I’ve finished my breakfast in my Osaka hostel and waiting for my towel to dry before I leave for Kyoto. It was time to leave Osaka and explore Nara and Kyoto prefectures. I found one cheap hostel with breakfast in Kyoto named Guest House Oumi.
My check in time is 05:00 in the evening but if I want to keep my luggage then I have to reach there by 01:00 p.m. I also have to book bus for Tokyo.
Isn't it weird that check in times are usually after 01:00 PM in Japan. I bet this is because this cleanliness obsessed country needs more time in making your bed and experience perfect.
I think I will head to Kyoto, keep my luggage and go explore places but before that I have to make a plan.
I booked the bus from Kyoto to Tokyo in hostel itself and then left for Kyoto. It took me more than an hour to reach my new destination. So far I loved the city. It's like you are in the countryside of Japan. My guesthouse is amazing. I decided to do three things before I go to the guest house. I will visit a nearby castle, shrine and at last will do Onsen. It will be fun.
Right now I'm again at Doutor coffee. I had a chicken sandwich and had a cold coffee. The Nijō castle will get closed at 05:00 PM. I will visit castle first then Shrine (Money shrine) then Onsen near my guesthouse. Seems like I have to prepare myself for walking because it's Kyoto and I don't see much public transport.
I was so tired that I couldn't cover the Imperial Palace. Anyway that's the same as other Imperial Palace.
I wanted to do Onsen and I walk 3 kilometres and reached there. I paid for Onsen and bought a ¥100 towel from them. As soon as I went there I saw people were naked. They were either going for Onsen or done with it. I didn't feel shy and removed my clothes. I went first to clean my body (same rule when you go for swimming) and then went for Onsen.
I saw that hot bath has a bigger space. So I waited for a few minutes. I was shy but people were casually walking naked and I was trying to be calm and pretending that this is not new to me.
I didn’t go to open bath area as I was feeling shy. I was the only foregin tourist there and it was a bit odd for me. I spent some time there and then it was time to go to the hostel after around 8-10 Kms. of walk in 36 °C.
I went to the hostel where I met one Japanese old person. He was trying to communicate in English and told me that he was in India 20 years ago. He was a nice and funny guy.
He helped me with transport to Arashiyama in English and Japanese.
He called the hostel staff and I got my bed. Tommy (owner of hostel ) explained to me about hostel facilities. He spoke in the style like magician speaks with audience. I wanted to buy 2 days pass of Kyoto city so I went to the station (Nijō station). I decided to get pass tomorrow and settled in KFC and had my dinner. KFC Chicken, french fries and cola.
I couldn’t eat the entire chicken but was feeling good after getting something in my stomach.
I went to the hostel which was only 3 minutes walk from the station. I set an alarm for 06:00 AM and went to sleep.
I woke up at 06:00 AM and got ready by 07:00 AM. I had my breakfast and left for Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.
It is a 10 minutes train ride from Nijō station. I went there and explored one shrine. I took some amazing photos. When I was leaving the forest I met Dashintha. We greeted each other and I left. I had two more places to cover which was Kimono forest and one bridge. I met Dashintha again and we planned to explore the rest of the day together.
I spotted owl cafe and Japan known for weird cafes. We both agreed to go and experience it. We paid ¥600-¥800 and went inside with basic instructions. Though they don’t serve coffee but you can buy combine entry for owl and cat cafes where you can drink coffee.
It was an amazing experience. We took lots of good photos and had fun with owls. After that we decided to go to Kyoto station for lunch. After struggling to find Yoshinoya we had to settle for McChicken burger. After eating we went to Kiyomizu-dera and spent a few hours there.
It was almost sunset and we rushed to Fushimi Inari Taisha. A place where many torii gates are there. At this point, I was exhausted. Though with rest at multiple points we were able to hike to the top and the view was worthy. We sat there for half an hour and then decided to leave for our destinations. We bought beers and I was drinking while walking and in the train.
He alighted at the next station from Fushimi and i got down at Nijō station. I went to KFC and ordered medium size french fries and a vegetable stuff. It was my dinner and then I went to sleep. The day was long and it was interesting to learn about Japaneses culture from an outsider who was living here for more than 1.5 years.