Morocco – Day 1: Entering Rabat

So last month I ended a 3-month job as a freelancer in the private sector of doing something similar to my old job – I was given too much freedom, and I enjoyed it. Will still be freelancing (currently working two jobs at the moment – old and partly my new job), but I’ve also applied for a job that’s one day a week – a management role involving some old managers and teams of mine in the public sector. We’ll see how things will go… Scared and grateful of all these opportunities I’ve been given at the moment. ^_^ I just need something secure!!! Life is not so simple for now… 😅

As the 3-month verbally agreed contract ended, it was my time to go on holiday! Another one? Yeah!!

Saturday 27th July 2019

I was invited by the Travels Family a long time ago – I think it was when I was in China at the time, to go to a wedding of a very close family friend of Mr Travels’ parents in Morocco… I’ve always wanted to go to Morocco, so I decided to go in the end! Just for the experience.  😉

Travelling around the world seems like second nature to me, but this time I really had to travel like a cheap skate, so I took a National Express coach to Stansted Airport from Waterloo – an hour and a half on the coach for £5!! That’s a mega deal!! Hint: The coaches are quite regular, and they have a tight schedule to keep to, so make sure you either have cash on you in case the driver’s card machine doesn’t work.

I went via the fast-track route, not sure why I paid for this but it was better than waiting in the queue… I had a couple of hours to kill, so I looked around and also had a late lunch. The waffle fries here were good, but the chicken burger needs improvement… Not sure if this “secret sauce” of mayo and thousand islands suited the burger well enough. Disappointed.DSC_3281.JPG

Once in the air, it felt like I was back home in the skies… I sat next to a family and their youngest daughter screamed too much. I tried not to get so angry, so I giggled to myself at all the bad experiences I’ve had. I started reading “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang (I haven’t finished it yet) and listened to a lot of music.DSC_3283DSC_3290DSC_3293

Once I arrived in Rabat Airport, passport control was right in front. You have to fill in one of those landing cards beforehand… The queue was long, and the wait was more than an hour! People behind me were so inconsiderate that they kept bumping into my backpack. I hate people who bump into me for no reason. I am obviously in front of you, stop pushing me!!

The officers worked diligently, as they have to check your purpose for entering the country. It’s a Muslim country, so they suspect everyone who enters. I get it… but hire more staff. It was my first time in Morocco, and I kind of felt disappointed already… 😫Mrs Travels text me for a bit, and she couldn’t even understand why I wasn’t in the taxi yet.

An old taxi driver was waiting for me, and I had to explain in easy English that the queue was sooooo long. I felt sorry for him, but at least he tried to guide me in broken English and some easy French some of the sites in Rabat. The hotel said it was 200Dh for the taxi, but the driver asked for 250Dh because of the wait… a bit sneaky, but at least he waited. Really grateful.DSC_3296

Once at the hotel, I went to my room (and I couldn’t find the air con remote), rested a bit beforehand… and tried to figure out how to use this free sim card from Maroc Telecom which you can get at the airport. The staff take a copy of your passport picture before you use it. Unfortunately I realised the phones that I brought along were both locked to EE, so I couldn’t use the sim card. Make sure you always bring an unlocked phone.DSC_3301

After the ordeal at the hotel, I really needed food. They serve Spanish food at the hotel, and they recommended the fish… I don’t like bony fish that much, but I had it in the end. This cost me 200Dh (~£18). The bread was a bit too much. The veggies was nice. The fish was ok, just too bony.DSC_3302DSC_3303DSC_3304DSC_3305

It was time to get some rest, and plan what to do the next day.

End of Day 1.

 

Lost in Japan, Memoirs of a Geek: Day 14 – Homebound

Friday 12th April 2019

And finally it was time to say goodbye to Osaka and Japan! It was so nice being back after five years!

As soon as I checked out, I took the cab that was booked via Bamba Experience. I was ready to go!! The ride took forever… It took so long to get to the airport.

