✈ 20141007 Osaka

2014 October 7th Tuesday • Osaka Day 1

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Oct 7, 2014 Tuesday

00:30 お早うございます Osaka!!!! (Ohayo gozaimasu = Hello) Finally arrived at Kansai airport (KIX). I guess I shall skip the pre-flight stupidity on my part. Sigh. Anyways, let’s not dwell on the past!! Maybe cause it’s midnight, there wasn’t too many people, no line ups. 

Right outside the arrival gate is a huge monitor which shows 24hr restaurants too, isn’t that sweet!

There’s a lounge which costs 1540 for 3 hours and ¥2670 for 6 hours and has small bed to lie down on; there’s also a Refresh Square ¥260 for the first 30minutes and ¥150 for subsequent 30-minutes.

02:39 However, Refresh Square was full by the time we meandered over (it’s at the building opposite), and with free wifi at the airport making Lounge/Internet cafe less appealing, we finally settled down on a seat. Yes, after watching The Terminal so many times, this is essentially the first time I’ve “slept” at an airport!! But no worries, seems like a lot of people had the same idea as me. The last flight into Osaka is around 01:00 and the last train leaving for Osaka leaves around 02:00. Some travelers were merely waiting for this next train whilst some were spending the night. The best location would be at first floor of terminal 1, as there are many many benches, a McDonald’s (in case you get hungry), one Lawson’s (Japanese chain convenience store and another convenience store down the hall. There are other eateries such as Sukiya that are open very late. 

If you’re early or have lots of benches available, you can pull two together and almost have the comfort of a bed (no hand rests), if it’s crowded, then please be nice and share, otherwise you’ll have people like me cussing at you inwardly XD. Bring a travel pillow and a blanket or scarf to cover up as it does get a little chilly. And bring ear plugs, because there’s bound to be someone snoring. If you’re lucky, you can settle down next to a charging port too. PCs are available for a per 10minute rate, but as I said, there’s free wifi. Anyways, yawn, big day ahead!!

06:00 Airport shuttle No.8 to Kyoto, costs 5100 for two. Another option  to Kyoto would be by train which costs slight cheaper but at least 2~3 transfers. Plus, I’m still sleepy, and a shuttle bus provides this comfort.

07:21 Airport shuttle arrives at the first stop, Highway Kyotanabe 高速京田辺.

07:50 Airport shuttle arrives at JR Kyoto station. A lot of time was spent figuring out our plans and best route of action, where to stow our luggages, what’s for breakfast, etc etc. decision making is hard and took a little longer than necessary. Also took a little time to lug our luggages up and down stairs to the train station. 

07:30 Kyoto Tower (京都タワー, Kyōto-tawā). Standing right opposite Kyoto station, 131m height and an observation deck at 100m is the tallest structure in Kyoto. It stands on a 9-floor building which houses a 3 star hotel and stores and boutiques. 

09:00 McGriddles breakfast at McDonalds. Nothing new for Canadian/USA friends except tad less sticky sweet, but I’ve not had one in four years, so hence the stop. Plus there wasn’t too much Japanese food places open near Kyoto station at this time of day. 

Kyoto city bus is probably the best way to travel around tourist spots in Kyoto. You can purchase 1-day or 2-day passes, and get unlimited access to city bus and local trains across multi zone. Otherwise you can pay for single journey tickets for around ~230, but take note of which zones. Bus No. 100 from Kyoto station takes us to our first destination. The bus stops a little path away from the crossroad. 

10:08 The left pathway leads to Silver Pavilion (銀閣寺 Ginkakuji). Built in 1482 by shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa as a retirement villa and later converted to a Zen temple after his death in 1490. It is said to have been modeled after his grandfather’s retirement villa Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), hence the contrasting name although none of the buildings is actually built in silver, hehe. The whole area is artistically designed with a beautiful moss garden and dry sand garden. 

11:30 The right pathway leads to Philosophers Path 哲學の道 Tetsugaku no michi. An approximately 2km stone path next to a small canal and lined with cherry blossoms (during the right season) where a famous Japanese philosopher, Nishida Kitaro, practiced meditation due to its calming surroundings. There’s a lot of small boutiques, cafes, temples and shrines and is a very pleasant 10-15 minute walk. 

