Thursday, April 9, 2015

Japan trip Spring 2015 part 9 - March 28, Day 8: Kyoto/Arashiyama, Berri & home

This is our last day in Japan! I had plans to meet Berri in Kyoto in the afternoon when she arrived, so we all decided to go to Kyoto after checking out of the hotel and leaving our luggage in the lobby. We'd be returning to the hotel to catch an airport shuttle to Kansai International Airport in the afternoon.
There was some interest is going to the Bamboo Forest, so after we got to Kyoto station, we transferred lines and headed straight to Saga Arashiyama station (which is the closest JR station, and we wanted to use our rail passes). I was aiming for Tenryuji as a landmark to enter the bamboo forest based on some online blogs, but apparently you can only enter the bamboo forest from the temple by paying the entrance fee. It's 500yen. Otherwise, you have to go all the way back from where you essentially started and enter the forest that way. It was actually quite hot this day for some reason. It felt like it was in the 70sF when most of the trip had been in the low 50sF. Anyway, we decided to just pay the fee to enter and look around the temple since it was supposed to be part of the experience. (But if you want to only see the bamboo, have no interest in temples and don't want to pay anything, I would definitely suggest not bothering going the way we did.)
There were a few sakura trees budding/half bloom. I think we were just a few days too early to enjoy it in its real splendor. We walked through entrance and tried to follow where everyone else was going. There was a big lake and a large area from which you could sit and view it. But it was super crowded and hard to get a picture without other people in it. Most people continued past it after looking at it but we decided to head "parallel" which was less crowded. It takes you essentially to the same place with a slightly more elevated view of the lake on the way. I do not recommend going up and down the stairs if you are wearing heels because none of it is even remotely paved. Also there is a bathroom within the temple limits but you have to pay for toilet paper, so it's good to carry tissue with you for cases like this.
The blogs I read instructed us to go to the north exit of the temple to enter the bamboo forest. We were able to find it pretty easily, and it was the destination of most people there as well, so you can just follow the crowd. Omg it gets so crowded in there.

We decided to continue through the bamboo forest and out to get to the river and over to Togetsukyo Bridge.

When we got to Togetsukyo bridge, my bf and I decided to go back on our own. Everyone else was planning to go to the monkey park! My bf was initially supposed to go with them but it was too hot, and he didn't think it would be enjoyable for him because there was a hike involved to get there. Instead, he opted to come with me back to Kyoto station.
So, we didn't go to the monkey park, but here are some pictures that my parents took! -

My mom (who also loved the Owl Cafe) had a great time. I think everyone who went enjoyed it actually except for maybe getting there because it is a bit of a walk and for some reason it was unusually hot that day. They said they'd go back if they had the opportunity.

Meanwhile, my boyfriend and I went on our own way from Togetsukyo Bridge and stopped to get some takoyaki on our way back to Saga Arashiyama station. Luckily, there were a lot of signs to help guide us back to the station.

I wanted to get to Kyoto station at the latest around 02:15pm, and leaving Arashiyama earlier than I anticipated left me with plenty of time. We arrived in Kyoto station at around 01:30pm and decided to eat lunch there since we were so early. It's a huge station so we didn't think we'd have too much of an issue. We thought we had lots of free time, and it would be simple and fast, but it turned out to be quite an ordeal wtf.
We were really taking our time and looking around the station, but then couldn't really figure out where we should eat. We ended up going all the way up to the 11th floor of the Isetan connected to Kyoto station (on escalators wtf which took awhile) only to find that most of the restaurants were not what we wanted to pay or eat or they had a line waiting outside, and by that time, we actually needed to just sit down and eat. We couldn't find anything suitable on the 11th floor, so we made our way back to the 10th floor which I had seen was supposed to be all ramen restaurants. My bf isn't super keen on ramen, so we had wanted to look for other opportunities first, but this is just where we ended up because although there were lines, ramen is usually fast to prepare and eat. We ended up waiting in line for about 20 minutes and didn't get seated and served until around 02:15pm wtf. By that time, Berri had already arrived at her hotel and settled in a bit earlier than I expected!
We hurriedly ate our ramen, and then practically ran down the 10 flights of stairs and escalators of Isetan to get to the ground floor of the station and cross the street to get to Berri's hotel - Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto. It's a really convenient location.
We were supposed to have a good 1-2 hours to shop and look around together but due to her arriving a bit later than we first thought (a few months ago when we first started planning) and also because I had to catch the airport limousine all the way back at my hotel at 04:58pm (unexpected), we really only had like 45 minutes! BUT, we were still determined to try and make it to a Liz Lisa.

