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Osaka+Mie+Kobe+Nara+Kyoto | Must Go Place & To Do Chanwon’s Itinerary

28 August 2019

Hello Sweeties✨Welcome back to my blog! Today, I'm going to share and blog about the complete itinerary guide on my recent trip to Nara > Mie > Osaka, Kobe > Kyoto in Japan. I just unlocked one new prefecture again and more to go to conquer all the 47 prefectures in Japan. This trip has the complete new experience as I visited and did cycling for 2 hours at a new countryside area which is just one hour away from Osaka, get to try the yummiest shaved ice 'kakigori' ever in Kyoto, experience the night lantern festival in Nara, first experience of flowing noodles #流水素麵, get to eat the super fresh seafood with Ama-san, soap into the famous golden and silver onsen in Arima onsen and last but not least, pay a visit to the famous Ise Shrine as well.

This trip is so special for me! You can use this itinerary for your upcoming trip as well but some of the the festival like the lantern and flowing noodles only available during Summer season(now) in Japan. I'm really surprise as I have never visit to Japan during August, which is actually the hottest season now and surprisingly I'm loving it. I have a blast during the whole trip as this itinerary and places I visited is really special!!

On this post I will be providing some itinerary info and also the transportation pass that I use. You can always bookmark or keep this post as your reference if you are interested to #FollowChanwonTo all these wonderful hidden spot again as most of it only well known locally. So are you guys ready for it?!!!




#THIS TRIP SUITABLE FOR

This trip is suitable for the 20s to early 30s friends and couples travellers who visited Kansai area for the second time. It also means that this is suitable for repeat travellers that is not a first timer to Osaka and Kyoto prefecture. If you are going to visit Osaka and Kyoto for the first time then read this post (click here). If you visited to Japan for a few time and wanted to experience something new or still planning for your upcoming trip to Japan this few months then this will be another itinerary suggestion and guide for you as well.

Since I'm one of the repeat traveler to Kansai Area and not the first timer to Osaka, this itinerary is just so useful on me. I hope you guys can make use of this full itinerary or mark down any specific spot that you wish to visit and include it into your coming itinerary plan.



#WEATHER

This is one of the frequently asked question and always refer to google as reference and search for each specific prefecture as each area in Japan has different weather forecast. For example summer in Hokkaido will never be like the rest of the prefecture. So please always check with the weather forecast 1 month and also 1 week before your trip.

I went to this trip during the hottest season in Japan and it's around 38-39 degree in Kyoto area and the rest of the day it's around 36-37 degree. Only one day through our trip the weather is better and raining, the rest of the day is just like in Malaysia. But there are pros when traveling to Japan in Summer. Firstly, less tourist and crowded. Which really helps as I'm having video shoot in Japan and non of the tourist actually video / photo-bomb us lol. 

Secondly, summer in Japan is really fun. Shaved ice everywhere, the flowing noodles and lots of summer festival like lantern festival, fireworks and so on. 





#6D5N Itinerary Plan

We took AirAsia to Osaka and landed in Japan at night as AirAsia fly directly to Kansai area. If you prefer Japan airline you might need to take transit flight to Osaka. So here's the summary and highlight of each day on the trip:-


0 Day (Rest Day): 
Landed in Osaka, Kansai airport at night. 

1st Day (Nara Prefecture): 
Cycling at Asuka area and have lunch there - Yukata experience, walk around Nara Park and feeding the deer - Visit to the Nara Toukae Event (lantern event) 

2nd Day (Mie Prefecture): 
Visit Ise Jingu (Ise Shrine) and have lunch @Oharai Machi - Visit Ama Hut "Hachiman Kamado" and have fresh seafood as our dinner. This is the highlight of this trip! The Ama-san!! Really recommend this to all of you!!

3rd Day (Osaka Prefecture + Kobe): 
Visit Abeno Harukas 300 Experience 'Nagashi Somen' aka flowing noodles (流水面) @Rokkosan - Arima Onsen (One of the Top 3 onsen in Japan).

4th Day (Kyoto Prefecture): 
Walk around @Nishiki Market and have Obanzai (traditional Kyoto’s cuisine) there Visit Arashiyama and experience "Jinrikisha" 人力車 Have the best 'kakigori' shaved ice in my life Head back to Osaka and have dinner at Hanshin Snack Park.

5th Day (Osaka Prefecture: Takarazuka Area):  
Visited Minoo no Taki (the waterfall)  Cupnoodle Musuem  Cosmetic and skin care shopping at Hankyu Beauty Studio (Umeda area) before our night flight back to Kuala Lumpur. The limousine bus stop to the airport is just located in front of the Hankyu Beauty Studio.


That's all about the itinerary plan of this trip. The cheat sheet for you and now let me talk more detail and show you how to get there by using all these tourist pass as well. You can extend the trip and make your trip slightly longer to one week of 9 days trip as well because some of the place you can stay slightly longer. You are welcome to plan and adjust according your preference.




#RAIL PASS & TOURIST PASS I USED

Japan is always so kind to us. The railway company in Japan always came out with different tourist pass to help us save a little on the transportation fees and what good about it was, you can enjoy unlimited rides through the whole day as stated on the pass. If you purchase the 5 days rail pass then you can enjoy unlimited rides throughout the 5 days.