After check in, I bought some snacks – like Kit Kat for blogging later! (Still haven’t had them yet).DSC_0325

I also bought my breakfast… I didn’t bother to eat at the hotel in case I missed my cab and flight.
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10 hours on the plane from Japan to Helsinki… The flight was ok, I sat to a couple of Italians. The flight was fully booked unfortunately.

It was my first time in Finland… Luckily didn’t have to pick up my luggage in between flights!!DSC_0327

Finally left Finland to get to London… Thankfully I had two seats to myself. Yay!!! No one sat next to me.DSC_0328

This was a perfect journey going home by myself… I even took a black cab since I didn’t spend much in Japan.

Afterthoughts: I came back with a lot of money leftover. I took around ¥20,000 which is approximately £1,500 as spending money. But I had only spent around £800 – for food, drinks, tickets, shopping… As a lone traveler, you have to think of spending less. Plus I was practically jobless at the time I was travelling. The rest of the money was exchanged, and used for my rent. How clever is this Geek? Very clever!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this journey. Next journey coming up soon!!

Hearton Hotel Nishiumeda – Osaka, Japan

The Hearton Hotel Nishiumeda is practically right next door to Osaka Station. There are a lot of eateries inside and outside the station area for you to try out…DSC_0300

The room is quite small compared to the other rooms I had stayed in, but it is decent.
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Bathroom is nice and clean!DSC_0025

But I was faced right next to the train lines… Fortunately I could sleep… The main noise was from the people next door to me. They were all loud, coughing and other things. Hmmm.DSC_0028DSC_0029

A nice hotel. Loved the breakfast buffet. Easy to get to.

Address: 3 Chome-3-55 Umeda, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0001, Japan

Lost in Japan, Memoirs of a Geek: Day 13 – Osaka Last Round

Thursday 11th April 2019

My last full day in Japan! Had to make it a memorable last full day. So I made sure I ate a lot for breakfast, and made sure I left my card at the table so I could get my extra coffee… The day before, the restaurant staff just took my coffee away when I was getting more food.

Then out I go. Out to the shopping district of Osaka. Tenjinbashisuji. As you come out of the Temma Station. You go to one side, then back to the middle… then you walk the other side, then back to the middle… OMG… that was so long! Luckily I had lots for breakfast. There’s a lot of shops, most don’t open until after 10am. So just walk back and forth.

After shopping, it was time to eat… I haven’t had much sushi on this trip, so I decided to go to this store outside Temma Station.

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It’s just like Yo! Sushi… but much more fancier, and much more tastier…DSC_0234

I had 10 plates and free DIY green tea… the expensive dish was the one on the black plate – OMG, raw prawns are AMAZING!!! I could eat these all over again… Cost less than ¥3000.DSC_0245

Address: 回乾寿司 マリンポリス, Temma Station.

KFC was next door… I had to take a picture of Mr KFC.

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As I was leaving, I had to take pictures of these…
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On the Osaka Loop Line, there is a station called Sakuranomiya. Can’t find much history of this spot but I guess it was a man-made area dedicated for sakura, cherry blossom viewing for the locals and the tourists. It stretches for a few kilometres… I could have walked a bit more, but I was in need for a toilet… drank too much tea and coffee!

If you’re in Osaka between March and April, I recommend you go to this spot!!

One food item I bought at the market was a box of gigantic dango. I actually wanted one skewer, but got a box instead. Hahahaha!! Too embarrassed to refuse, I just decided to buy it and eat it at the hotel. The sauce is like sweet hoisin sauce… The dango was like tough mochi. I’m actually craving for these!DSC_0301DSC_0303

I took a really long nap at this point – I was really tired.

