Friday, June 3, 2016

Japan trip Spring 2016 Part 9: Day 8 - Kinkakuji in Kyoto & shopping in Osaka

May 21 was the last day for us to use the rail pass, so we wanted to take advantage of that and do something in Kyoto that we hadn't done before.
My outfit for the day was purchased the day before on my Liz Lisa spree lol. I actually wasn't intending on wearing it during the trip, especially because my sunburned shoulder would be exposed with this top. However, I realized that I rarely wear this sort of set up at home, and the weather was just right for it!

We had a small breakfast in our rooms at the hotel with conbini purchases and then went down to the JR Osaka station. We caught a Kyoto line Special Rapid which takes about 30 minutes to reach Kyoto station.

Once at arriving, we went to go look for a few pastries or something to eat for breakfast and actually there were quite a few options!

And then we bought our subway tickets to head up to Kitaoji station via the Karasuma Subway line. Our main goal was to get to Kinkakuji! I've been there before on my first trip to Japan 12 years ago and hadn't felt the need to revisit it since it not super easily accessed (last time, I was on a tour), but since my mom has never been, we wanted her to have the experience since it's one of the top "attractions" in Kyoto.

There's no photos of this because I wasn't even sure if I was doing it right, but once we exited the station, we looked for the bus depot area. It's pretty clearly marked throughout the station and it's easy to follow the signs. We looked at the bus schedule and ended up getting on whatever came fastest which I think was the 205. There were quite a few people already on it and no convenient place to kind of relax since the bus moves pretty quickly and can be kind of jerky due to how often it has to start and stop. I definitely would have fallen over multiple times if I wasn't holding onto something. You need to have exact change when paying for the bus, so it was a bit troublesome to kind of organize the money while maintaining my balance, but the four of us somehow did it. I knew there would be a change machine at the front somewhere but there were too many people blocking it, so we had to do the best we could with what we had since we didn't want to hold anything up.
Once we got off the bus, we crossed the street and followed the signs up the hill towards Kinkakuji.

We purchased our entrance tickets

and entered the first viewing area which was hot and crowded as heck since it's the most popular area to take photos.

and then we slowly made our way around the pond and temple.
For some reason I remember it being "more impressive" but that could be because I was like 12 the last time I saw it and didn't have any frame of reference. It is certainly great aesthetically but having to deal with so many people always kind of dampens things for me lol.

We continued to explore the grounds. I didn't stop to take a lot of pictures since the most scenic things already had like 4 people deep trying to get a good shot and I wasn't about to try and compete.
We followed the route and went all the way around and then came back down to the entrance area.

I had to use my small umbrella the whole time because my shoulder was so sunburned and I didn't want it to get worse if I could help it, plus, the less I sweat, the better haha.

Across the street from the temple is a stand that sells refreshments and a few desserts. We were intrigued by the soft serve with gold flakes lol. Seemed especially appropriate considering we just saw the gold pavilion.
One for my mom and one for me and my bf to share since I don't really like vanilla wtf. But I still wanted something small since it was so hot lol.

My parents didn't particularly enjoy the bus catching experience, so we decided to try and catch a taxi back to Kitaoji station. There's a taxi lot right next to the shop where we bought the soft serve on the way back towards the bus stop. If it was over 1500yen, we wouldn't have taken it, but the man quoted us exactly that amount, so we got in the car.

We got back to the station quickly and without having to worry about having exact change for each of us on a jerky bus and having to wait in the sun at the bus stop among so many others. And actually, it only ended up costing 990yen! That was less than what we were expecting and just a little bit more than the bus fare for the four of us for a much better experience overall. To my dad, the extra 70yen was worth it haha.
Having had our fill of the area, we caught the subway back to Kyoto station.

We wanted to get something to eat for lunch. I remembered that there were quite a few choices in the shopping area just below the station that I had visited with Christa last time including a KYK which my bf really wanted to try. When we looked at the directory, we noticed there was also a Yomenya Goemon there as well which my parents like.

We ended up picking KYK because we had been meaning to try it for like 3 trips now but somehow always ended up forgetting or never happening upon one. Plus, we didn't get to go to Maisen in Tokyo this time, so we might as well get our tonkatsu fix here.