On this trip, I got the Kitetsu Rail Pass Plus (for 5 days unlimited rides) , Hanshin Tourist Pass (1 days) and the Hankyu Tourist Pass (2 days). Here's a summary of each diff pass that use and get accordingly based on our itinerary plan. I'm using the Kitetsu Rail Pass on the first few days , then using Hanshin tourist pass to Kobe, Hyogo area and last but not least, the Hankyu to Kyoto and Takarazuka area.  


For Kintetsu Rail Pass, there are few available such as 1 day , 2 days and 5 days pass. You can use this pass to travel on all Kintetsu line in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Nagoya. For the pass detail you can click on https://www.kintetsu.co.jp/foreign/english/ to read more. 

Hanshin line is available in Hyogo, Osaka therefore, this Hanshin tourist pass allows you to take unlimited ride and enjoy within these area especially the Osaka and Kobe area. Check out https://www.kansai360.net/m/en/ticket02.html to know more about the pass. You can see all the coverage area on the pass itself.

For this Hanshin pass it cost 700 yen but currently there are promotion for the pass. You can get it for 500 yen (around RM20) from now until March 21, 2020. Next year!! You can get all of these pass directly at the counter or buy it online.

Last tourist pass will be the Hankyu Tourist Pass. With this pass you can take unlimited rides within Hankyu line in Osaka, Kobe, Takarazuka, Kyoto. They are strong in Kyoto prefecture. I got this because we plan our itinerary visit to Takarazuka and Kyoto area. Check this pass and read more on http://www.kansai360.net/m/en/ticket.html

I shared about JR Pass before and both of these are really different in term of the coverage area, price and also of course it's created by diff railway company. For JR you can access to main place where is more on a tourist place while for Kintetsu, Hankyu and Hanshin, you get to go to the more cheaper price, local and deep spot as well. Those place which is less famous and different from the main tourist spot. Hope it helps!



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*Day 1:  Check in at night
| #1 Rest @Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka

So as mentioned earlier, I arrived in Osaka at night and we have a great staying experience at Sheraton Miyako Hotel, Osaka. It's actually my second time here and I'm so surprise they renovated the whole hotel room. It's more chic and modern now! I stay here before in 2016 during one of my work trip with Panasonic.

The highlight of this hotel is the location. It's so near to the convenience store, direct airport bus station, train station is just 1 min way from the hotel as it's just right beside it and many restaurant nearby. I always stay nearby this area whenever I travel with Smelly and my friends as well. If you love convenient location this should be one of the alternative for you when travel to Osaka.


This is my room! Anyone wanna join me? HAHAHA The bed is really comfy!




Coffee machine as well.

The bathroom

The airport bus station and train station located just beside the hotel.

This photo taken on the second day of our trip as I'm really tired on the first day and look really tired lol. Here's the proper one with nice makeup 😝

Another highlight of this Hotel will be the Japanese traditional breakfast @Uemachi. All the guest will have the breakfast voucher with your room card. You can choose for western food buffet or the traditional Japanese food at the Japanese Restaurant inside the hotel. I prefer this than the western buffet as this serve with my favourite rice, miso soup, salmon and some small side dish we well.

Breakfast!


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*Day 2: Morning 
| #2 Cycling @Asuka area

Here come the first day to explore hidden spot nearby Osaka area. I woke up in the morning and texted Cheesie!! So happy to meet her here and spend the rest of my trip in Japan with her. So the first thing is having some good exercise!! We are going to cycling around Asuka area. It's just located 1 hour away from Osaka and that place is famous for spring and autumn visit. Many local visited here and spend half day trip here just cycling and exploring.

Meet with Cheesie and start our trip to Asuka

Since our itinerary for today will be exploring Asuka and Nara area, is time to use our Kintetsu Rail Pass now!

Selfie with Cheesie on our way to Asuka Station via Kintetsu Line

Spot a transformer alike train. It’s a limited express train called Shimakaze by Kintetsu too!


Hello Asuka!!

One hour later we finally arrived in Asuka! It was a hot & sunny day! I brought my umbrella along and apply as many sunblock as I can. lol Scare getting sunburn after cycling under this kind of weather but thank god both of us didn't get sunburn. lol


We rented the electric bicycle for 1500 yen a day!! 

Waiting my electric bicycle


I just want to say a big thank you for making the right decision ever. This electric bicycle is damn good. Save my energy and most importantly for 2 hours non-stop cycling, I think you should always go for this kind of bicycle.

Let me tell you what, I love the blue sky and it's not fake one okay. It's real!! I realise only during the summer we can get this kind of blue and bright looking sky. It's so clear omg!! I'm so happy that I'm surrounded by the green and nature. Loving how easy it is cycling around this historical town in Asuka. It's recommended to do it in Spring and Autumn as the weather is less hot and just nice for you to have fun around.

I guess we are the few person who dare to cycling under this kind of weather but to be honest, it's still fun and you know what, every scenery is so unreal and look like those scene from the anime. I can't believe this is just 1 hour distant away from Osaka. There are few local cafe in this historical town and later on we will be cycling around and take our lunch at one of the cafe that is famous for healthy and organic food.



