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A Season of Discovery: Exploring some Hidden Gems of Osaka and Kyoto (Part 2)

Updated: Apr 9


A Season of Discovery: Exploring some Hidden Gems of Osaka and Kyoto
Kiyomizu-dera

If you haven't read part 1 of this article please click here to go there. :)


Day 4: Continued confusion about the trains

 

After a deep sleep, we were woken by the hotel staff announcing that breakfast would be served shortly. One of the staff members quietly entered the room, folded our bedding, and efficiently stored it in the cabinet. What followed was not only unexpected but also the most beautiful breakfast I have ever experienced. The food struck a delightful balance between sweet and savory and was as much a feast for the eyes as for the palate. My kids and I savored the experience so thoroughly that we were likely the last ones to finish breakfast – welcome to our world.

 

After breakfast, we packed our overnight bags, checked out of our lovely hotel, and grabbed an Uber to Kiyomizu-dera (1 Chome-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward), a little east of our residence in the city. The grounds of this Buddhist temple include a number of buildings to experience and, despite being a bit congested with tourists, a great place to walk on the nicely adorned paths. Additionally, the road leading up to the temple facility proved a good place to shop for gifts and grab a late lunch.

 

Despite our desire to spend many more days exploring this remarkable city, our itinerary required us to return to Osaka. As a consequence, we made our way back to Kyoto Station, intent on catching the Tokaido Shinkansen Line, known for its bullet trains. However, to my surprise, the information booth employee informed us that the bullet train service was not available between Kyoto and Osaka, but only from Kyoto to Tokyo. I remain suspicious about the correctness of this information. Nevertheless, we purchased tickets for the JR Kyoto Line, a more local service that stopped at every station along the route to Osaka. But, because this was Japan, even the commuter train ride was a pleasant experience, and we arrived in Osaka in high spirits.

 

Upon arriving at Shin-Osaka Station, we were immediately drawn to the mall, leading us to indulge in yet more shopping. Our adventure didn’t stop there, as we wandered into various establishments, sampling dinner, snacks, and after-dinner desserts. And then when we thought our energy was spent, we made our way to the subway, aiming for a direct route back to our hotel. Unfortunately, our tired minds led us astray and we only got 'close' to our destination. This resulted in a lengthy walk through the brisk October night until the Osaka Castle was in sight. Finally reaching the New Otani, we reviewed the day's acquisitions with a mix of exhaustion and satisfaction, before succumbing to a deep, well-deserved sleep.



A Season of Discovery: Exploring some Hidden Gems of Osaka and Kyoto
Dontonbori

 

Day 5: Going home

 

Our final morning was a bit bittersweet. I awoke before sunrise and packed our many purchases for our early morning ride back to Kansai International Airport. The view of Osaka Castle was as stunning as ever, and we rustled around ahead of our car service. We had just enough time to run to the 7-11 behind the hotel to grab breakfast and stock up for the hour-long ride to the airport. As the city began to wake up, we were heading home. Having been to Osaka and Kyoto only twice, I am excited to return as soon as life permits.


If you’re like me and are shopping a bit online, use the Rakuten service

for cash back and discounts – save yourself some money.

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