Honen-in 法然院 is a small temple on this pathway, supposedly very pretty during autumn red leaf seasons. We never actually made it here. 

12:44 We took the bus back to Kyoto station, then took City Bus 207 to Kiyomizu temple 清水寺 Kiyomizu dera. 

✉️京都府京都市東山區清水1-294

☎+81-75-551-1234

💻http://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/lang/01.html

⏰06:00-18:00 (無休)

💰¥300 (大人)

12:20 Situated in Southern Higashiyama district, Ninen-zaka 二年板 and Sannen-zaka 產寧板 are two gently sloping roads that lead up to Kiyomizudera temple. These pair of streets are beautifully preserved (or renovated) in Kyoto styled traditional buildings. Its very nice stroll in kimono although it can get very crammed with tourists.

Kihachiro’s beef bun 喜八郎 (清水店)

✉️京都府京都市東山区清水2-208-2

☎+81-75-551-7575

💻http://ameblo.jp/kyoto-kihachiro/

⏰09:00-17:00(無休)

💰¥450(只收現金)

The buns freshly steamed smell very appetizing and is very hot!!

12:48 Entrance at Deva gate 仁王門 (におうもん), there is a bell tower on the left. The main hall (Hondo). 

13:10 Officially named Otowa-san Kiyomizu dera (音羽山清水寺) is a Buddhist temple and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Established in 778, early Heian period, with present buildings constructed in 1633. The main building is comprised of a wooden structure with not a single nail! Unfortunately, a part of the building was under construction during our visit, but it’s still a nice walk along the hill.

13:14 Jishujinja 良緣祈願の地主神社, is a shrine of love, dedicated to the goddess of love and marriage. It’s popular for many people, especially young ladies, who come here to pray for true love. 

13:45 Coming down from the hill, we had a light tea at 淹の家 (湯豆腐) right next to 音羽之滝. A nice view of Kiyomizu-dera stage while sitting under an large umbrella. 

Tofu set 湯豆腐 ¥700.

14:08 Otawa-no-taki 音羽之滝, Otawa waterfalls, beneath the main hall, where three channels of water fall into a pond is believed to grant health, longevity and success for studies. There’s obviously a huge line up. 

14:18 Finally, the exit of Kiyomizudera is also through the Deva gate and 二寧板. 

Ryozen kannon 霊山観音

✉️京都府京都市東山區高台寺下河原町526-2, 605-0825

☎075-561-2205

💻http://www.ryozen-kwannon.jp

⏰08:40-16:20 (last admission 16:00)

💰¥200 (with incense stick)

Ryozen Kannon is a war memorial built in 1955 Hirosuke Ishikawa to commemorate soldiers of WWII. Didn’t go in, just took a couple of pictures at the gate. 

15:15 Nearby is Hokan-ji 法観寺 (ほうかんじ) or also named 八坂の塔A 46 meter tall pagoda built in 589 by imperial Prince Shotoku. The street has many small interesting shops, although at slightly more expensive souvenirs, and seems less crowded, maybe coz its getting late. 

✉️東京府京都市東山區清水八板上町388

☎075-551-2417

⏰10:00-16:00

💰¥400

Finally, even our cameras are running low on battery, and we head off to find our ryokan for the night.

20:00 Ryokan Yamazaki. A rather isolated and inconvenient location with only a small Family Mart (convenience store) 10minutes away. The main building and restaurant has a large visible sign of you find the right street. The owners know a little bit of English and simple conversation is fine. The rooms are a short walk away. (The short path has shrubbery on either side, and in the dark night, there’s a weird almost tech/machine like beeping sounds, I think they’re bugs, hope they’re just bugs 😳).The place is clean but getting old. Toilets and bathrooms are shared between other residents of that house. There’s also a shared kitchen which guests can use and cook, as long as it’s maintained clean. The outer sets of rooms look out to the front garden. The back row of rooms look out to the back garden. 

Our tatami was all prepared by the time we got back. 