Best part is... no photobomb at all lol! Now I think I will think about coming back to Japan in Summer again next year.



Sweat a lot but still so fun!!


📍Location: Asuka 
Nearest station is Asuka station (Kintetsu Railway)


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*Day 1:  Lunch
| #3 Lunch @Cafe Kotodama

This cafe is one of the well known one by the local here. It's all about healthy and organic ingredients and the best part is the food change according to each season. This building was 200 years old and only renovated in 2015 recently. Last time was selling sake but now renovated into a cozy and nice cafe with healthy concept. 

It normally full house during weekend and 30 mins after we take our seat, I spot people queuing and line up in front of the counter. OMG quite surprise but this place is really nice. Wanted to photoshoot here but since I'm sweating like hell with my makeup, I better just take photo of the cafe ahhaahha!





Every corner is so beautiful and well decorated.


I ordered the signature lunch set. Omg everything is sooooo sooo good and healthy as well as all the ingredients used are organic. 

Save part of my stomach for the dessert and fruit kakigori!! 

During summer in Japan, all cafes and shops start to have kakigori in their menu. It's so fresh and big! Bigger than my face lol.


Melon Kakigori and Peach parfait!

There are few more available on the menu for this summer season.

The outside of the cafe


The opening hour.

After taken our lunch we continue to cycle around the historical town and one hour later we returned our electric bicycle. I didn't take many photo as I really focus on cycling around the road. It seems so scary but I did it omg. I never ever cycling for 2 hour around any historical town and beside driving road + around paddy field before. I only dare to cycling around the park in Japan but this is really a great experience. Next, after returning our bicycle we just take some shot in the middle of this local historical town. Seriously no need any edit, the photo just look beautiful on its own.






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*Day 1:  Afternoon- Night
| #4 Nara Park & Nara Toukae Event (Lantern Event)

We decided to visit to Nara for the Nara Takae lantern event. It's my first time going to lantern event in Japan. Just because of this, we decided to dressed up ourself in Yukata for the summer light-up lantern festival. It's known as Nara Toukae which will be available from now until 14th August. Since the lantern event only start at evening, we decided to walk around in our yukata and spend some time in Nara park playing with the deers and take photo!

Fyi, Kintetsu-Nara station is located nearer to Nara Park if compare to JR Nara station. It takes only 5 mins walk to the park from the Kintetsu Nara station. If you take JR line then you are require to take and wait for the bus from the JR Nara station while this Kintetsu only need for a 5 mins walk. So near!!

Change our outfit to the traditional Yukata!

Guess which one I choose?


I decided to try on a new color. I tried pastel blue, pink, yellow, bright orange and now I choose something different from my usual choice. It''s white based with green x pink prints on it! So special and makes me look more feminine and girly on that day lol. This Yukata rental shop has the best insta-worthy backdrop. Look at this! All these photo taken in the store and I think I'm falling in love with this set of yukata and the hair accessories I picked.






 Funny pose lol


 Next, go back to Nara Park and re-visit my little deer friends! Visit Nara Park for the 4th time lol. Come with diff friends and family AHHAHA!!



📍Location: Nara Park 
Nearest station is Kintetsu Nara station (5 minutes walk)

After that we walk around Nara with our beautiful Yukata, then we pass by a beautiful pond located @ Ukimidou Nara. It's the location for lantern light-up event. I'm really really excited! Before that we drop by the famous Kofukuji temple, now let's photo do the talking.










 Ukimidou Nara

 Can't wait for the lantern to light up soon

 All the volunteers are here to light up the lantern all around Nara. 

 We get a nice spot and just sit down waiting for the sky turns black.

 OMG slowly and almost dark now!!

 O-M-G!! All light up now.

There are more than 2500 lantern all around Nara temple, the pond area and outside as well.


That's all about the Nara lantern events. After that we head back to the Yukata rental shop to return our yukata and back to our hotel area to get our dinner done.


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*Day 2:  Morning
| #5 Exploring Mie for the first time: Ise Shrine 

The next day we kickstart our day to visit Mie. New prefecture unlock from my 47 prefectures list. Finally I’m gonna make some time to visit the famous shrine, Ise Shrine in Mie prefecture and guess what this shrine is super big! Even the emperor pay a visit to this shrine every year to pray for health, happiness and safety.

From Osaka to Mie prefecture, it takes around two hour via Kintetsu train and you can just get the Kintetsu Rail Pass to travel within each prefecture to the rest covered prefecture.

Arrived @UjiYamada station (Kintetsu Railway) 



To go to Ise Shrine, the nearest station will be Uji Yamada station (Kintetsu Railway). Remember to take the Mie Kotsu bus from bus stop No.1 in front of the station as showed on the photo above. This bus fare is free for Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus holder.


On the bus to Ise Shrine!

This shrine is the most popular shrine in Japan so people from the olden days till now, they wish to visit here at least once in a life time. Thank god we come damn early and #kiasu max. This shrine is so big and you need to bow one time before entering and leaving this torii gate. Quite special as I never see any shrine that need to bow with the torii gate before entering the shrine. Still need to walk for awhile only can get to see the shrine. Now I'm just at the first entrance of the torii gate.


Let's go!

