Since it was already rainy season in Japan, we grabbed the opportunity to go to Kyoto on our second day while Mr. Sun was still out. We booked for non-reserved seats in their bullet train, about Y10000, roundtrip. Riding their bullet train is a must-try since they’re known for that. As one of the fastest trains on earth, why not shell out? Riding it was like riding a plane but felt like we were going 300 km/hr. Haha! You may also opt to go to Tokyo and avail of their unlimited train pass for a higher price.
Once in Kyoto, we still had to figure out what to do and how to get there since it was an entirely different city. Good thing they have information booths where tourists won’t have a problem asking questions. We opted to go to two places – the Bamboo Grove (for my mom who loves bamboo) and to the Fushimi Inari Shrine (which my sister wanted to see). After my sister figured out our transportation, we took the train again and went down the station to see the bamboos. Take note that it takes about 10 minutes of walking to get to the Bamboo grove. But the streets are filled with stores and cafes so your eyes will be busy looking around. Before entering the grove, we had a quick lunch at one of the food stalls there. Aside from the sushi we bought from the station, we also bought fried chicken (Y300) which is a huge thing there and udon noodles (Y500) for my mom and aunt. We also tried this green gooey ball thing on a stick that a lot of people were buying, which turned out to be a rice cake with savory sauce. We didn’t like it though.
After lunch, we started walking towards the Bamboo grove. As the name says, it’s all about bamboos and nature. Be prepared to do a lot of walking but if you easily get tired, you may also ride their “cart” which is being pulled by a man. Only two persons for each cart though.
Heading back, we stopped by a small ice cream shop and, you guessed it, I bought some matcha ice cream again (Y200). Off we walked again towards the station but not before stopping at a small café. I think Japan in general has expensive coffees since their Starbucks prices are about P100 more expensive as compared to Manila. Anyway, we refueled with iced coffee (about Y250 each) and some bread (about Y150 each). Then back to the station to figure out how to get to the Fushimi Inari Shrine.
We actually rode the wrong train in an attempt to get to the shrine. Our first official misadventure! Haha. The train we rode was going the right direction but did not stop at our destination, which is the Inari station. So we went back again and finally arrived at the shrine. A win for us was that there was no fare adjustment in the ticket even though we rode the wrong train.
The place is huge and you have to go up the hill to see the tori path (those numerous orange polls). Mom didn’t go with us anymore so she stayed by the entrance and looked around the souvenir shops, which closes at around 5pm. We went up the pathway but didn’t reach the top of the shrine though. There are maps along the way so you know where you are located.
After a while, we headed back to the main station and found the Kyoto tower outside. We also had dinner at the mini mall below and looked around their Y300 store, which sells everything at Y300, just like our Daiso stores in Manila or the dollar stores in the US, but with higher quality. Dinner was udon noodles (Y750) at a restaurant in the station. Sharing is ok so if you’re a light eater, this is your bet. Then back to Nagoya again via bullet train. The bullet train has trips up to around 10pm. Just make sure to check their schedule to avoid getting left behind.