It’s been 3 years, for sure. That I always hoping one or some of my high school friends from Indonesia to come to Japan, and we meet. I thought it would never come true until a few months ago Maryam, my roommate at high school dorm, sent me a surprising message: she’s joining an exchange program to Osaka! 😀
To make a long story short, finally I booked two JR bus tickets (via bushikaku.net) for April 1st and 3rd to visit Maryam and decided to have my (probably) last spring in Japan to be different. That’s by viewing sakura’s full bloom in Kyoto and Osaka.
Now, I’m sharing my notes and mostly pictures I had taken during my 48 hours in Kyoto and Osaka.
Traveling in Kyoto
Mainly, I used city bus (市バス) to travel within Kyoto. The fare for one way flat-fare routes is always JPY 230 for adult and JPY 120 for children. But this time, I bought Kyoto city bus one-day pass. If you are planning to visit various places in a day, it’s highly recommended to buy Kyoto city bus one-day pass. Only JPY 500 for the whole day!
- (-) It takes more time to travel by bus rather than subway
- (-) If you are not good at reading maps, you might end up wasting your times looking for the correct bus stop. Well, for me, Kyoto buses are soo complicated
- (+) Yep, one more way to enjoy sightseeing in Kyoto while sitting in the bus (as long as the bus is not crowded)
- (+) Most of the information are provided in English. Even the bus drivers, some (or maybe most?) of them can speak simple English. So, need not worry!
It’s also recommended to try, at least once the Kyoto subway. Compare to Nagoya’s, it’s more classic.
#1: Arashiyama Bamboo Grooves
In Kyoto, I was accompanied with Maryam, Nurul and Muthi. Our first destination was Arashiyama bamboo grooves. We initially planned to go there earlier, but then the bus we were waiting for wasn’t come. It was indeed a really busy day for Kyoto as the beautiful sakura bloomed, welcoming foreign and local tourists. After waiting for more than half an hour, we decided to take train on Hankyu line.
Along the way from Arashiyama station to Arashiyama bamboo grooves, I passed many shops selling souvenirs, traditional foods and beverages. And finally..
Not only enjoy sceneries in the bamboo grooves, we also bought a one-way ticket to ride on classic, Sagano romantic train from Arashiyama Torokko Station. It costed JPY 620 for adult and JPY 310 for kids. We thoroughly enjoyed the short, yet scenic train ride 😀
It’s almost 11:30 when we finished our trip in Arashiyama. Muthi had to attend a welcome party with her friends, so me, Nurul and Maryam were the ones who continued traveling together. We headed for Kyoto station, had lunch there, and prayed afternoon prayer in the 3rd floor of Kyoto tower. FYI, this prayer room is officially provided by the city tourism bureau. It’s open from 10:00-18:00. The only thing you need to do before using the room is filling a guest book. Receptionist will accompany you to the room, because it’s always locked and can only be opened from outside by the staffs.
We also signed up for a free prayer-room member card. It can be used anytime we want to occupy the prayer room.
#2: Fushimi Inari, the 1000 gates
After receiving our prayer-room member card, we headed back to bus terminals in front of Kyoto station. We were confused with the bus maps, didn’t know which bus to take (in Kyoto, every bus route has its own number), when suddenly someone around his 40’s came and gave us a hand. He first explained in simple English, until I said that I understand some Japanese, he then continued his explanation in Japanese. He also gave us his Kyoto bus map which was recently revised.
It took about 30 min to Fushimi Inari Taisha from Kyoto station. We managed to get there before 3 pm and spent our time trailing at mount Inari which path was lined with thousands of torii (gate). Each gate was donated by company hoping for good luck in business and replaced every 10 years. The company’s name is written in black ink Kanji on the torii, which is a kind of “advertisement”.
Kiyomizudera Ayam-ya, Halal ramen
Kiyomizudera should be our last destination in Kyoto. However, we were too tired after trailing at mt. Inari and lost in our way looking for bus correct bus stop (we met a lady on our way who tried to help us finding a way back to Kyoto station). So we stopped at a bus stop, somewhere I didn’t know where. While Nurul went back to Osaka, me and Maryam moved directly to Ayam-ya, a halal ramen shop, where we met our high school friends plus Ipung.
One last review for Ayam-ya: it’s soo tasty! If you have a chance to go there, I would recommend you to order its rich soyu ramen :9
#4: Sky Walk and Illumination at Kyoto Station
Well, this is the very last thing I want to put on this post.
So, in order to get the pictures of Kyoto tower, we went to Sky Walk located at Kyoto Station. Before that, we also enjoyed a huge themed illumination created on groups of stairs at Kyoto Station. Apologise for not having the picture ^^v
For more information:
- Kyoto city web find the explanation for traveling in Kyoto using city bus and subway, convenient and reasonable card/tickets, and many more!
- Via bushikaku.net, you can find cheapest bus tickets! unfortunately it’s only available in Japanese 😛 (dont forget, you still have google translate :D)
- Ayam-ya Chicken Ramen
- Prayer room in Kyoto Tower
- Illumination at Kyoto Station
Punten lah saya pake keminggris segala. Maklum, lagi latihan lagi heheh.