20:40 Because of our full itinerary, we had opted out of dinner that night. Went out and bought dinner, an assortment of FamilyMart ready made food instead for ¥1221. 

*******

1310 bus arrives at

1533

清水坂

產寧坂 三年坂

二年坂 二寧坂

Nene之道

午餐

金閣寺

Kinukake之路

枯山水庭園 龍安寺

御室御所 仁和寺

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

******

2014 October 8th Wednesday • Osaka Day 2

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07:24 Woke up early to enjoy Ryokan Yamazaki’s Japanese styled breakfast. Also took a little time to enjoy the sand garden outside the main building and the garden outside our house. 

Because our next destination is little out of the way and with our big luggages, we took the taxi instead. Otherwise there are buses from JR. Kyoto station that reach the temple. 

11:05 Temple of the Golden Pavilion (金閣寺, Kinkakuji).

A retirement villa of the shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, whose top two floors is completely covered in gold. It was later converted to a zen temple in 1408. Kinkakuji sits across a pond which looks very picturesque and peaceful, although there is almost always a big crowd visiting. This temple looks good in cherry blossom season or red leaf season, or even covered in snow, hence the reason why it’s packed anytime of the year.  

Address: 1 Kinkakuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Admission Fee: ¥400

Hours: 09:00-17:00

Head priests living quarters (hojo)

There’s a souvenir shop outside 

12:23 leaving Kinkakuji Temple.

13:14 Lesson of the day: despite the multitudes of lockers at tourist spots and along all train stations, Kinkakuji Temple does not have lockers!! So we made a detour to Shijo station to lock up our luggage at 600yen x2. 

Back to Shijo station by bus, we go to Higashiyama station. From there we walk to 花見小路

14:02 Issen Yosyoku 壹錢洋食 本店

Address: 605-0073 京都府京都市東山区祇園町北側238

Website: http://www.issen-yosyoku.co.jp

The only thing they feature is Kyoto styled okonomiyaki. It contains flour, eggs, grilled fish paste, beef, green onion, ginger, dried shrimp, dried bonito, tempura butter, konjak jelly, dried seaweed, and their Japanese sauce. They are made when ordered at the big grill table at the front of the store. They can omit any ingredients if you request. For ¥650 is a great price for a meal in Gion! 

14:48 Gion Hanamikoji Dori (祇園花見小路).

Unlike the other restored streets in Kyoto, Gion Hanamokoji dori is best enjoyed in the evening, as you might catch a geisha on her way to work. The streets are lined with expensive diners and restaurants. There’s less souvenir shopping here hence the streets feel less busy but there’s just as many tourists. In the morning, or at least this particular morning, the shops are still closed and the streets are great for a pleasant stroll. 

Address: Hanamikoji Dori, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu, Japan

15:03 Geisha school(?)

15:08 Kenninji (建仁寺)

At the end of Hanamikoji dori, sits the oldest zen temple founded by priest Yousai in 1202. Interestingly, this was the first temple we’ve been to these two days, that I’ve actually seen a priest within its grounds. Hehe, I guess some places have been too touristy nowadays.

Address: 京都府京都市東山區小松町584

Despite being at the end of the road, there is an area to turn left just before reaching Kenninji, and must be a car park of sorts, because there is a huge amount of cars coming and going!! 

Backtracking to Shijodori 四条通り, and turning right, will bring you right to Yasaka shrine.

15:52 First, we ate some takoyaki at 京都祇園 焇焼師 たこ焼き. There’s no seats, but we gotten the hang of eating outside the shop and throwing the trash there (otherwise it’s really hard to find trash cans on the way). Tastes great, and comes in many flavours! Once again, you purchase at the vending machine first then give the ticket to the pretty girl working there and she’ll made a steaming plate for you! 

1619 Yasaka Shrine (八板神社 Yasakajinja). 

Right inside, there is a temizuya (water basin?) where you can purify your hands and your heart right at the left. 

There’s some stalls selling street side food and trinkets. Someone is getting hungry and we try this beef yakitori 牛串焼, yum, but I’m getting full. 

