DAY 1

May 09 2019

Long awaited trip to japan is finally here!!! Was very rushed, as we had new additions to the family, peanut and oyster... not to mention miao miao and ginger and doby... everyday most of the time spent cleaning the house and all the poop... so so very tiring... impacted the trip preparation as on the last day itself I was still packing and ironing my clothes... but it only made the vacation all the more treasured I suppose coz we finally get to take a break... sa ee will be on Taiping covering in the mean time, bless her...

Trip to penang was clear cut... rained the whole way, dropped by gurney paragon to pick up some kitchen appliances we bought for the new house... then called it a night...

Next day was also uneventful... nice indian uncle took us to the airport, everything was straightforward, helped a chinese lady with her flight ticket and all... then off we went! Had a slight bump along the way : as the plane to japan was heading to the runway there was a sudden medical emergency so the plane had to turn back... cause a two hour delay, but the pilot probably made up one hour by flying faster... of note, his landing was unbelievably smooth... should have clapped for him but didn’t hehe...

Clearing customs was terrible... took more than an hour, but that wasn’t the worst part... turns out all the trains were closed by then as it was almost 2am... only option was to take taxi which cost us 300 ringgit for a half hour journey... so in the end all our effort to get cheap flight by flying ungodly hours went down the drain... ( FYI, train to Haneda airport was only 1200 yen for the both of us!!, roughly 50 ringgit)

But all that said and done, we reached the hotel... very nice but also very cozy space wise... did some dinner shopping on the way to the hotel for a super late dinner... then slept off...

DAY 2

May 10 2019

Woke up late by two hours, but didn’t feel bad coz couldn’t really help it... went to airport again to get all our vouchers, SIM cards, suica cards for subway etc... customer service top notch, everything quite simple to navigate...

Then went to Hakurikyu Gardens... supposedly popular garden, but seemed quite dry and dull to us... maybe wrong season... after that went to ginza high end shopping district... was walking distance, and actually went there quite by accident... it was one of the places we researched and scratched off the list actually...

Had ramen there, didn’t know the price range, so thought it was ok... later on only we saw almost every other shop outside of ginza area was cheaper haha... but it was superb... Tsu Yin also loved it... walked around a bit more... a lot of nice food shops, dessert shop... Tsu Yin went a bit nuts... ended up spending a fair amount on all those haha...

We then went to ikebukuro... basically another shopping district... this area was more diverse, more lively and more to our level of class haha... a lot of electrical shops... of note is Bic Camera... very bright, a lot of stuff... basically just walked around taking photos... quite relaxing...

Decided to call it an early night as we had a lot of things to do tomorrow... took subway back, looked for a grocery store and bought dinner back... very nice to stretch the muscles and relax after a long day...

DAY 3

May 11 2019

Had a failed starting to the day... supposed to be up by 7am, ended up waking at 8.30am... we blame two things : too comfy bed, and complete darkness in the room... no sunlight to wake us up... have to rectify that the next day...

First order of the day, the famous Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens... took the subway there, easy enough, then walked there... bought a tayaki on the way there... they had either red bean or sweet potato, we took the sweet potato one... it was really good!!!

This garden was significantly better than Hakurikyu Gardens... much prettier, nicer architecture, but also a lot more people... spent quite a while there taking photos... they had a lovely rose garden... after that we went to Shinjuku city proper... also walking distance... very busy area, a lot of high end shops there too... had sushi lunch first, did some research and managed to find a cheap place... I don’t usually eat sushi, but this was very fresh and novel, so it was great fun...

After that saw a shop mass selling snacks... wast a big shop, but the stuff was cheaper than elsewhere... wife bought stuff as usual, including sake flavoured kit Kat... we then went food hunting again... stopped by Lumine mall, adjacent to Shinjuku Station, the ground floor was all dessert and food shops... a lot of free samples to try, almost all good to be honest... bought cheese biscuits and one ice cream to share... cheese and milk mix ice cream... super good... wife kept gushing about it whole day... incidentally, Shinjuku station is the busiest station in the world... oh, we also happened to come across a green tea shop, ended up buying expensive green tea... hope our taste buds can appreciate the price difference...

