Another opportunity assigned to write an overseas expenditure log from Japan, the land of the rising sun based on it Far East geographical location on Pacific Rim affected by the earthquake and Tsunami disaster heavily in the late 2010 including severe to collateral damage at the nuclear power plant. Yen-Baht exchange rate had been appreciated but not in favor of Thai baht currency since Japan might need huge capital inflow back for the country rehabilitation
Leaving Bangkok around midnight in order to arrive in Osaka in the early morning which could be considered as quite exhausted if you could not find any time to sleep during 5 hours flight (in fact insufficient for night rest anyway) so finally we arrived at Kansai international airport in such fatigue condition as expected. Japan time zone is two hours faster than Thailand. In overall Japan Airline is quite ok, fine in detail starting from staff service quality, neat in all equipment in Japanese style and manner, probably bit negative on room for leg distance between seat row and slightly too little food quantity for breakfast. Anyway back to the main topic. We were taking Haraku airport express through dense residential and industrial area between Osaka and Kyoto to check in at Citadines Kasamasu-Gojo, one of a premium service apartment in the late morning.
We started the first meal with Japanese style quick service restaurant only 100 meters from our hotel where you can eat curry Katsu rice, Ramen with quite reasonable price starting from 500 to 900 yen after fulfilling the energy tank in the stomach we then headed to Fushimi Inari shrine with Keihen line getting out at the station 300 meters / 5 minutes walking distance to the entrance where people worship the white fox master which is believed to be the ambassador of the harvest especially rice field in this region since rice is core material for high quality sale. The special remark of this premise is thousands of red poles along the walking way In the forest.
After Fushimi Inari we forwarded to Kiyomizudera temple (as known as temple of clear water) by Taxi not very far from Gion train station. The temple locates on the hill which we need to walk up from the foot along road of tea pot could be considered as not boring at all because there are many shops on both sides along the walkway selling souvenir, local sweet before we arrive at ticket box office to pay entrance fee of 3,000 per person.
After entering into the premise we were exposed to a large 3-stories pagoda construct names Sanjunoto, then there was a stand where many small wooden sign board hanging on the rope which we found out that you can write down your wish on that and hang it back wait for your wish to become true. Afterward we passed Shiju shrine, a shrine of love, and happiness in the marriage, walking further we came to the famous point of this place, the grand balcony of the temple hall with the huge wooden pole almost of the top of the hill where you overlook Kyoto city. Lots of Japanese student came to drink holy water and wish good luck for their exam.
For dinner we had very spicy thick black and white sesame ramen soup with tender noodle at a local restaurant in neighborhood of Nishikikoji market. Afterwards we really need a deep sleep since we just had slept only for few hours on the plane the night before.
The next morning we took subway to Nijomae station to visit Nijo castle one of the eldest castle in Kyoto and also recognized as world heritage. Here we need to pay 600 yen entrance fee per person. The main castle is surrounded by two layers of stone wall. Inside situates Ninomaru palace and surrounded by beautiful sakura and plum flower garden. One of the famous things there at Nijo castle is the nightingale floor on the hallway which the originator of this place aimed to let it sound like a bird when stepping on the floor in order to prevent intriguer from assassination. Moreover in Serew garden there was also a tea workshop and rock garden using more than 1,000 pieces. In another palace, Honmaru, the most inner in the courtyard there are painting display of many well know Japanese painter.
After tour mission at Nijo castle we took a taxi to Kinkakuji temple or so called Goldern temple. When we arrived it started to rain little bit. So we decided to looking for a quick brunch yet most of the nearby stores were not opened but after walking and looking around for a while we found a local restaurant selling Katsu (rice topping with deep fried pork) and Udon (Thick noodle soup)
Thereafter we entered the gate and saw golden temple with its beautiful reflection on the water surface and on the top of the construct there is a phoenix, fire bird, a symbol scarification and immortality. After 1-2 hour walk we headed back to the hotel to get our baggage to main train station to catch Shinkansen to Odawara in the afternoon.
To Traditional Japanese stay so called Ryokan style with hot spring water inside where you can plunge in with view over the river and mountain also charming with Tatamin style bed and Yukata wardrobe for changing during the stay half pension / full board including dinner with many course of various dishes. Highlight was the open air Onsen bath for a real relaxation. You can also walk along the river in the morning and discover the small town. On the next day we tried black egg at Owakudari valley which is believed to make you live longer for 7 years boiled in sulfated hot spring close to wonderful Aachi lake near Mount of Fuji. And then we finally forwarded to capital city of Japan, Tokyo
Our first dinner at the metropolitan was at Tsunahachi – the Tempura specialist where you can have various types of seafood such as shrimp, squid, shell fish and eel.
Then we visited Yodobashi, mega center of electrical goods and appliance at Akihabara discovering the latest gadget trend
Next day we went to Shibuya, one of the most happening neighborhood in Tokyo, a mix of department store, night club, cafe, game center, Karaoke etcetera observe wandering mass around in particular at the cross junction of 5 main streets during the night time. In Tokyo it’s all about subway and on foot like other metropolitan.
In Shibuya we found an automatic ramen shop where you have to buy your ramen ticket first choosing the base menu and order all possible ingredients to add in such as egg, spice, with or without garlic, level of soup thickness, tenderness of noodle. Here you have to concentrate in on your own bowl in the ballot for the sake of private enjoyment. Our next shop destination was Daikanyama, a more quiet and peaceful neighborhood full with many local designer stores in more western environment. Dinner of the day was at Kaikaya where the slogan says fish is my life. No fish no life. We understood it’s all about seafood for sure.