Today is the day that I am going Arashimaya. Arashimaya is a western district of Kyoto. It is a major touristy site! Going there just for the check box exercise.
In order to go there from where I stayed, I need to take a local train from Kyoto Station. It is a 15 mins ride. As I have a JR Rail Pass, I just need to show the conductor my pass and here I go! The track is track 31-33 at the JR West Gate.
The train to Arashiyama
The train will take you to Saga-Arashiyama Station. Do note that there are two types of train, one will take you direct to this station from Kyoto, while the other will take you thru most of the stop. To me it does not matter as I am not rushing for time. It took me less than 30 mins to get to Arashiyama.
Once you get to Arashiyama Station, you will need to walk about 10 mins to get to the Main Street of Arashiyama. Here you can make a decision on whether to go to the Bamboo Forest or you can Tenryuji Temple.
My trip in Nagano is done. I’ve achieved couple of things:
Went to see the temples in the city (and also experienced Murphy’s Law where most of my cameras are not working except for my phone!
Visited a Winter Olympics site – never been to one before!
Saw some Snow Monkey!
So today.. I am off to my second destination. Somewhere which is quite far and takes a total of 3 hours train ride (~300km).
Me in front of the train tracks heading. I will be heading towards Kanazawa first in which I will switch train to Thunderbird and go to Kyoto.
After I reached Kanazawa, I had a nice lunch at Maimon Sushi. I had sushi here before and hence why I came back here to eat it. It is not as good as Endo in Osaka but it is already great.
Set of 9 sushi with Tamago
The total for the set is JPY2300 which includes 9 pieces of sushi, miso soup and a hand roll. Pretty decent.
After the meal, I then had my first Cremia if the trip. Awesomenesss as always. Unfortunately, I didn’t took any photos. Lol.
After dessert, got back to the train and I am in Kyoto. This is the second time I am here. The first time was when I went to Osaka and dropped by to Kyoto for a day trip. Visited Fushami Inari. This trip I don’t think I will be visiting the Shrines but we shall see.
Today is my second day on holiday. This year – I am actually nursing a foot pain, hence walking for longer distance would be extremely painful. Well, at least to start and once the pain goes away, its actually quite ok. This is probably resulted from my massive preparation for this holiday in which I trek about 5-7km a day, almost 7 days a week (that is until my feet got into severe pain). Probably gotta look at another post for that. And today is only day 2! I am still in Nagano, and today I visited Snow Monkey Park and Obuse.
Snow Monkey Park
First and foremost, you can get more details on Snow Monkey park from this website – http://en.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp. The attraction for Snow Monkey Park is where you are able to see the monkey in the hot spring or Onsen. It is really fascinating to see this, but unfortunately in my trip there – I was not able to experience that. The only that I was able to see was the monkey sipping some warm water from the onsen.
Nagano is a city not far from Tokyo. It is about 2 hours train ride. Refer to my previous post for the experience coming here.
Nagano is located in former Shinano Province and developed from the Nara period as a temple town at the gate of the famous Zenkō-ji, a 7th-century Buddhist temple which was relocated to this location in 642 AD, and as a post station on the Hokkoku Kaidō highway connecting Edo with the Sea of Japan coast. During the Sengoku period, the area was hotly contested between the forces of the Uesugi clan based in Echigo Province and the Takeda clan based in Kai Province. The several Battles of Kawanakajima between Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen were fought near here. During the Edo period, much of the area came under the control of the Sanada clan based at Matsushiro Domain. The area suffered from flooding in 1742, and from a destructive earthquake in 1847. Following the Meiji restoration and the creation of the municipalities system on April 1, 1889, the modern town of Nagano was established. Nagano was elevated to city status on April 1, 1897. It was the first city founded in Nagano Prefecture and the 43rd city in Japan.
Left Kuala Lumpur from via Malaysia Airlines MH88. Flight left on time (surprising for Malaysia Airlines). Flight duration is 6:40 mins and landed in Tokyo about 7:15am. Surprisingly the temperature here is a good 23 degrees. Far cry from the expected low 10s!
Getting the reserved SIM card
First port of call is to pickup the SIM card that I ordered from Sakura Mobile. Pretty expensive but I wanted to have a more stable connection. Paid almost JPY22000! Crazy. The process of picking up the SIM card was easy, as I just needed to go to the post office, and show my tracking number and verify myself with my passport. With that the person will then pass me the package that contains the sim. Once I have the sim, I then installed on my phone. All is working fine now!
Moving on to Rail Pass
I bought the rail pass in Malaysia through the Japanese Travel Bureau (JTB) thats located in Lot 10. Apparently you can only by the pass from overseas but what I found out is that you CAN buy the pass in Japan but the price will be much more expensive. There’s a savings of roughly 10%.
Narita Express to Tokyo Station
Once I gotten the rail pass, I quickly booked a train on NEX (Narita Express) at 9.15am, to get to Tokyo Station. From Tokyo Station – I can take my next train to Nagano.
Lunch at Tokyo Station
At Tokyo Station – there is this place located on 1st Floor – which is called Kitchen Street. Similar to the concept of food court, you can get mostly Japanese local food there. I was toying around the idea of going for a pure Uni bowl, or should I go for Ochazuke. I did go for Ochazuke, and I thought that was a great decision!
The shop on Kitchen Street
Then to Nagano
Utilising the rail pass again, booked a ticket on the Shinkansen heading towards Nagano. Its almost a 2 hours ride. The Shinkansen that I took is the Hokuriku Shinkansen that left Tokyo Station at 12:04pm (train 609) and reached Nagano at 13:53pm. As always – there weren’t any surprises!
I am too tired to continue – will do day 1 tomorrow morning.. maybe