DAY 5: KYOTO
So sad to leave Osaka after 3 days and we’re off to Kyoto! Kyoto is only about 45 minutes away from Osaka by train. We need to get to Osaka Station though and take the train from there. But it was raining 🙁 We walked to the nearest subway station and took a cab from there. It wasn’t that expensive since there were three of us. The cab driver was as usual, well-dressed and even helped us with our stuff. He didn’t mind that we were kind of wet due to the rain. I really like cab drivers in Japan!
We planned to go to at least 5 places but due to time constraints, I think we were only able to go to 3 or 4. It was super cold and raining when we arrived at the station. I had to change the heattech I was wearing to a warmer one and I also changed my shoes! I was wearing rubber shoes initially and I had to change into my boots cause it will get wet. We also had to sort of fix our luggage a bit cause we were going to put our luggage into a coin locker. In fairness, the coin locker isn’t so hard to figure out because there is an English option. Once you’ve put in your staff and paid for it, there’s a print out with a QR code for when you retrieve your bags. So shala! Hahahaha!
We went to the Kyoto Information Center to inquire about train and bus pass. We found that the train pass is only limited to two lines so it’s not really worth it. The bus pass is worth it however, we don’t really have much time in Kyoto and going around in trains would be the best option for us. We then went to this restaurant at the basement of Isetan. Our breakfast was simple (quite pricey) but delicious. Also, at the time, we didn’t really have much of a choice. It was raining outside (also there was flurry!) so it’s kind of hard to go outside and look for a place to eat. There were cakes sold in front and I bought some after breakfast. They were delicious.
After breakfast, we took the train to Arashiyama. There was a lot of snow while we were on the train. It was a really pretty sight. But kind of made our Kyoto escapade difficult. From the train station, we had to walk to the Bamboo Grove. On the way, we passed by Tenryuji Temple so we decided to go in. But only to the area where it’s free. LOL. We took photos for a while then continued our walk.
Then off to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Aww, I think it’s better to come here when it’s not raining or snowing. It’s hard to take a good photo when you’re holding an umbrella. Also, I really don’t appreciate that there was a taxi passing by. UGH. Those spoiled brat passengers! >_< So I seriously need to go back to Kyoto during spring and take a photo here!
After our stint at the bamboo grove, we walked back to the station and went to Sanjo Ohashi Bridge where Starbucks is! We had coffee and admired the view from the bridge. It’s too bad they didn’t have the outdoor terrace set up. I think this is only done during spring or summer. I think it’s too cold to be sipping coffee outside.
Our last stop was Fushimi Inari Shrine. I think it’s almost 5pm when we got there and by the time we got to the series of orange torii gates, it was already quite dark. Again, must go back here during spring and if possible, during day time. LOL. I seriously need a do over of the Kyoto leg!
We then went back to Kyoto Station to get our luggage from the coin locker and find the bus terminal where we’ll take our bus to Takayama at 6:55pm. We were kind of in a hurry cause we still needed to figure out where it is. Lucky for us, we got there at around 6:30pm and still had time to buy bento for dinner.
I think I was able to take a nap for a little bit but was totally awake when we were about an hour away from Takayama, because there was a boulder of snow everywhere. It was amazing. We got to Takayama Nouhi Bus Station on time and walked to J-Hoppers. It was seriously difficult dragging our bags along the snowy road! It was a good 15-minute walk from the bus station. Thankfully, another passenger from the same bus helped us find our way.
I really thought we were going to self-check-in cause that was the instruction in the email correspondence I had with the guys from J-Hoppers, but luckily there were some people still awake and a staff was also there to help us check-in. I just placed the stuff I need for tomorrow on my bed and left my luggage on the bottom bunk. I washed up and went to bed. It has been a long day.