Even the bridge so huge! omg



OMG? River? This river is quite big as well and in the past people use to clean their feet here before entering the shrine. It's a process of getting all clean up before praying or visiting the shrine. Now I know the reason why emperor come visit every year!


Long life tree! If you see it from far you can spot an old granny face at the bottom of the tree. This old tree is now 400 years old and people believe that touching this tree can give you a longer life.




Arrived at the shrine after this spot and it's no photography allow. Also one special thing about this shrine is you can only pray for your health and also safety. You can't pray for wealth or anything other than just health and safety. You can google and read more story of this Ise Shrine @Mie.

Sudden rain and the sky turned cloudy! Here's one of my favorite spot in this area. It's full of local snacks, foods and restaurants. 


 Souvenir shop as well.


📍Location: Ise Shrine  
Nearest station is Uji Yamada station (Kintetsu Railway)  
Take the Mie Kotsu bus from bus stop No.1 in front of the station. 
(bus fare is free for Kintetsu Rail Pass holder)


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*Day 2:  Afternoon - Late Evening
| #6 Ama Hut Hachiman Kamado 

Right after visited to Ise Shrine, the highlight of the day is this Ama Hut "Hachiman Kamado" and I get to eat tons of fresh and yummy seafood. We arrived at Toba Station in the afternoon and waiting for the free shuttle bus from Ama Hut 'Hachiman Kamado' to pick up us at the Toba Station.

While waiting for the shuttle bus we just walk to the nearer beach side cafe to take some photo. The sky is really beautiful today ☺️





 Then we walk back to Toba Station and wait for another 2 mins for the shuttle bus to arrive.

This is the Free shuttle bus runs from Toba station to our Ama Hut Hachiman. You must be wondering what is Ama san and let me tell you now!


Ama san #海女 is a genuine professional women diver. You will be surprise with their age. They are all 60-80 years old. I get inspired by one of the Ama san called Reiko when I visited to @amahuthachiman that day. She spent her entire life working on the same job until now she’s 87 years old. She start to dive when she was 10 and she retired from being a Ama when she was 80 years old. Reiko san is the one standing in the middle in between me & Cheesie  super cute and has a star lucky symbol on top of her head.

The moment I saw her and the rest of the Ama san holding our country’s flag just touched my heart. Ama is the Japanese free-diving fisherwonen. It also known as ‘women of the sea’. They are all women and live nearby the sea. All of them dresses with the traditional Ama outfit and they dive over and over again, dozens times a day just to catch the seafood.


Let me tell you what, they served the best seafood and my favorite scallops ever! It’s super fresh and they catch it in the morning and serve it to their guest on the same day.

After our meal, we have a little time talking with each other. Reiko, the oldest Ama san just continue caught my attention. I see her passion and happiness whenever I throw her a question and she answer it happily with a bright and happy face. I feel so touched whenever I get to meet people who love about their job and so passion about it. Reiko is the star of this place, only she got a lucky star symbol above her head. They even make it to be the trademark of this seafood place. I’m taking photo during our meal and now when I look back all these photo, I only can see how happy she is when doing what she love. Look at all of these photo just making me tears.

I asked if there are youngster or their grandchildren taking over this job. All of them just shake their head and say no, it’s a difficult job and no one will recommend it. But still, they still doing it until now. They also told us that 10 years later they might be no more Ama in this area because most of them are now in the middle of 70-80+ 😭 I would love to visit here again whenever I’m here in #Mie because it’s so worth it. If you ever come to mie, please make this into your itinerary plan! The whole set of seafood dinner just cost 3500 yen (3780 yen including tax) with free shuttle bus pick up from Toba station! So worth it!!
Now, let me show you how they prepare the seafood for us.




 WOW!!!




 Spot Reiko laughing while helping another Ama san to cook for our seafood.


The super adorable keychain.



View from the entrance. All seafoods are well cook by charcoal fire in front of the guest.



After the meal, you can communicate with them and they will talk about their living style and diving experience. If you know how to speak Japanese it's going to be so interesting, if you can't speak Japanese no worries,  there will be a staff that can speak English.

 Not just like that, the Ama hut Hachiman also welcome all Muslim visitor and offer both prayer room for man and women as well. There are pryer mat available in the room and best part is it has air-con! OMG!! All the sets are halal seafood set which has no pork and alcohol one so it's muslim friendly as well. For more information you can check out here http://amakoya.com/english%20page.htm for the English website and make reservation before paying a visit to this place so they can arrange the free shuttle bus to pick you up at the Toba Station. Wifi service available here as well.



Macha red bean ice cream! Best to have this in Summer!

 Reiko san is really cute! Look at her Ama san outfit. Has the embroidery that she did herself. OMG too cute I kenot!!

 I hope everyone of us could live as happy as her when we are 87 years old.


OMG My face is so big lol

 I will keep this photo as a memories. Hope to see all the Ama san again in Mie.



📍Location: Ama Hut Hachiman Kamado 
Nearest station is Toba station (Kintetsu Railway) 
There is a free shuttle bus direct to the ama hut (reservation needed)  


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*Day 3:  Morning
| #7 Harukas 300

If you read my Osaka & Kyoto Itinerary Part Two (click here) you knew I love Harukas 300. I came here once with Smelly at night and I brought both of my bro & dad to Harukas 300 last year October as well. It's really nice and I never visit here in daytime and this surprised me the most.

