Tuesday, February 24, 2015

(Japan Jan 2015) Day 3: Visit Kyoto and Osaka. Stay at Osaka

Day 3 (25/1): Visit Kyoto and Osaka. Stay at Osaka

This day's itinerary: 
0727-0801 Nagoya to Kyoto via Shinkansen
Deposit luggage at coin lockers at Kyoto station
Bought waffles from Kyoto station
0846-0851 Kyoto to Inari via JR Nara local train
Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine
1019-1024 Inari to Kyoto via JR Nara local train
1035-1045 Kyoto to Imadegawa via Kyoto Subway Karasuma line (260yen)
Imadegawa station to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine via taxi (because wasn't able to board the bus)
Visit Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and monthly flea market
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine to Imadegawa station via taxi
Imadegawa to Shijo via Kyoto Subway Karasuma line (260yen)
Ate at Krispy Kreme donuts at Shijo station
Shijo to Kyoto station via Kyoto Subway Karasuma line (210yen)
Collect luggage from coin lockers
1413-1426 Kyoto to Shin-Osaka via Shinkansen
Check in to hotel room and bought food from convenience store to eat in the room.
Rested for awhile in the room.
1815-1830 Shin-Osaka to Namba via Osaka Subway Midosuji line (240yen)
Dinner at Daruma Kushikatsu outlet at Dotonbori
Shopped at Don Quijote store at Dotonbori
2131-2146 Namba to Shin-Osaka via Osaka Subway Midosuji line (240yen)

Took an early morning 0727hr Shinkansen from Nagoya to Kyoto where we then deposited our luggages at 1 of the many coin lockers at Kyoto station. 

There are actually many coin lockers' areas at Kyoto station, but the one which I like to use is the one near their long distance buses terminal on ground level (not the side that's facing Kyoto Tower).

Kyoto station's Central Gate. 
My heatpack for today. :)
 While inside Kyoto station, we came across a shop (Manneken, they have quite a number of outlets across Japan because we also saw 1 at Shin-Osaka station) selling waffles, so we bought a few for ourselves. This marks the start of my brother's waffles binge, because we all fell in love with their limited time only flavour, the honey custard waffle. Yums!  
I actually lost count (I stopped counting after number 20) of how many waffles my brother ate on this trip. 

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After a short 5mins train ride from Kyoto station, we arrived at Inari station via the JR Nara local line. Remember to only take the local trains because rapid trains doesn't stop at Inari station. 

This would be my 4th (or was it 5th?) visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine, because this place is popular (voted top tourist destination for Kyoto on Tripadvisor.com), easy to get to, and a good place for photography enthusiasts.
We had a short break outside the shrine to finish our waffles.

We were too lazy to climb to the top, so we left Fushimi Inari Shrine after only spending about 1hr there. 

Next stop, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. 
From Inari station, we took a short JR Nara line train to Kyoto station where we then transferred to the subway Karasuma line to Imadegawa station. From Imadegawa station, it's a short 7mins bus ride.
But since it was a weekend plus there's the monthly flea market at Kitano Tenmangu shrine, so we weren't able to squeeze up the bus at Imadegawa. So we had to take a taxi from the bus stop at Imadegawa to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

On the 25th of every month, there will be a large flea market located outside Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. There are food stalls (I saw Taiyaki, Oden, Yakisoba, Fried Chicken, Takoyaki, grilled food...etc) as well as stalls selling 2nd hand stuffs (yukata, kimono, fishing equipment, antiques, teapots...etc). We managed to get our lunch settled here after eating stuffs like Taiyaki, Takoyaki, Oden and Fried Chicken from the stalls.

Cotton Candy


 Although Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is not really on the list of popular places to visit for tourists (since people usually head for the usual Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizudera, Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji...etc) but during Feb, I would recommend that you visit this place because that's when the many plum blossom trees at the shrine will be due to bloom. 
Since it was only end-Jan (25/1 to be exact) on the day of our visit, so it was still too early to see the blooming of the plum blossoms.

This shrine is also a popular place for those who are still schooling to visit to pray for good results.

For those who watches K-On! anime, Kitano Tenmangu shrine was also featured in the anime series.
Go to 1 of my older blogposts to see the comparisons of the scenes in the anime vs real life location.

