Sunday, 16 December 2012

Japan Day 3: Kinkakuji, Yasaka Shrine, Kiyomizudera & Gion, Kyoto

Lots of sightseeing to do on our third day here!! Anyway, our first stop for the day is the famous Golden Pavilion, or Kinkakuji in Kyoto. We boarded a bus at a bus stop nearby our hotel. The bus fare for all stops within the Kyoto city centre itself costs 220 yen each and is paid only when we get down at our stop. It's quite easy to take the bus here as they display the names of the stops in both Japanese and English on the bus itself.

The famous Golden Pavilion is set overlooking a pond, and is said to be covered with gold leaf, as you can guess from the name. Pictures below as proof, hehe ^.^ So pretty right? We were lucky that it was quite bright and sunny on this day, as all the pictures turned out nicer too =) 

Entrance fees to see the pavilion and the surrounding gardens cost 400 yen and we got the tickets at the counters before heading in with the crowd. Not too sure if it's the school holidays in Japan around May? There were lots of schoolchildren here, all busy taking pictures of and with the famous pavilion.

We followed the trail around the pavilion, and further around the gardens area as well. The garden area was quite large and in certain parts, there were steps which we had to climb. We just slowly walked along and enjoyed the scenery (though it was quite hot then).

Towards the end of the path, we came upon a little shop(?) selling matcha and sweets. There's seating places outside at the garden as well as inside which also overlooks the garden. We decided to get a cup of matcha and sweets each (500 yen per set) and settled on sitting inside ^.^

Enjoying some matcha and sweets ^.^

Monday, 3 December 2012

Japan Day 2: Endo Sushi, Osaka & Kyoto

Continuing where I left off, 3 months ago? Anyway, we got up bright and early the next morning to head for our fresh sushi breakfast ^.^ For this, we're headed to Endo Sushi (ゑんどう寿司) which is located at the Osaka Municipal Central Wholesale Market (中央市場).

We took the subway from the Namba station nearby to our hotel to the Tamagawa station on the Sennichimae line. Not too hard to find the station we needed as the station names and exits were all written in both Japanese and English. From the station, it's about a 10 minutes walk to the market where the shop is located. Took us a while to find the place as there weren't any signboards that we could see (especially since we can't even read Chinese), but got there in the end with the help of some friendly Japanese =p

There wasn't anyone else in the shop when we arrived, though I'm not sure why...Anyway, they passed us a laminated English write-up to read, about the sushi prepared. We each got ourselves a plate of sushi, as well as a bowl of miso soup. If you order "omakase", they will serve you a plate of 5 types of sushi, and the next plate ordered will be with another 5 varieties of sushi, up to the 6th plate, where it will start repeating again. The only sushi which remains the same with each plate is the tuna or toro.

Sushi and clams miso soup at Endo Sushi, Osaka

We got our one plate each consisting of tuna, eel, sea urchin and two other fish which I'm not sure of the names. Don't regret coming here as the sushi was super fresh and just melted in our mouths. The steaming hot bowl of miso soup was amazing as well, thick and filled with fresh clams. Never had such a thick bowl of miso soup before. I'm drooling again just thinking about it *.*

Each plate of sushi cost us 1,000 yen each and the bowl of miso came up to 520 yen. Definitely more expensive than the prices here in Malaysia, but the taste and freshness more than makes up for it. Would definitely recommend this place for sushi lovers =)