After all I came back from Japan, I would like to write my travel journal in Japan. In total eight nights and seven days, budget around ¥ 59,000 (cash only) ++ (paid in Indonesia), seven cities, so many places and many more!
So here we go!
Day 1 ~ 02 April 2016
In the early morning, I took Air Asia flight in Terminal 3, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta. We have transit in KLIA2, Kuala Lumpur and then bound for Tokyo International Airport (Haneda). We landed at HND at 22:15 local time. And believe me, it was a long queue at the immigration office! I couldn’t handle it, it was late night, but still, crowded! And I saw immigration crews are very supportive to avoid long queue, so the process it was fast enough for the long queue.
Just done the immigration, we pass the declaration immigration. But we were not lucky enough, we randomly got checked the baggage. It was taking time but no worries at all. So we continue to the ticket machine to buy Keikyu Line train ticket to go to hostel. We stayed at 328 Hostel & Lounge because the location very close to airport and affordable with our budget. 😛 Yuka, the owner is very kind. I admit it Japanese people are super! I love their kindness! Since we just stay over night, so we spent only one night. And we are ready for the next journey!
Day 2~ 03 April 2016
Ever since we have to move to Kyoto in the morning, we have to move forward to Tokyo for exchange JR PASS. Why must Tokyo? Because the open of JR office in Tokyo earlier than Shinawaga station–which is nearest from our hostel–it was at 7:30 so we can catch early shinkansen to Kyoto.
Who said the Japan’s train line is complicated? It’s true. We were lost at Shinagawa station when we were going to Tokyo. Hahaha. It made us panic, but don’t be! Just asked the officer and they will help you!
After we arrived at Tokyo station, we directly went to the JR office and have to fulfill some data. It takes about 15 minutes and voila our JR PASS on our hand! We were in hurry to catch shinkansen Hikari at 8:33 and it was such rush hour, so we need to queue up. FYI for non-reserved car, please take queue up at Car 1 – 5. Another tips is please seat on D or E (preferable E), if the weather is good, you can see Mt. Fuji on your right side after 45 minutes travel! I was unlucky since on that day I didn’t take seat E and it was rainy too tho.
It took 2 hours and 30 minutes from Tokyo to Kyoto. I was so amazed with shinkansen. I wish Indonesia has one!!!!! (day-dreaming). Our first destination wasn’t Kyoto, but we stayed in Kyoto, Piece Hostel Kyoto. Okay after we keep our backpacks, we are going to……
Himeji. What’s on Himeji? A beautiful castle stands outside the station. It was very beautiful. We took Central exit and jumped on Himeji Loop, only paid ¥100. Before we entered the castle, we had lunch first at Menme, an udon restaurant. And as surprised, we met samurai warriors parade came out from small alley near castle. FYI, those warriors parade only on the weekend around Himeji Castle. We were so lucky! But still hungry, we continue to go to restaurant.
After spoiled our (fat) tummy, we went to castle. It was cloudy on that day. When we first entered the castle area, there are thousands cherry blossom/sakura trees around! Oh my God, that was sooo beautiful (like me. ha!) ! Since it was rainy and it was kind of late, we choose to take photo only in the field full of sakura trees. FYI, it is free to enter the Himeji Castle area, but need to pay ¥1000 to enter the castle.
After that we went to Osaka Castle. We took rapid special line for Osaka from Himeji Castle. And once again thanks to JR PASS! It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to go to Osaka Castle. The nearest JR lines station is Osakajokoen, and needs walking around 10 minutes. Since we have arrived very late, we have just spent outside the castle. But still it was a beautiful castle. But for me, Himeji Castle is the way more beautiful.
Our planned before was mentioned to go to Dotonbori, Osaka. But ever since our feet were broken (haha!) we re-thought that Dotonburi will be visited after we visit Nara. Okay, plan has changed so we were coming back to hostel. It needs 30 minutes from Osaka to Tokyo using rapid lines. As I mentioned above that we stay in Piece Hostel Kyoto, very recommended place to stay!
Day 3~ 04 April 2016
Where do we go? Where do we go now? Where do we go?
Yep, we have been monitoring the weather forecast around Yoshino (Nara) and Kyoto. Since I really wish to go to Yoshino (Nara) in the sunny day, so our plan was going around Kyoto in the day 3 and Yoshino the day after.
