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Osaka Trip 2014 – Day 4 (Kyoto)

Woke up early morning, getting ready for this new day of adventure. Feeling excited, we begin with the morning breakfast at the hotel which cost 1000 Yen each. The breakfast is the at 1st floor dinning area. And the breakfast set is the best breakfast I ate in Japan, which consist of a soup of the day, yogurts, salad, two pita sandwiches (different ingredients daily), coffee/tea, milk/orange juice, fresh made vegetable smoothie. It could be consider a full course breakfast with so many types of food in the set meal. And consider quite healthy kind of breakfast for me.

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After breakfast, we walk to the subway to take the JR train from Kujo station to Arashiyama Sagano Station station for the Sagano scenic train ride. The Sagano Scenic Railway is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of western Kyoto, which is mostly known for the Arashiyama area. Known also as the Sagano Torokko or Sagano Romantic Train, this retrofited old-fashioned stream train takes you beyond Arashiyama for a perfect escape from the busy cities of Japan. Initially we are suppose the take the JR train to a JR station near Torokko Hozukyo station instead and took the scenic train from Torokko Hozukyo station to Sagano Torokko Station, but we alight at the wrong JR station instead. So in the end, we bought a 2 way ticket for the scenic train from Sagano Torokko Station -> Torokko Hozukyo station -> Sagano Torokko Station. So if anyone is going for this scenic train, it is recommend to alight at the JR station near Torokko Hozukyo station and take a 1 way scenic train from there to Sagano Torokko Station, which is more worth it. Or alternative you could still alight at Arashiyama Sagano Station and take the scenic train to Torokko Hozukyo station and when taking the scenic train back to Sagano Torokko Station, you could alight midway and walk through that bamboo forest back to Arashiyama Sagano Station which is another scenery area to visit. There is another choice too, which is took the scenic train from Sagano Torokko Station to Torokko Hozukyo station. Then take a bus/taxi from there to a small pier and took a boat ride down the river back to Sagano Torokko Station. Remember to get the boat ticket at Sagano Torokko Station too. Cost fee per person per way is 600 Yen.

Since the time is still early, we took a walk near the train station for a while before he head back to the train station for the scenic ride. The ride to Torokko Hozukyo station is a free standing ride as we could not get the seated ticket. But the ride back will be seated.

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At last, its time to board the scenic train. We went in and queue up and the train arrived in short while. The train looks very nice.

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When the train arrived, we board the train and find a good place to stand in the middle of 2 rows of seat. But we saw some empty seats and we took the seat since none is sitting on it. 😛 We are lucky that throughout the ride, no one took seat.

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The train passed through a lot of areas showing mountains, grassland and there is river running beside the train route. It is so beautiful that everyone keep taking photos non-stop, including me too. 😛

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When we arrived at Torokko Hozukyo station, we alight for a short walk around here while waiting for our next train back to Sagano Torokko Station.

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Saw this van store selling BBQ wild mushroom and we bought a cup to try. It so delicious with the wild mushroom taste. Good!

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When its time to leave here, we walk back to the train station and took the scenic train back to Sagano Torokko Station

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After alight at Sagano Torokko Station, suing the map below, we look for the Tenryuji Temple. Along the way, we passed by lots of restaurants which looks very good. As it is already afternoon, we decided to look for some Soba for lunch. It so happen that we passed by this shop selling soba, which is recommend online. Thus we just go for this and ordered wild vegetable soba and fish soba. I also ordered 1 potato. The soba is the hot soba and I highly recommend this as the soba is the best I had tasted in Japan so far. The soup is so good that I finished it all. 😛

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After lunch, we are energised again. We continuo to look for Tenryuji Temple and managed to find it near this store. The entrance fee per person is 500 Yen. Tenryu-ji Temple, the first-ranked of the Five Great Zen Temples of Kyoto. The building and decoration inside is a fine blend of aristocratic tradition and Zen culture, displaying the beauty of the four seasons.

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After this, our next place is Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is a must visit place. Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社, Fushimi Inari Taisha) is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which belongs to the shrine grounds. We took the JR train to JR Inari Station, which the shrine is located just outside the Inari station.

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People wrote wishes on this and hang here for their wishes

At the back of the shrine’s main grounds (can see from the map above) is the entrance to the torii gate covered hiking trail, which starts with two parallel rows of gates called Senbon Torii (“thousands of torii gates”). The torii gates along the entire trail are donations by individuals and companies, and you could find the donator’s name and the date of the donation inscribed on the back of each gate.

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So you may choose to walk till midway of the trail and turn back or walk all the way to the end. But the torii gates will get lesser and lesser as you walk deeper into the trail… My wife and I only walk till midway and we walk another way out

After we came out, we saw some store selling Tokoyaki. Feeling hungry, we queue up to get some. But the wait is super long, and when came to our turn, we have to wait for the cooked ones. But as we wait, we saw some people be hide us left. And in the end, we gave up too and left. And all the people waiting be hide also left. I’m sure that uncle will be shock when he turn around and saw no one left. Hahahah… But I bought a stick of chicken stick which is quite salty due to the sauce

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We took the JR train back to Kyoto station and we went to the look for dinner at the shopping area near the station. We passed by a Muji shop on the way and we went in to take a look. After screening through most of the restaurant, we decided to try out this Okonomiyaki restaurant. Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake made with a base of wheat flour, eggs, and cabbage, with other ingredients thrown in like beef, pork, seafood, and cheese. Ordered Sake mushroom, noodle okonomiyaki, and steak okonomiyaki. They are really delicious, especially the noodle one which I love it. A must try when you are in Japan

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After dinner, we shop around here and bought gloves for tomorrow trip 🙂 There are lots of shopping mall around here which you could find all kinds of clothes, beauty product, restaurant etc. After that we took the train back to Kujo station and rest early for the night.

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