Time for a change in scenery, so we went to the also famous Meiji Jingu shrine... where the soul of the beloved Emperor Meiji and wife was enshrined... gorgeous place, but quite commercialised with a lot of tourists... nicely shaded and relatively peaceful...

After that went to harajuku street, all walking distance... this was even more bustling than Shinjuku... fashion and age group more diverse, super lively and vibrant... a lot of young people... ate a mozzarella cheese hot dog, yummy but expensive at 500 yen, then continued walking until I think we covered most of it...

We then walked to Shibuya... brisk walked that is, as we had half hour before the green tea ice cream shop we aimed for closed at 7pm... it was special because the matcha ice cream was graded from 1-7 in terms of strength and quality... 7 being the highest quality and very bitter apparently... we took grade 4,6 and gyojuro ice cream... gyojuro is high grade green tea apparently... ice cream was good, but then I’m starting to think everything here is good... haha...

Next went to the famous shibuya crossing, crossed a few times and took many pics jehe... also another super busy and vibrant place, if not the most vibrant... huge Zara, berschka, forever 21 etc.... walked non stop...

Ended the day with grocery shopping for dinner, managed to get a few 30% off items so pretty good deal... now gonna sleep!

DAY 4

May 12 2019

Started off the day early... leaving the curtains slightly pulled back really does work!! Hehe... no real issues getting ready and taking the subway to the meeting point at Shinjuku Subaru Building... today the one and only itenerary we had was to see Mount Fuji!!

The ride there was two hours, missus fell asleep pretty much immediately upon entering the bus... I just sat and stoned...

First thing surprisingly enough was actually not to see Mount Fuji, but to visit the Gotemba Premium Outlet.... located at the base of Mount Fuji, we could see the majestic mountain from afar whilst shopping!! Sadly enough after a short while it was covered by clouds, and it turns out it was gonna stay that way the rest of the day...

But the factory outlet was very big... nice and clean... super a lot of shops.. 200 plus.. I got myself a pair of Columbia hiking shoes at 7700 yen... around 300 bucks... so did wife... she got it as a gift for me hehe.. she also bought some shirts and a really stylish raincoat... a lot of Japanese went there with their dogs... seemed to be a thing...

Had lunch there, extra large beef bowl... we shared of course, but it was so so only la... no biggie...

Next stop was a supposedly quaint village called Oshino Hakkai... a village built on a dried up lake bed... has several ponds with huge fishes in them... water is glacial water coming from underground bubbling up... super cold, super clear... main attraction was a pond 8 meters deep, can see all the way down... fishes were super healthy, and it was so clear it looked like it was maybe 1-2 meters deep only... tried some mugwort bean bun... quite interesting...

Last on the list was Lake Kawaguchi... last chance to see Mount Fuji.... everyone was praying for the wind to blow the clouds away, but it was not to be... so had to satisfy ourselves with pictures and selfies...

Day was over, and so we loaded onto the bus and headed back... still in the bus as off this moment of writing... bladder pretty much at capacity, trying not to think about it 😭😭

Will probably walk around Shinjuku and experience the night life there, but some snacks and try to grab some discounted dinner tonight before calling it a day!

Arrived Shinjuku a bit later than expected due to Sunday traffic... but still decided to walk around the area... went for dinner at Tendon Tempura, cheaper than other places... but accidentally took the more expensive dish... but super good!! Must go for more tempura meals!!

Then went to red light district, Kabukicho... not much to see in terms of red light stuff, but still a lot of makan places and cheap snack place called Don Quijote... bought quite a few coz need to give out souvenirs later...

Headed back after that... struggled a bit to find the right station but we managed in the end...

Tomorrow, Disneyland!!!

DAY 5

May 13 2019

Today... Disneyland!!!! Definitely no trouble waking up this time... minimal trouble in finding the meet up location as well... then took around one and a half hour to reach... was a bit chilly, but windbreaker was more than up to the job...

As expected, the Disney aura and charm very quickly infected us, and both me and tsu Yin were super excited trying to catch as many rides as possible... I won’t write much about it here, as it’s something to experience rather than read about, but suffice to say it was definitely worth making the time to come here, more so for the missus since it’s her first visit to Disneyland... so many things she wanted to buy but financial constraints and all that hehe...

