先週、大阪と京都へ行きました!大阪はたくさんの美味しい食べ物があります。京都はたくさんの寺院があります。めっちゃ楽しかった!

Last week, Frank and I visited Osaka and Kyoto for two days each, Osaka on Thursday and Friday, followed by Kyoto on Saturday and Sunday.

Mode of Travel

Tokyo to Osaka: Overnight bus booked via kosoku.com. It takes about 6 hours on a bus from Tokyo to Osaka. Price varies between 2000yen to 10000yen ($25 SGD to $125 SGD, yes the variance is very big). Our trip was between midnight to about 6am, and we both managed to get some sleep on the bus. I feel that it is the most economical option for long distance travel (compared to Shinkansen). It also allows us to start the day early the next morning.

Osaka to Kyoto: Regular train service, payment through Pasmo card (Ez-link equivalent in Japan. Haven’t tried the other cards like Suika but they should be okay as well). Price was about 1000yen ($12 SGD), price will vary depending on how many times you change trains between your accommodations in Osaka and Kyoto.

Kyoto to Tokyo: Overnight bus booked via kosoku.com again. Also about 6 hours, price also varies between 2000yen to 10000yen. Our trip was between 11pm to about 5am, and yes it was pretty sleep conducive. Allowed us to save a night of accommodation.

Tip for Osaka

The Osaka Amazing Pass. If you visit Osaka, this is the number one recommendation I have to give. It costs 2700yen ($34 SGD) for a single day pass, and 3600yen ($45 SGD) for a two-day pass. Since we only discovered it on Thursday night, we purchased a single day pass for Friday. We purchased it via Klook, and picked up our pass at a Tourist Information center in Osaka. It allows you to take unlimited rides on both buses and trains on the Osaka lines (JR lines are not included, but the Osaka lines can get you pretty much everywhere you need to go to in Osaka. We didn’t use buses). It gives you free entry to 40 sightseeing spots as well as discounts and benefits at other spots. (We skipped queues for some stuff!) It comes with a handy booklet showing you where you can visit with the pass. In other words, you don’t have to do so much research prior to visiting. Just pick up the pass and booklet, take some time to read it and make your plans with the suggestions on the day itself! Depending on your travel style, you may or may not find this a good idea but to me, it’s perfect. Once again, it’s called the Osaka Amazing Pass. Google it!

Tip for Kyoto

In our experience, we used buses much more than trains in Kyoto. Most buses within Kyoto run by flat fares. Whether you take a single stop or from one end to the other, it costs 230 yen for an adult ($2.90 SGD). You can pay by Pasmo (Haven’t tried the other cards like Suika, but it should be okay), or via coins in exact change. If you don’t have exact change, there’s a handy change machine at the front of the bus that allows you to change coins. Try to do it before you reach your stop though, so you don’t block the crowd exiting the bus. Okay that was a long preamble. The tip is, get the Kyoto City Bus Pass! There are various permutations. There are one-day and two-day passes, and passes for buses only, trains only or both buses and trains. They basically give you unlimited rides for bus and/or train rides. We found this out on Saturday, so we bought a one-day pass for Buses only for Sunday. That costs 600yen ($7.50 SGD). As long as you take 3 bus rides or more, it is worth it. They can be purchased at a ticket counter in the main Kyoto Station.

TLDR: Google Osaka Amazing Pass if you are going to Osaka. Google Kyoto City Bus and Subway Pass if you are going to Kyoto. Great money savers.

Whew, the tip section ran longer than I expected. My opinions on the two places? Osaka is great for good food, and Kyoto is great for visiting temples (Although it gets quite pricey since each temple’s entrance fee is somewhere between 400 to 600yen). I’ll let the pictures do the talking from here. These places are Google Maps-able, so you can look them up yourself!

Day 1: Osaka, Thursday

It was pretty sleep conducive
Our overnight bus
Visited Osaka Ramen Museum early in the morning after alighting.
We managed to skip this queue to design our own cup because we were early.
What a Pokeweeb
Beef tongue. It’s super yum!
Okonomiyaki lunch! Must try in Osaka!
Dotonbori Street. Very touristy. Feels overpriced, but it’s a good spot to visit once.
Takoyaki at Dotonbori
Kani Miso at Dotonbori. Well.. I’ve had better in Tokyo!
Melon pan with ice cream <3
Kushi Katsu! If there is anything you have to try in Osaka, it’s this!!

Day 2: Osaka, Friday

From Kuromon Ichiba Market. DELISH.
From Kuromon Ichiba Market. YUMS.
This is it. The Osaka Amazing Pass!!
Visited Osaka Castle. We skipped the queue + ticket cost of going up the tower in the middle of the castle because of the Osaka Amazing Pass.
Trick art museum near Osaka Castle. There was also a show, free entry with Osaka Amazing Pass.
A festival procession near Osaka Castle
View from Santa Maria (Beside Legoland Discovery Center Osaka. You can Google Map it). Free ride with Osaka Amazing Pass.
We took that Ferris Wheel!
Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel. Free ride with Osaka Amazing Pass.
WTC Cosmo Tower. Free entry up with Osaka Amazing Pass.
View from Cosmo Tower

Day 3: Kyoto, Saturday

Our accomm for one night in Kyoto
Our accomm had a Kotatsu! Unfortunately it wasn’t winter so we didn’t use it.
Kinkakuji Temple
Cooking our own Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki!
The 15 zen stones in Ryoanji. There are 15 but no matter which angle you look at them from, you can always at most see only 14.
Togetsu-Kyo Bridge. Around this area is the Monkey Park and Sagano Bamboo Forest.
Arashiyama Monkey Park
Sagano Bamboo Forest
Udon dinner near the Togetsu-Kyo Bridge
Beef bowl that came with our udon. It was amazing.

Day 4: Kyoto, Sunday

Kiyomizu-dera Temple. A bit too touristy and crowded..
Pokemon Center Kyoto
A random sushi place near the Pokemon Center. With the sushi on the right, costs 1000 yen.
With the tempura on the left, only 1000 yen!
Near the Pokemon Center. In preparation for summer festival, there are many of these around the area and they were all built within two days.
We went up the structure (It was free)
Hi Frank
Kyoto Imperial Palace (Free entry)
Kyoto International Manga Museum. I think it was 500 yen for entry. It’s a museum that showcases the history of manga, and is built with many spots to sit and read the books like in a library. There is a big shelf of manga in English (and various other languages) on the first floor you can peruse.
Sculptures of hands of manga artists.
This was 900yen ($11 SGD) but AMAZING. Nishiki Market.
Cheese + Spring Onion Takoyaki at Nishiki Market. Amazing as well.

Okay, that about sums up the trip Frank and I had to Osaka and Kyoto. Until next time!

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