Japan Diaries 3: Day 1

Day 1 December 19,2019

Osaka to Kyoto

Ohayou! This is it! It's officially our first full day in Japan. Our plan for today is simple, travel from Osaka to Kyoto and check-in our home for the week. After that, we'd explore and familiarize ourselves with the neighborhood.

Izumisano Center Hotel rm 1710
A view from the Izumisano Center Hotel Room 1710

However,  before anything else, we didn't miss the opportunity to feast on the complimentary buffet breakfast of Izumisano Center Hotel. The food was delicious and was an amazing day starter. After breakfast, our godfather, Mr. Toshi, and his daughter Ms. Sawa came to the hotel to welcome us to Japan. They didn't stay long though and after a brief catch-up chat, bade us safe travels.   

Off to breakfast

The wall design looks like a world map

Checking out the food of Izumisano Center Hotel


Our Godfather Mr. Toshi
Look who visited us - our godfather Mr. Toshi with his daughter Sawa and super cute granddaughter Karin

We checked out of Izumisano Center Hotel at around 10AM, walked to Izumisano Station, and boarded a train to Shin Imamiya Station. From there, we transferred to a train bound to Osaka Station then finally transferred to a train bound to Kyoto Station.  

Izumisano Center Hotel
Goodbye Room 1710.

Izumisano Center Hotel 17 Floor
Photo ops before leaving the 17th floor of Izumisano Center Hotel

Izumisano Center Hotel
We also had our family picture of course.

Izumisano Station
Heading to Izumisano Station

Once there, we spent a few hours in the station waiting for the 3PM check-in time to our Air BnB home. Aside from that, we were also waiting for my sister Aya, who flew to Nagoya last night. She was supposed to join us today after bonding with her friend who's now residing in Nagoya. However, she messaged us to inform us that she'll stay for a day with her friend and head to Kyoto very early tomorrow instead. 

Train to Osaka Station

Transferred to another train bound to Kyoto Station

Arrived at Kyoto Station

Season's greetings from Kyoto Station

Since it was still several hours away from check-in time, we decided to eat lunch at Kyoto Station. We bought bento meals at 711 and looked for a place to eat them. Mister Donut has several tables that we could use and to be fair, we bought coffee before we enjoyed our lunch there. I wanted to tour my family inside Kyoto Station but our baggage prevented us from doing so. Just as we finished our lunch and coffee, our Air BnB host messaged my wife, informing us that we can check in already. It was perfectly timed as we were feeling cold already. 

Air BnB Kyoto
Condominium Kokotomaro - Our home for the week

Air Bnb Kyoto
Look who's already at home in Kyoto

Condominium Kokotomaro, our Air BnB residence, was near Kyoto Station. It only took us about 5 minutes to reach it on foot. The place was charming and fancy. It's a perfect place to stay for tourists with 5-7 members. It was basically a whole house for ourselves. No wonder, it didn't take long for us to feel at home in it. 

Check out our interconnected rooms

Exploring the neighborhood. That's the Kyoto Station.

Upon arrival, we rested a bit and settled in. That afternoon I invited my family to go walking around the neighborhood so that we could familiarize ourselves with the place. However, the female members of the family (my mom, wife, and daughter) decided to stay behind to get an extra hour of rest as they wanted to go to the mall for groceries later at night. So it was only my dad, brother, and I who proceeded to explore the neighborhood. 

Founder's Hall Gate of Higashi Honganji

Higashi Honganji Temple
Higashi Honganji

Tony Nicerio
My dad's first temple visit.

I brought them to the nearest temple that I know which was Higashi Honganji. It was about 950 meters away from our place and took us roughly about 15 minutes to reach on foot. There were several ginkgo trees in the vicinity that by this time were shedding their yellow leaves. We took the opportunity to take several videos of us "showering" with the said leaves. Honestly, it was the first time that I saw my dad genuinely laugh making this bonding moment more memorable. We stayed until closing time (5:30PM) before deciding to walk back home.

AEON Mall Kyoto with my mom, wife, and daughter. 

AEON Mall Kyoto
Buying bread in AEON Mall Kyoto

Upon arrival, my mom asked me if I can accompany her to buy some groceries. I did not say no of course as it was now a chance to bond with her. Together with my wife and daughter, we headed to AEON Mall Kyoto which was only 450 meters from our place. We bought food and several personal effects to be used during our stay in Kyoto. 

Dinner time!

At home, after dinner, I made sure to take a dip in the hot tub as I always do when we are staying in Mr. Toshi's house. This not only relaxes my muscles it also gives me a good night's sleep. 

Nothing beats a dip in a hot tub as a day ender, right Ella?

Good night everyone!

Overall, we might have only visited one major destination and a mall today but tomorrow's itinerary is sure something to look forward to, so follow along and check out where we'd go tomorrow in my next article. 

Read more:

Previous: Japan Diaries 3: Day 0
Next: Japan Diaries 3: Day 2


  1. Such a lovely walkthrough of your day! I like the idea of enjoying your time in a rented out appartment type space versus a small hotel. I'm more inclined towards that, especially during longer vacations if you plan to stay in one spot more comfortably!

    1. True. My wife really did a good job of finding this place. It's so near Kyoto Station that traveling around Kyoto seems like a quick errand to the mall.

  2. Awesome way to adventure around a place! And I love your photos :)

  3. What a beautiful trip! I visited Kyoto 16 years ago. This brings back such fond memories, thank you!

    1. Wow!!! That was such a long time ago! I do hope you could come back and revisit Kyoto. :)

  4. This whole article is really helpful for anyone who is planning their trip to Japan..Good one.

  5. Looks like a fascinating trip! I would love to visit Japan one day.

  6. So much fun with the fam. I wish this Covid would die down so we could travel again 😊

  7. It sounds like you had a lot of fun. Your photos are wonderful.

  8. I sounded like a complete loser but I haven't explored Kyoto (except Inari & Arashiyama). Let alone stay there for a day. Hahaha! I haven't tried checking-in in a hotel too. Loser 2x. Hahah! Seems like you had tons of fun even though you didn't get to explore much that day. It's normal since you just settled in and it's exhausting to travel from city to city (not a fan of commuting). Is Aeon mall similar to Don Quijote? Or is it one of those high-end malls?

    ps: The view from the hotel looks splendid! Looking forward to reading Japan Diaries 3: Day 2!

    1. Awww sayang naman. You should have stayed atleast a day or two in Kyoto. One day in this historic city wouldn't be enough to experience it.

      Aeon Mall is like SM hahaha. Don Quixote is like a compact vertical Divisoria. Haha

  9. I am glad that you enjoyed Kyoto! I went last year to see a manga museum and as went to Nara.

    1. Ohhh shoot, I missed the Manga Museum. Well, at least there is something to revisit again someday.

  10. Hi!
    My name is Jeric. Your blog is good. i am also a blogger and I would like to contact you for collaboration. My website is www.drinkinquirer.com . you may send me an email through info@drinkinquirer.com . Thanks.

  11. JAPAN is my dream destination. Hopefully, will visit after the end of COVID19. Thanks for reminding.

  12. I love the wall art deco of the hotel, super fun!

  13. A great intro to Kyoto. I love the pictures, makes me want to go!

  14. It seems like wonderful place to visit. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Such beautiful architecture! I love the view of the city!

  16. It seems like you had an amazing experience there in Japan. That black temple looks really amazing, great architecture as well.

    1. Thank you Elizabeth. I really did enjoy my time in Japan specially now that I came with my parents and siblings.


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