Unfortunately, the Liz Lisa VSOP (outlet) in Kyoto Avanti right near Kyoto station had closed just the month before in February, so we had no choice but to go to Kawaramachi OPA, about 15 minutes away by train with what is essentially 2 transfers and eating up most of our time! Thankfully, Berri was a super good sport and willing to just practically run everywhere with me lol.
Haha omg I'm going to blame my messy hair on the fact that we were so hurried but posting this bc Berri looks so cute!
I've never had to rush around in Kyoto before (in fact, I'm largely unfamiliar with Kyoto in general), but thankfully my bf and I have a pretty good grasp on the train systems by now and we were able to make each leg of the trip over there in the fastest time possible! A few times, it was a slightly close call, but we made it! We had like 10 minutes in Liz Lisa, and we each bought the Liz Lisa x My Melody 6th collab hand towel with the big My Melody print.
Unfortunately, there wasn't time to do much else because my bf and I had to get back to Osaka! Again, we miraculously made it on each train as we needed to to get back to Kyoto station due to our time restriction despite having to buy tickets at every leg and being generally unfamiliar with the stations.
I didn't even have time to walk Berri all the way back to her hotel because my bf and I really needed to catch a 03:45pm special rapid back to Osaka in order to make it back to our own hotel and onto the shuttle without too much stress! If we missed the shuttle, it would have been a very expensive taxi ride to KIX. Thankfully, we were able to make it to the platform with maybe 3 minutes to spare, but I was rushing around like a mad person before that (and the whole time with Berri) lol.

Once back at Osaka station, we missed the hotel shuttle by literally like 1 minute, but we knew that would probably happen, so we planned to make sure we caught the next (04:30pm) shuttle so as to be sure not to be horribly f**ked. We did some last minute looking around and found a few things in a convenience store that we had bought in a grocery store before and hadn't seen since that my bf really wanted. So that was good. And then we still had about ten minutes until the next shuttle, but decided to just wait in line to make sure we got on it lol.

We arrived back at the hotel around 04:40pm and met up with the rest of the group who had finished with the monkey park, eaten lunch in Arashiyama and had come back to Osaka station for last minute looks before arriving back at the hotel around 15 minutes before us. If we had made it on the 04:15pm shuttle, we would have ridden it with them lol.
We got back and accounted for all of our luggage that we put on hold at the hotel and prepared for a long bus ride to the airport. It was extra long for us because the Westin Osaka is the first stop (which meant at least we knew we'd get to sit down with plenty of room for our things) and there were about 4 or 5 other stops in the immediate area around Osaka/Umeda stations before we headed out to the airport.

Because the shuttle arrived so early (compared to our flight time), we had plenty of time at the airport to check in, find our gate and settle in. My bf had a piece of oversize luggage (fishing rods) so that took a little while to figure out and then when we were going through security, my mom forgot she had her tweezers in her carry on wtf, but none of those things were a big deal because we really had some time to kill. I think we were the first ones at our gate. 
We even beat the plane to the gate wtf. Because it arrived behind schedule -___-. But whatever. We all had a chance to freshen up in the bathroom and do even more last minute omiyage shopping and find things to eat for dinner. My parents had purchased bentos in Osaka station for the 4 of us, so that's what I ate. This was my father's -
Apparently it was some place where you could choose all these different kinds of rice. He got my bf the same one with different rices.
Mine was some sort of beef bento but it had lots of gobo in it. My mom had picked it, and she got the same one. She liked it a lot bc she likes gobo lol. I do not like gobo, and so I gave most of mines to her.

Meanwhile, the capybara ....
was either in my carry on tote or my mother's lol. He's so cute haha.

