Travelogue: Konnichiwa Osaka Day 12-13

Actually on our last day in Japan, there’s nothing much left to do, we only had shopping in mind but yet need to watch out our luggage space.

All in all, I do enjoy this japan trip and had learnt that I need to be EARLY if I wanna visit place of interest!!! I really cannot take crowd very well.

If you haven’t read my previous post, check it out from below link:

Osaka Day 1 | Osaka Day 2 | Osaka Day 3

Kobe Day 4-7

Kyoto Day 8-9 | Kyoto Day 10-11

Travelogue: Konnichiwa Kyoto Day 3-4 (Day 10-11)

Another early morning day! Though we said we need to be earlier but i guess, i just could do wake my butt up at 5am! LOL!!

Hence by the time we reach Fushimi Inari, it’s already almost 9am and … true enough, it’s crazily crowded already! Tourist.. School Excursion.. Locals..

Fushimi Inari-taisha is the head shrine of the kami Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. According to recommendation, it is the longesssst Senbon Torii – two dense, parallel rows of gates (“thousands of torii gates”).

The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari which is 233 metres (764 ft) above sea level, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines which span 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) and take approximately 2 hours to walk up.

You don’t even need to worried about getting lost or where to go, like any tourist spot, just follow the crowd! If you want IG worthy photo, come EARLY! 6am 7am?

It’s hard to get a spot without photobombers by daylight!

Fushimi Inari is definitely recommended if you’re visiting Kyoto (for the first time)! Not sure if i will go again, but if i do, i will probably do a 4am trip or evening trip!

After we’re done with Fushimi Inari, we head of to Kinkakuji! OMG, that was my most terrible decision! Don’t get me wrong, the place is beautiful but the crowd is not!!

We took a bus to Kinkakuji and upon alighting, i almost wanted to u-turn and go back! IT’S THE MOST CROWDED PLACE I’ve been too during the whole trip – partly because it’s already late morning i guess..

Upon entering, you will see nothing but lotsa tourist busy getting their best shot of the temple, doing selfie, doing wefie.. while i was shooting for my mom, they just went right through and stand beside my mom for their picture!?! both of us were like..

“eh ur friend ah??” LOL!!!

Hence we didn’t actually spend a lot of time here. One shot each and left. I can’t emphasize this enough – BE EARLY for tourist place!! I’m glad i only planned one spot per day (morning) and free & easy there after! Kinkakuji was our f&e spot and i guess, timing was not ideal!


Day 4 – Most anticipated day!!!! We’re going to NARA!!! Can’t even remember who recommended me to go Nara!! It wasn’t in our plan initially as it was kinda far (but again, Japan is so big, where isn’t far?) as it’s kinda out of the way.

Took some time to google how to go from Kyoto and well, it’s actually not difficult to go there, plus so many of them recommended us to go and here we are!!!!

Upon alighting the bus, you will be greeted by deers! No need to get too excited (yet) seeing them.. as you walk in, you will see even MORE!!

There’s deer biscuit available for sale if you want to feed them. However, do note that the deer gets more excited than you when they see the biscuit!! hahahaha!! Less than a second you’ll probably be surrounded by all of them!! Yup, they aren’t shy at all – which is a good thing i guess?)

We continue on foot to Todaiji and we saw even more deers!!! Some are resting, some are eating (grass), some just strolling (waiting for biscuit)! Mama was kinda excited and scared at the same time (pretty obvious from the photos)! Actually we both are but the deers are really gently – although one tried to ate my bag thinking it’s food (?) but no harm was caused!

If you’re in Nara, do make a trip to Todaiji!

Tōdai-ji (東大寺, Eastern Great Temple) is a Buddhist temple complex that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples. Though it was originally founded in the year 738 CE, Todai-ji was not opened until the year 752 CE. Its Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿 Daibutsuden) houses the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese as Daibutsu (大仏). The temple also serves as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism. The temple is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”, together with seven other sites including temples, shrines and places in the city of Nara.

Both mama and me felt this this is one temple worth going again! By the time we leave, Nara Park starts getting crowded! We were happy that we actually made it here EARLY this time!! Although it drizzled but didn’t dampen our excitement at all, by the time we leave, we’re still very excited!!

Saying goodbye is hard, but our stomach will probably go on strike if we still don’t feed them! We went Nara really early we haven’t hard any breakfast!! We head back to Kyoto and went back to the matcha restaurant to try their main course this time. We’ll all i can say is, dessert is definitely better!

Throughout the day, we did not take any more pictures as we were busy getting souvenirs and gift for family! We were so worried we our luggage will be super over weight!!

