, Chris Soll (my photographer and videographer) and I headed to Sydney airport to start the long journey to Japan.
We flew with Japan airways as they were one of the fastest to get us from Sydney to Kyoto. One benefit about this is that Japan Airways are affiliated with Qantas, who I fly with a lot, so before the flight we had access to the First Class Lounge where we indulged in some amazing food and coffee! I love the Qantas lounge as they are always really accommodation, especially for me being vegan. I had roasted tomato, spinach and mushroom, with a avocado on Iggy’s bread (if you live in Sydney and you haven’t tried Iggy’s bread it’s a MUST). Topped off with… you guessed it… a strong almond milk latte!
The first flight was from Sydney to Tokyo and took about 10 hours. I read about 50% of a book on my Kindle and watched a few movies. The book I’m currently reading is by a modern day health guru who goes by the name of Rich Roll and talks about his journey to health and wellbeing. It’s a must if you’re a vegan, an athlete, or just anyone interested in general health! I didn’t eat any food on this flight, and opted to just fast and drink lots of water. I often find that eating on planes can make my tummy a bit funny. However, if I’m flying Business, I literally eat the plane out of house and home (haha!).
Our stopover in Tokyo was about 3 hours so we took the opportunity to grab some sushi for dinner which was legitimately amazing for airport food.
Next stop was Osaka, a quick hours flight from Tokyo. By this time we were utterly exhausted and prepared ourselves for the 90 minute drive from Osaka airport to Kyoto. The reason that they don’t have an airport anywhere near Kyoto is because so many of the buildings and temples are heritage listed and having an airport close by may potentially put these legendary landmarks at risk.
We arrived at the Westin Kyoto and literally collapsed into bed after travelling for almost 24 hours! What a great sleep it was.
On waking the next day we decided to tuck into the buffet breakfast at the hotel. I’m a bit of a sucker for a buffet breakfast, and this one was surprisingly good. I stocked a big plate full of veggies and another full of fresh fruit, an another with bread and hash browns. Two healthy, and one not so healthy. You have to have a balance right?
Chris and I headed back to our room to meditate for 20 mins. This is something that I love doing most days, especially when I’m travelling as I find it really helps to ground me, keep me positive, and in a good headspace while away from my loved ones. On opening our eyes from our meditation we looked outside and to our surprise it was snowing! Chris hadn’t seen snow in 3 years so we quickly threw on our warmest clothes and ventured out onto the street. We were on the search for a temple that we had seen the previous night while driving into Kyoto, however after an hour of walking, and questioning Google Maps, we decided to give up and get a warm drink somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love Japan a lot, however it’s hard when you don’t speak or read the language as most restaurants and signs don’t have any English on them. We were in search of a traditional tea house but instead ended up at Starbucks!
I think the best way to get a feel for a country or town is to walk around the streets, or maybe ride on a bike if you have one. It was so fascinating looking at all the trinkets in shop windows, the uniforms that the children wore, and all the weird and wacky types of foods that you could purchase. My favourite were the sweet shops where they had hundreds of little cakes perfectly lined up in a row. My least favourite were the seafood stores where you would see live fish, crabs, prawns and eels swimming around in the tanks – so sad! 🙁
On our return to the hotel we were quite frozen to the bone and decided to take a long sauna and swim in the hotel spa which rejuvenated us from being little snowmen. If a hotel has a sauna I often try and jump in for 10 minutes or so, it’s great for your skin and your lungs. Chris and I both felt a bit sick from the flight and being in air-conditioning for such a long time, so sweating out any little toxins is always awesome.
After dinner I decided to take a nap, something I really like to do before shows, especially if I am feeling tired from travel. You may call me a nanna but it’s a good pre-show ritual which makes sure you have enough energy to perform. On waking from my nap, I opened the curtain and the trees outside were completely white! Ahhh how beautiful is snow. I was worried that this may deter the club goes, but when I walked on stage at Kitsune a few hours later I was not disappointed!
I had a great show and was so happy to see many Aussies in the crowd, including a guy from Maroubra, which is a suburb in Sydney where I’m from! It made me feel really at home and was a beautiful way to start the tour. If you’re ever in Kyoto and want to check out a club, Kitsune is amazing and I would definitely love to come back. Thanks to everyone that came and danced with me – you guys rock!