The daytime and sunset is totally a diff view. I never know it's so pretty even in day time. With Kintetsu Rail Pass, you can get the ticket for 1350 yen (normal price is 1500 yen). You can special discount when you show them your Kintetsu Rail Pass at the counter. Here is the lists of over 70 facilities offers special benefits for your reference as a Kintetsu Rail Pass holder. You can check out the link here:- https://www.kintetsu.co.jp/foreign/guidebook/pdf/KRP_list_EN.pdf

Since I shared about Harukas 300 before, now just let the photo do the talking! 




 Also I found a photo and insta worthy spot here. This only can be found in daytime lol



 The Sky Garden @Harukas 300

There are all sort of ice cream available in Japan. Peach, lavender, strawberry and ...
WHAT? Pineapple Candy???!!

Cheers with our pineapple ice cream. It taste so 'milk' and sweet. I personally prefer other such as the peach or lavender one, this one is slightly too sweet for me. 


📍Location: Abeno Harukas 300 
Nearest station is Abenobashi station (Kintetsu Railway)


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*Day 3:  Lunch
| #8 Lunch @ Kobe Shu Shin Kan Brewery

Using Hanshin Tourist Pass today as we are exploring the Kobe area with Hanshin Line. Right after the Harukas 300, we decided to take our lunch at the famous Kobe Shu Shin Kan Brewery. It's around 8 mins walk from the Ishiyagawa Station.


 The Map


 Kobe Shu-Shin-Kan Brewery


All the way here just because wanted to give this Fukuju blue label sake a try. This was served at Nobel prize banquet and many local come here just to get this sake. 

 Our traditional Kaiser dishes 


The best 'chawanmushi', egg custard dish ever!!


📍Location:  Kobe Shu-Shin-Kan Brewery
8 mins walk from the Ishiyagawa Station


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*Day 3:  Afternoon
| #9 Rokkosan Country House (Manatsu no Yuki Matsuri)

Many people come to Rokko Country House during winter as it's famous for ski and in summer there will be having some summer game for the family and kids. Also the "Nagashi Somen" flowing noodles available during summer as well. I'm all the way here for the flowing noodle and Arime Onsen!! 
In order to visit to Rokkosan Country House (Manatsu no Yuki Matsuri) you need to go to the nearest station which is known as Mikage station (by Hanshin Electric Railway)  and take the Kobe city bus to Rokko Cable Shita station (Cable Car). After all, get off at Rokko Sanjo station and take the Rokko Sanjo bus and you can spot the Manatsu no Yuki Matsuri.


 Time to get the ticket!




Empty!! lol no one is here except us lol

Take the cable car & bus all the way up to country house!





You can drop by Mt.Rokko Tenran Observatory if you want to. The night view is beautiful and lots of people stop by here and take a rest by observing the view from top of here.



 Finally we arrived here @Rokkosan Country House (Manatsu no Yuki Matsuri). I can't wait to experience the flowing noodles during this summer trip omg!!

 This is artificial made snow for the kids to play the treasure hunt game! 
First time seeing this!!

The flowing noodles " Nagashi Somen" that I always wanted to try. I watched this in anime and I thought it's not the real thing lol. Even the crayon shin chan has this in the show and I really really love the texture of the noodles. It's really Q and so yummy!


 The noodles coming!!

 yay!!



Next since we have some extra time after our flowing noodles experience, we decided to take part for the snow treasure hunt as well. but it's harder than I expected. I didn't dig anything from the snow. I tried my best and I saw the kids beside me got the pencil box and socks from the game. Why I'm not as lucky as him!!😭

 Pretending I'm a 8 years old kids as well lol.

As mentioned earlier this whole area is famous for ski, in Summer there will be all cover by green and since got no ski we just take this as the transport to go back up the entrance of the Rokkosan Country House. Lazy to walk back lol.



📍Location: Rokkosan Country House (Manatsu no Yuki Matsuri) 
Nearest station is Mikage station (Hanshin Electric Railway) 
Take the Kobe city bus to Rokko Cable Shita station (Cable Car)
 Get off at Rokko Sanjo station and take the Rokko Sanjo bus.


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*Day 3:  Late Afternoon- Night
| #10 Famous Gold and Silver Onsen @ Arima Onsen (Staying the best luxury hotel -Arima Kirari Hotel)

Continue from the #9, we walk towards to the Rokko Sancho Station and took the Rokko Arima Ropeway in order to arrive in Arima Onsen. If you are travelling from Osaka, you can take the Hanshin train to Shinkaichi station and transfer to Kobe Electric Railway then get off at Arima Onsen Station.



As you can see we are at the Rokko Sancho Station. Just by taking the Rokko-Arime Ropeway you will be arriving Arima Onsen Station in awhile! So interesting. I never know Arima Onsen located above this station. 


 Arima Onsen!! Here I come and the view from the Ropeway cable car is really beautiful. If you are interested to visit one of the Top 3 onsen in Japan, please make Arima onsen in your list as it's one of the top 3 onsen that really well known in Japan.

 Stamp for collection purpose on your travel notebook. hehe!