The sun finally came up after the cloud hid him away. I saw sun was rising in the Sunrise Country (like our country said “Negeri Matahari Terbit“). And I bet it would be a good day! Starts to having breakfast in hostel, well super breakfast I called it! At 8:15 we were setting off to Kyoto station. Since the train will be on board at 8:32, we were in hurry. Running until lose our breath. HAHAHAHAHA! and boom! We were boarding in the rush hour time, crowded train inside. But don’t worry people, the criminality rate in Japan is very low (it’s also known #8 the safest country source : lifestyle9.org) so, we didn’t worry if our bag put in the back (not applicable in Indonesia. HAHA!). The journey takes 15 minutes by train, board to Saga-Arashiyama station. And of course it covered by JR PASS (once again thanks to JR PASS!)
We went to Bamboo Groves, taking pictures, walking in the trail, but too bad it was cloudy. Then we found some souvenir shop on our way to Togetsukyo Bridge, one of Arashiyama’s landmark. Catching some cute stuffs, and then rain was falling. Daaaaamn! Yes, the weateher has changed from cloudy to rain. So we stayed in one shop and waiting to rain to stop. When the rain was light, we continue to Togetsukyo Bridge. It was very crowded, well just because raining I bet. So we’re just taking pictures and went back to Kyoto to the next destination, Fushimi Inari shrine.
We took again train from Saga-arashiyama station to Kyoto station for transit and bound for Inari station. The funny-damn thing was, we took RAPID LINES TO NARA! HAHAHA 😂. Actually that was true you have to take train for Nara Lines, but not the rapid one. The local one always stop in every station, not the rapid. Actually the time duration not until 10 minutes, but after we spent 15 minutes, the train hasn’t stopped yet. And I believe that we were lost! Hahaha. Lesson learned : make sure you see the Hyperdia.com whether you should take Rapid or Local train. Haha. We took back the local train and bound back to Inari station. We arrived in Inari station, and took elevator. After 15 secs, the elevator didn’t lift up, and we forgot to push which floor. Hey, that was in Japanese!!! (a good excuses, eh?😂) Hahahaha. Foolish! Then we in hurry to Fushimi Inari. It’s only 100 m to the gate of shrine from station. After you came out from station, the big Torii (gate) welcoming us. We have spent one and half hour to be there. We haven’t climbed until the top of hill, just taking picture in the torii tunnel. Hahaha. Because we have to move to Gion. We haven’t had lunch *sob* 😅😥. Anyway, there are a lot of souvenir shops inside the shrine (in front of the gate and inside). My favorite was the old shops which sells daruma doll and souvenir shop in the left side of that store. Price so varied, those favourite shops are the cheapest (so Indonesian, comparing each shop! Haha).
Okay we moved to Gion by Keihan Main Line from Fushimiinari station. Remember, there are 2 stations near Fushimi Inari shrine. The closest is JR train INARI station (and of course it covered by JR PASS). Fushimiinari station located about 400 m from shrine. But we can go to Gion from Fushimiinari station since it is a subway, and it doesn’t covered by JR PASS. Okay! After we arrived, we starts to find Naritaya Gion, a new opened halal ramen restaurant in Kyoto. After 10 mins walking, we found it in small street near Maruyama Park. It’s also small shop, so have to be in detail to search.
Done fulfilling our tummy, we are moving to Maruyama Park. Since it was crowded, so we just relax, have a rest, talking and counting budget again while enjoying sakura trees. Hahaha. Done with that, we have found wrong calculation when we ate at Naritaya. So we went back to Naritaya and the cutest staff (yes, I admit he’s cute even he worn face masker ❤) re-calculate. They are very nice, yes Japanese are! Off from Naritaya, we went to Kiyomizudera. Yes, it said 2 km by walking, WE ARE NOT AFRAID! Hahaha. At first we must find the nearest bus stop to go back to Kyoto station (yes indeed our benchmark is Kyoto station since it was near from our hostel) then we are ready! around 20 minutes we found our bus stop what we searching for. Then we hiked up to Kiyomizudera Temple. Totally it takes 30 minutes from Maruyama Park. But it’s okay since it was very cold evening. We were amazed with light illumination from Kiyomizudera temple. Even at night, there are still crowded visitor.
We spent around 2 hours in here, unfortunately our camera has low battery (throw the cam. Haha). So yeah, we were just taking by mobile phone. I re-assure, this was very beautiful temple. In a peace night, clear sky, cold evening, perfect time to relax! We were coming back to Kyoto by bus 202 from Kiyomizumichi bus station. We thought this bus will be bound to Kyoto station, but the driver said it’s not. But with his kind, he told us to stopping by at Oishibashi bus stop. It was the nearest to Kyoto station. And of course we know the way back to our hostel. Yay! It was a long journey, we went sleep and see you tomorrow!
P.S : These get lost sessions divided into 3 part. And each destination will be detailed in different post. Enjoy my post! xoxo.