Day 10 — Osaka to Kyoto
We spent our last night in Osaka revelling in Dotonbori, one of Osaka’s most popular tourist destinations.
It was absolutely amazing. Bright lights, enormous flashy signboards, crowds of people and a plethora of street food assaulted our senses that it took a while for us to make sense of our surroundings.
Pocky is one of my favourite snacks of all time so it almost felt like a pilgrimage visiting Dotonbori to marvel and pay homage to the giant Glico Running Man billboard.
So glorious! The Glico Running Man is considered to be the face of Osaka and one of its most loved landmarks.
To attract visitors, the restaurants and stalls in Dotonbori go all out with gaudy and flashy signage such as this oversized mechanical crab for a crab restaurant.
Giant gyoza (Japanese dumplings) signboard.
Fresh Takoyaki being prepared.
Dotonbori was a lot of fun. We didn’t bother lining up for some of the more popular places, we were hungry and cold so we settled for whatever we could get our hands on. The food was super cheap and extremely satisfying!
I really enjoyed the gyoza and kushikatsu (deep fried food on skewers) which I happily washed down with some ice cold beer!
We took an early train to Kyoto, which was about half an hour away. We didn’t want to miss our lunch at Kichisen so we got there as early as possible.
Kyoto was beautiful and rustic but sadly the weather was pretty gloomy and rainy.
After lunch, we spent some time exploring the streets and walking aimlessly around our Ryokan.
This was our home for two nights — Kanamean Nishitomiya, a cosy Ryokan nestled within downtown Kyoto.
Kanamean Nishitomiya is run by the most charming innkeepers, Kazuo and his wife. Kazuo was such a brilliant and hospitable person.
When we were booking our conversation, we exchanged lengthy emails and even a phone call so I was looking forward to finally meeting him in person. He was chatty, humorous and so warm and welcoming.
We were welcomed by Kazuo and his wife with some warm green tea and more Kyogashi (traditional Kyoto confectionery). When in Japan, I simply couldn’t get enough of their sweets!
This was our Ryokan — the Hatsune room that was on the ground floor with views of a tiny Japanese garden!
Our room was comfy and the best part by far was the Hot bath prepared for us when we checked in. Kyoto was cold and rainy, so having a dip in a traditional wooden bath was just the best.
We made an amazing discovery in the bathroom — there was a small cooler filled with cold beer and tea!
There was nothing on our agenda for dinner so we explored our surroundings a bit more and stumbled upon a simple Sukiyaki (Japanese stew) restaurant near our Ryokan. I think this was on Teramachi Street.
We were hungry for dessert so we went looking for an ice cream place and once again stumbled upon this absolutely bonkers Cafe.
There was a heavenly selection of parfaits on display. Our jaws dropped when we saw the walls of replica parfaits that we could order.
You could even order this insane Jumbo Parfait Collection for ¥50,000 (about $500). If I was a millionaire, I would order this in a heartbeat.
Anne ordered a matcha parfait thing and I ordered a boring chocolate Waffle parfait. I was quite disappointed with mine as I was expecting a lot more Waffle!
It was still really enjoyable and it was a great way to end our first night in Kyoto!