Japan 2014 Day 3: Kyoto Day tour (Kiyomizudera, and the streets of Gion), Osaka’s Dotonbori

Kiyomizudera

Kiyomizudera

For our third day, we left the hotel before 7:30. While preparing, I saw this on TV!

ARASHI!!

ARASHI!!

We checked out and left our luggage in their storage area.

Today, we will be travelling to Kyoto and will be spending the night in Osaka.

We took the shinkansen and saw Mt. Fuji again! But this time, the sky was clear and he was very gorgeous.

TIP: If you’re travelling to Kyoto/Osaka via the shinkansen from Tokyo, take the window seat to your right (facing the front of the train). Mt. Fuji will loom over your window even before you actually leave Tokyo, but you will see him in perfection around 40-45 minutes of travel, directly at your right.

Arriving at Kyoto station, we deposited our overnight bags at the coin lockers. TIP: Unless you plan on exploring Kyoto Station, deposit your belongings at the coin lockers nearest the shinkansen. Avoid those at the back side of the station. This will save you more time when trying to catch your train.

We looked for the Kyoto Tourist Information Center located at the 2nd floor, and bought our tickets for the Unlimited Bus Pass. Again, this is for convenience purpose only, but if you will be temple hopping in Kyoto, this is a good buy.

Our first stop in Kyoto is the Kiyomizudera. It was a nice warmer than usual Kyoto morning at 9°C. Autumn still remains in some parts, but majority were already giving signs of the winter coming.

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We’re still lucky to see a few red maple trees and fallen leaves!

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Students praying for good performance in school... I think.

Students praying for good performance in school… I think.

We visited the Jishu Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the god of love and matchmaking. We were both single, and I kind of didn’t actually believe in it. But we did the walking-with-closed-eyes anyway. HAHA.

Jishu Shrine

Okuninushino-Mikoto

Love Stone

Love Stone

The temple was still under construction but the main hall is still untouched so it pretty much didn’t affect our visit.

Kiyomizu's Main Hall

Kiyomizu’s Main Hall

We went for a walk to the Koyasu Pagoda, which is still in the grounds of Kiyomizudera.

Winter is Coming

Winter is Coming

Koyasu Pagoda

Koyasu Pagoda

We also drank from the Otowa Waterfall. The three streams reflect longevity, success at school and a fortunate love life. I drank from all three. Hey, I was going back to school this year so I’m all for success at school!

Sipping from this cup~

Sipping from this cup~

Shameless Selca-dul

Shameless Selca-dul

After Kiyomizudera, we went through Higashiyama District, bought a few souvenirs, followed the Sannenzaka stairs and Ninenzaka Stairs, passed by the Yasaka Shrine, and then got lost in Kyoto.

Sannenzaka Stairs

Sannenzaka Stairs

Ninenzaka Stairs

Ninenzaka Stairs

We were truly lost in Kyoto.

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Lost in Kyoto

Unfortunately, it was already dusk when we finished so we decided to take the bus and go back to Kyoto Station.

Kyoto Tower, viewed in front of Kyoto Station

Kyoto Tower, viewed in front of Kyoto Station

We missed the shinkansen going to Osaka, so we rode the rapid local line instead. We pretty much landed in the station nearest our hostel for the night without getting lost so it was worth the longer time consumed.

In Osaka, we stayed at Osaka Hana Hostel in Shinsaibashi. It’s literally a 2-minute walk from the Shinsaibashi station even if you walk leisurely. And it’s just 3 blocks away from the Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade. Masae, the Receptionist who entertained us (shout-out to Masae who was very nice and sweet!) asked us our plans in Osaka and she told us that we can buy USJ tickets at the nearby Lawson Store. She even quipped that she wasn’t sure how her previous residents were able to talk with the cashiers there (probably knowing their limited grasp of English), but she just told everyone to go to Lawsons anyway. 🙂

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Shin Sai Bashi-Suji

If you continue this lane, you will end up in the infamous Dotonbori district bridge where this can be seen.

Ninomiya Kazunari ALERT!!!

I went gaga at this place because of so many stores! I didn’t get the chance to shop though because the stores close at 10pm. Such an early closing time! It’s true even in Tokyo. I wish they would extend shopping hours a bit.

While walking in Dotonbori, we caught sight of this Takoyaki place. After all, Osaka is famous for its food, so we went ahead and did full-swing food trip!

Takoyaki!

Takoyaki!

I looked up the best place to have Okonomiyaki, and search engines showed Mizuno. Using Google maps, we were able to locate it not far from the bridge. We were also lucky that the line wasn’t very long. We waited for 15-20 minutes before being seated inside.

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Mizuno

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki

After dinner, we went to Don Quijote. It’s characterized by the Ferris-wheel design in front. It’s also one of the few stores that are open 24/7. I bought the majority of my pasalubongs here. Kitkats!

We did a few more shopping for gifts (from stores that are still open at a quarter to ten pm, but these were only pharmacies or beauty stores) before going to the Lawson store near our hostel. With the help of the Cashier, and a few broken Japanese and English here and there, we were able to buy our Day-Pass for Universal Studios Japan! Harry Potter, here we come!

Choco-Con!

Choco-Con!

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4 thoughts on “Japan 2014 Day 3: Kyoto Day tour (Kiyomizudera, and the streets of Gion), Osaka’s Dotonbori

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