Japan Diaries 4: Day 74

Day 74: January 14, 2022

Friday - Kyoto x Osaka

Yesterday, while I was watching the news I saw that there was so much snow in Kyoto. Although I now live in Hokkaido where snow is a common occurrence during winter, I was still fascinated with how much snow there was in the ancient capital of Japan. I have been to Kyoto twice during the winter season but I was not able to witness this much snow. Since I'm now vacationing in Osaka, I have had the chance to see with my own eyes what the scenery and the ancient temples would look like if they were covered in snow. 

Here's my breakfast for the day.

That's why the first thing that I did after waking up was to check my phone to see if it was still snowing in Kyoto. I also sent a message to my friend Gil who lives in the city to get the first info. After confirming what I wanted to hear, I immediately changed clothes and packed my travel bag. 

Mr. Toshi dropped me off at Kumatori Station

I transferred to a train from Osaka Station to Kyoto Station

Mr. Toshi then drove me to Kumatori Station and rode the train bound for Osaka Station. I then transferred to the train bound for Kyoto Station.

The bus bound for Kinkakuji

Kyoto Manhole Cover

When I arrived in Kyoto, I was disappointed to see that the snow around the station already melted. My friend Gil suggested I head to the northern part of the city as there might still be snow there. Following her suggestion, I boarded the subway and then transferred to a bus going to Kinkakuji hoping to see the magnificent Golden Pavilion covered with snow. 

I'm happy to see that snow was still falling around Kinkakuji when I arrived

Upon reaching the Kinkakujimichi bus stop, my morale was boosted when I saw snow still falling around the area. Visiting the temple grounds still covered with snow, I hurriedly went to the ticket booth and paid the 400 yen admission fee. All I can say is that the beauty of Kinkakuji today was worth the more or less 85-kilometer journey from Osaka. 

I got to finally see Kinkakuji with snow

From Kinkakuji, I boarded a bus to my next destination, Ninnaji. Like Kinkakuji, this temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's famous for its Omuro Zakura during spring. However, since it's nearby and I haven't been there yet I decided to visit it today. Well, it's a good decision to visit it now as I was the only visitor for quite some time. The snow and its 5-story pagoda were something to see too. Before leaving, I made sure to get a goshuin (temple stamp) for my collection. 


It's my first time visiting Ninnaji

Going back to Osaka from Kyoto Station

Inside Kyoto Station

After enjoying the atmosphere and the beautiful scenery of northern Kyoto City, I boarded a bus back to Kyoto Station

Arrived at Osaka Station

I still have plenty of time to explore this part of Osaka

This is probably the largest station that I have visited so far

Passed through the underpass going to Umekita Sotoniwa Square

Umeda Sky Building

From there, I rode the train to Osaka Station. However, instead of transferring to the train back home, I left Osaka Station to visit Umeda Sky Building

Heading up to the Kuchu Teien Observatory on the 40th Floor 

Kuchu Teien Observatory

You would surely love the panoramic view of Osaka from here

The Umeda Sky Building is popular for its sunset views so I was in luck as there was still time before the sunset. I excitedly walked to the building and headed up to the Kuchu Teien Observatory on the 40th Floor of the building. I had to pay 1500 yen though but it was worth it. The observatory has an amazing view of Osaka City. I stayed and watched the beautiful sunset. It was a sight to behold. 

Since I only ate biscuits for lunch, I googled nearby places to eat dinner while going down to Umeda Sky Building. Just as I reached the ground floor, there was a tarpaulin of Takimi Koji which is a retro restaurant alley that replicates Showa-era Japan. It is conveniently located at the 1F and B1 of the Umeda Sky Building

Kiji Okonomiyaki @ Takimi Koji

It was the owner who cooks for his customers

Takimi Koji has numerous restaurants. It took me almost half an hour to explore it before finally deciding where to eat. I eventually settled in Kiji Okonomiyaki.

The okonomiyaki of Kiji

Okonomiyaki Kiji prides itself on its satisfying best seller which is - you guessed that right, okonomiyaki. The food was affordable and I also got to the front-row seat watching its chef create his masterpiece. 

Kiji Restaurant
I got to have a souvenir photo taken with the owner of Kiji

Aside from the delicious meal, what I enjoyed in Okonomiyaki Kiji was its rustic atmosphere. The chef who I assume is also the owner was very friendly. I even got to have a photo with him before I left. 

Bye for now Umeda Sky Building

From there, I walked back to Osaka Station and boarded the train back to Kumatori Station. Mr. Toshi was already there waiting for me when I arrived. 

Time to go back home @ Osaka Station

When I got home, my Japanese family had to disinfect me by spraying me with so much alcohol, as a matter of fact, if I was a virus, I'd probably shrivel and die. Just to ensure, I immediately took a dip in the hot tub to kill any rogue virus I might have brought with me. Before calling it a day, I spent the night chatting with Mr. Toshi. I also prepared my luggage for my flight back home tomorrow. Today's adventure was a perfect way to spend my last full day in Kansai Region. 

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