Friday 5th April
The next day in Kyoto started off a bit early. It was a bit hot, and I couldn’t seem to open the window.
I went downstairs a bit late thinking I could find the breakfast bar, but no-one was queuing and nobody was outside the rooms. It wasn’t obvious if the breakfast place was opened or not, so I decided to get something from the convenience store…
Time to go out!
From the fear of having to walk in the dark again, I decided to purchase another travelling card. An ICOCA card. This is similar to the Suica and Pasmo cards used across Japan, however the ICOCA card is used specifically on local trains across the South West of Japan, i.e. Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima. The card is so much cuter! Look at that penguin! From the fear of having to ask someone or if no one was about, I watched a video on YouTube to see how I can purchase one of these cards before I even arrived in Japan. Reason is because I purchased my Pasmo card at the airport! Think I will have to get a Suica next time. ¬_¬””
My main stop was Shijo Station.
And then I got off at Kyoto Station, which is just only 2 stops away… so that’s one good reason why I bought an ICOCA card.
So I arrived at Kyoto Station quite early, and I had a tour in the afternoon, so I needed to find something to do. I sat quietly by the station looking up at things to do around the station area… and the best thing to go to nearby was the Shosei-en Garden. I kind of got lost at the start trying to find the place – Google maps was kind of making me lost… although I was almost going the right direction.
I had to walk back towards the station. There’s actually a road right next to the station (it’s like a passage way under a bridge), and then you have to walk a very windy path where you can see the train tracks.
You’ll see Kyoto Tower on your way to the garden.
Cross the road from the main street and now into a quiet back street. Not many tourists here thankfully!
And now into Shosei-en Garden. There’s a ¥500 entrance fee for adults. Not sure what the other fares are. Shosei-en Garden is a temple garden from the mid-1600’s… and the main reason I went, of course, was to see the cherry blossoms. ^_^
Happy I came early without mega loads of tourists taking pictures. Ideal place to go to in the Spring season!
Address: Japan, 600-8190 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward
Back to Kyoto Station… Next stop was Avanti – a shopping centre. I had a look around for some souvenirs and other things in case I won’t be coming back.
Went all the way down to the basement, and had a look around, and found this ramen store called Kogane-ya. 😋😋😋
So I had trouble with the machine a little bit, I think I had to re-order because it didn’t mention Start Payment or something like… and I got confused! So one orange juice, samurai ramen and extra chashu slices. And that came to ¥1380 (~£9.52). Still cheap.
That was amazingly yummy! If I had a bigger stomach, I was bound to finish this to the last drop. This place was a nice find!
Address: 31 Higashikujo Nishisannocho, Minami Ward, Kyoto, 601-8003, Japan
Now onto the tour! Sunshine Tours in Kyoto is based in the basement outside the Avanti Store. You can’t miss it really. I was booked for the temples and I believed a palace tour… However when I got onto the bus, we were actually going to one of the shrines I had already went to – Fushimi Inari! Great! LOL. Nevermind. Disappointed already.
Next stop, another famous shrine in Kyoto… The Sanjusangen-do Temple. When you enter the main temple, you must take off or put on your shoes in the carpeted area by the entrance. It is a bit bothersome for some, but I think mindlessly paid attention. You cannot take pictures of the 1001 statues inside – just looking at them is breathtaking… 🤓
But here’s pictures of the outside.
Swiftly moving onto the last famous temple which is under maintenance at the time I went, is the Kiyomizu-dera. It is mega busy in the shopping street, so walking to the temple in the afternoon is a no-no. It’s basically crazy. I would not suggest to go there during any peak season.
The tour guide left us to do our own thing for about 45 minutes before having to return back to the station.
I descended back down early. I didn’t want to get lost trying to find the car park we were meant to go back to.
Spotted some cool figurines in the window of a shop.
Here’s the famous statues in miniature size that can be found in Sanjusangen-do Temple.
And I thought… why not… a miniature Coca-Cola to drink. A waste of plastic, but I needed a drink!
Tour was over, I said goodbye to some of the people on the tour, some Americans, some Australians and other people from around the world… It wasn’t the best tour compared to the Mount Fuji one. Some improvements can be made.
Time to head back to the hotel… But before heading back to my room, it was time for dinner!! 😊
In times of need, you should always consult Google and ask “ramen near me”. And it will select and find whatever stores were near me… I opted for this place – Mentaiken. Looks like it’s pretty famous for their ramen.
Looking at this it looked like normal Japanese ramen.
But then when I saw how thick the noodles were and then tasting the soup, it’s actually a Chinese-Japanese ramen! 🙃 I’ve had this before in London, and I think these types of ramen are so-so… These are Chinese ramen adapted to Japanese tastes.
Don’t worry, I did finish it. But wasn’t so fond of the soup. The chashu slices were so thin – stingy almost! Not the best ramen methinks!!
Address: Japan, 600-8498 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Shijohorikawacho
Back to the hotel room… And before I end this post, I bought a small tin of Egg Sandwich flavoured Pringles. Surprisingly had an eggy-salty sandwich taste to it. I guess the Japanese just love egg sandwiches. Don’t blame them. 😉
End of Day 7.