Aug 4, 2013

Hello From Kyoto

Finally a new post of my Japan trip. Sorry it took ages for me to finish this post, its been in the draft folder for more than 3 weeks. Stories from Kyoto are just a click away!

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I wasn’t really familiar with Kyoto so when R told me that we were going to Kyoto, I wasn’t that excited. I heard people say that Kyoto is a beautiful city for it’s old Japanese architecture and culture, but somehow I thought that would be a bit boring. Because for me, Japan is all about Tokyo. So instead of having 3 days in Kyoto, we decided to spend only 2 days 1 night.

With Keiko, the front desk at J-Hoppers Osaka

We left J-Hoppers Osaka at about 9 am and went straight to Yoshinoya in Fukushima Station. We were so hungry and yet need some power to drag the luggage up and down the stations. I recommend you to travel with spinner luggage because they are much easier to walk with in distance. From Fukushima station, we took JR to Osaka station. There, we switched lines and took JR Shinkaisoku (special rapid train) to Kyoto station (540 yen – 29 minutes). There are some alternatives to reach Kyoto from Osaka, by Shinkansen or JR Tokaido main line. I didn’t take Shinkansen because it is very expensive hahaha. I took the special rapid train because it is simply faster than JR Tokaido main line. I enjoyed the trip from Osaka to Kyoto a lot because the view is beautiful, I suggest you to sit on the window side! The train was a bit packed so I didn't took any picture, too bad :(

Arrived at Kyoto station, I was fully in awe because the station is so huge and really cool! Even though it is so big, but finding the directions of where to take a bus or where to change the JR lines is very easy. Went to the central exit and looked for the place to buy the Kyoto Bus Pass. R found the place and bought us the bus pass (each 500 yen), it is on your right after you get out of the station from the central exit. You can use the bus pass for a whole day bus trip in Kyoto. Basically a single bus trip in Kyoto is 220 yen (flat rate). So having the bus pass is giving you a lot of benefits, cheap and easy. We were going to the hostel, which located not really far from the station. I love how every thing is very well organized in a busy station like that. People are queuing to get into the bus, the driver is waiting patiently for the passengers to get into the bus, no fuss. If you are using the Kyoto bus pass, give the card to the driver or insert it to the bus pass machine right before you hop off the bus. Your card will have a date print and the next time you take a bus (during the same day) you only need to show your card to the driver. Again, when taking a bus in Kyoto, no need to be in rush. The drivers are so kind that they wait everyone to get off the bus patiently and even say “arigatou” to each passengers.

 The stop button in the bus

We went to the hostel (Haruya Aqua) to drop our luggage. The hostel check in time in Japan are quite late, around 2 – 4 pm. But you can ask them to keep your luggage and use the bathroom for some refreshments. Haruya Aqua is a tiny hostel with good ambiance, very traditional & classic. I was a bit surprised with the small space it has, the service is really nice. The front desk, Mr. Kobayashi is very helpful and his English is really well. He will tell you the best things around Kyoto before you even ask. Nothing can beat the tips from locals.

Welcome to Kyoto!

First destination is Kinkakuji Temple. It was a hot and sunny day so Kinkakuji Temple looked so beautiful with it's gold color. The admission fee is 400 yen (Rp 40,000). On the day we visited the temple, it was a bit crowded with local students. Wondering why local students are always there when we visited the tourist attractions, lol.

Kinkakuji Temple entrance gate

In front of the gold temple

The sky in Kyoto is sooooo beautiful, clear blue all day long!

While strolling around Kinkakuji Temple, we found a small tea garden where you can have matcha tea and sweets (500 yen). The place looks nice so we decided to have a sip and a bite.

Original matcha, oishiiiii!

Japan and it's pretty packagings..

Passed a cute souvenir shop near the front gate

It was so hot just like any other hot days in Jakarta

We were so hungry so we looked for lunch around the temple. We were thinking to have lunch at Kyoto station or somewhere near the hostel. But when we reached the bus stop we saw a little restaurant right behind it. There was no one in the restaurant, but the restaurant seemed inviting us to have a lunch there. There is not much in the menu and the price is actually a bit expensive, but I really enjoyed my time in that little restaurant owned by an old couple. The restaurant is full of memories, I can feel that. The owner puts everything on the display, which makes the restaurant so unique. I couldn't stop taking pictures. 

We ordered a curry rice, the owner's wife cooked it for us. The curry rice looked very home made and tasted so delicious. The rice itself was so delicious, the best one I've ever tasted! While enjoying our delicious curry rice, the owner was discussing something with his wife and smiled to us for a couple of times. Just before I finished my meal, the owner's wife gave us a cup of fresh strawberry and corn flakes, dipped in white milk, as a compliment, for free! Aren't they so kind? :)

If you go to Kinkakuji Temple, I recommend you to have lunch at this restaurant. Too bad I forgot what the restaurant name is. But it is very easy to find, it is right behind the bus stop - beside a small shop who sells frozen cucumbers. 

 The restaurant owner and his wife

I think I gotta stop this post over here, unless it will be too heavy with pictures. 
I'll continue my Kyoto day 1 stories very soon! Hint: Arashiyama and Sagano scenic train :D


  1. yeay yeay for another post of japan trip! \:D/

  2. Haha you're just like me, unexcited about Kyoto but got caught up in the city soon enough. But again, Tokyo is the best! (or probably Osaka, from the looks of your photos) heheh


    1. Turned out I fell in love with Kyoto more than I expected hahaha 2 days are not enough!

  3. Your photos are amazing. They made me miss my home country! I love visiting Kyoto. I'm glad you had a great time! Nice photo with Yojiya sign. :)

    1. Hi Kaho, your home land is sooo pretty I fell in love with them so deeply. I really wanna go back, hopefully next time when the sakura blooms!


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