Today would be our last day in Kyoto before we journeyed on to Kobe. Still we wanted to explore more of Kyoto, so after a breakfast we packed our suitcases and headed over to Kawaramachi Station. We were going to store our suitcases here, though for some reason all of the lockers at the different location were taken. We spent some time looking around until we discovered that we could store our suitcases at a serviced wardrobe in the 7th floor at Takashimaya department store. This was a really good find, as we stored both suitcases for JPY300 and the coin lockers at the subway cost JPY500-700 for the size we would need per suitcase. Also if you eat at one of the restaurants in Takashimaya then you can store your luggage for free.
For some reason Turtle was extremely tired this day, so the first thing on the agenda was to get a decent coffee. We went to Zen Café, where we enjoyed a cup of coffee and tea, as well as a dessert.
By the time we left it was already getting close to lunchtime. The time had passed so quick, and had mainly been spent tracking down somewhere to store our luggage, as well as some minor shopping at Takashimaya. So we headed off to our planned lunch place for the day. Toriiwarou is a small, traditional family owned restaurant. They only have one dish on their menu during lunch hours, Oyakodon, and they are only open between 12-14 and 17:30-21:30. Turtle was a bit skeptical by the appearance of this dish, but quickly discovers that taste were out of this world. Oyakodon is a dish made of egg, rice, chicken, and some seasoning, it is absolutely delicious.
This was also where we met the adorable dog you could see in the prologue to this Japan trip. He was slightly shy, but was kind enough to say good bye to us when we left.
The next location on our agenda was to see the Kinkaku-Ji temple. We jumped on a bus that headed towards that direction. If you plan on taking the bus in Kyoto, and you will take the bus 3 times or more within a single day we recommend buying a Kyoto Bus One-Day Pass. These can be bought of the bus drivers for JPY500, while a single trip costs JPY210.
Just as most tourist attractions in Kyoto the place was packed with tourists. It was not as many as when we visited Fushimi Inari-Taisha during our 4th day in Japan, but there were a lot of people. Kinkaku-Ji temple was absolutely beautiful. The two top levels of this 3 stories tall temple is layered with gold. We were wondering how there were no one guarding the temple. You could quite easily jump over the fence, run up to the temple, and rip off something golden. The surrounding area was also pretty, the temple is located at a pond and is surrounded by trees and bushes. It is quite an impressive sight, the lone golden temple in the middle of beautiful Japanese nature. There is one single path that go around the temple, which continue through nature to another shrine, before you end up at the beginning. This path is like a one-way-street, as the waves of tourists make it hard to walk against the stream. The experience were overall quite nice at Kinkaku-Ji temple. We were quite lucky with the weather, and even with the amount of tourists it was a pleasant and relaxing place to be. The environment is quite meditating.
When we ware satisfied with our experience at Kinkaku-Ji temple it was time to head towards Kobe. However, on the way we stopped by Aritsugu, which is a shop that sell traditional Japanese cooking knives. They had a wide range of high quality knives. Japanese cooking knives are rumoured to be top of the line, especially when it comes to knives for cutting fish. Turtle is quite interested in cooking, and thus in the tools used for cooking. He got help from a salesperson in the store, and was introduced to a range of different knives and got all the information he needed for specific usage, maintenance, etc. Turtle was paying close attention to the salesperson, so close that he did not notice that Ottor had been to 3 other nearby stores while he was looking at the knives. Eventually he bought a JPY15,000 carbon steel professional Sashimi knife. The knife has been tested at home after the trip, and it cuts through salmon like it is butter.
It was getting late, and we were more than late for the check-in of our sleeping arrangement. So we hurried to Takashimaya to pick up our luggage, then headed down into Kawaramachi station, and got on the Hankyu line to Sannomiya station (Kobe). This trip took took approximately 85 minutes.
For our Kobe stay we stayed at the following Airbnb apartment. If you are new to Airbnb and wish to use Airbnb with a $40 discount on your first stay please use this link for a referral code. This particular Airbnb apartment had a futon sleeping arrangement. Turtle wanted to sleep on Futons at some point while we were in Japan, because it is very Japanese. It is basically just a thin mattresses that you roll out on the floor, and the experience is not that exciting. Though while in Japan Turtle wanted to try regardless. The Airbnb host was really kind, even when we arrived later than our scheduled check-in time. We had kept the host updated throughout the day, but still we were a late. The host was still super nice and informative.
It was very late, and we had not had any dinner. We wanted to relax at the apartment, so we ended up getting take away and buying some groceries. Turtle cooked some food, so our dinner consisted of a mix of take-away and home cooked food at the Airbnb apartment, which was perfect.
After a long day of sightseeing and travelling the futons were extremely comfortable. We walked slightly less this day, Turtle walked 17,328 steps and Ottor walked 20,003 steps. Still we both fell asleep immediately on our futons.
Thank you for joining us, and see you in the next one! Turtle and Ottor out