After leaving Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, we went to Shijo station to take a short break at the Krispy Kreme outlet since the hubby and I love Krispy Kreme.

We could have visited Nishiki Market street, but we decided to just leave Kyoto for Osaka since we were kinda tired by then and wanted to check in to our hotel to take a break.

After collecting our luggage from the lockers, we used our JR Pass to take a short 14mins Shinkansen ride from Kyoto station to Shin-Osaka station where our hotel is located about 5mins walk away.

Saw this Kobe Beef riceball at the convenience store 
Around 3pm, we finally checked in to our hotel near Shin-Osaka station. 
Since we were using JR Pass, so it was more convenient for us to stay near Shin-Osaka station for easy access to Shinkansen even though there's really nothing much in the vicinity of the station. We didn't want to have to lug our luggage around to catch subways.

We can choose which type of pillow we want :)
The hotel's lobby area, where free breakfast is usually served.

Our room. Kinda squeezy because not enough floor space to open our luggages.

Brother's single room. Looks much more spacious than ours.

Saw this at Lotteria fast food outlet at Shin-Osaka. Hubby couldn't resist buying 1 bag.
 After take a break in our room, we headed out to Osaka's Dotonbori area in Namba for the evening to have our dinner and do some light shopping.
Dotonbori. The yellow ferris wheel that u see in the pic is where the 24hr Don Quijote store is located at.

Osaka is known for their kushikatsu (fried skewers) so after doing some research online, I finally decided upon having our dinner at a Kushikatsu chain store called Daruma. They actually have a few outlets at Namba/Dotonbori/Shinsaibashi area, but I chose the outlet that's near Dotonbori. 

There'd usually be a queue outside the store, but luckily the queue didn't take too long and we were able to get our seats after waiting for about 20mins. 

1 very important thing to note when you eat Kushikatsu. And that's to NEVER dip your skewer of food into the sauce after you've already taken a bite from it. Because the tray of sauce is shared commonly with other guests seated at the table before you arrived and after you left, so it would be unhygienic if someone were to dip a half-eaten skewer with their saliva into the sauce that's shared with other customers.

I love fried food, and the food here is delicious! The pork cutlet, the chicken balls, the crab claw...absolutely heaven!

After dinner, we went to nearby Don Quijote store for some shopping.  There were sooo many items sold at Don Quijote that we usually spend more than 1hr when we visit a Don Quijote store.

Go to previous blog entry: Day 2 Visit Laguna-gamagori
/ Go to next blog entry: Day 4 Visit Nara and Himeji


  1. I'm interested in going to the shrine next week. "From Imadegawa station, it's a short 7mins bus ride." How do I know which bus stop to get off? Thanks.

    1. Hmm, u can probably count the number of bus stops using this detailed bus map perhaps?

    2. Hi Sam!

      May i have the name of your hotel? Will you recommend it for a brief stay in Osaka? Is it comfortable and convenient?

      Thank you!

    3. We stayed at the Super Hotel near Shin-Osaka station.
      The service was good, has free breakfast, but the room's walking space was really small. We barely have enough room on the floor for us to open our luggage.

  2. I love your very detailed travel blog post about these amazing cities in Japan cheers!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Hello Sam!

    I am quite interesting to go to Japan because reading to your blog~
    I never going to Japan, and i am planning to go there in February

    I want to go to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Do you have recommended place to go ?
    I'm planning around 8 days..

    Thank you^^

    1. What are your travel dates and which airports are you using to fly in and out of Japan?

      For starters, you might want to browse through some of my Japan-related guides (which includes Tokyo itineraries) here: http://goawaysam.blogspot.sg/p/my.html

  5. Hi Sam!
    I'm going to Tokyo, Kyoto and staying in Osaka for a night before flying out. I'm staying near the Shin-Osaka Station. I would like to do some last minute shopping in Osaka. Where do you recommend? The Don Quijote looks like a nice place. Is it close by? Are there any 100 yen shops around?


    1. To be honest, there's really nothing much in the vicinity of Shin-Osaka station, other than a few convenience stores, hotels, and some residential buildings.
      You could probably spend the evening at Dotonbori area + Shinsaibashi shopping street.

