Finally! Here’s part 2 of our spring trip to Japan, a continuation of my previous post. Here I’ll be covering the second half of our trip which we spent around Kansai (in our case: Osaka, Kyoto and Nara).
Keep reading for our daily itinerary, and all our expenses for our 15-day trip.
Day 8: Shinkansen to Osaka, Dotonbori
We got our tickets on the day itself and boarded the Tokaido shinkansen bound for Shin-Osaka a little after lunchtime. The seats had enough leg room for my medium-sized luggage to fit in front of me. I was concerned as I heard they were narrow.
We arrived at Shin Osaka station in 2 and a half hours. We were too tired by the time we arrived, so we hailed a cab to our hotel. We stayed in the Nippombashi area. It is colloquially referred to as “Den-den Town”, as it is very much like Akihabara in Tokyo. We settled in for a few hours then had dinner at Dotonbori, a 5-minute walk from our hotel.
We had takoyaki and okonomiyaki for dinner and bought more takoyaki for take-away (LOL)
Of course we had to stop by the infamous Glico man. Yes, I have a shot of me in *that* pose, and no, I am not showing it to anyone.
There were all sorts of cafes and izakayas along the walk back to our hotel.
We had to call it a night early as the next day we were headed to Kyoto.
Day 8 expenses:
Train/subway fare: P182
Shinjuku Gyoen: P182
Bullet train: P13,723
Day 9: Kyoto: Fushimi Inari, Otani Hombyo, Kiyomizu-dera, Sannen-zaka, Ninenzaka, Gion
Our day started early. It was around an hour trip from central Osaka to Kyoto. What surprised us the most once we transferred to their local train line are the trains themselves — so old-timey. We were indeed in Kyoto.
Our first stop was Fushimi-Inari Taisha, one of the most important spots in Kyoto. This shouldn’t be missed!
These seemingly endless arcades of vermilion torii (gates) spread across a thickly wooded mountain. The place is always crowded with tourists so here’s a tip: there are two walkways lined with these vermilion gates — one for each way. Have your photos taken on the way back, as there will be virtually no one else taking photos there.
Although we didn’t get to see the innermost parts of it, it was quite simply one of our most memorable sights in Kyoto.
On the way back we grabbed some snacks and souvenirs from the huge array of stalls and stores.
With a full belly, we headed next to Kiyomizu-dera. We took the train to the nearest station and decided to walk (at first).
On the way there, we stumbled upon what we would later learn is the Otani Honbyo Mausoleum.
At that point we realized that the way to Kiyomizu-dera was a steep uphill road, so we decided to hail a cab. It was certainly walkable but we had to consider the elderly, of course.
We decided not to view the main temple as it is under construction (February 2017 to March 2020). But in case you’re curious, it looks like this in spring. It is even more magnificent in autumn.
You should be able to pass through Sannen-zaka/Ninen-zaka since these are roads that lead down from Kiyomizu-dera.
There were so many little souvenir shops and restaurants along these streets. We enjoyed the atmosphere of what Kyoto was like in the past.
We hailed a cab once again to Gion-shijo station as we wanted to have a glimpse of Gion, one of Kyoto’s most famous districts.
Kyoto is so beautiful.
Ladies walking around in traditional kimonos were a common sight. Gion still remains as one of, if not the most, famous Geisha districts in all of Japan.
On the train ride back to Osaka, I took note of a beautiful sakura viewing spot.
Day 9 expenses:
Train/subway fare: P1,242