Catching up in Kyoto part 2
Day 1 in Kyoto was an amazing, emotional experience, meeting people that despite having never met before we shared an emotional bond with, set against the serene beauty of the streets and sights of Kyoto. And yet, it was just a toe dipped in the water compared to our second day.
On the second day in Kyoto, I anxiously went to the lobby of our beautiful hotel (Mitsui Gardens Sanjo) for our second day of catching up, this time meeting my brother and his family for the first time. I had known about my older brother since I was 12, but hadn't had any contact until just before we left for Japan.
It's a strange thing meeting someone that shares half of your genetics and none of your history. I spent the day nervously chattering, trying to discover commonalities and seeing them in physique and mannerisms, like seeing other family members all crammed into one new person.
We walked for hours seeing the bamboo forest, the monkey forest, having lunch, checking out a regular shopping centre with the most amazing play zone for our children. I watched Eve play with her cousin, joyfully, something I never thought she would get to experience.
The day was filled with punctuation of questions that I didn't ask, where is the line with someone you've never met and yet are somehow a part of? Of course the daywasn’t all me locked inside my head trying to feel things out, there were monkeys to feed, special gaming magazine bonuses to find for my step-brother, and ninjas to seek out.
The night was filled with relaxed adventures with the kids, venturing in to Coco’s family restaurant for dinner. Eve’s only sulk-free restaurant visit on the entire holiday.
Then watching the evening show at Toei Studios, where many jidaigeki films (Japanese period dramas) are filmed. Standing in the twilight talking about mundane things, and just enjoying the end of an otherwise normal touristy day. Giggling like much younger people on noticing that someone had been through the entire Masked Rider display and reposed all of the characters hands to be flipping the bird, except one. Which of course was fixed so as not to be left out before we went.
The days in Kyoto were the busiest and most beautiful of all that we spent in Japan.
And though the sights of Kyoto were stunning, getting to know and be near a sibling, having a brother again after losing our other brother so many years ago, was the most important part of our trip to Japan that I had never planned for.