Many tourists and locals come to the main building for offering, ringing the large bell (which calls the God into the Shrine), bowing twice, making a wish, clapping their hands twice, then bow once more.

Right in the center is a dance stage, with many lanterns, each bearing the names of local business that have made a donation. It lights up at evening, and looks fantastic.  

16:26 Maruyama Park (円山公園 Maruyama Koen).

Right next to Yasaka Shrine is Maruyama Park, which is a famous cherry blossom location in Kyoto. There is a tall weeping cherry blossom tree, Shidarezakura, at the center of the pond.

Address: 605-0071 京都府京都市東山区円山町473

There’s a wonderful sunset just as we leave the shrine, amazing!!

1805 Teramachi street (寺町通り)

Is a large shopping street with a range of products and prices. Also running parallel to it is another similar paved shopping street.

20:23 Nishiki Market (錦市場)

錦市場 錦少路

20:45 And of course yours truly has taken too long on shopping, and 錦市場 has all closed. Luckily there are still random restaurants open on the cross roads and since nights are getting cool, a hot ramen sounds appealing. The store was packed despite the late hour, and we had a short wait. The bowl of ramen was so steaming hot and nice that I’d gladly come again. The gyoza was great too!!

2136 grabbed our luggage and on our way to Kyoto and Osaka. Taking the Kyoto city train to Kyoto station (price included with our two-day pass), then 560 yen JR line to Osaka, 720 yen for Shin-imamiya, 330 yen to

0030 Finally found our hotel to shower and rest our poor feet

龍安寺

仁和寺

三十三堂

東本願寺 西本願寺

二条城 京都御苑

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

 

******

2014 October 9th Thursday • Osaka Day 3

✈

09:45 Breakfast is a quick 🍙 from Lawson’s. Today’s gonna be a busy day, so we had to start early!!!!

10:06 Waiting for the train, Nankai-mainland line from Ishizugawa towards Namba for 330yen.

10:36 shin-imamiya しんいまみや

10:53 Universal CityWalk Osaka. There’s a takoyaki museum here, but for once I’m not in the mood for takoyaki, hehe, plus it’s not open this early. There’s also Saizeriya, Oriental diner, TGI Friday, Moomin Stand, Popcorn papa, if you’re looking for a meal. 

11:16 Universal Studio, Japan (ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン Yunibāsaru Sutajio Nippon)

Address: 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, 554-0031, Japan. 

Websitehttp://www.usj.co.jp/e/

Price: Adult 1-day ¥7,200, 2-day ¥12,110,

Ticketing tip: Don’t buy the tickets at USJ! There’s bound to be a long line up. Even if you didn’t buy it at a discount at your travel agency beforehand, you can buy it at major JR stationmaster, at least you save line up time at the park entrance! 

First thing we do is grab an admission time or a timed entry ticket for “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” (WWoHP), don’t be naive, this is merely the entrance ticket to the whole Harry Potter wizarding world, it’s not a fast pass for the ride. In fact, only Express 7 (¥6,600) and Express 5 (¥5,200) tickets can be used for the Harry Potter Journey through the Forbidden Forest, Express 3 (¥3,300) ones do not. The timed entry ticket machines are located near Hollywood Dream (opposite of WWoHP) and allow you three options, and each options allow you an hour slot to enter. Ours was 13:30 to 14:30, meaning you can get in anywhere between that time and stay as long as you want. However, once you exit the area, you cannot re-enter, as each person is only allowed one timed entry ticket per day (TIP: they’re more lax if there’s less people right before closing so you might be able to get in again, but don’t count on it as it’s very dependent on the visitor count that day). Also, remember to grab the timed entry ticket early, as these run out pretty quick, by midday even! From reviews, apparently the first 100 or so visitors can enter WWoHP without this timed entry ticket, so if you’re at the park early and willing to make a mad dash, you might be in luck. 