Today we will be staying at Arima Kirari Hotel. One of the luxury hotel experience in Arima Onsen and you can take the hotel shuttle bus from Arima Onsen Station.

 The Arima Kirari Hotel

 The entrance of the hotel is soooooooo beautiful. Look at this!!

 You can pick your favourite yukata to wear in the hotel as well.

 Checked in and I can't wait to stay here for one night! The map is really big and the staff was explaining the onsen detail with us.




 Our tatami traditional room


Arima Onsen area map. There are few must-visit spot. The original and famous arima onsen spot, the old historical street area and the nene red bridge. So we asked the permission to wear the yukata out from the hotel. Then we just exploring the area with Yukata! After that we will be having our dinner in the hotel and then is time to soap ourself into the famous gold and silver hot spring. 

This is the famous arima onsen spot. You can spot the golden brown color hot spring water on the left-bottom onsen. Arima onsen is so so so famous because of both of the gold and silver waters. It's so special and has the healing benefits to our body and moisturising benefits to our skin. You can read the google for more info.

Bucket list checked!





Please ignore my heels lol.



Streetscapes beloved from days of old and all these exuding ambiences truly unique at Arima.



 Love this photo so much!

 Omg I'm feeling so surprise to see this! The pay toilet in Japan!!
Not sure how it look like inside the toilet lol.


There are some game and activities held in arima under the red bridge opposite the 7-11.

 Back to our hotel and here's the traditional Japanese cuisine. The presentation is really beautiful.


 Sashimi



 The highlight of today's dinner is this 😭😭😭😭
The beef and it taste like heaven! SO SO SO SO GOOD OMG!


 Dessert:  creme brûlée ?!! OMGGGGG

Lots of people come all the way to Arima Onsen and pay a visit to this hotel just for the onsen. We are lucky because we get to stay here but if you can't book any room here you can actually pay and buy the entrance ticket just for this hotel onsen. Why?

Because this hotel onsen is HUGE! There are the open air onsen zone and grand zone. More than 8 diff onsen area for you to experience. The interior is sooooo luxury like you are the king / queen entering the onsen as well. There are gold color sauna room and also the super luxury dining area inside this hotel. You can google Arima Onsen Taikou-no-yu to read more!

 Even the entrance so different!

You can't bring any camera in the hot spring area but we get the permission to take photo for our blog after the onsen closed at 11pm. So yes here's the sneak peek for you!!Omg you all are really lucky :p This is the locker area to put your clothes and you have to take off everything (be naked) after this.


The open air onsen zone. This is the silver onsen.


Arima onsen in Kobe, Hyogo prefecture is one of the Japan’s oldest onsen. The gold version contains high levels of iron and salt, thought to be good for people who has sensitive to coldness. The silver springs offer transparent, reputedly good for boosting circulation and metabolism & effective to high blood pressure.

Friends who can onsen together, stay together. This is by far the best hot spring experience ever as the facilities and onsen area are so big and attractive.

Relax our mind and I really can't resist onsen at all. Mad love!!!



📍Location: Arima Onsen 
We took the Rokko Arima Ropeway but if you aretravelling from Osaka,
you can take Hansin train and head to Shinkaichi station 
and transfer to Kobe Electric Railway and get off at Arima Onsen station.


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*Day 4:  Morning
| #11 Kyoto: Food hunting @Nishiki Market 

On the following day, is time to go to Kyoto. This time I'm using the 2 day Hankyu Tourist Pass to explore around the Kyoto. First stop I will food hunting around Nishiki Market, Kyoto. We look for the famous Soya Milk donut and tried the super nice fruit juice ever. Next up, I tried the best  kakigori that created by the tea master in Kyoto and having my lunch at 百足屋!Are you ready?!! Let's get started!!

 Nishiki Market, Kyoto

The soy milk  donut store just beside this shop.

 Yes!! This is the one!!

Soymilk donut pls!!

#itadakimasu
The one with chocolate sauce as topping is just my cup of the! The caramel one taste quite nice as well. If you ever come to Kyoto remember to check this out.

If you love Kyoto food, you must try everything here in this restaurant. 
The presentation of the food is in a square black bento box like this (photo below)


 And you will get surprise when you open it!

 Look at this! There is 3 layers some more! win!






📍Location: Nishiki Market 
Nearest station is Karasuma station (Hankyu Railway) 



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*Day 4: Afternoon
| #12 Arashiyama: The less crowded season is in Summer & Experience the EBISUYA 人力車 Rickshaw

I have been to Arashiyama once and I remember it's always crowded with tourist in the bamboo trees spot. I'm really afraid to come back again but things surprised me again. Now I know summer in Japan most places is less crowded even the tourist spot as well. Guess you guys should feel so envy now as I really get to experience the Arashiyama Rickshaw this time.

 When traveling to Kyoto area, think of Hankyu Tourist Pass! 

OMG NO PPL lol

 I can even photoshoot here lol

 Here I am at the famous Arashiyama bridge, Togetsukyo.

So hot here but we got umbrella!!


 Usually it's crowded with thousands of people walking around lol.

