Day 3 Osaka/Kyoto; Osaka Castle, arrival in Kyoto

This was the day we were checking out of our Airbnb apartment and travelling to Kyoto. We had to check out earlier than we planned on leaving Osaka, hence we headed to Temmabashi subway station  and put our luggage in coin lockers for the time being. We had quite large suitcases, so we needed the largest lockers that cost JPY500 each until the station close for the day. Which is not too bad. 

Once we had found a place to store our luggage we headed for Brooklyn Roasting Company Kitahama were we had planned on eating breakfast. This place was on the same street as the breakfast place from the day before. Thus once more we had a nice view over the river and park as we enjoyed our coffee and breakfast. When we arrived arrived at the café they had not yet prepared any other food than cakes, so our day got a kick-start by the sugar rush.

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Cherry Blossom doughnut at Brooklyn Roasting Company
The day turned out to be a beautiful and sunny day with a clear blue sky. Once our breakfast was over we journeyed over to Osaka castle. The castle was beautiful, with impressive layers of defensive structures leading up to it. There were several huge walls and motes you would have to pass to invade this castle. We went inside the castle to see what the museum had to offer. The museum covered all the floors inside the castle, and the balcony at the top floor had a very good overview of the city. There was an entrance cost of JPY600 to enter the castle, and to be honest the museum was not that special and not really worth it. However, the view from the top balcony was amazing and totally worth the entire entrance cost itself. It should be mentioned that we may be a bit biased regarding our opinion of the museum. The museum was in part used to honour old warlords that among other achievements invaded Korea. Ottor is Korean, so we did not like these warlords and thus we did not like the museum.

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Osaka Castle
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Tip: Get yourself a green tea ice cream at the entrance to Osaka Castle
We walked around the castle plaza for a while, soaking in the beautiful architecture of the castle and walls. Once we left we headed towards a specific café that was within walking distance of the Osaka Castle. RJ café is a tiny coffee shop with a few interesting items on their menu. They have these small cute espresso cups made of cookie dough, and you can actually drink out of them. You need to drink your coffee relatively fast though, because the cookie-cup do soak the coffee and will eventually leak. The cups were so adorable, and tasted quite alright. Maybe we should use more cups like this? It would save some dish washing.

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Cookie Espresso Cup at RJ Café
Next it was time to head to Kyoto, so we went to the pick up our luggage and headed over to the Umeda train station. To get to Kyoto we were taking the Hankyu line, this is also the line we were going to take when we were going to Kobe (Sannomiya station). Some people also use he Hankyu line to visit both Kyoto and the city of Nara in the same day, as they are rather closely located. We had pre purchased tickets for this train ride, which we highly recommend as getting the right tickets from the machines can be a bit tricky if you don’t read Japanese. After a quick sushi lunch at the station we boarded the train at Umeda. After roughly 50 minutes we arrived at Kawaramachi (Kyoto).

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Railway map of Hankyu Railway
Our sleeping arrangement in Kyoto was not that central. Since we wanted to see a bit of Kyoto before going there we put our luggage in a coin locker at the Kawaramachi Station that just as Osaka cost JPY500 per locker (large), then we went out to explore. Kyoto is quite different from Osaka. Osaka is a huge city with tall skyscrapers all over. While being a large city as well, Kyotos buildings are not that tall, so the city has a less of a “big city feel” to it. We also observed that there were way more western tourists in Kyoto than Osaka. This is provably because Kyoto is rich with Buddisht temples and other traditional Japanese touristy attractions to see.

Our first goal in Osaka was to visit Kiyomizu-dera Temple. When we got there it was unfortunately closed, because the temple close as early as 18:00. It makes sense that is close that early because it was quickly getting dark at 18:30, by 19:00 it was pretty much pitch black. The temple is located on a hillside, so even though it was closed we got a pretty nice view of the city. Also the tiny traditional Japanese streets surrounding the temple had a very nice atmosphere to them when night had set.  The streets were very quiet after most of the tourists had left. We decided to come back the day after to enter the temple.

Then it was time for dinner. We went back to the area surrounding Kawaramachi station, and found a pretty cool local restaurant called Tatsumi. This was an amazing place to eat. Our eyes lit up by the atmosphere and the food was so delicious. It is a relatively small place where mostly locals were eating. It’s not the most inviting entrances, but it’s one of those holes-in-a-wall gems restaurants that are absolutely fantastic to experience.

In Kyoto we were going to stay at a hotel. It’s a bit of a funny story. One of us had found this really nice boutique hotel called Sakura Terrace that is supposed to have an amazing breakfast. That certain someone was bragging about this to the other for more than a month before the trip. Once we arrived the hotel looked quite nice, but not really like the photos. When we got to the room it was tiny and without a bathroom. The room could only fit the bed, and there was not even room to have both suitcases open at he same time. It turned out that Sakura Terrace had two hotels within close proximity. The really nice hotel was Sakura Terrace the Gallery, however the person in charge of booking the Kyoto trip had booked Sakura Terrace the Atelier. The atelier was very nice as well, it was modern, clean and we did enjoy our stay, but not exactly what we expected. We both found it funny and a bit embarrassing. Our stay was pleasant, but we never got to try the delicious breakfast a certain someone had talked so much about. Are you able to guess who this certain someone was? 

Day 3 of our trip was now over. Turtle walked 21,251 steps that day, while Ottor walked 22,280 steps. Ottor claim that this little difference disprove Turtle’s claim of Ottor having shorter legs having a huge impact on the step count. Also, Ottor claims that the difference is because Turtle is just in general more lazy. We were extremely tired and slept like babies that night.

See you in the next one! Turtle and Ottor out

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