Donnerstag, 6. Juni 2013

One week travel with the JR Pass

I finally saw more than just Tokyo!! I'm sooo proud of me that I organized all on my own.
I decided to visit Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. I heard sooo many good things about this 3 places.
I planned everywhere a stay of 2 nights.
I booked my hotels on This website is really popular in my country. One night was around 55€.



Day 1
On Wednesday morning I went on the Shinkansen in Shinagawa, Tokyo. I reserved my seat and exchanged my JR Pass already the day before. --> see my other post "transportation in Tokyo / Japan"
After only 3 hours I arrived in Kyoto. I was there around lunchtime. After eating at a restaurant at the station, I walked through the streets in Kyoto. They are quite different from Tokyo. Less people are on the streets and the buildings are quite old.
It was quite a rainy day, so I decided to visit the Imperial Palace. Actually it was almost deserted there...
It's not possible to go inside the palace. But there was a huge, really huge park. I walked around for hours. It says that it's a wonderful park during the cherry blossom time.
With the subway I went back to Kyoto station. Buying a ticket is similar to Tokyo.

Day 2
Today I went visiting the world famous Kinkakuji (golden Temple), the Ryoanji Tempel and the Bambus forest in the Arashiyama area in west Kyoto. In the evening, I went to the Shijo area in the Higashiyama area in center east Kyoto.

The Kinkakuji was really impressive and beautiful. A lot of tourists and students are there. The entrance is for adults 400 円. As souveniers I purchased some lucky charms for my family.
Bambus Forest
The Ryoanji Tempel was near Kinkakuji. I really like the garden of the Tempel.
Everything was green and the trees were impressive.
The Bambus forest is small, but soooooo pretty. It's gives that feeling of: that moment of life!!! Really beautiful.
The Shijo area is maybe what you call the city center. It's were all the people, restaurants and shops are. There are also those areas were the Geishas are. Unfortunately I didn't see them.

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Day 3
On my last day in Kyoto, I went with the JR Nara line to Inari where the Fushimi Inari Shrine is. It's in the South Est of Kyoto. There is a shrine and a path with all those red gates that form kind of a tunnel, that leads up a mountain.
Fushimi Inari path
It was sooo hot that day!! I was almost dying. But it's really fun walking that path. I was also attacked by moskitos... In the afternoon, I walked down the streets of Gyon area. That's the place where everything is really traditional. There are also a lot of Sweets and Matcha stores. I saw few women that were wearing traditional Kimonos.
Around 5:30 I went on the way to Osaka. Instead of the Shinkansen I took the JR train. It took about 40 minutes until Shin Osaka. That's where my Hotel is.

My room in Kyoto
I stayed at the APA Hotels & Resorts, 5 minutes from the Kyoto station away. It's a 3 star Hotel.
2 nights were 14000円 without breakfast.
I was really satisfied with it. My room was not that big, but for Japan it's quite big. Everything was really clean. It was really modern, a lot was automatic. I had my own bathroom with bathing tube. My room had a TV, Air conditioner and a fridge. Unfortunately there wasn't a safe, but I had free WLan and Lan connection in my room. It was a bit noisy in my room because it was located toward the main street and there were also the trains passing by. Around midnight it got quieter. Instead of curtains I had a door that covered up the whole window, so it was totally dark at night.

The service was good too. Thez cleaned my room everyday. 
I would definitely go there again. I really recommend it.

Kyoto uses city buses. For taking them you need to pay extra. There are one day cards available. They cost 500円. I'm not a big fan of them since it takes a while to reach a destination, because of the traffic. There are two subway lines, also not included in the JR company. The JR lines only reaches farer away destinations.


Osaka castle
Day 3
I arrived on Friday evening in Shin Osaka where my Hotel is.
I have no idea why I booked it in Shin Osaka, probably because the Shinkansen station is there.
Shin Osaka is already really lively. A lot of people on the streets, traffic, a lot of noise. I was surprised at how dirty the streets were.

Day 4
At the Osaka station at the tourist information corner, I received a map of Osaka, with the JR lines on it. The lady at the corner also explained me which train I should take for where I wanted to go.
Osaka is huge it has a lot of shops, restaurant and bling bling. It's really cool. The area is called Namba. As for culture I visited the Osaka castle. It's really impressive. I felt like in a chinese movie!!
Somehow I feel that something about Osaka is totally different from Tokyo. The people are dressed more c
Osaka by night
asually. They have a really special dialect and it sounds somehow really friendly.
I have to say that Osaka isn't as clean as the other places that I have seen in Japan. I even saw a girl throwing her trash out of the car!! There are many people that ride a bicicle. Maybe every 3 one.  I saw a lot of teenager practicing dancing on the street.