By evening, we were all tired and hungry (again).. a simple dinner fixed and we head back to hotel to pack our bag before we return to Osaka (our last night!)

If you haven’t read my previous post, check it out from below link:

Osaka Day 1 | Osaka Day 2 | Osaka Day 3

Kobe Day 4-7

Kyoto Day 8-9

Travelogue: Konnichiwa Kyoto Day 1-2 (Day 8-9)

Ended my work and can finally start my vacation!!

Started my vacation checking into this awesome hotel which is at a very strategic location! Just next to Kyoto Station, airport limousine bus terminal and there are so many shops (Kyoto Station Mall, Don Don Donki) within walking distance!

Elcient Hotel Kyoto – the rate we booked is about ¥57,473 for 4 nights! Like all other hotel, this is in a cosy size too but doesn’t hinder us moving around at all.

First time in Japan, I’m so excited to see hotels in Japan actually provide skin care/toiletries for guest too!! Don’t even need to bring any skin care in future!! Best Part? They gave cup noodle for free at 9pm every night! 1 cup per guest!!

Well, checking in was a swift – counter staff were friendly and prompt! Without much delay, we went out for our lunch at a nearby mall after we parked our luggage in our room!

If you happen to be in Kyoto, Do try this cafe too! they specialist in Matcha dessert!! So good!!

Nakamura Tokichi Kyoto Station

Click HERE for Google Map

If you’re lost, just ask anyone, it’s quite well known and people will tell you where to go!

We didn’t do much upon arriving Kyoto first day since it’s kinda late to go any place of interest. So we did nothing but shopping at Don Don Donki and drug store!! High damage but happiness meter is filled to the max!


Day 2 – Bamboo Forest

There’s only ONE TIP for visiting places of interest, BE EARLY and i meant REALLY EARLY!

We started our day at about 8am, thinking it’s early (waking up at 7am is EARLY for me) enough… goodness, it’s actually not early enough! When we arrived at the station, there were already lotsa tourist! Initially we were still thinking not sure if we’ll get lost finding the forest, but oh well.. all we did is just follow the crowd!

It’s not immediately you will see beautiful forest. but you get to see a small shrine, a bit of bamboo here and there. While we’re walking in, we really though, is the forest like that? too overated!!

However, when we made one more turn, we actually walked in deeper and and saw this two beautiful rows of bamboo!!! breathtaking!! In case you thought “wah no people!” actually, there are LOTS! but you just need to find somewhere with less crowd photoshop them away later.

If you’re in Kyoto, i would definitely recommend coming here, EARLY! Tour groups come around 9-10am. So do target to come before them and you’ll get peace and less human traffic photos!

Now that it’s about 10am (i can’t remember the exact time, but for sure it’s between 10-11am)!  We can’t go other tourist spot since it’s kinda late – yes i hate crrowd.  So we decided to head to Nishiki Market!

Nishiki Market is a marketplace in downtown Kyoto, located on a road one block north and parallel to Shijō Street and west of Teramachi Street. Rich with history and tradition, the market is renowned as the place to obtain many of Kyoto’s famous foods and goods!

Lotsa food options and lotsa shopping too – we found Daiso here too! In my opinion, I would advice you to try anything that you see interesting! most of the food we bought are soo good! Unagi, Ebi, and look at the don we bought! Too heavenly!!! and the mixed (Matcha/Hojicha) ice cream – must try!!

Although it’s only two places we went but we’re enjoying the pace. it’s not killing packed yet not boring! with beautiful Bamboo forest experience, we swear to wake up earlier tomorrow for our FUSHIMI INARI visit!!!!

If you haven’t read my previous post, check it out from below link:

Osaka Day 1 | Osaka Day 2 | Osaka Day 3

Kobe Day 4-7

Travelogue: Konnichiwa Kobe Day 1-4 (Day 4-7)

This is not much of a leisure post since i am working most of the time. BUT BUT! i did (still) went out for dinner after my event ended, yes no matter how late. Waste no time even though i am mad tired (early mornings and late nights)! Trust me, aging is no joke!!

First night, i actually gave mama a treat to this grill seafood place! Wow, fresh seafood but I’m sorry, i can’t recall where is the location because we went round and round and round looking for a restaurant that sells my Kobe Beef and non-beef item (so that me and mama can enjoy dinner together). But… i was too hungry to continue and this place seems.. decent and we went in! It’s not the cheapest dinner but NO REGRETS!!

There are some other days i actually settle my dinner at a nearby supermarket as i was really toooo tired and u thought what food can supermarket have? THEY HAVE LOTSA FOOD!! Bento, Sushi, Sashimi, Churros! They even had oven for you to heat up your food! oh man.. Now i wish I’m there again!