A few of the rides were down for maintenance, sad because some were quite major rides, but good also in a way because it made it easier to decide what remaining rides to choose from! Overall I think we managed to do 80-90% of the rides that we aimed for... some, like the teacups, merry go round etc we had zero interest in...

Oh oh of note! Smoked turkey leg!! Amaerican style!!! More than enough to fill us up for lunch!! 750 yen per leg, one for each of us, super satisfied... plus also one long cheerios.... cheerios wasn’t as good but still quite decent...

Now waiting for the night electrical parade to start... 7.30pm... after that just random shopping until meet up time at 8.40pm...

During the day there were also two more parades, very catchy music, the dancers all were so happy and smiling... I would say that they actually exude more joy and happiness that greatly contributed to the fun and wonderment of Disneyland... say compared to America’s disneyworld...

Just finished watching Disneyland’s famous night electrical parade... all the parades decked out in neon led lights... truly remarkable... at first I joked to Tsu Yin that they haven’t seen our kek lok is yet... then halfway through I revised my opinion : I think kek lok si probably learned from them... very nice...

Alas, didn’t manage to catch the nightly fireworks.... think they cancelled it due to weather conditions... it did seem very foggy so that could be it...

On the way back now... gonna drop by grocery store for dinner then head home dee... tomorrow last day in Tokyo so have to properly maximise everything...

DAY 6

May 14 2019

Woke up slightly later than usual since we had no fixed deadline, but it was our last day in Tokyo, so still cannot waste the day away in bed...

After our morning grooming etc, we left around 9.30am to the imperial palace and east gardens... went there by subway, then walked the rest of the way to the east Gardens... it was a big sprawling park, one of three surrounding the imperial palace... the was a pond with gorgeous scenery in the park so took loads of photos... koi in the pond, flowers blooming etc...

Tried searching for the imperial palace after that, used up quite a bit of time doing that before finding out that it was not accessible to outsiders... so in order to make it for our other itineraries we decided to forego it... but before we could do anything else, our stomachs demanded attention... so walked 15 minutes to tendo tendon for tempura lunch... same place as two nights ago... but this time we used a machine to purchase our meal ticket, so that was interesting... all in Japanese and during lunch hour on a workday... the queue behind us really stressed us out, although they didn’t say anything hehe...

Went to asakusa shrine and sensoji temple after that... a little out of the way in asakusa, but boy was it worth it... not only for the shrine and temple there, but also the open market found surrounding it... one of the streets was called Nakamise shopping street... spent a lot of time walking around, buying miscellaneous snacks like matcha ice cream in sweet bread, pork beef bun, sweet potato bun... wanted to buy takoyaki and also tayaki, but a bit full dee by then...

Also bought strawberries again... very sweet and nice here... I could probably eat three boxes all by myself if given the chance...

Then decided to do the final item on our list in Tokyo... akihabara, the center of anime... but disaster struck... wife lost her suica subway card... around rm150 inside... searched everywhere but couldn’t find it... so ended up with a manual ticket that got us into trouble coz we took the wrong line, the guard was nice enough to wave us through though... then bought a new suica card... this time personalised, so even if it got lost we could get a new one reissued hehe...

Dropped by for cheap discounted food at the grocery as usual, then headed home... did some packing for our travel to Kyoto tomorrow... have to do some Kyoto research for tomorrow...

Onwards to Kyoto!!!

DAY 7

May 15 2019

Today we had to bid a teary farewell to Tokyo... it was a wonderful five days... managed to visit probably 90% of the places we aimed for, so was very satisfied... ate a lot of good food, and also saved on a lot of meals by buying cheap discounted food close to supermarket closing times... people were very friendly and all in all, extremely enjoyable... not to mention our Mount Fuji and magical Disneyland adventure!!!

Packed up for our 1pm Shinkansen bullet train trip to Tokyo in the morning with plent of time to spare, dare not risk being late... cost rm503 per person for that 2h17m trio to Kyoto... but by his would have been 8 hours otherwise... we took the nozomi shinkansen, which was the fastest train they had... yay... was clean, spacious and smooth... not many people... so very relaxing... shot of trouble finding where to go in the beginning at Tokyo station, not because they were bad, more because we were too early so our scheduled timing was not being shown yet...

