Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Japan - Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo 9D8N

Day 3: Kyoto

Was supposed to set off early in the morning, because Kyoto was supposed to be a half day trip. Overslept cos we were tired from all the walking yesterday. Even hung out at Don Quijote till mid night. @.@

As we were rushing for time, we didnt have time for a proper breakfast, so we went to the giant crab place call Kani Doraku to buy a box of Sushi take out.

Apparently they have branches in both Osaka & Tokyo. The branch we went to is located at the entrance of Dotonburi shopping street.

1400 yen for 8 pieces of sushi. i think its rather expensive.

this is the most tasty piece of them all~ surprise surprise. Crab mayo with tamago. The rest are nice and fresh but no surprises and given tt its 1400 yen per box, i really expected a bit more. oh well..

Cute soy sauce container

Its cool that eating is permitted on train, i am sure it save commuters alot of time. He promptly fell asleep after the box of sushi, we were really tired.

Note: We took the subway, but this is the LONG route. Took us almost 45 mins to reach by subway :( For Kyoto station, it is just one stop away from Shin Osaka JR Station, thus it is recommended to take JR from ShinOsaka station to Kyoto, it will only take 10 mins. You will be alighting at the same place if you take the subway.

Namba -->Shin Osaka (Subway) --> Shin Osaka JR --> Kyoto JR

On the quiet subway.

Once at Kyoto station, look out for the bus terminus, there will be signs to guide you. It is located just outside Kyoto station.

Our first destination was Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺. We took bus 206 from the bus terminus, it is about 10 mins, 4/5 stops to Kiyomizu-michi stop. it costs 220 Yen regardless of distance, i believe its a loop line. Other than 206, bus 100 brings you to Kiyomizu-michi too.
Our first bus ride in Japan. :)
Do not worry about over shooting the bus stop. They have a screen that shows you the name of the next station in Japan & English. :)

Here! Wee!

This is what happen if you want to take a bus in Kyoto.

You will board the bus at the rear door, and when you alight, walk to the front door and there is this machine next to the driver, scan your card or drop your coins to alight. If you have large notes, you can also slot the note into the money changing machine at the side. so cool ^^

It must be a pretty tourist oriented place. We saw this the moment we alight from the bus.

Turn right when you see Yasaka-dori. You will be crossing the road.

Once across, you will be at the start of Higashiyama shopping district. It will be about 20 - 30 mins walk (depending how distracted you will be by those cute little shops) upslope to Kiyomizudera.

5 mins walk upslope we saw the Yasaka Pagoda.

Rickshaws are pretty common in Kyoto. I heard that most of those who pull them are young,fit and cute japanese men... lol.
It was "snowing" cherry petals when we approached. stunningly beautiful sight

Yasaka pagoda. Entrance fee = 400Yen

Along the way lies all these traditional looking houses. Most of them already converted to souvenir shops.

It was a cool walk, as it was a Monday afternoon so there wasnt much people. But as we approach towards our destination, it became more crowded.

Lots of shops selling souvenirs. Operating hour varies, but mainly between 10 am to 5 pm

Common to see locals dressed in kimonos.

Little snack we bought on the way up. Not sure what is it. Bt tasted abit like Dorayaki.

More people as we approached

Ta-dah! Took us about 30 mins to walk up as i was very distracted by all the interesting things selling on Higashimaya street.

If there had to be one shrine that you need to visit in Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera will be the one~

1000 Yen for some blessings to love life?
Visit to Kiyomizudera up till this point is free. However, if you wish to enter, its 300Yen per pax.

Our entrance ticket. Makes a lovely souvenir :) *struggling to remember where i kept those =/ *

Personally i will recommend to enter as there are other small shrines in there, e.g the Jishu Shrine aka Love Shrine & Otawa waterfall.

Kiyomizudera is best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. The main hall, which together with the stage was built without the use of nails, houses the temple's primary object of worship, a small statue of the eleven faced, thousand armed Kannon. ~ japan-guide.com

at the stage, looking down to Otawa waterfall

Jishu shrine (aka Love Shrine) is located next to the main hall.

In front of the shrine are two stones, placed 18 meters apart. Successfully finding your way from one to the other with your eyes closed is said to bring luck in finding love. You can also have someone guide you from one stone to the other, but that is interpreted to mean that an intermediary will be needed in your love life as well.~ japan-guide.com
Tips to do Japanese prayers:

Step 1: Make your offering. (Throw coins into your monetary box, currency not restricted :P)
Step 2: Ring the bell (Make it loud so that deity can hear u!)
Step 3: Clap twice
Step 4: Close your eyes and make a wish with palms facing each other.

no lack of young girls coming here to seek their fortune in love. A good place to pick up one or two of them :)
Use the scoop to bathe the buddha, can only use one that you want most, don be greedy!
We came a long way and decided to get one of these tablet although it costs 1000Yen each. We had to share one wish. hahaha.
Write your troubles/name on the paper and throw it into the basin, it will then "dissolve" all your troubles. :)
ahhh.. awesome colors of spring dont you think?
The best view of the shrine.