Then I suddenly woke up, and went for my final dinner in Japan… I went out looking for omurice. Thankfully there’s a stall near the station that makes omurice.DSC_0310DSC_0309

You may think there’s a lot of tomato sauce, but it was just right. It didn’t taste like ketchup, it tasted like Italian pasta sauce.DSC_0306DSC_0307

I had chicken omurice… and it was amazing with that sauce! Where can I get that sauce!!??DSC_0308

Also had some fried chicken… why not?DSC_0305

Address: Japan, 530-0001 Osaka, Kita Ward, Umeda, 3 Chome−1−1 3

As I finished eating, I decided to walk around the shopping areas… Mr Games wanted pictures of fake food… so here’s a pic of fake sushi.DSC_0311

Couldn’t find a dessert shop in Osaka Station, so I bought some desserts from 7Eleven – cheap and cheerful, but too much plastic wasted. Sorry to the environmentalists!DSC_0312DSC_0314DSC_0316DSC_0313DSC_0317DSC_0315

It was a long night… Shouldn’t have had that nap… And next door I could hear a couple having a romp. 🤣🤣🤣 They weren’t ashamed of people hearing them I guess…

Goodnight Osaka!
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Very hard to get to sleep… But at least I slept in the end…

End of Day 13.

Lost in Japan, Memoirs of a Geek: Day 11 – Hiroshima to Osaka

 Tuesday 9th April 2019

Last morning in Hiroshima, and onto my next and last destination in Japan. I was already in Japan for over a week, and it felt like I was in Japan for months already. LOL. Becoming accustomed to Japanese life even though I didn’t speak much.

Had my breakfast in the hotel like the day before… Then went to my room to finish packing and to finish the big bottle of cold coffee I bought the day before. Hah!DSC_0010

Checked out, then took the short route to Hiroshima Station!! I wished Google Maps had shown me this route before. It was a much easier route than walking through all those back passages… but if I didn’t, I think I would have missed a lot on the way to the hotel.DSC_0012

This time I was able to reserve a seat going to Shin-Osaka. DSC_0013

My train wasn’t available for a while, so I walked from one end of the station to the next…

Was still waiting for my 11.54am train! Long wait! But if I didn’t arrive early, I would have missed the opportunity to reserve my seat.

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In Hiroshima, you have t be careful where the carriage signs are… so it depends on which train you take is where the carriages will stop.DSC_0017

There were actually many seats available in the reserved carriage… so they could have given me a three seater… nevermind! This was the last time I was going to use the Shinkansen… At first I liked it, but after using it for the third time now, I felt a bit sick of it. LOL… My lunch on the train consisted of a beef and horseradish sandwich and a Thunder chocolate biscuit. 😊DSC_0018

And hello again to the Hello Kitty Shinkansen! I was destined to see this again!! Amazing opportunity… Thank you Hiroshima for putting me on this train!!

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After getting off at Shin-Osaka, I had to get another local train to Osaka. There is a difference with the two stations…. just be aware of that! Then when I got to Osaka, I got lost again when using Google Maps… it took me a while to get to the hotel – and I was so desperate for the toilet…. DSC_0021DSC_0022

Arrived at the hotel, in the middle of checking in, I had to desperately go to the loo… The check in time was too slow…

Then I got my room card for the 10th Floor… I got the train track view. I was wondering whether I would be able to sleep there for 3 nights.DSC_0026

After settling in, it was again time to go and explore the city… Got on a local train and then got off at Dotombori.

It was mid-afternoon, so I had a lot of time to explore…

This area is filled with shops…

When I had arrived in Japan, they had announced the new era of Japan, the Reiwa Era (令和), so I had already seen a weeks worth of these signs in Japan…

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Lots of shopping arcades in Osaka!! But what I wanted to see is Glico Man…

In the midst of waiting for nightfall to come, I went to eat in Lotteria which is right next door to Glico Man. I bought the Kobe Beef Burger meal. The beef melts in your mouth… It’s really smooth. Think this was a limited edition burger because I can’t find it on their website.  The fries were too salty… and I think I liked their fried chicken! DSC_0059DSC_0060DSC_0061DSC_0062

Address: Japan, 542-0071 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Dotonbori, 1 Chome−10−1

Website: https://www.lotteria.jp/

As I sat eating my meal… there were a couple of models doing a fashion shoot of the suits they were wearing… Not sure which brand they were posing for.