The trip was pretty uneventful... the Shinkansen is more a super efficient way to travel rather than any particular novelty... you don’t feel it’s super fast or anything... it just gets you from point A to point B very fast... upon reaching took a subway to our hotel... also some mistakes here so ended up lugging everything for 1.3km... by the time reached the hotel already muscles aching and tired... but the weather was unbelievably clear and cool... air was so fresh, colours in such beautiful contrast... the only time I remember such perfect weather was in US when I was a kid and in Scotland.... nowhere else has such crisp air... and it wasn’t even in the morning!!

Took a short nap then we went out for a walk... saw a nice long alley called Sanjo street... had wonderful, wonderful ramen and bought miscellaneous from a supermarket... decided to try sake... hehe...

Then we called it a night.. long day tomorrow... so many shrines to go too...

DAY 8

May 16 2019

First proper day in Kyoto!! Woke up a bit late at 8.20am, but still acceptable I think... Kyoto is mainly shrines and temples and UNESCO heritage sites, so anticipate a lot of walking today...

Decided to do those a bit further out from where we’re staying first, so that we can focus more centrally later on... first stop, Kyoto imperial palace and the surrounding park... quite a walk to get there, not to mention the park itself is pretty big... the palace not open to public, but from outside looks quite decent... park wasn’t very packed, so took a nice stroll and was done in short order... walked by nijo castle on the way there, a lot of tourist buses... the park wasn’t as grand as the Tokyo Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden... maybe that’s why it was so empty...

After that we tried to hit some of the smaller shrines I had bookmarked, but it was surprisingly hard to get directions there, even with google... ended up visiting some other random nearby shrines...

We then decided to head to one of the bigger shrines, Ginkakuji Temple... expected it to be nicer, as it was listed in google top attractions, plus it was at the base of mountains, so scenery should be good...

Had to take a bus to get there, fairly straightforward, reached bus stop just as bus pulled up.. lucky us... disembarked and saw a nice grocery store so we bought lunch there to save money... then headed to ginkakuji temple... nice places to stop and eat along the riverbank so that’s what we did... beautiful place indeed... worth the effort to get there...

After lunch, paid 500 yen each to go in... scenery truly beautiful... it’s like in the movies kinda scenery, what we usually associate temples and monasteries to look like... can only imagine what it looks like in spring, autumn and winter...

After that we just mosied around the general region... a lot of other temples and shrines within walking distance that we were unaware of... walked along the famed Philosopher’s Path... the beautiful greens and relaxing environment truly made it one of the most memorable walks ever... the river water was so clean, and you could see huge coi fish inside... as in huge huge... just swimming around without a care in the world... if in Malaysia become satay dee...

Checked out a few more shrines and temples along the way, walk in walk out kinda stuff... but one temple in particular stood out... Eikando Temple... didn’t come across it in my research, but cost 600 yen to masuk... more than Ginkakuji temple... but we understood why upon entering... place was even more gorgeous inside... bigger, grander, scenery nicer... and we could walk into their traditional wooden compound... so serene, so at peace...

After that went to Saimon gate, we didn’t go up the big imposing gate although it looked very impressive as it would cost 500 yen again... bt from a distance seemed good enough for us...

Took subway back, still early so strolled around nearby area... feet tired dee so just sat outside 7-11 with cheap coffee waiting for dinner time...

Dinner time : at a place called Soto Restaurant... downstairs, only 3 tables, very quaint... decided to try their draft beer... food was excellent... wife had some mashed corn thingy whilst I had mackerel.. beer was just nice for me.... I realised food when eaten in a restaurant here is always super good... especially their ramen... I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!!!

Ok time to sleep dee... didn’t really do much after dinner, except maybe laundry... hehe another long day tomorrow!!

DAY 9

May 17 2019

Made excellent time today wrt waking up... I managed 7.15 whilst Tsu Yin was up by 7.30am... major improvement hehe...

Long day today... shrines to see, bamboo groves to stroll through... so first stop was finding the bus that would bring us to arashiyama... the place with all the bamboo groves... had a lot of difficulties finding the correct bus stop and correct bus... fortunately managed to hop on the correct one on the first try... 20 minutes to get there..