Otawa waterfall. Gotta q to drink from one of them, so we didnt try.

it was about to rain as we make our way out. took us about 3 hours to cover Higashiyama + Kiyomizedera + Jishu Shrine. It was at a very comfortable stride

Pond covered with fallen flower petals. =)

Our stomachs were grumbling by the time we make our way down to Higahiyama district.

so, Food time!

First thing i saw that interest me was this:
Cream puff!
Picked the macha one.

The macha filling was awesome, fragrant but not sweet. However, the puff is so-so. It felt like it have been left there for quite sometime. Beard papa is better :)
400 Yen shrimp cake anyone? nothing fantastic. ok to miss.

The obasan selling this held up the cover for me to take photo before she took out one for me. so nice :)

This is yummy! Fresh, warm & fluffy! Filling is meat with some pickled ginger.

After the somewhat not satisfying snacks, and some shopping on our way down, we were attracted by this shop that sells "Traditional Kyoto Noodles"

Yatsuhashi Cafe. Supposed to have a history of 300 yrs. wooottsss.
a small "sweet" is served together with the mains.
Their Traditional Kyoto Noodles. Light broth & comforting.

Remember the red bean soup at Hozenji temple? This is cheaper. about 400Yen.
Their red bean soup are usually served with some salty pickles and mochi as their red bean soup tends to be overly sweet.

Love the mochi (rice cake) soaked in the soup. yums.

After a very satisfying lunch, its time we head for our next destination - Nishiki Market! It is know as Kitchen of Kyoto.

As we were really full, we decided to WALK there. Not sure if its a mistake, but again we lost our way, however, we saw many interesting things on our way there.

for a moment, we felt like we are not in japan. doesnt this looks like europe? lol

After about 30 mins walk, there we are! Teramachi street. It was about 4 pm when we reach, the timing where most of the shops are preparing to close. I was slightly disappointed about this, however, it was also because they were closing, so we manage to pick up some good deals on food!

can u tell whats this?
look closely...
its marinated baby octopus on stick! not a delicacy but its an interesting snack~ theres a quail egg in the head! haha. 120 yen?

Our best find?

soy sauce base salmon sashimi & marinated scallop. 180yen each. ITS SO AWESOME! he swear hes gg back there for it again. ~

i like my salmon while he like his hotate

random fish cake stall

pickles store

this random shop in the middle of the market got our attention and he decided to try since it was only 180 yen! Most of the Takopachi in Osaka costs easily 500 - 800.

he love it.

they sell clogs too. 30 SGD a pair.

bought this box of maguro @ discounted price 480 yen. :) v fresh.

some nice strawberries before we leave. :)

It was raining very heavily, thus we were stuck in the market for quite sometime. cant blame us for eating and eating and eating :x

some fancy device that tells you if your bus is approaching.

There were many buses running on loop and ends at Kyoto station. It was a fuss free 15 mins ride or so.


Took the subway from Kyoto station back to Namba. It was peak hour then. Took us about 40 mins to reach. so tired by now :( too much walking.

We then decided to go hunt for the famous Okonomiyaki place that i put as top of my eating list..

美津の大阪燒 is located just next to the Red devils located at the end of Dotonburi street, in Sennichimae shopping district.

It was packed when we walked in, prob because it was dinner time. Its a small cosy restaurant that can only fits up to maximum 8 - 9 pax.

All the okonomiyaki are done from scratch on the metal plate

we ordered two. one is their most famous 貝柱山芋焼 (scallop & sweet potato okonomiyaki) on the left and the other 豬肉,花枝,蝦燒麵 on the right.

the young chef offered to take a picture for us before we proceed.

This is the noodles! appetitising!!!! Other ingredients like pork, egg, prawn are cooked together. *drools*

I cant believe we dont have a picture of the 貝柱山芋焼!!!!! *stabs myself*

they are generous to give 5 huge pieces of fresh scallops.

Its really yummy! We finished both even we werent very hungry! Cost about 800 Yen each.

Do you know Okonomiyaki name in chinese is 大阪燒? So if you are in Osaka, please don forget to have at least one!


P/s: The next time when i go to Kyoto, i will try to spend more time there. Its sucha waste as this place is just so beautiful and one day is really not enuff to experience everything this awesome place can offer us. :( I wanna go to Kinkakuji, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Gion to see Geisha or maybe try the rickshaw too!

But i am quite sure, with one full day, you will be able to throw in one or two more attractions, but because we started late & really took our time to walk. so.. we only manage to cover one shrine & one market..