11: 54 Back to the Future – the ride, 15min wait, and the motion simulator ride lasted from 12:10-12:16. As based on the movie, you as “volunteers” are traveling the DeLorean time machine/convertible into the future. The last Back to the Future ride left in Universal Studios’, is a bit dated, 2015 isn’t much of a future is it, hehe. Not understanding Japanese is a let down but the general gist doesn’t take too much imagination. But, the tech has much to be improved and compared to the newer rides like Harry Potter and Spider-Man, the effects are a little cheesy. But it’s worth a visit if you’re a fan of the movie, as this ride has been discontinued in the states.

Outside the spidey ride, we see a bunch of locals all in cosplay outfits sitting on grass in front of the stage. Wonder what show is going to be on??

12:39 Spider-Man – the ride. We opted for going single rider for this ride and there was a 15 minute wait, as opposed to, 50 min wait otherwise. Definitely worth it! 

12:45-12:56 Spider-Man ride. As “reporters” from the Daily Bugle, we tail Spider-Man as he saves the world from Doc Oct and gang, using special roving motion vehicle and 3D projections. Awesome! 

13:20 Terminator 2 show. First is a 10 min intro at Cyberdyne system by the company hostess. She then leads us into a large auditorium where live performances of Sarah and John Conner and various terminators interact with a 3D film. You are given safety visors (polarized 3D goggles before entering Cyberdyne. 

13:47 show finishes.

There’s a say hello to Hello Kitty, Elmo and Snoopy stage, for kids, but I couldn’t resist going in for a quick visit too!

14:06 There’s a lot of food stall all around the park with buns and assorted flavours of popcorn. Got a Hello Kitty bun and sweet potato pie for ¥450 each. 

14:15 The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWoHP). A themed area based of the famous book series. Japanese locals love this series and love cosplay, you’ll see them all dolled up in their griffindor or other house uniforms, cloaks, scarves and wands! It does makes the atmosphere better!!

Right before the entrance near a bunch of trees, probably the Forbidden Forest, we find the car magicked by Arthur Weasley and driven into the whomping willow by Ron and Harry. (*sob*, dropped my brand new Sony DC on the cement floor in my haste to get a photo, so much for scratch resistance). 

“Please respect the spell limits”

Once thru the archway, the snow covered rooftops of Hogsmeade look amazing. If only there was slightly less crowd. 

There’s the train at platform 9 3/4, and a handsome train station master is taking pictures with a whole lineup of people.

In our mad frenzy to get everywhere, we had effectively missed lunch. The only restaurant in WWoHP is “The Three Broomstick”. Instead we went for Corned beef sandwich ¥750. 

Here’s the wands shop, where you can find the exact wand that each character uses. It’s quite amazing the amount of detail and design put into here! Obviously I can only get near the wands of the less famous wizards, the horde in front of Harry Potter’s wands were intimidating!

Walk around the Castle, 20minute wait time. 

Harry Potter’s Journey through the Forbidden Forest – the ride, whooping 160minute wait time

Flight of the hippogriff. A small roller coaster ride, we didn’t go for it. 

14:58 Hogwarts castle. Whether you lineup for the Walk around the Castle or the ride, you’ll take a walk thru the same parts of the castle. It’s really dim in here, and my poor DC just isn’t good enough. At the entrance is the four houses and their diamonds, there’s the revolving stairways to the headmaster’s office (but you don’t get to go up there), lining the walls are moving pictures of the four headmasters and the Fat Lady. Then we get to the Dumbledore’s office and the Pensieve. Finally we meet Harry, Ron and Hermoine. Here, the line splits into the ride, or exit the castle to Filch’s Emporium. 

15:41 I was quite lucky to catch the Beauxbatons and Durmstrangs as they march into the auditorium. Beauxbatons girls really are very pretty and I must have been enchanted and couldn’t grab my camera in time 😢. 

15:45 Spent some time wandering Filch’s emporium and the shops of Hogsmeade. Here’s Harry’s book of monsters, and cloaks of the four houses.

16:03 Churrito ¥450. This long, slender, deep fried snack that tastes like a cruller with sprinklings of sugar and cinnamon on top, yumm!!

16:08 There’s also the famous Butterbeer a sweet non-alcoholic drink here, I was tempted to try it just for the mug that comes with a large serving. 