Place was more on the outskirts, beautiful as expected, but fully crowded with tourists... not at all like the serene photos you see on Facebook... we first crossed the togetsugyo bridge, rather unremarkable, then went to visit tenryu-ji temple.. not a bad temple, 500 yen, not sure it’s fully worth it though... after that we connected straight to the bamboo grove... again, it was ok, but not as calming or awe inspiring as I was expecting... next though, was something not on our list, it was a villa built by a famous samurai actor in the past... cost 1000 yen each!! But with complimentary cake and green tea... the guy’s name was Okochi Denjiro, the place called Ochiro Sanso... turned out to be surprisingly worth it... stunning views from high tops, beautiful gardens, then there was this small house where you get to experience sitting in the bamboo hut and just be one with nature... wife got bored fast though... haha... the cake and tea was fun too... the green tea was surprisingly bitter, but nice... maybe good quality that’s why... after that walked around arashiyama city and park, also full of people, but very fun to walk about taking in the sights... walked along the river as well...

After that we decided to hit ryoanji and kinkakuji temple... and this is where the headaches started!!! Didn’t know where to wait for the bus, then hopped on the wrong bus so had to jump off then take a surface train to ryoanji... a lot of walking involved, but we got there in the end... stopped at a small local restaurant for late lunch... not too expensive, food was quite decent with very good portion...

Ryoanji temple is also one of the famous one on the list of top attractions, but it was surprisingly mediocre... there was a rock garden there, supposedly internationally famous, but all we saw were rocks placed in a pebble garden...

I think we are starting to get a bit jaded with the scenery and shrines... after a while it all seemed a bit similar... perhaps our mistake was coming end of spring... kinda neither here nor there... next time have to aim for cherry blossom time, autumn or winter... all have their inherent beauty so probably have to visit japan multiple times in the future hehe...

Next up, the famous Kinkakuji Temple... aka Golden Pavilion Temple... said to house relics of Buddha, there’s a gold plated temple there with a Phoenix on top of it... this was he most crowded of all the temples we went to, and maybe also the biggest and nicest... Eikando Temple was maybe on a smaller scale... walked around taking photos and all... same old same old...

After that, we were pretty satisfied, having covered more than we expected today... it was only 4.30pm then, not sure what to do... most of the shrines closing dee, so we decided to visit town a bit, so next day won’t be so hectic...

Went to Maruyama park... currently sitting on a bench there, wife merajuk refuse to walk any more at the moment... and she’s watching Netflix smack in the middle of Kyoto!!! Sigh......!!!

After that we walked around Gion Corner, the place where geishas were originally trained... very gorgeous place, yellow lights everywhere, but no geisha to be found... think they too shy to come out because everybody looks and points very rudely apparently... but the walk in itself was very nice... then walked a bit of the high street, a lot of famous brands... Zara, LV etc... maybe not as vibrant and full of spirit as Tokyo, but very bustling nonetheless... and amazingly enough, the whole pavement stretch is roof covered with lights the whole length! And it’s a long long road... then accidentally strolled onto teramachi street... endless rows of shops all still open at 7+pm... but we were too tired to shop dee... will leave that for the next day... even more brightly lit than outside, and that’s actually saying a fair bit...

Decided to have ramen at the same place as our first day... really delicious, this time the waiter offered us the English menu, and we learned so much more this time! At the Center of the restaurant they have free small side dishes that we weren’t aware of before!! All you can eat side dishes... and one of em was minced chicken meat!! I took two helpings hehe... the place is called Ramen Yoshiharu... the best ramen ever, with very decent price at 789 yen, friendly waiter, pretty waitresses, lots of garlic, chilli also very nice and free side dishes!!! Total win!!!

Headed home freshened up and gonna sleep soon... tomorrow is free and easy going city centre shopping and maybe one or two nearby shrines that’s all...

DAY 10

May 18 2019

Ok my entry just got deleted as the app crashed... let me restart...

Light and easy day today, gonna check out central city, maybe visit a shrine or two... woke up fairly early, had quick breakfast and headed out to Sanjo corner... wanted to check it out when all the stores were open, but surprisingly at 9am most were still closed, so we decided to forego it and head on to Nishiki market..