I never expect the EBISUYA can be so fun and interesting. This rickshaw experience offers one of the most popular activities to explore the major sightseeing spots in Japan. Before that I thought it's just people lazy to walk around but when I really experience it, I'm surprise as in the places, spots they brought us to was really nice, hidden and also photo worthy. Such as this hidden bamboo street that is much narrow than the normal one we usually see and this can be only enter by them.

Together with the local guide who can speak simple English, and some can even speak in Mandarin, they just give a better guide beyond the guidebook and showed us the area's best kept secrets of each season. I went to one temple and the garden is really so pretty. The best part is, there is no one there omg. I can't believe until I'm here!!

I think this is the photo spot that people share on instagram which is much narrow compare with the normal one and you can take beautiful photo here!! Since this trip we focus on video, I'm so regret I didn't take a photo with me standing just in the middle of this bamboo street 😭


 No photo bomb Arashiyama!! HAAHHAHAAH OMG this could be a miracles and only happens in Summer lol


Not just that, the rickshaw staff even know how to take a perfect and insta-worthy photo with our phone as well. Look at this photo taken by iPhone. Unbelievable and all well trained got skill one! lol

 Nice meeting you ✨


Hidden spot in Kyoto. Photo taken with my phone but in reality, it's soooo beautiful!!
I wonder who taking care of everything here. Like maintaining all the plants and cut it every week. That's a good question!


 Look at this! See how happy we are! HAHAHAHAHA
Kyoto with no tourist at all. Only they know how to give us a good & local guide tips here in Arashiyama!

In the past only princess and VIP get to experience this. Now everyone can ride on :p
Pretending we are the beautiful princess here in Arashiyama lol


 This house own by the boss of the rickshaw. They told us he just work hard for few years and get to build this and bought a porsche car all by himself. Very inspiring but it's really 血汗錢omg

Souvenir by them! The sticker represent each season. There are 4 diff sticker available but since it's summer now, we get the summer edition one. The person looks so suffer under the hot sun lol. 


📍Location:Arashiyama 
Nearest station is Arashiyama station (Hankyu Railway)


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*Day 4: Late Afternoon
| #13 I tried the BEST Kakigori in Japan 

This is my second try on Kakigori in this summer. First day I had the super big fruit based kakigori and when I thought this is going to be just nice like the one I had, I'm totally wrong!!!

This is by far the best kakigori that I ever tried in Japan. You know I’m not really a fan of shaved ice that is without fruit but both of these Matcha Espuma & Mitarashi Black Tea shaved ice just surprise my taste buds. This 茶三樂 'Chasanraku' using top premium level of tea on all their shaved ice and the matcha one really mind blowing. Once I put into my mouth, I know I’m wrong!!


The topping is actually a snow-alike topping aka the matcha ‘foam’ (espuma) which immediately melted on my tongue with the shaved ice once I put it into my mouth. It melts quite fast but definitely taste better than what I expected. The red bean and syrup just the best combo with the matcha espuma shaved ice as it’s not too sweet, just sooooo nice to come in this summer hot weather.


Next my top pick is this Mitarashi black tea shaved ice. The mochi super Q and just go well with the syrup. This black tea one taste completely diff. There are few diff taste from each layer, the bottom one is matcha and this also just nice, not too sweet.


You need to queue whenever you come, whether it's during weekday / weekend you still need to queue lol Except you come in the early morning. So best to come earlier! 

Except for the shaved ice, you can join the tea ceremony, tea roasting workshop, maiko experience and look at all the authentic Japanese tea & sweets as well. I really recommend this to all of you! Mad love and if you coming to Kyoto soon, remember to check this out. Can google to look for the direction from the nearest station.

 'Chasanraku' entrance door 

Next we walk back to the nearest station- Hankyu Arashiyama Station and take our train back to our hotel at Hotel new Hankyu located just beside the Used station as well.


Checked into our hotel

Breakfast serve in the morning and as usual I choose the traditional Japanese breakfast. if you prefer western buffet / food you can choose to go there by showing your breakfast voucher which attached with your room card when you checked in at the counter.

Right after we checked in and placed all our luggage in our room, my stomach is calling and we have our dinner at this nearby Hanshin Snack Park. Just 2 mins walk from our hotel only. It's located at the same building with Hanshin Department Store. This Hanshin snack park famous for it affordable food and the highlight is, all the table is the standing table and everything is below or 500 yen ONLY.





I had some sashimi, ramen, okonomiyaki and squid wrapped with eggs dish as well.



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| #14 Hankyu Beauty Studio

Also just beside the airport direct bus station there is a Hankyu Beauty Studio pop up store and actual store here. It's also 2 mins walk from our hotel and just beside the snack park only. You can spot this when you pass by the station and inside this beauty studio, there are all kind of beauty brands and products available here.


Just visit here and spend few hours shop til drop! I get to check this out on the last day of our trip. So if you happen to come to Umeda Station, remember to pay a visit here so you can shop til drop! AHAHAHAH



All famous beauty brands gather in this Hankyu beauty studio!!


You can play around and try on all kind of beauty products.


📍Location: Hankyu Beauty Studio
Nearest station is Hankyu Umeda station. 
Near to the limousine bus stop to the airport too. 