On the last day in Kobe, I decided to bring mommy out and find my KOBE BEEF again! I must give credit to mommy for walking the street up and down with me just to find a stall where we both can enjoy together!

Again, i can’t recall this restaurant name!!! (>_<)|| It’s because we walked up and down many streets!! Some doesn’t have english menu, some don have many non-beef food.

But glad we found this small restaurant, they serve very Kobe Beef, Pork and Seafood!

When mommy first look at the pork, she was a bit turn off as she don’t really like marinated pork. However, to our surprise, the pork was mad goodness, the marinate didn’t over power the pork texture! Seafood was fresh too – sotong was weirdly soft!!

If you have the chance to visit Japan/Kobe and if you eat beef, i think you have to try Kobe Beef at least once!! it’s pricey but you will not regret! It will be the best beef you ever eat!!!

Well, gonna end this short post here and stay tune for the next one because it’s going to be excited!!

If you haven’t read my previous post, check it out from below link:

Osaka Day 1 | Osaka Day 2 | Osaka Day 3

Travelogue: Konnichiwa Osaka Day 3

After a good night sleep, it’s time to really explore Osaka!!

First stop! Shitennoji Temple (entrance fee ¥300)! We started our day kinda early hence the crowd was still manageable.

The temple is really nice but it isn’t too big, thus we took merely 15 mins and was out to the next destination – Tsutenkaku Tower (entrance fee ¥700)!

We didn’t took much picture here so i can’t share much with you! However, if you have the chance, maybe consider coming later in the afternoon. not alot of shops are open in the morning!! HAHAHAHA!! Maybe that’s why we didn’t have chance to take much photo!

Third stop of the day, The Umeda Sky Tower!! The building is the nineteenth-tallest building in Osaka Prefecture and one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. It consists of two 40-story towers that connect at their two uppermost stories, with bridges and an escalator crossing the wide atrium-like space in the center.

If you’re afraid of heights, i think it’s better not to look down when you’re taking the escalator. Going up the escalator is fine (since you’re look up), but coming down will make you a lil panicky as your view is all looking down! There was a lady who sat down on the escalator to avoid looking outside..  but must give her a thumbs up, she actually was there because her son wanted to visit the building.

Once you’re up there.. the view was really good! You can see Osaka City and there’s a cafe where you can sit down to rest and chill.

Just before we head for dinner, we went for our first ferris wheel ride – Hep Five Ferris Wheel (ride fee ¥600)!! Woohooo!

As you can see, mommy is really scared but she’s so adventurous and took the ride with me!! She did made me felt nervous too!! hahahaha!!!!

Overall, I highly recommend to get the Osaka Amazing Pass, it’s really quite a saving and you get prior access to quite a few places too! Best part, there’s an app where you can download and get discount at restaurant!

If you haven’t see my other post, you may check out below:

Osaka Day 1 | Osaka Day 2

Travelogue: Konnichiwa Osaka Day 2

Before i start, if you have read about my Day 1, click HERE!

Probably we’re too excited, waking up earlier was almost easy peasy! After we’re all ready, we’re off to out first stop! BRANCH!!

Of course we did not dine in train! We took train to Osaka (Umeda) station and went around exploring supermarket food stall, this isn’t part of the Osaka pass in case you’re wondering! LOL

After a good brunch, we head of to the most anticipated Osaka Castle (entrance fee ¥600). Good news, with Osaka Amazing Pass, you can SKIP THE QUEUE!! Weekend queue can be crazy and with priority access, you can save so much time and effort!

Although i heard a lot of review about how Osaka Castle is not a must-go place, but we still decided to went ahead. Yes, having OAP is one of the reason but it’s also because it’s our first time there, we thought we should at least come have a look once!

The castle is really magnificent, very grand! However, there isn’t much to do inside. I’m not a historical person (if you know me, i fail History throughout my school day! >_<)  hence we literally just went all the way up, enjoy the view and came down straight.

Within the same compound, walking distance, is another interesting place you can consider visiting (included in OAP), it’s the Illusion Museum (entrance fee ¥1200)

It’s like a small scale Trick Eye Museum, and best part, it’s not crowded! LOL!!!

After the museum and some souvenir shopping, we took our OAP Wonder Cruise (ride fee ¥1800) back to Dotonbori

We walk around Dotonbori (mainly Don Don Donki! HAHAHA!) and shopped quite a fair bit and decided to head home to put all our stuff first. We took a quick rest and decided to head to Kuromon Market (9am-6pm) and try our luck and see if we can have Sashimi or any interesting food!

Here we gooooo.. Whale tongue, grill scallop, Kanidon, Wagyu, Quail Octopus!!!

