Day 1 :: 17 Nov 2016 :: Thu
This is our 3rd trip to Japan, and 2nd trip within 2016. Our previous trip was just 7 months back in April 2016. Itinerary for both trips were almost identical.
For the Apr 2016 Sakura trip, we went like this:
Tokyo > Kyoto > Osaka > Nara
For this Nov 2016 Autumn trip, we went for this:
Osaka > Kobe & Himeji > Kyoto > Nara
Why did we visit Japan 7 months apart and duplicated most of the itinerary? The reason was due to our lovely yet naughty boy, Jevriel Lucas. He just turned 3 year old during the Apr 2016 trip, and was supposed to be travel friendly. However he wasn’t really that travel friendly and we really did not enjoyed the previous trip. I particularly love Kyoto but my cranky boy made me an angry man that could not truly appreciate Kyoto’s beauty. Thus we decided to revisit some of the places, as well as places we planned to but missed out. Another reason was our previous Hokkaido Autumn trip in 2014 did not yield the best Autumn experience, so we wish to hit 2 birds with a stone. Revisiting Kyoto in Autumn!
We arrived Osaka via limousine bus (Kansai International Airport to OCAT) at around 6pm and the sky was pitch dark by then (short day of Autumn). After settling in our apartment (booked via Airbnb), we headed to Dotonbori for dinner. The famous Osaka Gyoza is really good (YEN200 for 6 pieces). By the way, the same brand in Singapore sucks totally. Amber saw the “famous” Ichiran Ramen and was blabbling that it is a highly-recommended-must-try. The 30 min wait turned out to be great disappointment. I had a couple of bad Ramen in my life, and Ichiran is one of them.
After an unfulfilling dinner, we queued for another 30 min at a Takopachi outlet (just next to the disappointing Ichiran Ramen), which was really worth the wait. 9 Takopachi balls for YEN500. that tasted really good with big fat crunchy octopus meat.
Feeling filled, we walked around to explode the area around Dotobori. We went through the sleazy lanes with hostess clubs, the shopping lanes, and also stumbled across a lane of upmarket drinking/dining place. With a heavy stomach, I had to left the drinking for tomorrow. A 300ml bottled sake (YEN224, which was SGD3. Dirt cheap!) from the convenient store was my consolation to end the night.