Konnichiwa Japan - OSaka/Kyoto
This was a self-planned trip so I'm gonna proudly say that I was the 'planner' for this entire journey...haha! Took me quite a lot of time working on the entire detailed itinerary but I enjoy doing this kinda crap so I'm happy with my accomplishment...lol! Aight, enough of self-praise (=no praise)...enjoy the photos! =)
21 March 2012 (Wed): Pg - KL - Osaka - Kyoto
Took an overnight flight that we booked on Airasia few months back to Osaka. Honestly, the flight wasn't very comfortable and I didn't get much sleep on board. For long-haul AA flight, I'll try to avoid night flights the next time. Our flight arrived Kansai Airport slightly ahead of schedule and we managed to beat the crowd and get out of the airport fairly quickly using our 'kiasu' skill...lol!
First things first, we went to the airport travel desk to purchase our 2-day Kansai Thru Pass that allowed us to travel on any non-JR trains and buses around Kansai area (including Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, etc). Transportation is expensive in Japan so this pass was quite worth it for us as our hotel was in Osaka and we planned to travel to Kyoto for 2 days.
Traveling around in Japan is very convenient but it could be quite difficult for people who can't read Japanese. I did a whole lot of homework especially for the best way to travel around and thanks to hyperdia.com, I was able to work out exactly which train, station, time and duration for every place that we wanted to go...kinda insane but it worked out perfect coz we didn't get lost at all!!
Stopped by a shop at the metro station for some gyoza for breakfast...it's great to have something hot to eat when the weather is so chilly!!
Arrived Shin Osaka Sunny Stone hotel...our 2-nights base in Osaka/Kyoto. Hotels in Japan are really small...just enough space to walk to the bed but they are all very clean though.
Time to head out for some sightseeing after dropping off our luggages at the hotel. Trains make it so convenient to travel anywhere around Japan. My 'homework' comes in handy in to navigate around the complicated routes. =)
Guess what we had for our first meal in Kyoto??
As if navigating the train route is not challenging enough...we challenged the bus routes...lol!! :p No choice coz Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) was kinda out of the way and the best way to get there was by bus.
Successfully made our way to Kinkakuji! It was actually not that complicated la...I was just exaggerating. :p
Honestly, I'm not a big fan of temples but this temple is one of the famous tourist attractions in Kyoto so I decided to go there to get some nice photos..haha! :p
Of course we all gotta get into the photos...lol!!
Took the train again to go to Arashiyama...we traveled on all sorts of different train lines. One thing we noticed was that Japanese are very quiet in trains and it's actually rude to talk on the phone in the trains.
Arashiyama district is known for its scenery...but the main reason we came was for the bamboo forest.
Tenryuji Temple...we only took photos from the outside.
Lucky us...we saw some 'real' Geisha along the streets! =)
After several detours, we finally arrived at the bamboo forest!! It's so pretty!!
I know self praise = no praise but I love this pic of bro that I took...very artistic huh!! :p
Wanted to take some jumpshots with the cool bamboo backdrop behind by bro can never take a good jumpshot of me...I tried almost 20 attempts till my muscle was aching and he still haven't got a perfect one. =.= WeyShin is still the best camera girl...haha!!
The bamboo forest is really pretty...we don't see this in Malaysia so pardon me if I'm a bit 'sam pat'...lol!!
We arrived about a week before the cherry blossom season starts so we were excited just to see some trees blossoming. :p
Sunset along Togetsukyo Bridge with the Oi River & Arashiyama mountains in the background.
Dinner somewhere around Namba station...more Udon and Soba...woohoo!!
22 March 2012 (Thurs): Kyoto
Traveled by train from Osaka to Kyoto again the next morning for our second day of sightseeing in Kyoto.
Our first attraction for the day - Fushimi Inari Shrine...you'll find out why I wanted to visit this place later. :p
Everything around this Shrine is orange...very striking.
There were lotsa students on school trips visiting the temples...good way to educate them to appreciate their own culture. =)
Yup...this was what attracted me to come visit this shrine...haha! If we had more time, I would spend a whole lot of time posing around here...lol!!
Us being crazy fooling around again. :p
Initially I didn't plan to go into Nijo castle but bro wanted to hear 'the floor that makes the bird-chirping sound' so we bought tickets to go in.
We weren't allowed to take pics in the castle but well at least we got to see some sakuras.
Nishiki Food Market
Udons for lunch again...me likey...haha!
Next stop...Kiyomizu Dera...another temple on a hill. Had to hike some to reach the temple but there were lotsa shops along the way to distract us. :p
The temple and its surrounding.
Ninenzaka & Sannenzaka slopes...love the feel of walking along this slope.
Gion Geisha district...a trip to Kyoto would not be complete without visiting the Gion district. This area is famous for geisha but it depends on luck to actually see Geishas along the street. We saw a geisha but she was walking so quickly that I didn't manage to get a pic of her.