So glad we decided to come over despite our tired feet! The food was so gooood i can hold my poo for a week!!! Just like that, we ended our day 2 with a tummy full of good food!

 

Travelogue: Konnichiwa Osaka Day 1

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!

Decided to post this today as a gift to all my readers – although the trip was done more than 6 month back!! Still, i am excited to share this (and a series of scheduled post coming up!) and here goes nothing!

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We were all counting down to this long awaited trip to Japan! It’s my first time to Japan but my mom’s N time…

Perhaps because it’s my first time there, I’m still pretty excited planning the itinerary! Although I have no where in mind I wana go! But thankfully, I have friends who had been and stayed in Japan, they gave me a whole lot of information and recommendation! And… you will see some of them in this post or subsequent one!

Now! Before you travel, do head over to KLOOK to check out the travel deals available! I’m glad I did some homework and purchased a few tickets prior my trip!

1) Oasaka Amazing Pass (2 Day)

For first time visitor, I would recommend you to get the Osaka Amazing Pass! Because there’s so much u can do and if you plan your day well, you will make the ticket super worth it!

It gives you free access to major tourist attraction, discount at restaurants! What we like best is that it actually grant you express access to some attractions! So beat the queue!!

During the two days (if card activation), you can use the pass like your travel card! Unlimited subway ride in Osaka!

Trust me, you will not regret!

2) Icoca Card

This is a travel card, similar to SG’s EZ-Link card, TH’s Rabbit Card, HK’s Octopus Card!

You can use this for all transport – JR, subway, tram, bus! You can use this to pay your purchase at convenient store too!

3) Airport Limousine Bus

Why do we even get this when train service are so convenient? BECAUSE we do not want to loot our heavy luggage from platform to platform when changing lines to head to airport!

One of the tips my friend gave is, just book a limo bus to airport! There won’t be a huge difference in traveling time and you get to rest (seated) through out the journey! Best of all, don’t even need to worry about heavy luggage!

Best choice ever!!

4) Nankai Line Airport Express Ticket

Direct train service from airport to our Airbnb (nearest) station – Namba!

No complain on this! We were lucky we got to take the Limited Express! Slight faster and I think the train cabin is nicer?? But it’s not like the limited express is really limited.. their schedule for limited express is approximately 30 mins interval. LOL!

To sum it all, all my purchases on KLOOK are indeed worth it and saved us so much time and hassle!! In case you’re wondering if it is troublesome or hard to find the redemption counter, I would say, no it’s not. The instruction/direction given on the vouchers were really clear!

Now let’s fast forward….. upon arrival and collection of all our tickets, we’re in the airport express train to Namba already!

The ride was smooth and the train is clean! Very soon, we arrived Namba!

Walking to our Airbnb apartment was easy yet not so easy. Easy because i googled it for ten thousand time, i kinda know where is it already. Not easy because after we exit the train station, i don’t even know where (which exit) am I! LOLOL!!!

But good thing is, we had our wifi with us and we just googled our way out.

So here we are, outside our apartment! Room tour? of course!

WAIT! A lil disclaimer first! This ain’t my photos but owner’s photo from Airbnb. The reason i chose to use her photos because they are really true to pictures and the photo i took didn’t do any justice to her apartment!! 

Our host has a few unit here thus if you’re keen in getting a room here but perhaps wanna check out other rooms, click HERE.

This neighborhood around the apartment was pretty lively and there are sooo many eateries and drug store around!

Most of the popular places are within walking distance too! Kuromon Market, Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi!

Now sharing with your our very first meal in Japan…… *drumroll*

UDON! This has by far been the best udon I ate!! The udon is soft yet not soggy! The soup is flavorful yet not salty! Best part, it’s not even expensive to start with!! 210JPY (2.68SGD / 2.00USD) for a simple udon!! Now that we had a good meal it’s time to explore JAPANNNN!!

Actually… exploring Japan only starts the next day since we are holding the 2-day amazing pass! so instead, we only walked around the neighbourhood and recce Dotonbori!

It was really crowded and the street SMELL SO GOOD!! it was sooo good we followed it and it brought us to this grill crab leg and this thick crab soup. Can’t remember what is it (liver paste? I really can’t remember!!) but it’s heavenly good and (expensive!)

We walked around and before the street gets anymore crowded, we settled for dinner and ended our day earlier so that we have energy for 2 long day of fun!!

To end this post, here are some recommendation on place to stay. For first timer, i would definitely recommend Namba Area just like how my colleague recommend this place to me). It’s near all interesting place, lot’s food, direct Airport train, mall, drug store & markets are walking distance! If you’re adventurous, you can consider Airbnb too – click through via Shopback to earn extra cashback!!!