After eating, it was back to see Glico man again… He wasn’t ready to be lit up.

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So back into the shopping areas for an hour or so… Reminded me of Piccadily at night.

Finally nightfall came, but Glico Man didn’t light up… I was so disappointed… Hmmm… Another time in the future, I hope…DSC_0080

Time to eat a small dinner… 7Eleven food!DSC_0085

End of Day 11.

Court Hotel – Hiroshima, Japan

In Hiroshima, I stayed in Court Hotel. It’s not a far walk from the station – about a 15 minute walk if you come out from the right side of the station (I think it’s the north side you need to get out from… or was it the south?) LOL.

It’s very close to the river, but very far to the tourist sites. Just make sure you know all the public transport routes beforehand… I had no clue, so I was checking Google Maps everyday.
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The room is very neat and tidy but very old fashioned. You might spot some dusty parts in the bathroom… It felt like a hotel room from the 80’s and 90’s. Modern but old at the same time. Bed is extremely comfortable… I slept quite well.DSC_2725

Bathroom looks a bit old, but at least it’s clean.DSC_2726

A nice stay at this hotel!

Address: 7-8 Kanayamacho, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, 730-0022, Japan

Website: https://www.courthotels.co.jp/en/hiroshima/

Lost in Japan, Memoirs of a Geek: Day 10 – Miyajima and Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki

Oh dear, we have a Joker as our Prime Minister… Farewell, he says to Camberwell. MummyGeek seems to like him – because he jokes a lot (in an attempt to be serious at the same time)… And then I thought, the Joker PM sounds like Mr Stingy when he becomes too excited about a topic. [MY SERIOUS FACE IS ON  😠 ].

Monday 8th April 2019

Late-ish start to the morning. I slept quite well, and didn’t want to get up so early to be honest. Went down to breakfast, and the staff lady was behind the back cleaning… She probably thought I was Japanese… There wasn’t much that I liked, or some of the foods look as if they were there for a tiny while… But the coffee was great, too bad it was in a small cup.DSC_2817

After breakfast, I handed my room key in to get it cleaned and to get my breakfast ticket for the next day, I took a bus, walked a bit and then rushed for the boat to my next tourist destination, Miyajima. The people selling the tickets got me confused when I was buying my tickets because I didn’t know what time I was going to return… so in the end I did buy an open return ticket for ¥3600. This route is great if you don’t want to take the overcrowded JR Ferry.

Website: https://www.aqua-net-h.co.jp/en/heritage/route.html

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Arrived in Miyajima after an hour on the boat… You’re allowed to be on the upper deck for a few moments to take pictures, but you need to go back to your seat as soon as they arrive to the shores.

Best thing about being to the tourist sites early is seeing the sites without too many people around… I think even the deer were happy to see humans about to feed them…

 

First thing when arriving to Miyajima is to walk to the famous floating tori gate. This is one of the tourist sites I have always wanted to go to!!!! I have been dreaming of going there for a long time. 😍😍😍

 

I walked around the island after being awed by a tori gate in the ocean… The old town was spectacular with all the cherry blossoms in bloom.

 

I ended up going through the route to the Aquarium as there wasn’t a lot of people about. I felt a little lonesome in the town…

 

And then I saw THIS lovely staircase… it looks like a familiar scene in an animé or manga… or maybe not… just looked so pretty from where I was standing. I even bowed at the shrine at the bottom of the staircase to pay my respects.

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More walking and then back around I go.

 

Now I started returning back to the ferry… almost spent two or three hours at the island… it’s not fun when there’s no-one with you to look around.

Then I saw this and took a picture of this funny ad. “Deer Love Beer!?”… LOL!!!