There was a bit of a line to get in since the restaurant isn't super big, but since we really wanted to give it a chance, we decided to wait. I think it only ended up taking 15 minutes which isn't too bad considering there were at least 3-4 parties in front of us. We already knew what we wanted to order because we picked based on the samples outside haha.
My bf's actually looks fake because it's so close to the display model wtf. It even comes with the tiny sign! He and my dad both got the kurobuta. I got some kind of regular tonkatsu which is more of a log shape which was kind of fun. My mom got the assorted set including a cheese piece which she really liked lol. Overall, we were glad we made the choice to eat at KYK - the food was good (not extraordinary or out of this world imo but good) and the price was much more reasonable compared to Maisen.

Before we left Kyoto, my bf wanted to get some yatsuhashi. There was a store for the brand he likes that's near the shinkansen tracks of Kyoto station, so I somehow navigated us there by memory. There were a few new flavors to choose from but mostly the same ones we were used to. This location is good because we were able to try samples.
It's a somewhat small selection but it still took us a while to figure out which we wanted to buy and to whom we would be giving it.

Since we were already near the track, we got on the next Hikari shinkansen headed for Shin-Osaka and got in a non-reserved car for one stop.

and then we had to transfer to the Kobe line to get back to Osaka station.

We dropped out of our stuff at the hotel and luckily our luggage that was forwarded from Tokyo had arrived by this time as well. We were able to do a preliminary suitcase check to see how much more room we would have for shopping!

That settled, I headed back out with my parents and my bf went his own way to a fishing store in Ikeda.

We got a JR Osaka Loop line train to Tennoji. I went to MIO for none of guess it, Liz Lisa. The mall has a lot of different stores so my parents went to do their own browsing. 

This was one of my last chances to make Liz Lisa purchases so I decided to try on a few things I was unsure about - The vivid OP (they only had blue left but that was my top color choice anyway) and the multi stripe OP also in blue.
I do like the vivid OP and can think of several situations in which it would be great, but I wasn't fussed about the fit. It was kind of similar to that of the lace fit & flare OP. I just couldn't see myself buying another ill-fitting (by my own definition) dress, so I had to pass on it. In contrast, the multi stripe OP was a pretty good fit since it has a lot of shirring in the back of the torso area but I found the straps in the front to be a bit weird since they are adjustable with a button and it just sat a bit weird on my chest. I like the dress overall, but I wasn't convinced enough to purchase it at that time. I was glad I tried both on so I know what to expect if they somehow make it to an online sale and I may be more tempted to get them at a lower price.

Having found nothing of particular interest at MIO, I decided to hold off on making any "just because" purchases and went to go look at the Shibuya 109 Abeno Liz Lisa in Qs Mall just a short distance away.
I saw one item I had really wanted and hadn't seen in previous stores there which was curious since the Abeno location has often had not the best stock in the past, but I was excited to find it. LL Gals Rima was the only one working at the time and I got to interact with her a little but was too shy to say more than just ask for her assistance when necessary. I used to see her at the Hep Five location a lot before and also never said anything then either wtf. She was super nice and helpful and also patient with me!

Having made what I figured would be my last Liz Lisa purchase of the trip, I now had plenty of time to do more meaningless browsing since I didn't have much else left on my agenda. I looked briefly in the Delyle Noir which was right next to Liz Lisa but didn't see anything I was really tempted to purchase right then.
Also in Q's Mall, we went down to the basement to look at Tokyu Hands. My brother had requested that we look for this particular kind of bento box for his gf and we hadn't been successful yet at this point in the trip and were running out of time lol.
I also looked to see if there was any Neko Atsume stuff in these gatcha gatcha machines for my bf's brother but no luck.

After Tokyu Hands, we stopped at a store selling Sanrio merchandise to continue looking for the bento box and actually found something really close to what my brother asked for! I also pointed out the "lottery" ish thing in the store for LizMero items and she insisted I give it a shot! I've always been too nervous to try it in the past lol.
I ended up with a cup! Not the easiest thing to pack when you're already pretty much at the end of a trip, but still cute imo!

Still looking for a few things in particular, I wanted to check out the Ito Yokado! On the basement level, there's a huge grocery store-like section with all kinds of snacks and last minute items for us to pick up.

We visited the other floors as well and I was surprised to come across a lot of My Melody, Sanrio and other character goods!
Seriously, there was a whole bunch of stuff! I didn't buy anything for myself but I looked hard for something that Rebby wanted and couldn't find it despite all the selection wtf.

We were actually hungry at least an hour previous but got much delayed in Ito Yokado lol. Since we had skipped it earlier, now seemed like a good time to eat at Goemon since we knew there was a location back in MIO!
We had a simple dinner of the same old pastas we usually order from this restaurant lol. It's somehow become a Japan trip staple for us. There's also something so great about eating pasta with chopsticks which makes so much sense since we eat ramen and saimin, etc with chopsticks too.

