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