On day 5, we checked out early from Hotel Granvia Tokyo and took the Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka Station. But before checking out, we forwarded our 2 big luggages to our hotel in Fukuoka – Hotel Nikko Fukuoka. We only brought along one carry-on suitcase to Osaka since we were only staying 1 night and it is a lot easier traveling on the trains without huge luggages.
It’s Day 4 and today we explore Kyoto! Since we wanted to arrive at Fushimi Inari early before the crowd arrives, we grabbed a quick breakfast at Starbucks (because nothing else was opened that early!) located at Porta Shopping Mall, Kyoto Station.
Breakfast of the day: Steamed pork buns, fried chicken bits & spam musubi
After an exhausting first day, we wanted to get an early start on day 2. Waking up early, we started day 2 with a quick breakfast at 7-11 downstairs. I have heard a lot of good things about the 7-11 in Japan and all the yummy delights that they have. True enough they do have a lot of variety of food.
During my 1st visit to Japan, I visited a lot of temples and while they were interesting, I think after a couple of temples, they were all starting to look the same. So this time around, we decided that we would skip most of the temple visit and only visit a few really interesting ones. On the top of the list is the Fushimi Inari Shrine in southern Kyoto. Fushimi Inari Shrine is famous for its vermillion gates – thousands of them!
JR Inari Station
After getting out of the JR Inari Station and walking for about 5 minutes, you will get to this main entrance. This was at 8:30 am and it was already starting to get crowded.
Whenever I plan a trip, there is a list of “MUST VISIT” and a list of “Visit if we have time” attractions. On the top of the “MUST VISIT”list in Japan is the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.
From Kyoto Station, we took the JR Sagano train to the Saga-Arashiyama station. It took us 15 minutes and usually costs ¥240 but free if using the JR Pass. Then from the Saga-Arashiyama Station, it is just a short walk to the Bamboo Forest aka Bamboo Grove.
Once there, there is a path that you can walk through the bamboo grove. If you do not want to walk, you can also hire one of the rickshaws to bring you around.