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I saw a stand earlier selling curry bread with oysters inside. So I bought two, they were quite cheap… I ate them whilst looking out at the sea. Food moment!!  😋😋😋 They were amazing!

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And then back to Central Hiroshima I go… Back on the boat… This time it wasn’t crowded. It’s always best to go back before everyone else decides to do the same thing. LOL!

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Now back in Hiroshima, I decided to go and take a small walk along the riverside to ease away my bumpy ride back.
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I went around the shopping district… I could have bought a lot of things, but I decided to keep my money in my purse… I love Dragon Ball, so I had to take a picture of Goku. DSC_2970

Back to the hotel I go…DSC_2972

I think I went around another back street around the hotel area, I saw a convenience store, so I bought wasabi crisps, sushi and black coffee before dinner… I think I started watching Korean shows on my phone for the rest of the afternoon. 😅DSC_2974

And local dinner… Okonomiyaki Hiroshima style… This place is directly across the street from the hotel. Don’t think they are open on Sundays.DSC_0009DSC_0001DSC_0002DSC_0003DSC_0004

The Hiroshima style is totally different. The food is layered rather than mixed like the Tokyo style. Pretty good stuff. DSC_0005DSC_0006~01DSC_0007DSC_0008

In the end, the cook gave me the bill price… Think he thought I was Japanese too. My brain was kind of scattered, and I had forgotten all my Japanese numbers at that point. Hahaha…. I think it was around ¥1500 … around there more or less. Think the owner and residents realised I was a tourist. Hahahahah. At least they tried to talk to me in English. Kekekeke.

Address: Smile Okonomiyaki, 2-10 Kanayamacho, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, 730-0022, Japan

Spent the rest of the evening watching Korean stuff… and making sure I went to bed early for the next destination!

End of Day 10.

Lost in Japan, Memoirs of a Geek: Day 9 – Kyoto to Hiroshima

Sunday 7th April 2019

Got up early. Time to go to my next destination – Hiroshima. Wish I could have stayed in Kyoto for a tiny bit longer, but I think that might have to be another time in the future.

When I got to Kyoto Station, I couldn’t book a seat to Hiroshima – I think it was because it was a Sunday, and there were too many people coming and going. So I had to wait a long time to go from Kyoto to Shin Osaka… I don’t understand how Japanese people read their train times, so I relied on Google Maps a lot! Spotted a Ninja train in the meantime…DSC_2710

When I got to Shin-Osaka, I was going to get the next Sakura train to Hiroshima – but wasn’t sure if this Hello Kitty Shinkansen was going there – I decided not to get it just in case it didn’t go to Hiroshima. Think I was quite lucky to see it up close and personal… 😁
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Because I couldn’t reserve a seat, and I also missed breakfast, I decided to buy my brunch sandwich. Tonkatsu sandwich. Decided to eat it at the station there and then so that I didn’t have to eat it on the train. People were kind of staring… But I think they realised what I was doing. Hahahaha.

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Got on the next available Sakura train with my JR Pass in the non-reserved carriage. Quickly found a seat. Luckily it was empty because in all the next stops it was so busy, and a lot of people had to stand.DSC_2715

Arrived in Hiroshima… and I tried to follow Google Maps to the hotel… But it showed me a very odd way. Maybe because I was at the wrong end of the station… I followed the odd route anyway.DSC_2717

Google Maps showed me a very long windy way to get to the hotel… But it was worth the scenic river view… And I loved how the locals were having their spring get-togethers, singing, and having BBQ’s on this day. Hiroshima already felt like a more relaxed town compared to Kyoto and Tokyo. I think if I ever move to Japan, I would live in Hiroshima. Peaceful town!

 

After check in I went back out to find food… The back streets were really quiet, I guess the people in Hiroshima like to be quiet people during the day. Or maybe Sunday is just a day to rest for most.