      There's a Daiso, and 3 coins (a shop that sells everything at 300yen, located somewhere along Shinsaibashi), and Don Quijote (opens 24hr, many foreign tourists here though, located next to the canal at Dotonbori, it's the building you see with the huge yellow ferris-wheel like structure at the top of the building).

      I can't pinpoint exactly where the Daiso is, but you can probably google it up somewhere I think. It's along 1 of the side streets, not too far off the main sheltered shopping street.

      If you come across any Seria stores, I somewhat prefer the selections at Seria over Daiso actually. Seria is also a 100yen store. I can't recall offhand whether they have any stores at either Dotonbori or Shin-Osaka though.

  6. Hi Samantha, can you please give us any itinerary tips as we are going to japan ( first time ) for 8 days. with entry and exit at Nagoya. We would like to visit nagoya, kyoto , nara, osaka and tokyo. Any suggestions?. thanks!

    1. That's alot of places to cover within just 8 days actually.
      I'd probably suggest you skip Tokyo for now, and just concentrate on Kansai region (Osaka/Nara/Kyoto) + Nagoya for this trip. Plus, it's going to be expensive to travel to Tokyo.

      (If skip Tokyo)
      Day 1: Arrival at Nagoya. Stay at Nagoya
      Day 2: (Day 1 of Kintetsu 5 days Railpass) KintetsuNagoya to Osaka's Tsuruhashi or Namba via Kintetsu Ltd Exp train. Visit Osaka. Stay Osaka
      Day 3: Visit Kyoto. Stay Osaka
      Day 4: Visit USJ (if you want). Stay Osaka
      Day 5: Visit Kobe. Stay Osaka
      Day 6: (Day 5 of Kintetsu 5 days Railpass) Visit Nara in the day. Take evening Ltd Exp Kintetsu train back to KintetsuNagoya station in Nagoya. Stay Nagoya.
      Day 7: Visit Nagoya. Stay Nagoya
      Day 8: Departure from Nagoya.

      (if you don't want to skip Tokyo)
      Day 1: (JR pass day 1) Arrival at Nagoya. Take Shinkansen to Tokyo. Stay Tokyo.
      Day 2: (JR pass day 2) Visit Tokyo. Stay Tokyo.
      Day 3: (JR pass day 3) Visit Tokyo. Stay Tokyo.
      Day 4: (JR pass day 4) Tokyo to Shin-Osaka via Shinkansen. Visit Osaka. Stay at Osaka.
      Day 5: (JR pass day 5) Visit Kyoto. Stay Osaka
      Day 6: (JR pass day 6) Visit Nara. Take evening Shinkansen to Nagoya. Stay Nagoya.
      Day 7: (JR pass day 7) Either visit Nagoya, or daytrip to anywhere near Nagoya. Stay Nagoya
      Day 8: Departure from Nagoya.

      If you plan to get the 7 days JR pass, remember to purchase it before going on your Japan trip because that particular railpass is not sold within Japan.

    2. thanks alot!! we can use it as guide :)

  7. Hi Sam!

    What is the name of the hotel that you stayed? How much is the price if I may ask? Thank you!

  8. Hi Sam, I saw your blog and saw the 14mins Shinkansen ride from Kyoto station to Shin-Osaka station, it is possible for that short ride? It is with JR pass?

    1. Kyoto is not that far from Shin-Osaka, even if u don't take Shinkansen, the journey is only about 30mins via regular trains. If you have JR railpass, you can use it to take this Shinkansen too.

  9. Some benefits of travel:

    1 - It makes you feel relaxed.

    2 - It's a good chance to see another country.

    3 - It helps you to learn a foreign language.

  10. Hi Samantha... beautiful post.. I was wondering which area is best to stay in Japan?
    You can now explore the choicest latest high resolution Japan stock photos at Travelbild, world's largest collection of Travel images.

  11. Hi, I'm planning to visit Japan on Apr 2018 so I'm starting to do research on how to navigate around; I'm so glad that I found your blog; it has so many helpful tips. I hope you don't mind me asking questions. I'll have 4 nights in KYOTO and plan to visit those popular attractions (tori gates, bamboo grooves, etc.) but I have no idea which area I should book hotel so that I can easy access to those locations. Is hotel near Tokyo station is a convenience place? Planning to buy JP Pass (so that I can get to Kyoto from Tokyo and return). Thanks!