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*Day 5: Morning
| #15 Minoh Waterfall: Beautiful nature only takes 30 mins away from Osaka

If you go to Osaka for many times and still wondering is there any beautiful nature spot that could calm your soul.. Let me tell you, YES IT IS! Also, it only takes around 30 mins away from the central of Osaka. Normally if you wish to visit to the green side out of the city or busy spot, it takes around 1 hour but this Minoh only takes about 30 mins away from Osaka.

So the last day of my trip I will be visit to Takarazuka area. Which is more of a nature side that allows you to visit to the beautiful 33 meter waterfall, listen to the sound of the river and walk beneath the relaxing maple trees and cedars. 

It's one of the well known sightseeing spot in autumn and you can buy the fried maple leaves home as your souvenir. It's known as momiji no tempura, the traditional snack selling @Minoh. It's really like a snacks or taste like a thicker version of fried potato chips. Taste good as well 😋 


 I think the waterfall look fabulous at night with the light up led effect as well. It's only available from July 13th until Sep 1st this year.


 How beautiful it is... All vintage designed train!!

 Nearest Station to Minoh Waterfall = Hankyu Minoh Station

All these colorful Manhole Covers in Japan is way too kawaii. Every time I spot something like this, I will take photo as a collection lol

Hello!

This is one of the main attractions in Minoh. It's also been selected as one of the Japan's Top 100 waterfalls. I love waterfall sounds as it make me forget about time and so happy to be here in summer as it helps to cool down in such hot weather. In autumn here's a famous viewing spot for reddish brown maple leaves and trees.

This waterfall also well knowns for its spiritual power that even Oda Nobunaga and Matsuo Bashou came here. If you happen to come here at night, then remember to check out the light up events until first of September this year.




#OOTDchanwon

 Next, we had our lunch at Minoh Kajikasou.

THIS IS REALLY GOOD. The sauce taste a little of red wine and it's beef based with rice as well. This lunch set is known as Hayashi-rice & it's one of the highly recommended dish by the restaurant.

After the long walk from the waterfall to the station (it took around 30 mins walk with my heels. damn it lol I should wear sport shoes), we decided to soap our feet into this Minoh Maple Footbath. This foot onsen located inside the travel information centre, inside the Minoh Station. It helps to heal your tired legs and part of the fee goes to the preservation of maple trees here.


I love this and it's so so so hot until I almost fall asleep on the table. 
I love everything with onsen / hot spring. lol Even the foot onsen is so good here in Japan!


📍Location: Minoh Waterfall  
Nearest station is Minoh station (Hankyu Railway)

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*Day 5: Afternoon 

If you remember I actually visited here and did my DIY own cupnoodle in 2016. You can check this detail post to read more: click here and I wont believe I'm back for the second time. Since I did my cupnoodle here in the museum before, this time I did one for one of my sweetie follower. See who's the lucky one!! 

Since I blogged it before, now just let's the photo do the talking!





 My DIY cup noodles! hehe
You can draw anything you like at the back and choose the type of soup and ingredients you want to put inside this cup noodles.

There are hand-on workshop on going on the second floor.

 Also souvenir shop as well!

We also received a special gift from Cup Noodles Museum as Hankyu Tourist Pass holders! As mentioned earlier, Kintetsu Rail Pass has lots of special benefits, it goes the same for Hankyu Tourist Pass as well! More details over at https://www.kansai360.net/m/en/top.php. Cheesie and I received this cute little handkerchief as the special gift from the staff. With all these pass you can get special discount , promo or gift as well. Just remember to check out the link I linked on this post.


 More photo!



📍Location: Cupnoodle Musuem 
Nearest station is Ikeda station (Hankyu Railway)


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| #RECAP
So here is the ultimate recap of the passes we used for this trip:-

KINTETSU RAIL PASS PLUS
Kintetsu has 4 types of passes and we used Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus for this time as we also travelled to Mie.

HANKYU TOURIST PASS
They have 1day and 2 days, with this pass you can take unlimited rides within Hankyu line in Osaka, Kobe, Takarazuka, Kyoto.

HANSHIN TOURIST PASS
If you would like to explore Kobe, I recommend you to get this pass too.

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| #BYE BYE

After my 6 days spent in Osaka, it's time to go back and get back on track. It's a great experience and well spent in Japan during its Summer season. Despite with the hot weather, I still get to enjoy everything I did in this trip. I really love the flowing noodles experience, cycling around the kampung countryside area and surrounded by the green, taking the ropeway up to the Arima onsen and dip myself into the famous golden and silver hot springs, able to spend time with my friend Cheesie, tried the best kakigori in Kyoto, listen and get inspired by Ama-san story and so on.

I will never ever forget about my first summer trip in Japan. It's indeed the most inspiring one as I realise I just love everything about this beautiful country, Japan. Thank you Japan for showing me love, inspired me to keep learning and passion about my job, motivate me to earn more money and come back repeatedly, non-stop! AHAHAHAHAH

Thank you for everyone who love and read all of my travel post. Thanks for following my travel journey and see the world through my eyes and perspective. I hope you get inspired by my travel story as well. That's all for today! I will see you on my next post. Love, xoxo.

My first Nagashi Somen, flowing noodles experience!
I miss having it T.T

All the Ama-san that inspire and motivate me through their life story!

Thank you, Japan💕

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