Day 5 - We actually woke up on time, and packed since we were gonna check out and leave our bags at concierge. Today’s itinerary involves Kyoto’s Golden Temple “Kinkaku-ji” and some markets.
We headed to the bus stop, and just in time for all the school kids catching the bus too.
typical Kyoto bus-stop
What was interesting was that most of the school boys were wearing the same nike shoes as AL. And their bags were very similar. And AL was wearing a black jacket, similar to the school boys’ blazer. He could have fitted just right in with his hair too!
[on the busss]
On the bus some of the school boys were on it, and when some of them got off, we asked AL why he didn’t get off too - he said “some of my colleagues are still on the bus”. JG and I lol-ed.
[AL: Nissan Leaf - Nissan’s electric car]
At the temple, it was a pretty cool temple made out of gold, but nothing else. It was surrounded by a pond, and had a lot of vending machines, and there were bowls to throw your coins at for wishing.
As for the vending machines, MZ finally got his wish and found a vending machine that sells cup instant noodles and that has the hot water for it too! He bought one. and even video-ed the whole process of pouring hot water into it! Apparently it tastes just like any other instant noodle - d-uh!
[the instant noodle vending machine]
And once MZ finished with his instant noodles business, we finally got to see the Golden Temple. Yeah, it was a Temple made out of gold. Big whoop. Took photos nonetheless.
[AL’s technique of taking a photo of the reflection cause there were obstacles for him to take direct photos of the temple itself]
[Throwing coins at the Kinkaku-ji complex - notice AL smiling]
[coins coins coins]
And there we asked a man with an slr to take a group photo with the Golden Temple in the background with MZ’s slr. He took one photo, and then signalled to take one more photo. He then inspected MZ’s camera and found the flash button in an instant! Wow, pro! Not even his slr but found someone else’s slr’s flash button!
[About to leave the Kinkaku-ji complex]
Having had enough of throwing coins and looked at Gold, we made our way back to the bus stop to head to Nishuku markets. Our bus, incidentally, on the way back it terminated at a bus interchange and we partially got lost at the interchange. Have to catch the subway towards Nishuku markets - more money needs to be spent unnecessarily :(
[stupid bus interchange]
This is when I discovered the possibility of buying a child ticket (ITS HALF PRICE) so I bought it and used it successfully! Win on saving money :)
[my child train ticket. Notice the 小 symbol - i hope i chose the right Jap character]
Now once off the station we thought was closest to the markets, we ventured around Kyoto for 1.5 hours for some stupid Nishuku markets that we endee uo neve finding. Based on our two day experience, Kyoto is hard to navigate through! Tired and annoyed, we all decided to head back to the hotel and “make hay” towards Osaka.
[anyone keen to pronounce that?]
Decided to sake the Shinkansen to Osaka, and realising we are hungry (by this its 11:45) we decided to rush to the train and get something quick to eat. Spotted a McDonald’s, and a sign that says ¥100 for a McPork (which according to JG, is pronounced MACpork), I decided to get two of it (coz I was confident that one wouldn’t fill me up) and eat it on the train. Everyone else got sushi lols. So we got on the shinkansen and I had my McPork - it was awesome and good value for ¥100! Gotta make another stop at Macca’s while here yay!
[McPork for ¥100!]
[Our Hikari Shinkansen to Osaka!]
Shinkansen took only 15min so we all ate pretty quickly, and made our way to Osaka!
[Osaka loop line]
Our hotel is right above the station woop! It was not checkin time so we decided to leave our luggage and head to the Osaka Castle. MZ did his research and worked out that an unlimited 2-day Osaka pass was a cheaper in the long run - and only one store sold these passes. Yes, it took us a long time to find this place, just our luck :( at least we managed to get our passes by 2:30pm and make our way to Osaka Castle!
Once at the station at Morinomiya, AL and SK needed a drink and utilised the vending machines. AL missed that the drink had a red (as opposed to normally blue) tag - and turned out to be a warm drink. Lolll. And on top of that, he chose the wrong drink (he wanted A3 but chose B3 lols). Epic AL fail lols.
Osaka Castle ended up pretty cool - it was 8 storeys high. But it was all re-constructed - so the authenticity is a bit of a question there. That said, at the top level (lvl8) it was an observatory deck, and you could see all of Osaka. A divine sight!
[the rebuilt Osaka Castle]
[who knows what they were doing]
After Osaka Castle, we decided to recuperate back at the hotel before dinner and night activities :)
[View from our hotel room]
We then left the hotel at 6pm towards Dotonburi and we walked up this street of awesome variety of restaurants, shops and entertainments.
Every third shop sold Takoyaki, and there were quite a few places that sold hairy crabs. We settled for a place that sold “Fugu” which was pufferfish. We all were a tick worried about dying from the fish (apparently it needs to be cut the right way, or else the liver would contaminate the rest of the fish and you’d die), but we went for it anyway. Tastes a bit like squid in terms of texture if you ask me. Also, we got scammed for the first time in Japan - the photo of the set meal for the pufferfish advertised ¥4900 for the set and provided a photo - but there was a fine print of the photo being 4 servings, and at first glance it looked like one serving. So we ended up getting sooooo little food for ¥4900! Skamed. Sigh.
BUT BUT! WE SURVIVED FUGU!
After that we decided to binge on Takoyakis after, to which we all got about 6 pieces of Takoyaki each! They were HOT!
After finishing my serving of Takoyaki, SK found her H&M and I needed to find a bin - but I couldn’t find a bin but found a Macca’s to which I binned my rubbish and decided to buy a “chicken shaka shaka” which ended up being a piece of deep fried chicken (which is normally used in mcchicken) with a choice of favoured shaking (I chose lemon). It was not bad, esp for its price of ¥120!
[Shaka Shaka Chicken for ¥120]
After that, we went off back to the hotel, making a stop at the supermarket at the bottom level of our hotel, and then it was off to hotel room and bed!