I don’t know what to write as there are so many things to say in this beautiful country. No wonder there are a lot of people who dream of coming here. Whew,I guess I will just start from the day of my arrival until the end.
In spite of all the budgeting I have done, its still expensive to travel here when you want to try everything the country has to offer. I have traveled for 8 days and that means it cost a lot.hahaha. From the ticket, travel tax, terminal fee, accommodations, JR pass, to the food and souvenirs. (*_*). Seven days JR pass is worth it since I am doing the Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka and Tokyo travel. I spend 3 nights in Kyoto, 2 nights in Osaka and 2 nights in Tokyo.
Upon arrival, I went straight to the JR pass counter for the exchange voucher that I have. JR pass is easy to use and the staff who assisted me was so helpful. Since I have planned my itinerary, I have booked the ticket in advance like the return trip to Tokyo. From The airport I go straight to Kyoto. I landed in Narita Airport which is around 30-40 minutes by express train ride to Tokyo City. Then from there I need to connect using bullet train to Kyoto which is 4 hours ride. It may be too long but when you book in advance you will have a seat number like the airplane ride and the seat is comfortable for travelers. As for the food. There are on board karts who sell affordable food or you can buy at the Kiosk nearby the boarding area of the train. I arrived around 6pm on the first day and the good thing is the hostel I booked is just a 10 minutes walked from the station. Once I have settled in the hostel I went out and look for dinner . This is my first day ended.
On the second day I went for the earliest trip going to Hiroshima since I am planning to return on the same day. The travel takes 3 hours and as usual the bullet train is on time and comfortable. The JR pass I am holding includes free buses like the hop on hop off that will pass by the area of the tourist spots in Hiroshima. There’s red, lemon and blue bus. I manage to ride these buses and have gone to the different tourist spot. After Hiroshima I went to Miyajima island where the famous Itsukushima Shrine is located. Train from Hiroshima station to Mayijama station takes 30 minutes and additional 15 minutes by ferry to the island. All of these are covered by JR pass. I roam around the island before I went back to Hiroshima station for the 5pm departure back to Kyoto.
Next day is is purely Kyoto. I am aiming to see all of Kyoto including Fushi Inari in one day so I get up early and try my very best to see all of Kyoto. I went first to the Arashiyama (bamboo). This area is so wide that not only the bamboo is what you can see. The bridge,the Kimono forest and also the love train. I tried the love train but since its operated by a private company and one of the oldest trains in Japan this is not included in JR pass. It cost 190 yen.This is the funny part as I thought this will go back to its original station where the bamboo is located. In the middle of the ride I realize that it will not go back . So I google where I can go down and continue my Kyoto day tour as I am lost. :).. I have found one of the station where I can ride a bus to go back to Kyoto main station. The good thing is that I buy the city bus pass for a day that cost 600 yen and you can ride all you want . The bus that I ride back to the station happens to pass buy Ginkaku-ji(silver pavilion) which I though the golden pavilion due to its similar pronunciation. hahaha. I got lost for the second time. It seems my itinerary is not doing well. Still I went inside the silver pavilion and roam around and along the way I manage to eat in between just to go on with the itinerary. The good part when I study the bus stops and bus numbers is that from my location all the places I wanted to see is along the way. So I am still on my travel and its accessible and faster than my first plan. I manage to visit and saw that day the Kinkaku-ji(golden pavilion) I got it right this time. 🙂 ,Kiyomizu-dera temple, Chion Temple and roam around Gion. I also manage to see a real Geisha before I went back to the hostel.
Fourth day I check out early and leave my things in the hostel. I went to see Fushi Inari since I did not manage to insert it on the third day. After Fushi Inari, my new friend whom I meet in the hostel has this another nice temple that we can visit after Inari. And there is no entrance fee. Going to Nijo temple is so serene that along the way you can see a lot of beautiful spot where you can’t take your camera off. The old bridge where you can only see in tv. hahaha. The temple itself is beautiful. After this we parted ways as I am going to Nara while she will explore some of Kyoto before heading back to Tokyo for her flight the next day. I went to Nara for the Deer park and nearby temple. By late afternoon I went back to Kyoto to pick up my things and go straight to Osaka. I choose the hostel in Dotonbori area and tell you this is a little bit far from all the JR station. Stations near this area is operated by private company. The walk takes 15 minutes to reach the hostel but the good thing about this location is the food. ITS EVERYWHERE . hahaha. Near the shopping area as well. I look for food and went strolling for a bit before went off to bed.
The next day which is the fifth is Universal Studio day. hahaha. During the planning, I am not considering to go here but on the last minute I change my mind and went inside of the Universal Studio. This one is easy to find and the line stop/station for this is covered by JR pass. Opening time is 0900am but I am there by 0930am as I went to visit first the Osaka castle. When I reach Universal Studio the line is so long that I am thinking it will take time for me to get inside. This is what I notice since I am travelling alone/single traveler as they always say, I have this privilege to be in shorter line like the VIP or fast lane ticket.(*_*). I have get through the line easily and in almost all the rides as well even those rides that they say it will take two-three hours to line up.Since its summer time the butter beer in Harry Potter World they are serving is frozen and its so yummy. I have three cups of it the whole day. There are some shows that needs payment and not included in the entrance fee. But overall Universal Studio is Universal Studio. hahaha. I get wet on some of the rides and dried up again. I manage to finish the rides and show early and got a spot for dinner overlooking the castle for the light show. Almost of the language used is in Japanese but I enjoy Universal Studio like a kid. 🙂 Before I went off to bed I manage to buy some stuff that can be bring home as souvenirs.
On the sixth day I headed early back to Tokyo as I am meeting my friend and neighbor from Mindanao. We did not see each other for almost 10 years. We met at Tokyo station and headed to the hostel where I will leave my luggage and after that we go somewhere else. Since its almost noontime and I am staying in Akihibara, we tried the Maids cafe since she did not experience this as well. Tell you this is the only picture we have for the whole day we have been together. :).
After the lunch we went to Shibuya area and from there we walk around and keep talking about stuff. Sometimes its good to stop being a tourist and just talk and share with someone whom you didn’t see for a long time. Enjoying each other’s company. We went to the tv station but unfortunately its closed. hahaha. We walk further and went to Meji Shrine, Yoyogi Park, Harajuko. We parted ways around 7pm as she has work the following day.
On the next day which is my seventh day, I try to roam around Tokyo and last minute buying of souvenirs. I went first to Asakusa for the Senso-ji temple.Then to Tsukiji Market to eat sushi(Omakase), then back to Shibuya then to Harajuku to the Takeshita Market and back to Akihibara.I planned to go to Hakone for the Mt Fuji sightseeing but when I reach the station Odawara station where to connect going to Hakone, it rained again. So I decided to go back to Tokyo and prepare my things for the flight the following day since my JR pass will gonna expire soon. hahaha. After that I went out again and look for authentic Ramen house.
On my last day its raining and my flight is not until 1pm. I did not go out for another round of exploration. By 10am when the rain stops I check out and proceed to the airport using the cheapest and easiest way. I spent the last yen I have in food in the airport. I am planning to go back here again as I have some other places that I wanted to visit. Eight days in Japan is not enough but for now I am happy and contented that I have the glimpse of it.
Hope you enjoy my travel as I have mine.