I considered going back down to Liz Lisa and possibly purchasing something else, but I convinced myself it wasn't necessary and instead we just headed back to JR Osaka/Umeda via the Osaka Loop Line. We arrived just before 20:50 and the Hankyu Department Store would close at 21:00. We weren't in the right station but my mom wanted to try and get there before it closed so she could get a box of kinako mochi for my cousin's wife. We practically ran over there and entered before it closed but for some reason, couldn't find the shop! We were dashing all over and up and down looking for it, but wtf it took forever for us to calm down and find it but we did. And then we also picked up this discount sushi for my bf who had been too lazy to come meet us for dinner. And also some dessert for my dad!
We sent my dad back to the hotel with all the purchases that we had made

and then my mom and I went all the way back to the JR station to buy her favorite konbu. Even though we were in this exact area when we got off the train, this section doesn't close until 22:00 so we prioritized going over to Hankyu first since we'd have more time to come back. It definitely wasn't the most efficient but at least we got to make the desired purchases at both places.
The shop keeper actually didn't have enough stock of the konbu my mom wanted so she had to run to the stock room to get more lol.

Since we were already in the Eki Marche, I figured it would be more convenient to go to the Eki Donki instead of having to venture back out towards the Hankyu station to go to the Umeda Don Quixote. It's not as big as the regular location obviously but still has quite a bit of stock to choose from!
I got some things that my bf requested including this sunblock that he ended up liking x10 (all the store had out) and also a pack of seqwasha Hi-Chew which he had liked from a previous trip.
And a number of other things that I couldn't take pictures of because the aisles are so small and I was having trouble managing the basket, picking up purchases and trying not to knock anything over with my butt or purse lol.

I'm glad that we were able to venture out to Kinkakuji so my mom could see it. I feel like sometimes she misses out on a few things because the three of us (me, my dad and my bf) have already done, seen or experienced it on separate trips in the past and have dismissed it as a result. I know it's not the A+ best season for Kinkakuji, but it's still amazing to look at and something great in Kyoto. Plus, I was finally able to conquer my nervousness about the bus system in Kyoto although I'm not sure if that's completely quashed considering that we didn't really give it much more chance than just a one way ride since it didn't turn out to be ideal lol. We're definitely bigger fans of the trains and subways.
I'm so sad that the Hep Five Liz Lisa location closed because that would have been so convenient for me since we almost always stay in the Umeda area and I've always felt that there was really decent stock there. Now there's just two locations in Tennoji which isn't too bad but also isn't the easiest. I was still able to get a few items I wanted last minute and found a few other gems in the same area, so I guess I shouldn't be complaining lol. I had no idea that the Ito Yokado in Qs Mall had so much to offer and I'm glad we took the time to look around a bit!
Japan trip Spring 2016 posts
Part 1: Packing (Liz Lisa outfits) for Hokkaido to Osaka in May
Part 2: Arrival to CTS & Day 1 - Curb Market, Shiroi Koibito Park and shopping in Sapporo
Part 3: Day 2 - Nijo Market, Sapporo Beer Museum & Tanukikoji in Sapporo
Part 4: Day 3 - Exploring Otaru & experiencing the Hakodate Liner
Part 5: Day 4 - Morning Market, Red Brick Warehouses & Mt Hakodate in Hakodate
Part 6: Day 5 - Hokkaido Shinkansen & shopping in Tokyo and Funabashi
Part 7: Day 6 - Tokyo DisneySea
Part 8: Day 7 - Last minute shopping in Omiya and Tokyo & Tokaido Shinkansen to Osaka
Part 9: Day 8 - Kinkakuji in Kyoto & shopping in Osaka
Part 10: Day 9 - Utsubo Park Rose Festival, Namba/Shinsaibashi & departure from KIX in Osaka
Part 11: Liz Lisa shopping, purchases & coordinates
Part 12: Other shopping, purchase & coordinates
Part 13: Travel notes - Hotels, Luggage forwarding & Pocket wifi

Japan trip Autumn 2015 posts
Japan trip Summer 2015 posts
Japan trip Spring 2015 posts
Japan trip Summer 2014 posts


  1. Rima! She's so cute. The set looks really nice btw!

    1. She's always been really nice whenever I've encountered her in the stores! Thank you!

  2. This temple is wonderful. Omamori of kinkaku-ji can be found on