Sunday, 27 September 2015

Japan Holiday Day 7 - Departing Kyoto for Osaka

It was our last day in Kyoto and one couple was heading back to Australia so we had our final breakfast together at Kyoto Takabashi Honke Daiichiasahi, which opens from 5am to 2am!

It was quite popular with a small queue, and the guy serving a little gruff but spoke some English (I suspect it was because his English wasn't great, but enough to communicate). The ramen here is all pork based broth which made the soup very flavoursome but a little oily, but I guess it's the fat which makes it so delicious.

Then we headed off to Takao on the JR bus to get to Jingo-ji temple.  It's about a one hour ride, and we bought return tickets for 800yen from the bus station but if you travel one way it's over 500 yen. Jingo-ji is a bit of a 20 minute walk from the bus stop with lots of steps, so no prams, wheelchairs and need to be reasonably fit to climb it.

You pay 500/250yen per adult/child to get in, and it is really beautiful in autumn at the right time.

The special thing about this temple is that you can buy these little clay discs for 100yen for 2 which you throw into the valley to "throw away your bad luck". The kids were delighted to find somewhere where it was ok to throw things, so we let them throw two lots.

I'm glad nobody lives down here or they could get a disc in the head! 
A pond full of tadpoles was exciting for the kids
We made our way back to Kyoto station after that, wishing we had left an hour earlier so we could visit Kinkakuji as well.  Caught the shinkansen to Osaka (which seemed a bit silly considering it was only 43km between each city - we drive further than that to get to work), but the advantage of the shinkansen is that there is room for luggage, whereas on the normal rail it's a normal train so we'd be struggling with all our bags.

Hotel Nikko was nice, located above Shinsaibashi station (but we took a cab from Shin-Osaka station to the hotel), and the service was very good.  Though the room was comfortable, it didn't have a safe (and didn't come with a shower cap as part of the amenities!), but the toiletries were all Shiseido in these large sizes which might make it less likely to be taken.

Our friends hadn't arrived in Osaka yet, so we thought we'd do something not on the itinerary so they didn't miss out on anything, and headed to Abeno Harukas, which is the tallest building in Japan.

There are 60 floors in this 300m high building, and there is a mall, restaurants, museum and hotel in this building.  It is quite easy to get to, as the Kintentsu Abenobashi station is right underneath and JR Tennoji station is also nearby.  There is an observation deck on level 60 "Abeno Harukas 300", and it costs 1500/750 per person admission. Pricey, but we might as well go look!

The lift going up was hypnotic with blue and white lights streaming past like stars, and a height scale showing us going up till we got to level 60.  The 360 views were amazing, and photos don't do it justice.

On the 58th floor there is an open area garden where you can be outside and enjoy the fresh air (though it was drizzling so it wasn't very enjoyable) and there is a shop on level 59.

The main regret with coming directly there from the station was that there was no way we could appreciate the outside of the building.  I had to make do with this photo of the building on level 16. There are two whole floors of eating to choose from and we at first wanted to try a teppanyaki place but they didn't let us watch them cooking so we decided to go to have some osaka-style sushi instead.

Sushiman is a famous chain that is known for its oshizushi, which is pressed sushi so it's in a rectangular shape. The restaurants were all quiet, and we were the only customers in the restaurant (which on the bright side meant we got all the attention).

  We ordered a children's meal, the osaka sushi set, and a chirashi sushi and an extra sea urchin ship.

Osaka sushi set

The children's meal had assorted sushi and a mini chirashi sushi

Chirashi sushi - which is just sashimi on top of a bowl of rice
 Big day tomorrow - Universal studios!

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