Sunday, June 22, 2014

Itinerary: Osaka, Okayama, Kobe, Kyoto, Japan


Destinations: Osaka, Okayama, Kobe, Kyoto, Japan
Travel Date: May 16-19 2014 (3d3n)

Temperature
May 17 (Kobe): 19.3 (mean), 22.5 (max), 14.8 (min)
May 18 (Kyoto): 21 (mean), 28.2 (max), 13 (min)
May 19 (Osaka): 21.6 (mean), 26.7 (max), 16.6 (min)


Accommodation
Hotel IL Cuore Namba
Address: 556-0011, Osaka Naniwa-ku Nambanaka 1-15-15
ホテルイルクオーレなんば   556-0011, 大阪市 浪速区難波中1-15-15
Hotel Review 

Food and Restaurant Tip - Kumpai! 

Itinerary:
Saturday
-From Osaka, go to Okayama by train
-Visit Wake Wisteria Park, Wake Folk Museum
-Go to Kobe by train
-Visit old Western-style buildings in Kitano area
-Walk along Flower Road
-Return to Osaka by train

Sunday
-From Osaka, go to Kyoto by train
-Visit Mimuroto-ji Temple (Azalea)
-Kawaramachi Catholic Church
-TOEI Kyoto Studio Park
-Return to Osaka by train
-Namba Parks

Monday
-In Osaka, visit Nakanoshima Park (Roses)
-Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park
-Departure in Kansai International Airport (KIX)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

2014 May: Japan: Osaka: Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park

Travel Date: May 19. 2014
Location: Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park, Osaka

Humbling experience to see the locals running along with their bikes, the kids playing along the sprinklers and water, ajumma and ajusshi hold their hands while walking.  


After a 10-15 minute walk in lush greenery, it is so much surprising to see this at the end of the road.

2014 May: Japan: Osaka: Nakanoshima Park

Travel Date: May 19. 2014
Location: Nakanoshima Park (Rose Garden)


May is the month when roses bloom in most parts of Japan.  I have visited Nakanoshima Park (Rose Garden).  Coming from Sakaisuji line, drop off at Kitahama station and get off Naniwabashi exit, it is surprising to see the garden in the middle of the river and cityscape.

Tip: Try to visit earlier of the morning or very late in the afternoon.  You don’t want to walk along the park with a very hot 26 degrees Celsius.



Sunday, June 15, 2014

2014 May: Japan: Osaka: Namba Parks

Travel Date: May 18, 2014 Sunday
Namba Parks, Osaka
〒556-0011 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Naniwa-ku, Nanbanaka, 2−10−70



2014 May: Japan: Kyoto: Toei Studio Park

Travel Date: May 18, 2014 Sunday
Toei Kyoto Studio Park Japan
〒616-8161 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Ukyo Ward, Uzumasa Higashihachiokacho, 10
9:00am-6:00pm ・March-July,September(Sat,Sun&Holidays)
Admission: 2200yen
Map: http://www.toei-eigamura.com/en/pdf/parkmap_en2014.pdf

From Nijo take the San-In line, drop by Uzumasa.  There is only one exit and has a sign going to TOEI Studio Park.  

The area is big, but you can spend half a day or 3-4 hours to enjoy and see what's worth of the entrance.

Anime Museum

Hero Land in Padios

2014 May: Japan: Kyoto: Kawaramachi Catholic Church

Central terminals are really confusing. Due to sudden change of itinerary, it took me more time to figure out the name of the line and which platform in Kyoto is going to Kyoto-Shiyakusho-mae station.  

Arriving at the station and taking exit 1, it took around 10-15minutes to reach the Roman Catholic.  Starting May 2014, English mass will only be on 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month.

Kawaramachi Catholic Church (Kyoto Diocese Cathedral)
Kawaramachidori-sanjoagaru, Nakagyo-ku, KYOTO, 604-8006
Patron Saitn: The Holy Mother of the Capital






2014 May: Japan: Kyoto: Mimuroto-ji Temple

Travel Date: May 18, 2014 Sunday 
Location: 
Mimuroto-ji Temple, Kyoto Prefecture 611-0013, Japan
三室戸寺 21 莵道滋賀谷 Uji,
Open: 8:30 to 16:30 (until 16:00 from November to March)
Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time; Admission: 500 yen

Aside from Umeda in Osaka, there is another option to reach Kyoto.  I took Keihan Line from Yodobashi station to Chusojima.  Then, exchange to Uji line going to Mimurudo station.

In early weeks of May, you'll see full bloom of azaleas in Mimuroto-ji Temple.  It is about 20 minute walk from the station.  

Check if you can see the signage and directions while being covered by the branches.



Saturday, June 14, 2014

2014 May: Japan: Kobe: Flower Road

Travel Date: May 17, 2014
Location: Flower Road, Kobe, Japan


Traveling solo makes me listen to what I see, I just love to spend sometime making a stop and watch these people as they make music.  

Flower Road gives a promising and untiring walk even for more blocks.  It is well maintained with varieties of flowers and lighted streets at night.




2014 May: Japan: Kobe: Kitano-Cho

Kitano-cho (北野町, Kitanochō) is a city district at the foot of the Rokko mountain range where many foreign merchants and diplomats settled after the Port of Kobe was opened to foreign trade in the second half of the 19th century. More than a dozen of the former mansions, known as Ijinkan, remain in the area and are open to the public as museums. [Read]


Arriving at Sannomiya Station, from Tourist Information Center it will take 15 minutes walk going to Kitano. I was able to pass by the old English architecture of Starbucks.


In Kitano-cho Plaza, glad to catch a simple street circus entertainment.

Artists near the Weather Clock house.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

2014 May: Japan: Okayama: Wake

Wisteria,  a flower that is more sensitive than cherry blossom and flourish in a shorter period - mostly during Golden Week or last week of April to first week of May.

It took almost 3 hours and 4000yen from Osaka to Okayama, with the following transfers:
  • Midosuji line: Namba to Umeda
  • Tokaido lineL Umeda to Himeji
  • Sanyo line: Himeji to Aboshi
  • Sanyo line: Aboshi to Aioi (Banshu-Ako)
  • Sanyo line: Aioi to Kamigori
  • Sanyo line: Kamigori to Wake


Tip: Look at the screens, every 10-15 seconds, it will change from Japanese to Romanized, to guidelines on which platform you'll wait.


From Wake station, took a cab going to Fuji park - Wake-cho 1386-2 Fujino.  

藤公園 和気町藤野1386-2 【問い合わせ先】和気町役場産業振興課 TEL:0869-93-1126 

Terribly disappointing because the blooming season is over by 17-May.  Instead of falling petals, there are a lot of hairy caterpillars that brings itchiness (Filipino: higad).