On the way there saw a small store selling daifuku and dango... daifuku was coffee flavoured, not bad, but dango, mochi covered in caramelised soy sauce, didn’t agree with our palate at all... had to throw it away after a few bites... mouth got confused with a dessert that’s drenched in a savoury sauce...

Reached Nishiki market, and boy was it an experience!! Even the first 50 meter took half hour to traverse, there were so many interesting things to see!!! I bought more green tea, a green tea whisk, Tsu Yin was so taken with all the exotic foodstuffs... she bought things like cherry blossom flower that’s pickled with salt or sugar... not sure how to use it, but can steep in water la at least...

Also saw crabs, prawns, sashimi, sushi, desserts galore... I saw a stall selling green tea from buckets of green tea!!! Of course I couldn’t resist hehe..

Then decided to go to fairly nearby shrine called Kiyomizu-dera temple... the road there was amazing... for starters it was a windy road, dotted with super a lot of shops, the buildings were the traditional type, and in addition to all that, they were all giving free food samples!!! We ate so much we could even afford to forego lunch!!! The walk itself was worth the time... we bought some pretty expensive cakes... but could only be found in Kyoto... and it was really good... so I think it was ok...

We then reached kiyomizu dera temple... I think this might be the nicest temple of all the ones we went to... 400 yen... price was ok, full of people, the most crowded so far.. but the Temple was huge... or more specifically the grounds was huge... with a background of mountains it really was gorgeous... oh ya the weather was perfect too... rained a bit in the morning but that’s it... cool and breezy the whole day... made some prayers since we were there hehe...

Then, heading out from the temple there was a sign to Seikanji Temple... well off the beaten path, we maybe encountered three or four people going there... now this is what I envisioned a shrine to be like... when we reached we were the only ones there... so so peaceful and quiet.. so serene, cool wind, surrounded by trees, peace and quiet only... the temple wasn’t big... but it was perfect... it had a tragic love story to it though... an emperor that died at 21 years old due to heartbreak was buried there, where the love of his life was forced to become a priestess... so she prayed for him everyday for the rest of her life... heartbreaking...

Walked the remainder of the kiyomizu temple after that and headed out... not many stalls on the way out... went back to high street, walked around a bit then hit teramachi street again coz quite a big portion we missed out on... by then our feet were starting to give way... checked out the nearby mall called Oi Oi that had a gorgeous food hall... but expensive... so just watch and drool la hehe...

Headed home to our local supermarket to save on dinner and just relaxed at home... couldn’t do laundry as they ran out of washing detergent... good in a way, can rest hehe...

Last day in Kyoto tomorrow!! Time flies damn it!!!

DAY 11

May 19 2019

For once, wife woke up earlier than me... hehe... didn’t have much in the way of breakfast, as we wanted to clear our stock, it being our last day in Kyoto and all, then off we went!

Finally gotten a bit smarter, we bought the Kyoto subway one day pass at 600 yen... not sure if we will save money, but at least no stress if we make any mistakes... it doesn’t cover JR lines, which we found out the hard way...

First stop, the famous Fushima Inari Taisha shrine... apparently made famous from being featured in some movie... as expected, the shrine was thronging with people... but the place was big, and very surprisingly, there was no entrance fee... the place was very pretty, although not serene at all considering the bus loads of people... walked through the red coloured shrine gates taking photos non stop... wanted to the the trail that goes all the way up to mount something, but it was 40 minutes away, so regretfully we had to say no to it... plus wife was getting hungry/grumpy dee...

After that we took a train to another temple... also very famous: sanjusangendo temple... a bit expensive to enter, but probably worth it in the end... saw the 1000 armed Buddha, with the 1000 images of Buddha and 28 guardian deities... architecture and compound a bit different from what we have been seeing, so that was nice... got nice breeze as well to make things cool and calm...

After that we walked to the nearby Tofukuji shrine... but had to stop at Fresco supermarket to hunt for food... tummy protesting loudly dee... ate by the roadside, but since weather was cool it was actually ok... Tofukuji Temple was also very impressive, several buildings in the compound, huge sanmon gate that was very imposing... paid 400 yen to enter the grounds... but I think it was worth it... there was a wooden bridge that was taller than the tree tops... look over to the other side could see people walking in the adjacent wooden building... absolutely gorgeous... it’s so calming when you’re surrounded by endless trees and greens... deep breaths and you can smell the scent of nature, of the forest... reminds me of all our US nature walks actually...

