Our 2017 Japan trip began with a dream to visit the cherry blossom country and with some guts to book ticket without getting annual leave approval beforehand 🙂 Thank God, it worked out well, no issues in getting annual leave approval from both offices. And so it went with the itinerary planning, accommodation booking, and researching. It had been an overwhelming process to plan for the itinerary, when at one hand we wanted to see as many places as possible. On the other hand, time and transportation from point A to B restrained us from going to too many places in a day.
I had been getting a lot help and advices from friends and fellow travellers to Japan. And that had been what made us end up with the final itinerary we did in our trip. We ended up took off handful of places from the original list and prioritized which we had to visit. And, whilst we were happy with how we did, there are still way many places more to visit. It just meant there will be another Japan trip(s) in the future (hopefully!).
Here goes Day 1
Our flight departed Sydney at 9.50 pm to Kansai Airport, stopped over at Hong Kong for about two hours. When we got to Kansai airport, it was already 12 pm the next day. Immigration was moving quickly and so was the luggage. And because we were heading straight to Kyoto, we bought the ICOCA + Haruka one way deal, it costs us ¥3,600. The ICOCA was already preloaded with ¥1,500 and that is definitely something you should get while in Japan. So convenient for not only paying transportation, also for lockers, vending machines, even purchase in convenience stores and other stores.
The Haruka train is an effective way, in regards to both time and money, to travel from Kansai Airport to Osaka or Kyoto. By the time we reached Kyoto station, it was almost 4 pm. Got into the Haruka before getting some lunch was a bad idea. By the time we finally reached Kyoto, we were both starving. And thankfully the first shop we saw when got off the train was this little ekiben shop. And that was where we got our late lunches.
Our Airbnb listing (more on that in the next post) said that it would take around 15 minutes walk from Kyoto station to the house. It took us a bit longer walking with suitcases, but it was easy walk and directions were clear. Exhausted after all that travelling, we also mind-blown with everything we see and experience. The city was so clean, everywhere we walked past, we didn’t see litters or cigarette’s butts on the street. The rivers are so clean that you could see the bottom clearly.
We actually took a short nap once settled in the apartment and only went out again in the evening to look for dinner and explore the surrounding. Agreed that we would have a busy day the next day, we settled on some boxed meal from nearby Family Mart. And let me tell you, for that price, the food were more than just OK. May not be really delicious but better than what you would get in any convenience stores in Sydney for that price. We got a box of ramen (with half an egg), yakisoba, one potato croquette, and a unagi roll – all for ¥1,558 only. And now doing this post, I realized we forgot to take pictures of those bento meals – what sleep deprived can do to you, right?