Thursday, April 17, 2014

Japan (Feb 2014) Day 1 and 2 Kyoto

Day 1 Singapore to Osaka's Kansai Airport. Stay at Kyoto

For day 1,  it was like 9pm+ when we arrived at Kansai Airport. We had to dash to the counter at Kansai Airport to purchase the Kintetsu Rail Pass before it closes (I think before 10pm if I'm not wrong). Since we're not getting the Wide version of the Kintetsu pass, so we could only purchase the 3800yen version from either Kansai Airport or Nagoya Airport in Japan. 

After we managed to get the Kintetsu pass (we arrived at the counter 10mins before they close) we headed for the JR office to purchase JR Kansai Area Wide pass as well as the Haruka + ICOCA combo, before eventually boarding the last Haruka train of the day at around 10:15pm from Kansai Airport station.

It was nearly 12midnight by the time we arrived at Kyoto station. Since it was the first time my sister-in-law experienced winter, so we hurriedly dug out our winter jackets from our luggage and put them on the moment we alighted from the train. We totally forgot about gearing up during the train ride since it wasn't really that cold at Kansai Airport since we were more concerned with running around to reach the Kintetsu railpass counter and to catch last Haruka train to be bothered with wearing our winter jackets. 

I believe it was around 8 degrees on this night, wasn't snowing (we missed snow in Kyoto by just 2 days) but it was drizzling. Luckily all the hotels which I booked for the trip were all near train stations. So for our first 2 nights in Japan, we stayed at Kyoto Dai-Ni Tower hotel, which is conveniently located just next to Kyoto station. Like less than 1min walk away from the station. 

Watched parts of Miffy movie onboard the SQ flight.

In-flight meal.

Ice cream served on the flight.

-photo taken by my hubby, of the 3 of us at Kyoto station after alighting from Haruka Express train, cold and tired after our 7 hours flight and 1 and half hour train ride.
Our room at Kyoto Dai-Ni Tower hotel, located just next to Kyoto station.
 After we dumped our luggage in our rooms, we went out to nearby convenience store to look for some supper. Somehow, I always end up having Katsudon as my first meal on almost all of my Japan trips, so it's no different on this trip. My first meal to start off this particular Japan trip...Katsudon.

Note the onigiri (rice ball) in this pic, it's really nice. It's fried rice onigiri, sold at 7-11 stores.  

The Katsudon separates into 2 different trays so that the gravy won't get mixed into the rice. 

And thus, ends our day 1 in Japan. It was 1plus in the morning by the time we went to sleep.

Day 2: Kyoto. Stay at Kyoto.
This was a full day spent exploring Kyoto. To be honest, 1 day is nowhere enough to explore the many sights of Kyoto. 
But since we only had 1 day to spare for Kyoto for this short trip, so my plan was to bring them to Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizudera, Higashiyama, Gion, and Nishiki market.
I forgot that only local trains on JR Nara line will stop at Inari station. Therefore we boarded the wrong train (it was a rapid train I believe), so we had to make a U-turn back to Inari station. oops. :)

Finally arriving at JR Inari station. 
 To reach Inari station, take a JR Nara line local train from Kyoto station and you will arrive here in 5mins.
Remember to only take local train and not rapid/express train since those won't stop at this station.
The train fare costs 140yen for 1 way (Kyoto station to Inari station).
Fushimi Inari Shrine is conveniently located just opposite JR Inari station.

Fushimi Inari Shrine

There were some stalls at Fushimi Inari Shrine during our visit. 
Takoyaki (octopus)
Takoyaki for breakfast. :)
Stall selling sweets.

washing hands before entering shrine.

The front side of the torii gates have no wordings...

...while the other side will have the names/dates of the people/organisations who donated to the shrine.

Amount of donation for the torii gates.

map of Fushimi Inari Shrine. 

After our visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine, we decided to just take a short cab ride from Fushimi Inari Shrine to Kiyomizudera. Because although Fushimi Inari to Kiyomizudera is not really that far, but if you take public transport, you will have to:
- Take Keihan train from FushimiInari station (located near JR Inari station) to Kiyomizu-gojo station (7mins, 210yen)
- Then walk about 30mins from Kiyomizu-gojo station to Kiyomizudera.

But if we take a cab, it cost us about 1000yen-1200yen (can't remember exact amount) for the 10mins cab ride from Fushimi Inari (I managed to get a cab by waiting in front of the convenience store just opposite Fushimi Inari) to the street with many shops just in front of Kiyomizudera. Since there were 4 of us, so it was just about 250yen-300yen per pax. But this way, it saved us time and also my mother-in-law won't have to walk as much. 

We managed to catch a cab while waiting in front of this convenience store, located opposite Fushimi Inari Shrine.
 10mins cab ride later, the cab dropped us off at a spot along the shopping street near Kiyomizudera.

There are many shops leading up to Kiyomizudera. 


 From what I understand, the main hall will undergo restoration in a few years' time. So for those who intend to visit Kiyomizudera on their trips, please check the status of the restoration before you go to prevent disappointment.
restoration works going on at Kiyomizudera.

1 of the few group photos of the 4 of us taken on this trip. That's me in the middle with the peace sign. 

On our way out of Kiyomizudera, we came across this outdoor seating area which serves udon meals. So we decided to just have a quick lunch here. 

My special order Kitsune Udon. I gave my Tofu to my mother-in-law since I usually don't eat that, and I requested not to have spring onions, which is why my order looks so plain. 
After Kiyomizudera, we walked through the preserved historic streets at Higashiyama.

Beef croquette.

ear picks.

Spotted these at a convenience store

 From Higashiyama, we walked over to Gion area.

Cute buns.

Choose your choice of handle, then choose your choice of fabric...and voila! A bag! :)
Spotted these from a shop located somewhere between Gion and Gion-Shijo station.

Took a short break to rest our aching feet. 
We then headed for Nishiki Market.
Nishiki market.

After Nishiki market, we went back to Kyoto station in search for some dinner.
Came across a Krispy Kreme outlet located at Karasuma subway station. Of course we couldn't resist, so we bought a box of 6 back for supper.
 We had our dinner at a Tokatsu restaurant located at Yodobashi Camera store, opposite Kyoto station, since we planned to visit Yodobashi Camera after dinner.
Hubby had this. Mixed Tokatsu set.
Sister-in-law had this. Fried oyster set.

Mother-in-law had this. Katsudon.

I had this. Tonkatsu set.

Supper. Krispy Kreme donuts. This is a seasonal flavour, Sakura cream.

1 comment:

  1. I love kiyomizu dera temple. Omamori of this temple is aivalable on ... I hope one day to return to Japan