Sorry for missing in action for a long time guys!! I was really busy and also was on a trip to the land of food …
So this trip includes 3 places that I went to Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka!
Kyoto was famous for its 柚餅子! It’s actually a tofu filled with cheese or other fillings and is deep fried!
Nara is filled with wildlife and is famous for its pickles !!
Osaka, needless to say, would be the best stop for all time favorites takoyaki!! Yum! Not forgetting famous ramen!!
Ever heard of the saying ” wear kimonos til you drop in Kyoto and eat til you drop in Osaka ?”
Well, now you have! 😂
So let’s start all the way back to how to plan to get to these places, especially if it’s your first time there!
Firstly, you have 2 choices, one is to book a tour and the other is without a tour !
If you choose to book a tour, be sure to get reviews on the tour and whether it suits your preference!
If you are like me, who prefers free and easy. Then do remember to
1. Research for places of interest
2. Reviews are super important
3. Whether you have sufficient time to cover the places of interest
4. The types of train you would have to get
5. Book your tickets early!
All in all, an itinerary is super important if you choose to go free and easy! An added bonus if you have relatives/friends who have been to Japan so you can seek advice from them! 🤗
In Japan, there are a few types of trains coming onto the same lane so it’s really important to take note of the type of train and the destination it is going towards. If it’s your first time there, it’s really easy to get confused by the systems there ~ if you have no clue on how to speak Japanese, it would be better to download a Japanese-English dictionary! Even though the people there speaks English, it’s minimal and sometimes it’s really difficult to communicate with them with 0 knowledge on Japanese!
Different train systems:
From the fastest …
1.新幹線- the fastest but most expensive train! it kinda took us only 15 mins from Kyoto to Osaka but the price is also very hefty! People planning to go to Tokyo from Osaka definitely have to take this to save time because it only takes 3-4hours!
2.特急: The limited express train! So this would actually bring you to specific destinations, usually those that are popular. The stops in between would be skipped so imagine the time that would be saved! *clap* there’s also reserved and non reserved seats ! On a peak day/hour do get the reserved seat but if it’s just a normal day the non reserved seat will do!! 😊 erm and yeah the reserved seat definitely costs more!
3. 急行: express train~ definitely faster and less stops than the normal train!
4.普通: normal train! this is the slowest train that stops at every stop! If you have time and want to admire the scenery then this is the train that you would want to take! ^^
If it’s your first time to japan, it’s important to get the train pass (JR rail way pass) because it make things easier for you to travel around rather than having to buy tickets !
Also, if you are unclear of what to do in case plans have to be changed , a wifi plan would also be of help although there is wifi all around Kyoto ^^
Air tickets :
I would suggest you guys to book your air tickets earlier because earlier means lesser to pay! it’s an eight hour flight so please make sure you are comfortable ! 🤗
These are the places that I stayed during my days in Japan..
1. Kyoto APA hotel (in 京都 Kyoto)
a) Location is really easy to find. It is just located right beside the Kyoto Station (JR) and a 5 mins walk from the Kyoto Main station as well as Kyoto Bus station where there will be buses that take you the places of interest.
B) The hotel is comfortable but may be a little small for families. Although there is still room for luggage . The hotel has vending machines, which makes it very convenient if you want a drink 🤗 (yes ASASHI beer! Even though I don’t drink haha!) 7-11 is just right at the back of the hotel. There are also 2 more 7-11 in walking distance .
C)Toiletries are provided . There is a bath tub in the toilets . There are robes available for you.
D)Service is good . Staff are polite and ready to help.
Generally advised for those looking for a comfortable place but don’t mind the small walking place ! 😊
2. Osaka Red Roof Hotel (大阪)
I stayed for 3 nights in this hotel because there was one day spent in Universal Studios Japan. So there’s 2 days spent in the normal room and 1 day spent in the premium room!
Normal room: (pardon Bf who was already too tired and lying down)
a) The two types of rooms do not have any bathtub.
b) The normal room has a weird smell to its toilet 🤔 not sure why.
c)Both rooms are very small. It is difficult to unpack luggage and have walking space at the same time.
d)Robes and normal toiletries were provided for the two types of rooms!
e) The premium room is much better as they provide snacks, additional robe towels and face masks 😍 Also, there is a nice view of the city from the window because premium rooms are only designated at the top 2 levels of the hotel. The premium room also provides a humidifier which really helps because the air in Japan is super dry x_x
f) The hotel’s location may be confusing to first-timers because there are many exits located in the NAMBA JR station but do remember it’s Exit (B26)! Also, you would have to take a long walk to the station itself which makes it really annoying. This can be forgiven if you love shopping because the long walk is surrounded by shops and restaurants! Yes ! In the station itself!
g) Also, Dotonbori, a popular tourist attraction, is less than a 5 min walk from the hotel!! Yay! You can just walk down for some street food and ramen!!
If you don’t mind the limited walking space and the fact that it doesn’t have a bathtub! Book this hotel! However, if you have more spare cash do get the premium room! ^^
3. Universal Studios Japan Kaihen Hotel
a)Kaihen hotel has the biggest space out of the 3 hotel. However the television is placed in a very weird position. With an empty wall in front of the bed (?) #OCD
b) The hotel has a bathtub. Toiletries were provided and their toiletries were super cute haha !!
c) Breakfast was alright , however the selections may not vary a lot . Also, you have to wake up at 7am for the breakfast to be able to dine at sky level (top floor) or else have to queue/go downstairs to have your meal because it will be full.
d) Room is a little dusty. However that is okay because there are air filters around for usage.
e) It is located near USJ which makes it a very convenient place . (Around 5 min walk)
f) There is a shopping mall right beside it so you can have your meal at restaurants and shop there . Also there is a mart downstairs ( the food is not good though, hard and cold)
g) they gave us our room card as a souvenir for visiting their hotel haha ^^
Overall ranking from the best:
1. Kyoto hotel
2. Osaka premium room
3. USJ hotel
4. Osaka normal room
Do note that it’s important to search up for reviews on hotel rooms so you would get somewhere comfortable to live in ^^
So if you are ready, buckle your seat belts on the plane and let’s go! 🎉