 

Using Google again (it became my best friend on this entire trip) I found this ramen bar which is about a 20 minute walk from the hotel called Ramen Sen no Kaze ラメん千の風 literally meaning “ramen thousand winds”.

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It’s a small decent ramen bar. There were already a few customers who had finished and were leaving… so I was practically by myself. A lot of Japanese people and tourists were queuing up for bubble tea and other foods around the area… DSC_2736

Kirin beer with a small glass (I guess the owner wants people to take their time drinking) with a bowl of salad.DSC_2737DSC_2738DSC_2739

Added some gyoza onto my order…DSC_2742

Then my bowl of ramen came out with some extra chashu… Wow!! The chashu were extra thick. The soup was really creamy and a little spicy at the same time. I couldn’t leave the place without drinking the whole bowl of soup… It’s a must!DSC_2741DSC_2744DSC_2745

Think I spent around ¥1600 (~£11.03). Mega cheap!!

Address: 4-18 Tatemachi, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, 730-0032, Japan

After the ramen I went for a long walk around Hiroshima. Got to see the Atomic Bomb Building. Wow. Couldn’t believe I got to see this!

 

More walking… I was actually really tired, but I only had two days to explore the city.

 

Then I had a look at surroundings of Hiroshima Castle.

 

I looked at the castle and contemplated whether to walk up 5 floors in Hiroshima Castle. My feet were tired. After more than a week in Japan, I was already weakened with the amount of hills and long distance walking. If I knew the areas a bit more, I think I would be able to take public transport more easily. 

So I bought a ticket and went in the castle… 🙃 All the way to the top!

Then all the way back down.

I walked all the way back to the hotel… it was a long walk!!

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Still full from the ramen… I went to the nearest convenience store. Bought sandwiches and a pudding for dinner. The strawberries and cream didn’t have many strawberries in the sandwich…

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End of Day 9.

Ark Hotel – Kyoto, Japan

Ark Hotel is situated in Nakagyo Ward in Kyoto. It’s not far from Kyoto Station, but you have to change from Karasuma Station and then change for the Hankyu-Kyoto Line. Get off at Omiya Station. Just make sure not to get the fast train, as it will take you all the way to Osaka!DSC_2260

The room is nice and clean. It looked a bit old fashioned compared to the hotel in Hakone and Tokyo. The window has double handles… I couldn’t open the window because I didn’t see the other handle!DSC_2263DSC_2264

Thankfully the bathroom has a laundry line! I wish all hotels had this. It’s easy to wash and dry your clothes.DSC_2265

Staff are friendly. And they will make an effort to speak a bit of English… But I think if you throw in a bit of Japanese words to indicate that you understand, I think it will help. Just say “wakarimasu わかります”  I understand or “wakarimasen わかりません” I don’t understand.

I went for the eco-friendly service, where you get vouchers to get a free drink from their drinks machine on the ground floor. What they do is clean the bins and the bathroom, towels are not changed and beds are not made. This is ok for me!

The view from the window is not bad… but I was facing the main street, so I could local officials making their way around town for their local elections. Oh it was noisy!!DSC_2399DSC_2400DSC_2404DSC_2405

I liked this hotel, it was near a lot of stations, shops and restaurants. Wished I could have stayed a little longer!

The only problem I had was locating the breakfast bar… LOL!

Address: 1 Mibukayogoshocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8811, Japan

Website: https://www.ark-hotel.co.jp/kyoto/

Lost in Japan, Memoirs of a Geek: Day 6 – Odawara to Kyoto

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.DSC_2207DSC_2208

And here is a very steep hill. You can’t see it in this picture, but believe me, don’t take this route!!DSC_2210DSC_2211

And here’s the long path to the Hakone tram.DSC_2212

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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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~~~!

Sunset started…

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. DSC_2393

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!DSC_2394

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!DSC_2395

So that large fried piece is the fried prawns. I was in shock!! It was so tasty. DSC_2396

Look at the hamburger and cheese… amazing!DSC_2397

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.