This month started rough. I needed to work the first 5 days straight through. That doesn’t sound that bad. But waking up every day at 5am in the morning and working until 4pm is exhausting. Furthermore, we had much less staff than usual. Two persons were sick, the part timers were all at school and 3 persons had a day off. Yay! Therefore, some new people came to help for breakfast, but they weren’t a help at all. I was basically the only one, next to the managers, who knew how the breakfast operation works and who could speak English. Therefore, I rotated from the Bar to the Reception, then to A-Station, B-Station and back to the Bar. Lunch wasn’t much better. It was stressful. Ganbatte! That means “Fight!” or “Push through”!
On the other hand, I realized how much I learned already in the first few months. We Interns are now able to organize and manage the whole breakfast service, as well as the back office for lunch on our own. Furthermore, we are now the persons having the responsibility and teaching others, which is kind of nice! Nevertheless, I was really happy when these 5 days were over.
On day 5, The Ritz Carlton Kyoto organized a Barbecue for all Employees and Interns. First, I didn’t want to go. Most of the Interns took a day off, in order to participate at the Barbecue. I wasn’t really interested. The Barbecue place supposed to be quite far away from the hotel. Furthermore, I was so exhausted after the tough working days and the shuttle left already as well. Moreover, I don’t even eat meat. So why should I go?
But after we finished our shift, Tony and Man-lin convinced me to go with them. They didn’t want to stay long anyway. And I didn’t have an excuse not to go, because I didn’t need to work the next day. Therefore, we took a taxi from the hotel to the Barbecue place. The other Interns and Employees came already a few hours earlier. It was actually very nice! We grabbed us some drinks, ate delicious food, listened to music and talked. The barbecue in Japan is totally different than in Germany. Barbecue in Germany means for me, meat, sausage, salads and bread. That’s not the case in Japan. They made delicious rice balls on the grill, amazing seafood, high quality beef and vegetables. Of course, they dip the food in soy sauce and put wasabi on top. It was delicious. Especially the sea food was incredible. We had Unagi (eel), scallops, shrimps, fish on a stick, mussels and so on. As dessert we ate a lot of watermelon! Yummy!
At 6pm the next shuttle arrived. We stayed longer than we actually wanted. We danced, played games and had a lot of fun. It was so different to see all the employees and managers without their uniforms and working attitude. We took a taxi back around 8:30pm. I was very glad that I decided to come.
The next day I wanted to chill the whole day in my bed. I had just one day off and was very exhausted. But guess how my day ended up! With a hike! Yes… you heard right! Don’t even asked me why, but it was beautiful!
At around 10 am I took a bus to Demachiyanagi station. From there I took the Eizan line to Kibuneguchi station, which takes around 30 minutes. The train was quite full. Therefore, I was a little scared, that it is going to be so touristy. But well! When arriving at Kibuneguchi station I took another bus to Kifune Shrine. The whole bus-train-bus thing sounds pretty complicated, but it is actually quite simple and not as bad as it sounds. Everything is very well coordinated and organised.
Kifune Shrine is probably the most beautiful and special shrine I have seen so far. The location is amazing. You don’t seem to be in Kyoto anymore. You are somewhere in the forest, on a mountain, in a little Japanese town. I loved it! The many red lanterns are iconic and just stunning. When walking the steps up you reach the actual shrine. Just beautiful!
The little town itself has a few shops and the most beautiful restaurants I`ve ever seen. You are actually eating on a tatami floor over the river! It looks incredible! I wished to eat there.
From Kifune I decided to do the hike until Kibune, another little town in the forest. The hike goes up mount Kurama, along many temples. It is not the most relaxed walk I could imagine. You have to hike quite a lot of steps, which is perfect when you are running around the whole day at work as well! But it was definitely worth it! There weren’t many tourists at all, I escaped from the city, the stress at work and saw new sides of Kyoto! I really loved it.
All the way long I saw cute temples and these red lanterns, which I already saw at Kifune Shrine. The main temple is called Kurama-dera temple. From there, a creepy Japanese grandpa followed me and asked for pictures! So creepy and kind of annoying! Well …
In total, it took me around 1,5-2 hours to reach Kibune. From there I took the next train back to Demachiyanagi station.
Before going home, I planned to buy some food for dinner at the supermarket nearby. Afterwards I waited for the bus. The traffic was kind of crazy at this time. I have no idea if there was an accident or whatever. But at the end I walked all the way back home, which took be another 30 minutes. I was really happy when coming home, but it was definitely the right decision to make this trip. It was just 15:30 and I had the rest of the day to relax. I am sure I will be fine the next days of work. I just have to be fine. Ganbatte!