After that took a bus to Heian Jingu shrine... good opportunity to rest our feet for a while...
The shrine was quite central, so taking a bus there was quite straightforward, then a nice short walk there... the place was relatively empty... but from the looks of it, it was designed to accommodate large numbers of tourists... cost 600 yen to enjoy the gardens... wife didn’t care much for it, coz the trees were all green and fairly monotonous... but I really liked it, especially as there weren’t many people, and it was so quiet...

At the end of it we decided to go back for early dinner and get our breakfast from fresco... have to pack and all tonight so couldn’t afford to go back too late...

Went back to Yoshiharu Ramen again for the third time... yes, it’s that good... and one of the cheapest ramen we found... ordered gyoza too this time... unbelievably tasty as usual...

Packing was straightforward, weight and space wise we should be ok...

So in conclusion, I think we covered a fair bit of Kyoto, walked super a lot, visited almost all of the main shrines and temples, as well as some not so famous ones, walked the city centre fairly extensively, experienced the traditional setting of Gion Corner, forgot about Pontocho Alley though (supposedly pubs and bars and sake shops etc) and tried most of their Kyoto only food and desserts... a good journey definitely...

And I bought so much green tea!!! 13 packets as of last count... gonna buy maybe more matcha in Osaka... don’t plan on getting much of anything else anyway...

DAY 12

May 20 2019

Woke up a bit later than usual as the only thing today was to head over to Osaka... cleated everything up, had breakfast and did some research on osaka before checking out...

This time it was a short walk to nijojo-mae station, then followed instructions by mr google and the Osaka accommodation to hit osaka station... was a bit confusing at Kyoto station but people were very friendly and showed us the way...

Reached osaka 12 plus, and had to transit again... this station is very big, attached to a mall I think, saw a lot of fancy shops... halfhour later we were checking in to our air bnb place... supposedly 4pm baru can check in, but the host was nice enough to let us in by 1pm so that was a big bonus!

Since we had a half day left, we decided to at least hit some attractions so as not to waste time... went to the nearby shopping street called Shinsaibashisuji shopping street... we actually started at one point and walked towards the end... whilst busy, we didn’t think it was all that great... reaching the end, we turned out to the main road, walked a bit and decided this can’t be all there is to it, since this street is famous... walked back, and lo and behold, the other direction stretched out to accommodate hundreds of shops, and was three times busier than the one we walked!!! A lot of chinese shoppers... they brought empty luggages, bought in bulk and loaded it in... really crazy... in uniqlo, the tax free line was so long it snaked around the shop and reached the escalator haha...

Did a fair amount of shopping in Daiso... here daiso has so many things!!! And is so cheap!! 108 yen with tax, around RM4 each item!!! Malaysia is 5.60... crazy... I bought like 10 socks hehe and some carabiners...

Saw shops like Gucci, Zara, Louis vitton, Tiffany and co, hnm along that stretch itself had three outlets... really crazy... puts shinjuku as a far second and places like London and New York to shame in my opinion...

After that we realised there’s no way we can finish everything, so probably will hit this place every evening just to walk around... oh we also crossed the Ebisu bridge, affording us a nice view of the rows of street stretching out along the river, and also the Glico Man!!! Apparently very famous and a hallmark of Osaka... everybody took pictures of it...

Now comes Tsu yin’s favourite part... she found a huge, amazing supermarket... and it really was haha... so many things to see, all exotic stuff, a lot of the foodstuff on discount, which was perfect since our plan was to buy a lot of beef to cook over here hehe... ended up with rm250 worth of groceries, but I think quite economical rather than eating out... will probably visit it again... it’s called Central Life Square.. saw it by accident... thanks to wife hehe...

Went home and wife cooked an amazing meal, pan fried the beef and had rice with it... really yummy... was so so full after that!!! Just as well not doing this for too long, I think it’s so tasty because the beef is very fatty hehe...

Tomorrow is osaka fish market!! Won’t wake up early for the tuna auction... we don’t wake up early well hehe... just go visit probably enough la...

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