Our plane was supposed to leave at around 09:00pm, but since it arrived late, we didn't even start boarding until around 08:45pm (instead of 08:10pm), and left closer to around 09:30pm. The flight back home was quite quick compared to our flight to Tokyo. Maybe about an hour shorter. And even though we left late, the pilot got us back to Honolulu at the time we should have been there if we had left on time! A++++ :)

Because of the time difference between Hawaii and Japan, despite leaving Japan on March 28 at 09:30pm, we still arrived in Honolulu on March 28, right around 09:35am. (And this time the flight was actually at a good time so we left at night, slept on the plane, and then arrived when it was morning in HST.) Anyway, so technically the rest of this update is still on March 28, and that's why I'm including it even though it's not much lol.

So good to be home! I'm actually someone who doesn't really enjoy traveling for whatever reason. Coming home is usually the best part for me. And then I can look at all the stuff I bought lol. 
On the left ^^ is what I brought on the plane as carry ons. My nice looking travel bags lol. My check in bag is long and grey and not worth photographing lol. On the right is the stuff I started unpacking. (Most of it is from my check in bag.)

Since I didn't want to nap for a long time and mess up my sleep schedule, I busied myself with wiping down/cleaning my luggage and then starting to unpack, doing laundry, (eating pizza) and taking pictures!
However...the lighting wasn't super good lol. Chances are you've seen some of these photos in all the previous individual day blog posts already, but here they are again all in one place! Lol.
All the Liz Lisa. It was so hard to arrange this. Took practically like half an hour to decide on it lol.
Stationary purchased for my coworker
Ank Rouge set and novelty totes
LizMero roomwear set
Swankiss top
Other miscellaneous things lol
Lol that's pretty much it. I did spend most of the afternoon doing laundry and just generally unpacking, but I'm glad I did it right away and glad I didn't nap for more than an hour while I was waiting for the washing machine lol! I think I did one load that was pretty much all Liz Lisa in laundry bags lol.
...And that was the end of my trip! Hooray :) I still have a few more supplementary posts, but this is the last day-by-day-of-the-trip post. Hope these weren't too boring for you since some days were kind of duds in terms of blogging content even though I had a good time actually living it lol. If any these posts can be used as a resource for anyone, I'll be really happy. But otherwise, I'm hoping they'll just serve as a good record of what I did for myself! Haha.
Thanks for reading!


  Japan trip Spring 2015 posts
Part 1 - Pre-trip planning
Part 2a - March 21, Day 1: Liz Lisa Shibuya 109 Yui Kanno event
Part 2b - March 21, Day 1: Hawkeye Owl Cafe
Part 3 - March 22, Day 2: Kawatsura Strawberry Farm, Chiba, Shinjuku
Part 4 - March 23, Day 3: Tsukiji Fish Market, Yokohama, Machida
Part 5 - March 24, Day 4: Omiya, Ikebukuro, Takadanobaba, Asakusa & luggage forwarding
Part 6 - March 25, Day 5: Shibuya, Shinkansen & Osaka
Part 7 - March 26, Day 6: Tennoji MIO, Nara Deer Park
Part 8 - March 27, Day 7: Kobe (steak), Namba/Shinsaibashi & Keiko
Part 9 - March 28, Day 8: Kyoto, Berri & home
Part 10 - Hotels and Pupuru pocket wifi review
Part 11 - Liz Lisa shopping items/coordinates
Part 12 - Liz Lisa x My Melody 6th collab OPs and hand towel


  1. Lol, your mum got so much food!! XD Wah! Thanks again for meeting me in Kyoto even if you did miss the bus/shuttle thing XD Ahaha, sorry!!

  2. Im going in October, so I wonder how much damage I'll do haha. I want to take an extra suitcase to bring back as much food as your mum too!!! But with a toddler it is not going to happen lol

    1. My parents essentially did just that! When we enter Japan, we usually only have one check in suitcase each, but when we leave, we have two! Hope you can still make it work!

  3. I am obsessed with your capybara (hmm did I spell that wrong?) plush!

    1. Haha thats how I know it to be spelled! WE LOVE HIM SO MUCH TOO

  4. I'm glad you had a fun and safe trip! I'm the same way; my favorite part of a trip is coming home. It's nice to relax from all the "GO GO GO" from traveling! And it looks like your mom is going to open a convenience store haha!

    1. Haha glad I'm not the only one. It's nice that a lot of the candies are just 108yen!

  5. Replies
    1. Haha and wouldn't you know that it was all gone and portioned out for friends and family just the next day?

  6. Replies
    1. I actually came back from my trip a few weeks ago but thank you!