Saturday, November 24, 2012

Some places in Kyoto Paul McCartney visited

With two friends of mine, who are big fans of Paul McCartney, I visited Kyoto which was the capital of Japan from 794 to 1867. It is one of the most popular sightseeing places for both Japanese people and foreigners.

The first place we visited was Kinkakuji Temple, established in the 14th century. It burned down in 1950 and was reconstructed. Paul visited this temple in November 2002. The master priest admitted that Paul, his wife and his band members to the temple after it had closed time. The temple rules dictated that only state guests (King, Queen, President, Prime Minister etc.) were to be treated like that, but Paul was an exception to the rule.

We had Japanese tea and sweets which were made with pure gold like Kinkakuji.

The second place we visited was the Old Imperial Palace. It is a big park - all the buildings are closed. Why did Paul visit such a place? Maybe it is a good place for strolling.

The third place we saw on our tour was an old Japanese style inn Yoshikawa. It is where
Paul stayed. However, we didn't stay there because the rate is expensive, instead we had the cheapest tempra dinner set(100 dollars). It was the best tempra I have ever had.

After dinner, I asked the serving lady "We are big fans of Paul McCartney, so could you show us the room Paul stayed in?" She said, "Of course, come this way" and smiled gently.

This was his room! We saw it from ouyside the inn. The serving lady said, "If nobody was staying in this room, you could see inside, but unfortunately a guest is staying there now."

The inn had a beautiful garden. The book "Each One Believing" about Paul's 2002 tour contained a picture of Paul relaxing  in this garden.

After we took many pictures,  the serving lady showed us the photo book of the celebrity guests who were celebrities, Leonard DiCaprio,Cameron Diaz, Daniel Radcliff etc. We focused on the first page and the second page. A picture of Paul was on the first page. On the second page was Olivia Harrison, George Harrison's wife! The serving lady said, "Paul-san recommended this inn to her." We were surprised and glad that there is a good relationship between Paul and Olivia. (If you are a beatlemania, you may know the complex relationship between Paul and George.)

As I wrote above, this inn Yoshikawa provides high-level hospitality and is a high-class hotel. In addition, this inn has another value - staff are not exclusive but open-minded. All Japanese people know some high-class Japanese inns are exclusive. For example, no first-time guest are admitted (you need to be introduced by a regular), and they look  down on average people. However, Yoshikawa's staff treated us the same as other upper class guests. We were impressed by their services and thought that such an attitude attracted Paul and had him introduce this inn to other celebrities.