Haven’t forgotten to blog! Just lost between worlds of work and my geeky life… Freelancing is just a totally different story. Frustrating but bearable – unlike my previous job. ^_^ Still happy even with the frustrations!
This is going to be a mega long post peeps! So brace yourselves!!
Thursday 4th April
Already on Day 6! I had spent 5 days in Japan already, and there was still more to come. ^_^
The day started a little early. I wanted to leave Hakone and get to Kyoto, my next stop, as soon as I could. It would be awfully busy if I didn’t leave early.
First of all, I ate breakfast at the hotel. So grateful that it was reserved already! LOL! ^_^”” … I actually saw the same staff from the night before. Was a bit surprised. Cooked the tofu and added a miso dressing, and there was a lot of small appetizers and a lot of rice for this breakfast. Delicious! おいしい！！
Checkout time! And luckily for some reason, I didn’t have to pay for the dinner I ate the night before. I really don’t know how that happened, but maybe TourRadar paid for it… Might as well. ^_^
After checkout I took an early escape and I went back the way I came in that night. Gosh, in daylight it actually looks ok. There must have been another route, but I was somehow unlucky… This was at the back of the car park.
And here is a very steep hill. You can’t see it in this picture, but believe me, don’t take this route!!
And here’s the long path to the Hakone tram.
On the way to the tram, I took some pictures of the flowers. And in the last picture, I believe it was a sign to the hotel’s car park!! ¬_¬”” Why couldn’t I see this at night…
Some pictures of the tram line.
Make sure to take “ticket” from the machine, as you will need to pay at the station.
Here’s the main stop, I took this train to the next station, and changed again to get to Odawa Station.
The advert below, I noticed they used the French word “poterie” instead of the English word “pottery”. Is it easier for the Japanese to pronounce po-te-rie? Probably.
I reached Odawara Station, reserved my seat to Kyoto on the Shinkansen (always reserve your seats if you can. Non-reserved seats tend to be taken up quite quickly – as I experience this a bit later in the journey.
I had a bit of a wait, so I went around the station a few times… could’ve have walked to the local castle and back, but I was too lazy.
And now it was time to get on the Shinkansen – make sure you queue in the right car section to get to your seat.
Pre-journey, I bought my lunch… the pudding cake was a bit messy to eat. Hopefully no-one was looking.
Got off Kyoto Station, but I had to get onto another train to get to the hotel location!! For some reason it was really busy, I think people were going to the tourist sites… I finally got to Nijo Station, and there were these two old men who couldn’t wait patiently to pass the ticket station. Japanese people in the outskirts are a bit hmmmm (can’t say rude things here). Just be aware that not all Japanese are as well-mannered as some.
After a long walk I finally reached my destination! The hotel I stayed at is near Omiya Station, unfortunately it doesn’t accept the JR pass hence the long walk… Hahahaha.
After check in to the hotel, toilet break and just a very short rest, I went onto my next tourist attraction. There’s actually a tram line right next to the hotel (about a 2 minute walk) that goes all the way to Arashiyama, the bamboo forest. There’s actually loads of bamboo forests out there in the countryside of Japan, but Arashiyama seems to be the one made to attract the tourists. The Keifuku Randan tram doesn’t take the JR Pass so I had to use my Pasmo card.
Arashiyama is a very busy area, so I would advise to not go during the afternoon. Also the women dressed up in kimono are mostly Chinese tourists (I could hear a lot of Cantonese in the background).
Time to head back to the station!!
Trying to find how to get to my next destination where I could use my JR Pass, so using Google Maps, which can be a pain as it will give you so many different directions, I found a station that will take me to the next stop directly… On my way to the station, I saw this bookstore called “London Books”. LOL!!
Reached Saga-Arashiyama Station in time. Think I had a few minutes till the next train. This took me back to Kyoto Station, and then I changed for the Nara Line.
Next tourist spot was Fushimi Inari Taisha. I thought I’ll do the full works as I only had a half day the next day… I actually went up the mountain, however I didn’t get to the top as it was almost sunset…
Some neko’s (cats) on the way back downhill. Kawaiiiiii~~~!
Time to head back after some souvenir shopping… I think I got off at Gion-Shoji Station, and I was going to take another train, but it didn’t take my Pasmo card. I didn’t really want to purchase another travel card, and so I ended up walking in pitch black. That was scary. こわいいですね。。。There were hardly any street lamps, so I used the light on my phone whilst following the map. There were business men walking in groups and some women about, I think I walked as fast as I could… For the first time, I felt unsafe in Japan, but I guess people in Kyoto are used to it.
After nearing the hotel (phew), I knew I had to eat dinner… so in the end I stopped at the local Coco Ichibanya.
Already familiar with the menu (thanks to the new branch in London) but I also took a little longer to decide, I had the hamburger with cheese inside set with additional chicken karaage (fried chicken) and ebi katsu (fried prawns)… Guess which pieces are which!
I actually wanted a large iced coffee, but I think they don’t do large iced coffee… so I think the guy thought I wanted the large set. ^_^”” Nevermind, I was going to eat whatever they gave me anyway. Unlike the London version, they placed everything on the plate – sensible lot!
So that large fried piece is the fried prawns. I was in shock!! It was so tasty.
Look at the hamburger and cheese… amazing!
This came to ¥1565 (~£10.79)… so much cheaper than London!! ^_^
Address: Japan, 〒600-8138 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, 四条下る四条大宮町33
Time to head back to the hotel and have a rest before another long day.
End of Day 6.