16:10 Three Broomsticks (restaurant) serves traditional British dishes such as fish and chips and shepherds pie as well as Butterbeer.

16:13 Hogwart’s Express and station 9 3/4. The stationmaster is 🙊

16:26 Jaws – the ride. Didn’t go cause we figured the enjoyability of the ride was too dependent on tour guide, and we probably wouldn’t understand the Japanese.

16:37 Hot dog ¥550. From trade shop right opposite Jurassic park. 

16:46 Jurassic park – the ride. Once again we go for the 5 minute single rider line, as opposed to 70 minutes on the other lineup. 

Jurassic Park ride is a water based ride where visitors of the park are on a boat when something goes wrong (doesn’t it always) and suddenly you’re chased by big scary dinosaurs and T-Rex and plunging down a 25 meter waterfall. The photo taking happens right at the top of the fall, so smile ^^v. I got a seat on the front row with 4 other Japanese locals, “Yada yada!! Kowaii!!!”. TIP: you’ll get wet, so bring a rain poncho or buy a cheapie for ¥100 at a convenience store! 

17:26 Biohazard the Real 2. A live action escape game where you’re given a big gun to shoot zombies. The first room is a video of the story background and live demonstration of how to use and reload the guns (damn hard to use and super heavy!), then you’re led in groups of 8 into the building. I still remember the poor girl that was so scared she held onto me the whole way, hehe, good thing cause I was pretty freaked too!! At each stage/room everyone has to make through and head on together. Finally there’s a show down at Umbrella Corp where you prove your team is worthy of pass or fail. TIP: wear sneakers or flats, I wore sandals and they required me to pay ?¥500 to rent a pair of sneakers for this game.

18:08 I found Spidey in the back alley!! 

18:16 Everyone is running to make a last ride or something

18:26 Big Bird and Da!!!!😍 and Elmo and Cookie Monster!!! I wanna bring you all home!!! 

18:46 Shrek 4D. Once again, you’re given OgreVision goggles (3D glasses), and in the dungeon room you see Pinocchio, Gingy, and the three pigs held captive by Lord Farquaad, and the magic mirror narrates the opening. Then you’re led into the great hall, and the 3D movie takes you on a chase scene with motion chairs. Quite similar to the one in Singapore USS, except in Japanese.

19:22 Cupcake kiddy ride, closed by now.

Hello Kitty land, Ribbon Collection. Which houses Hello Kitty’s latest fashion items. Cute.

19:33 Harry Potter’s Journey into the Forbidden Forest – the ride. An awesome 4K ride on a “bench” (seats 4 sideways) attached to a robotic arm behind, and follow Harry, Ron and Hermione through the Floo Network and a Quidditch match, acromantulas and Aragog, dementors and Lord Voldy’s dark mark, and chased by a fire breathing Hungarian Horntail dragon through scenes of Hogwarts and the surrounding scenery. 

Before the ride, visitors are led into the locker room by other Hogwarts “students” (attendants) dressed in wizarding cloaks and told to put all your belongings into the lockers. TIP: Yes, put all your belongings in! I figured I’d keep my phone on me (just in case, ya’know) and although the ride doesn’t turn upside-down (it has the potential to) but it does turn and flip quite a bit, and my phone fell out of my pocket!!!! 😱 luckily I felt it slip and caught hold of it, barely 😰 and it’s quite distracting trying to hold onto your phone by a pinkie finger to fully submerse yourself in the ride 😅. But the ride was great nonetheless, Loved the ride! Tops along with USS Transformers ride!

19:45 Finish

19:55 Flight of the Hippogriff. A more family friendly roller coaster on Buckbeak the Hippogriff and takes you through Hagrid’s hut with Fang inside. It wasn’t on our must go list, but there was barely any lineup so why not. 

20:02 Finish

20:11 Shopped about at couple of still barely open souvenirs shop. 

20:16 Here’s Hollywood the Backdrop – the ride. The one we didn’t make.

20:54 Finally we’re shooed out of the park with very polite attendants, by offering to take a photo for us. 

