29 April 2008

Kansai Day 5, 18 Dec 07 - Kyoto

After a good night's rest in the cosy futon, we were up and ready for breakfast. Breakfast was buffet style (the Japs call it viking style) in the dining hall. Mixture of western and japanese cuisine.

Nice scenery and view from the balcony of our room.
We decided to go for an onsen soak again. Visited Ichinoyu the previous day so today must try out Ninnoyu and Sannoyu. Sannoyu is located at a separate building on the 9th floor. Onsens are usually quiet after breakfast. Seems that Japanese don't soak in hot spring after breakfast/before checking out? It's always crowded before dinner.
Sannoyu has 2 outdoor onsens - 1 jacuzzi onsen and 1 kinsen.
It was a bliss to soak in the hot spring while enjoying the winter breeze, listening to birds chirping and admiring the scenery.
Sannoyu indoor hot spring.

Ninoyu was switched over for female and I popped in for a quick soak at the indoor and outdoor hot springs.
Of the 3 public baths, my favourite was Sannoyu.
Thereafter, it was time to bid farewell to Arima Onsen and onward to Kyoto. We hitched a ride on the hotel shuttle to Arima Onsen Station. Took the antique-looking train from Arima Onsen station to Shin-Kobe station.
We had a few options of getting to Kyoto, by normal or express trains or Shinkansen! Since we never rode the Skinkansen before, decided to try for our journey from Kobe to Kyoto. Frankly, nothing really that spectacular. About 35 minutes later, we arrived at Kyoto station.
It was too early to check into our ryokan, so we walked around the Kyoto station. This view was from the top of Kyoto station. Couldn't imagine an 'ancient' prefecture has such modern structure. From the gallery, we could see some parts of Kyoto downtown, mostly traditional buildings, a contrast to the modernized station.

It was time to check in and we took the subway to the Sanjo station where our ryokan, Kamogawa-kan is located.
Our Jap style room was small but adequate for both of us. I like the old-school telephone, we used to have such phones during our childhood days. Price plan chosen was breakfast only since I reckoned there would be lots of good food around. There is onsen at the ground floor, just an ordinary bath area with hot spring soak.

After settling down, we ventured out to the streets and walked around Sanjo, Shijio and Kawaramachi area.

We chose to eat sushi for dinner. Kappa Sushi is a popular conveyor belt sushi chain in Kyoto, all plates at 105 yen. The interesting part - if items we wanted were not on the conveyor belt, we could place order through a touch-screen monitor and the dishes arrived in a 'shinkansen-alike' train. So cute!

Had our fill, strolled a bit, window-shopped, people-watched and headed back to the ryokan.

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  1. Beautiful pictures, I really want to visit Japan now. I love the traditional room you stayed at. The food look awesome too.

  2. Hi sugarlens,
    You must visit Japan! Even though I've been there a few times, it's still a top destination whenever I'm planning for the next vacation!