our Prof. had to make a trip out to Yokohama so we had 3 days of free time. With a quick day of planning, we decided to head to Kyoto for the duration of our short break – Let the side trips commence!
Our trip starts of with an overnight bus from Tokyo Grand Station. It was the end of spring and still raining quite a bit when we left Tokyo but the forecast for Kyoto was promising so we proceeded as planned.
We arrived at Kyoto Station at 0500, slightly earlier than expected, though it felt like it was already 9am. I mean look at the sky!
Our first stop was 清水寺 (Kiyomizudera Temple), a short bus ride away. The good thing about Kyoto was that since it was a tourist city, most of the buses are flat fare based, meaning purchasing a bus pass would allow us to save money 😀
Also, given that it was 5 in the morning, we were way ahead of the tourist crowds. In fact we arrived before the place even opened lol
We managed to get some nice shots of the front, but unfortunately, the temple main stage was undergoing maintenance and we decided not to pay the $8 to go in.
After shuffling around our plans a bit, we headed towards 伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi Inari Taisha) the famous fox shrine, located at the Inari Mountains on the other end of town (told you the bus pass came in handy).
It was still early so, there were only a handful of people at Fushimi Inari (and all of us were congregated together trying to take pictures lmao).
After reaching the half-way point (where most people would head back down), a decision was made to proceed to the summit. It was only 233m in elevation, much less than Mt. Takao but it felt much harder, primarily due to it consisting almost entirely of stairs.
Next up was the the Silver (銀閣寺) and Golden Temples (金閣寺). It was past noon by then and was quite packed. However, we still managed to get a few decent pictures.
After a night’s rest, our next destination is Osaka. But first, a short stop over at Arishiyama’s Bamboo Forest. It was drizzling constantly since we woke so it was pretty damn and humid in the forest.
We proceeded to Osaka by train and had lunch at Kiji, one of the best Okonomiyaki stores in Osaka (4.5* on Tabelog, the real deal!). After a bit of a wait to get into the small shop, we had our fill of grilled pancakes.
After lunch, we stopped by the Pokemon center to heal up and proceeded to Dotonbori for some street food.
If you’re hungry, Dotonbori is the place to be! Its packed full of food stores (and tourists) and you can literally eat till you drop – a term known as Kuidaore (食い倒れ).
After which, we dropped by the arcade for a bit while waiting for our overnight bus back to Tokyo. It was a short trip, but was pretty fun, looking forward to doing more of these side trips soon!
That’s all for now, see you in the next post!