Day 4 – we are moving from Kyoto to Osaka today, exciting and also a little sad knowing that we haven’t got to see so many things in Kyoto. Anyway, let’s leave all that to next trip in the (hopefully not too far) future! We added Ginkakuji on the last minute only because our check out time was at 12pm and so we decided to add one more place to visit in Kyoto before leaving. And Ginkakuji was chosen because we had visited the Kinkakuji yesterday.
Ginkakuji aka the Silver Pavilion is arguably another tourist attraction in Kyoto; albeit not as famous as the Golden Pavilion. Despite it’s name, the building itself is not actually covered in silver. According to some reading materials, the name came as the building’s construction to contrast it with the Golden Pavilion. Another story was, the building used to be covered in dark lacquer and that moon light reflecting on that dark exterior gave silvery appearance.
You can enjoy Ginkakuji following the circular route around it’s ground where the moss garden, ponds, and buildings can be viewed. Also another point of interest here is the well-manicured dry sand garden. After passing the buildings, the path will take you up hill where you could view the entire ground and city view at the back. I personally feel the garden at Ginkakuji is prettier than Kinkakuji, however that golden pavilion just trumps everything else.
We finally got to Nippombashi Subway station around lunch time and headed to our next AirBnb apartment. We just followed the host’s instruction on how to get to the apartment, which turned out to be just a short walk away. As we walked, we could feel how different Osaka is to Kyoto. Osaka is much more alive, more crowded especially since we stayed very close to Dotonbori area. Whilst it is still a very clean city, we both felt Kyoto is much more cleaner and peaceful.
First destination after we left our luggage would be to Osaka Castle and HEP Five. It took us a subway ride, another train ride, and approximately 10 minutes walk from station to the castle ground. And look at what we spotted while walking to Osaka Castle: Mario Kart on the street! How cute are these?
There were two reasons why I had wanted to come here, namely the giant ferris wheel and Gudetama cafe 🙂 I know there is another ferris wheel in Osaka, but apparently this one has a great city view and got lots of great reviews. And also, in the same building there is this Gudetama cafe, which is said to be the only one in Japan. There is another pop up similar cafe in Tokyo – but it wouldn’t be the same, would it?
HEP Five itself is one of the hip mall in Umeda area. There are so many shops in this multilevel building with food courts being on the top level. One of Osaka landmarks, the red ferris wheel is located on the roof top level of the building. But first stop would be the gudetama cafe so that we could catch the sunset view from ferris wheel gondola later.
The cafe was so cute, with full on “lazy raw egg character” wallpaper and decorated with so many cute plush toys. There is also a corner with all the character’s merchandise, which I forgot to take picture of. The menu we thought was simple but really curious to see the real food in comparison to pictures 🙂 They turned out really really cute presentation of meals, but honestly a little overpriced in regards to food quality. But then again, I guess people come here for the experience and not really for how tasty the food are, right?
Because we needed to return the rental pocket WiFi before 5pm, we dropped it back after the HEP 5 ferris wheel ride and that was a mistake! We were so lost in Umeda. Tried to ask the ladies at HEP Five information desk for direction to closest station and once we came out of the building, we just lost again. But while we got lost, we also found some interesting arcades with many food stalls! I wouldn’t know how to get there again now even if I have internet access. After a long walk finding our way to the right station, we finally boarded the subway back to Nippombashi. Day 4 is another day with lots of walking yet a fun day!
What we ate on Day 4
We bought these from the shops outside of Ginkakuji.
Then we had late breakfast or early lunch at a restaurant nearby Ginkakuji.
Our meal at Gudetama Cafe
And lastly, the various food we got from a small shop on the corner of the block where we stayed and the famous Pablo Cheesecake 🙂