As I arrived in Shin Osaka I lost myself. I went on the opposite direction. I didn't have a map of Osaka nor Shin Osaka. I only had those print screens from Google map. At the station in Shin Osaka there was a map and I mistook the main road with the train lines. 
As I realized I was wrong I went back to the station and restarted again. Actually the Hotel was indicated on the map.
It is about 5 minutes from the station away.

From the station I could see a building with the Hotel name on it. It was an old building so I was like: shiit!!! Fortunately it wasn't that building. It was a building behind the crappy one and that one look pretty ok. I was staying at the Chisun Hotel, it was a 3 star hotel. My room is probably a bit smaller and not as modern as the one in Kyoto. But the furniture and offerings are quite the same. I didn't had WLan, but Lan in my room. For WLan I had to go on a different floor where there was some kind of community room. From my room I could see the main road. It was pretty noisy in my room not just because of the street, but there were also people on the floor that were making a lot of noise until late at night. I also saw a plane passing close by. Instead of curtains I also had a door. It's not as clean as in Kyoto. I found some hairs in the toilet!!

The JR trains go all over Osaka. But i think the subways are more used in Osaka, since the trains stations were better situated than the JR stations and there weren't as much people on the trains as they are in Tokyo. But since I didn't have to pay anything, I still took the JR trains. I just had to walk sometimes a bit until the station.

Atomic bomb dome

Day 5
I arrived arround 11:00 a.m. i Hiroshima. It started to rain... First I went to eat something in hope the rain would stop. It didn't. It only stopped around afternoon.
At the station right at the Shinkansen exit, there is an information desk. I asked for a city map and a JR train map.
Hiroshima castle
I went directly to the atomic dome and the peace parc. I still was carrying my luggage with me. Since check-in was only at 2:00 p.m. I still decided to go to my hotel that was near the parc. Luckily I could hand over my luggage. I went again back to the parc and since it was raining really badly, I decided to go to the museum. The entrance only costed 50円.
Afterwards I checked in my hotel, which is right in front of the Hiroshima castle. I decided to visit the castle. It doesn't looks as nice as the Osaka castle, but it's still really nice.
In the evening I walked through the streets. They aren't as sparkling as in Õsaka and there aren't a lot of people on the streets eighter. It's a really calm city.
don't you think this looks somehow magical?!?

Day 6
I passed my second day in Miyajima. An island near Hiroshima. I saw the sea!! Is it only me or does the sea and the smell of sea water gives a calming effect?!? 
I saw the world famous O-torii Gate. The gate swimming in the sea.
Before lunchtime the gate was standing on the ground. I could go near it. In the evening it was totally covered with water.
When I came to the island, a lot of deer surprised me. They were all over the place!! They came near me and I even could touch
view from Miyajima
them. Sooooo cuute.  :)
With the rail wheel I went up to the highest spot of the island. I had such an amazing view over the sea. 
I walked down the mountain. It took me about 1 hour. It was sooooo hoot!!
The islands nature is really beautiful a lot of green spots and water.
I also got to eat the Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki when I came back to Hiroshima!! OMG!!! It's with fish and pasta... Sooooooo delicious!!!!

Deer, O-torii & sea
O-torii Gate
day 7
At my last day in Hirshima I slept until 9:30 a.m. When I woke up I packed everything and checked out at 11 a.m. I decided to go first to the station to deposit my luggage in a locker, since I didn't want to carry it with me the whole day. It was a really beautiful and hot day, so I decided to go at the river and chill a bit there. I stayed there until about 3 p.m. I walked for a bit around the city and around 16:00 I started to walk towards the station since my train was leaving at 5 p.m.

Room in Hiroshima
OMG guys!!! I seriously thought I booked something wrong. The hotel looked sooo expensive and glamourous compared to the others. My room was huuge!! I was staying in the Rihga Royal Hotel, a 4 star hotel. The personal was really friendly. The best thing about my room was definitely the view from my room!! I could see the Hiroshima castle!! sooooo beautiful!! It was situated right in the center of the city. Everything was really close to it. I think the hotel is one of the tallest building in Hiroshima.
Everything was really clean and it was really quiet in my room. The curtains were really light reflecting. I had WLan and Lan in my room.

To move around in the city, there were trams running, that weren't from the JR company. The tram fee costs 150円 each time. The JR line passes over Hiroshima.
For going to Miyajima I took first the tram until Hiroden-Nishi-Hiroshima. Then changed to the JR train. The ferry to go to Miyajima was free. It was a JR ferry boat.

view from my hotel room
This week was sooo amazing!! Japan is soooo beautiful and it's really easy to travel around. The people are really friendly and helpfull. It was really interesting to see how different they were from each other.
It was definitely worth buying the JR pass before coming to Japan! I would definitely recommend it to everyone that wants to travel around Japan.


I'm thankful that I was able to see those beautiful places =)

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