21:20 Osaka Takoyaki Museum, CityWalk. With hardly much time to eat anything but little snacks between the &rides, we were famished and came to Takoyaki Museum. 

Takoyaki 4 types x4 mini each, ¥930.

Takoyaki (sauce and mayo), ¥360.

Lawson’s 🍙, ¥125,  negitoro, ¥181. Total ¥310.

22:45 Didn’t have chance to notice it on arrival, but the train that goes to and from USJ also has Harry Potter or Hello Kitty themed deco. ¥180 + ¥330 travel expense back to our hotel. 

spider man ,

back to the future ,

Waterworld

Hollywood dream – the ride

Space Fantasy – the ride

Back to the future – the ride

Jaws – the ride 45 min

Jurassic park – the ride 30min

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

******

2014 October 10th Friday • Osaka Day 4

✈

¥ 

12:45 Konnichiwa Osaka!! Today’s our first day actually touring Osaka!! And we’re late heading out, hehe. Decided to try walking to another nearby station, which seemed a much farther walk, now we know, haha. Had a hot potato meat fried thingy, 150, yum!!

Nankai minato stn 南海湊駅 to Nankai Nanba 南海なんば駅, ¥330

13:28 Train ride to Sakai station and switched to sub express train. Rapid-b train ran by, my, aren’t they pretty!! 

13:52 Arrived at Namba station,

13:59 Walked through Ebisubashi-suji market.

14:10 Arrived at Kuromon Market 黑門市場 with one hungry stomach!!

14:19 吉村 Yoshimuru. Scallops for 500. They had the baby octopus but I didn’t try it, the scallops were okay.

14:24 黑銀. Toro sushi x9 and meguro sushi x3 for 1500 yen, their toro-don (toro and rice 500 is often featured but were sold out) their toro is definitely worth a try. We were no experts on picking and choosing, and just grabbed a random box, but my my, was it tasty!!

14:43 大あなご天ぷら. Unagi tempura 500, red ginger 100. Shrimp tempura is one of their top choices too although we didn’t try that. The unagi is surprisingly good despite being fried, put on display and re-fried in front of your eyes, but it still tastes really great!!!!

15:06 プマルチク. Chicken karaage, 

Peach soft icecream

1635 leave

Dotombori is almost

1800 shinsaibashi

1948 惡老闆

Classic kushikatsu (beef), Cheese, cartilage, chicken skin x2, chicken gizzard, asparagus 120yen each, served by a tiny train on mono tracks, although a server will help you lift the food down. All the small items are 120 yen each. I actually preferred the

 Total 908 yen

Sanrio store, hello kitty 1080 yen

2044 Train from Shinsaibashi to Umeda 梅田, 240 yen.

2247 leaving Umeda

As it was pretty much decided that we weren’t going on the Ferris wheel, we only dropped by Hep Five to take a quick snap shot through this small opening.

2339 Heading back to the hotel.

0138 Missed the last train that goes to our station, and we

Dotombori

Amerikamura

Umeda station

Osaka station

Osaka Castle + Park

******

2014 October 11th Saturday • Osaka Day 5

✈

(=yen)

1255 Off we go to Kobe today!! Purchased a JR 2-day pass for 4110 (8220 for 2) which allows travel on JR line to further destinations such as Kobe and Kyoto. Not so great for close-by destinations as the train runs in a loop around Osaka and stops are further apart than local trains.

1454 Sannomiya 三宮駅,

We m

Motomachi 元町 for breakfast and a quick peek

神戶 fried beef and mashed potato, fried beef and pork cutlet, and chicken marinara (slice cheese, tomato sauce and minced spinach),

南京町

Kobe Rokko Farm (enjoy the bountiful taste of nature) 神戶六甲牧場 (香濃無添加物)which features no man made additives, matcha and milk flavored ice cream cone for 400.

1649 From Kobe station, Kobe tower is a 20 minute walk. Apparently it’s even within 10 minute walking distance of Motomachi 元町.

