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 =)

After the yummy breakfast, we headed back to our hotel to check out as we're heading to Kyoto for three days. Since we would be staying in the Dotombori Hotel again when we came back to Osaka, we left some of our luggage with the hotel to avoid dragging our heavy luggage around Kyoto. 

This time, we took the subway to the Yodoyabashi station on the Midosuji line, and from there we got tickets at the Keihan railway station to Sanjo Keihan in Kyoto (400 yen per person). The trip to Kyoto on the train took us about 1 hour, and we had a comfortable journey in the clean trains.

Teramachi, Kyoto

We arrived in Kyoto around lunchtime and deposited our luggage at our hotel first since our rooms were not yet ready. Took the chance to walk around the nearby Teramachi Street and look for lunch ^.^ Took lots of random photos as we walked, hehe, just can't get enough of the surroundings in Japan. Everything just looks so pretty and clean. There're always flowers everywhere too!!

While looking for something for lunch, we were distracted by this shop called Wakasaya, which had rows and rows of pictures of different variations of chirashi don, or basically sashimi with rice. When we got in, we found that there were English menus, all the better for us! There was even a cute waiter who could speak English =p

There are endless variations of chirashi don available, with any imaginable combination of sashimi that you like. If none of the combinations are your type, you can even design your own combination!! I chose a combination of salmon, sweet shrimp and mentaiko, which came up to about 780 yen. Loved loved loved the prawns the most, they were super sweet and juicy @.@

Yummy, yummy chirashi don at Wakasaya

After lunch, we headed back to our hotel to check in. The hotel of choice for the next two nights here in Kyoto is the Best Western Hotel ( It has a great location too, nearby the entrance to Teramachi Street. We got a standard double room for approximately RM360 per night. Also managed to get some discount here as I had made the bookings several months earlier. 

This room is larger than the room we stayed in previously at Namba, and we had more space to move around. The bathtub here was bigger as well, and all the basic amenities are provided in the room.

Our room at Best Western, Kyoto

We decided to rest for a bit before heading out to explore further, hence the pictures below =p Just some snacks and souvenirs we bought before we checked in to the hotel. Got the 3-in-1 coffee and green tea packs from a nearby supermart which we browsed through. Forgot to take some photos of the place though.

1. Green tea dorayaki =)    2. 3-in-1 coffee packs   3. Some souvenirs for home
4. My outfit for the day ^.^   5. Green tea latte, not bad..

This time, after heading out, we decided to explore further along Kawaramachi Dori. This road stretches on, with lots of shops, shopping centres and gaming arcades along both sides of the road. Didn't have anything to buy here, so just walked around looking at the window displays. Somehow happened upon this little shop selling various types of cute little donuts. We decided to get one matcha flavoured donut to share. Liked that the donut wasn't oily and it wasn't too sweet either, just filled with the flavourful matcha taste.

Super yummy green tea donut

We continued our walk and headed to the banks of the Kamogawa river. We had great weather that day, cooling but with no rain, and we saw lots of people just sitting by the banks of the river and relaxing. There are also a lot of restaurants which have balconies overlooking the river, and we also saw a number of people enjoying the scenery from their perch on the balconies.

One thing that I really like about Japan is the cleanliness and the large amount of open space for us to walk on, and even to sit down and relax anytime you want to. Feels so relaxed here, wish I could just sit down with a hot cup of coffee...

Along the pretty right? Perfect for picnics =)

After dawdling along the Kamogawa river, we continued our walk along the row of shops and restaurants adjoining the river. This row of shops still maintains a lot of its traditional looks, unlike the shopfronts that we saw earlier along Kawaramachi Dori. Definitely think that these are much prettier and gives off that olden day vibe, hehe =)

Sightseeing along the streets of Kiyamachi Dori

By the time we had finished our walk, it was quite dark already. We decided to just get some food from the supermart we saw near to our hotel for dinner. Managed to get some bento boxes, gyoza and edamame for quite cheap as they had some discounts after a certain time. Though the food was slightly cold, it was stilll  good and prices were reasonable, by Japanese standards anyway.

Well, that's the end of our second day in Japan, and next, we're off to see the beautiful Kinkakuji and Kiyomizudera!!


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