Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lost in Japan : Osaka - Part 3

Hello again! Please please don't be bored with my endless bragging of my Japan trip last April, it was soooo good I missed it already.

On the third day in Osaka, the itinerary is to spend the whole day in Kyoto. Kyoto is a short train ride from Osaka, just punch Kyoto Station in your Hyperdia and get on the train (shinkansen and local) using JR Pass or IC Card.

Upon arriving in Tokyo Station, we go straight to Arashiyama. Using the JR Sagano (or any other train to Arashiyama Station) you will arrive in a country side suburb of Kyoto. It was really nice and calm. I kinda love this small town vibe of Arashiyama, serene and beautiful.

You can get the Sagano Scenic Rail Train or Boat Tour (just go to the building behing train station) but it'll cost a fortune. So.. We look for a bike rental and rent a bike for 1000 JPY for the day. Arashiyama is not big, within less than 3 minutes of biking, we reached the main street. Man... It was packed! It's kinda hard to bikin the uphill slope full of tourist and busses but we made it! First stop.. Tenryuji Temple!

Tenryuji Temple is the biggest Zen temple in Arashiyama and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As I've said before, I am not a temple kinda tourist. Just went there to find this huge empty building which was THE all glorious temple but found nothing interesting aside from the beautiful scenery.

Going uphill from Tenryuji Temple, you will find the entrance of Bamboo Forest. The path is small but very crowded. Note: You can bring your bike through the path. It was a short walk to the instafamous bamboo groove. I didn't find it beautiful but it is indeed very instagenic!! In the middle of the way to the Bamboo Groove, you'll find a small temple where you can write prayers on a small piece of wood. It's kinda cute, just like those manga or anime kinda thing.

Oh yes, rent a kimono!!!! Along the main street of Arashiyama, find stores that rent traditional japanese cloth. I think it cost me around 2500-3000 JPY for a complete head to toe transformation. Seriously guys, forget about how expensive it is, just do it. It's very cool and comfortable although the footwear (wooden clog) kinda hurts a bit when you walk. Take a picture in the kimono, super cool!!!

The scenery there is very beautiful. I walked towards the Togetsukyo Bridge (just go straight toward the mountains) in search of the Monkey Park but the clog hurts so much, I decided not to proceed. Just enjoy the cherry blossom along the bridge, take a lot of photos since every angle is so beautiful. I don't know why but any random pic in Japan is beautiful. Grab some snacks (tsurimi wraps, soft ice cream and yakitori) and be japanese :)

We headed back to Kyoto around 3 PM and managed to visit Fushimi Inari. It is located just in front of JR Inari station (use hyperdia app) Only one station from Kyoto Station. Fushimi Inari is a shrine with many Inari Gates, orange wooden gate place through hundreds of steps, climbing to a hill/mountain. Just went there and snapped some mandatory photos and went down. I didn't find it interesting at all (aside from the fact that it is very instagenic) The temples of Kyoto closes down around 5 PM so I didn't visit anymore temples. Went back to Osaka for last minute culinary exploring in Dotonbori area!

Back to Osaka, we couldn't decide what to eat so we wandered around Dotonbori and Namba area, hoping to find something interesting to eat. After a while, we found this restaurant called Yokozuna, serving Osaka's signatur kushikatsu and yaki soba.

Kushikatsu is a deep fried satay/skewer. They served everything from meat to veggies to meatballs, kushikatsu style. I also ordered yaki soba for carb loading. The kushikatsu was just okay (what do u expect from deep fried food?) but the Yaki Soba was awesome!!!!

The noodle was smooth and sweet, perfectly cooked and fried without losing it's moisture. The bonito flakes is so fragrang and somehow moving on it's own, blown away by the noodle's hot steam. Very appetizing. We also ordered omelette and it was creamy and soft, perfect!

Ended the journey that day with a midnight snack of instant noodle, discounted salmon teriyaki from a supermarket and beef burger from 7/11, yummmmmmm

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