1512 for two Hello Kitty keychains (400 and 500) and a box of somethings, 5

1932 postcards 116

1439 for random snacks at Motomachi

2008 Kobe beef Kurosawa 神戶牛 黑澤 red meat Kobe beef 2900 + 1800 for a set with , total 10,620. Kobe beef sure is expensive, but I guess one must try it in a lifetime, hehe. Btw, the ma

2110 Bye bye Kobe.

2200 Switched onto the loop JR line, shopping time is

2229 Namba station. Yay!! A short 5~10 minute walk from JR Namba station to Donkeyzo(??). This amazing department store has an everything from home appliances, beauty products to snacks and clothing. The first time I found this store was at Ikebukuro, and I thought it was crowded there. This store seemed to have even more! Maybe it’s because they’re  open 24hours,

Their prices are reasonable, and

2359 Phew. It would suck immensely if the last train was missed.

0109 Makotoya Ramen (まこと屋 ラーメン) Chicken with whole half boiled egg 760ぴり辛燒豚丼460若鶏の唐揚げ(x5 pieces) 390,

******

2014 October 12th Sunday • Osaka Day 6

✈

Kyoto

1058 Off to Kyoto today, yes, again.

100 camera case and a bunny? Teddy? Hair accessory for a grand total of 216

And breakfast is..tada… 🍙🍘 from アリスリー (another convenience store) for 200 (tax included!!). Wow. I love life in Japan!!

1235 Arrive at Kyoto. The first mission is to find kimono rental.

Okamoto is a well known kimono place which features coming empty handed (no preparations

1313 Kiyamizudera

Kimono kitty 540

Curry senbei x2 and soup 1512

2008 京遊 Yakitori,

2238 Leaving Gion-shijo (ざわんしじょう) station to tofukuji 270.

2329

0345?? This is definitely a trip to remember. So Internet cafe’s are at a downtrend with rise of personal computers. Hence, they come up with really cheap packages, like 1080 for 5 hours through the night.  Complete with mangas, magazines, PC, wifi access, etc etc, some even have billboards and free icecream or drinks. So what does one do when stranded in Dotombori while trains are stopped and too cheap ass to rent another hotel room? Hehe, the thought of all nighter shopping at Donkeyzo had flitted through but all the walking today has killed my legs and my brains.. So when I’m no longer able to make rational thoughts or comprehend simple questions, it means I need sleep. And this nice quaint little Internet cafe does the job perfectly. It even supplies blankets and toothbrush sets, shampoo and conditioners, free of charge..

Yawn

Reservation shop()

Main Shop

605-0846

6-538-14 Gojouhashi Higashi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi

Tel: 075-525-0117

Open 365 days a year during 9002000

honten@okamoto-kimono.com

Kiyomizuzaka Shop

605-0862

2-237-1-1 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi

Tel: 075-525-7115

Open 365 days a year during 9002000

kiyomizuzaka@okamoto-kimono.com

Gionkodaiji Shop

605-0072

523, Washio, Kodaiji-kitamonzen, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi

Tel: 075-531-7890

Open 365 days a year during 9002000

gion@okamoto-kimono.com

Okamoto Orimono Shop

605-0862

1-237-1287 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi

Tel: 075-561-4436

Open 365 days a year during 9:001800

Okamoto Kirakuan

Tel: 075-708-5338

Open 365 days a year during 10:001800

Rental 清水寺

三十三間

Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社)

二條城 御院

Gion 紙圓 花見小路 ?cancel

清水寺 二寧板

******

2014 October 13th Monday • Osaka Day 7

✈

1045 On our way to Osaka Castle. The station personnel at Nipponbashi had already taught us to take two stations till

1224 Returning back to Namba,

Oct 14, 2014 Tuesday

1240 Finally got to stop by the 100  store outside our station. Got a hair accessory, notebook/calendar x2, raincoat poncho, total 432.

1245 Breakfast, 🍙🍙  total 241

Switch to airport line (Nankai main/airport line local) at Hagoromo

1300 Last minute duty free shopping. 5xxx. There’s also some  beauty/pharmacies, they have much less options and prices are more or less the same but without tax, got another Nivea lip gloss for 480.

1435 Boarded flight to HKG. Sayonara Osaka, wish to return soon~

1850 HKG airport.

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