Monday, March 13, 2017

Ivy's Travel: Summer in Japan Diary {Part III}

Summer in Japan Diary Part I can be read here.
Summer in Japan Diary Part II can be read here.
 
DAY 3 - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN - KAITEN BELT SUSHI DOTONBURI - DARUMA KUSHIKATSU 

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN 

1 Day Studio Pass (Adult): 7400 Yen/ pax (IDR 947.200,-)

Our day three in Osaka is all about Universal Studios Japan, or Harry Potter to be more precise. Except the new Wizarding world of Harry Potter, nothing really changed from the other attractions at USJ from my previous visit. So, if you've been here before, I wouldn't recommend you for another visit unless you are USJ freak. Doesn't mean it's not fun, a trip to amusement park is always fun. Anyway, I'm not going to talk too much about USJ since I have shared a separate post on Harry Potter. 

My thoughts and pictures about our Harry Potter story can be view here.
The bottom line, we came home with two darker skin tone and barely feel our legs but with happy heart.
My favorite area at USJ - The Manhattan

Our lunch at Mel's Burger. Decent burgers 2980 Yen (IDR 381.000,-). Crazy queue that took us like 10 minutes to even find a seat.

Minion Pao (Pork) 550 Yen (IDR 70.000)

Frozen Mango 500 Yen (IDR 64.000,-)


KAITEN BELT SUSHI - DOTONBURI 

This place is one of the restaurants at Dotonburi that always had people queuing. The name of the restaurant is not Kaiten Belt, I just put it that way since I don't know the English name, but you'll notice the huge sushi symbol. Kaiten belt is a conveyor sushi belt restaurant which commonly found at any area in Japan. Here, they are all priced at 135 Yen (IDR 19.000,-) per plate, except for some better quality ones which they'll put price tag mark. The pricing are cheap with good sushi, explaining the queue line. But they are not the best kaiten belt sushi restaurant we had during our trip. I'll let you know on later post.
Nevertheless, this one is still worth to try. They are available for take away too, they display all the bento box up front, and if you do plan on taking away, there's a separate part for take away line so you don't need to queue along with the dine-ins. 


DARUMA KUSHIKATSU - SHINSAIBASHI-SUJI

Okay, Daruma Kushikatsu is definitely one restaurant we bumped in like everywhere in Osaka. Literally, they are everywhere! In Namba itself, we found three of them. Kushikatsu and Yakitori, all that skewers kind of food are actually my least favorite Japanese food, but since they are that famous and people keep saying you have to try Daruma Kushikatsu in Osaka, so we did. We had ours right after our quick sushi fixed, while we strolling around Sinshabashisuji. 

All kushikatsu will comes with fresh cabbage and their signature sauces on the table with strictly no double dipping rules. We find them to be pretty ordinary, but still at least we've tried the most famous grumpy old man in Osaka. =)

Combo Shinsekai (classic kushikatsu, shrimp, asparagus, quail egg, rice cake, tonkatsu, chicken meatball, sausage, fish sausage with cheese) 1512 Yen (IDR 194.000,-)

One of my daily favorite things to do was to visit their convenience stores, from Lawson, Family Mart to 7 Eleven. We love all the things they sell. I mean, the fresh Onigiri choices, and even the roll cakes are so good. 

Onigiri priced at around 100 Yen (IDR 12.800,-)

Matcha roll cakes 195 Yen (IDR 25.000,-)


We overslept that evening and woke up at 10pm something, too tired to find any restaurants to eat, so we had our supper with the food at Lawson and took a quick tour to Don Quijote which only across our hotel.

DAY 4 - CHIKARA MESHI - LUKE'S LOBSTER - JR RAPID TRAIN TO KYOTO - NEW MIYAKO HOTEL - GOGYO RAMEN - NINENZAKAN - KIYOMIZU DERA - KYOTO STATION

CHIKARA MESHI

Day four of our trip was going to Kyoto, we went for a quick breakfast at one of Japanese's popular beef bowl restaurant, Chikara Meshi. It's located around 10 minutes walk from Dotonburi. The ordering system at almost all Japanese beef bowl restaurant chains is by vending machine, click, pay and give the receipt to the server. Japan's most popular beef bowl beside Chikara Meshi is Yoshinoya, Matsuya and Sukiya, you'll find them everywhere. My favorite among all is Chikara, while Hubs still prefer the good old Yoshinoya. 

(Right) Pork rice bowl 630 Yen (IDR 80.000,-) - (Left) Gyudon 330 Yen (IDR 43.000,-)

YOSHINOYA 


LUKE'S LOBSTER
Address: 1-3-21 Sinshaibashi-Suji 
Opening hours: 11am - 9pm

One of my best meal in our Japan trip is absolutely this amazing lobster roll. So gooood! The opening hours is 11am, but people had been queuing before that, and if you want to have the lobster roll do come early. Our first time, we came at around 3pm and the lobster were sold out already, leaving only shrimp rolls. So, we learned our lesson and came around 11 something the next day right after our breakfast at Chikara. Since Hubs is allergic, I only ordered one and trust me, you definitely have to try Luke's. The lobster was amazingly fresh only seasoned with lemon and some herbs, without any creamy sauce or kind. If Osaka is in your itinerary, I wold strongly suggest you to have Luke Lobster here instead of Tokyo, merely because there is much lesser queue in Osaka. I think I only queued for like 10 mins.


You can try Luke's Lobster at Omotesando, Tokyo as well but we came twice to find them sold out even way before the closing time.   

OSAKA TO KYOTO BY JR RAPID TRAIN
Take JR Rapid train from Osaka station. Duration: 30 minutes. 560 Yen (IDR 72.000,-) per person. Bought the ticket at Osaka station.

You can also take Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) to Kyoto which only take 15 mins, but with twice pricier tickets, we figured to just take the JR Rapid since its only 15 minutes slower.


KYOTO

NEW MIYAKO HOTEL
Address: 17 Nishikujo - Inmachi Minami-ku, Kyoto Station
Price: IDR 1.267.000/ night via Agoda

Since we only have one night in Kyoto, I chose to stay near Kyoto station for flexibility, so that we don't need to take any taxi or bus or subway with our luggage since New Miyako is located across Kyoto station. 

Premiere Floor Twin Room 26m2

Kyoto station turned to be way beyond our expectation. So many good restaurants and stores, made our choice to stay just across the station to be a good choice. Remember the kaiten belt sushi I've mentioned to be the best we had in Japan? It's in Kyoto station. Stupidly, I forgot to take pictures of the restaurant, but I think it's the only kaiten belt sushi located on the ground floor near supermarket. 

NISHIKI MARKET
Shijo station on karasuma line or Kawaramachi station hankyu line 
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm

Nishiki market is a five block long market filled with hundreds of shops including fresh seafood, sushi, cookware, snack and souvenir shops. We passed by this market on our way to Gogyo ramen and didn't really see anything interesting, so due to not having too much time in Kyoto, we decided to not come back here after our lunch at Gogyo which is located really near the market.

Ps. Google maps helps a lot during travel.



GOGYO RAMEN
Address: 452 Jumonji-Cho, Yanaginobaba-Dori, Takoyakushi-Sagaru
(Kawaramuchi station, hankyu line) 5 mins walk near Nikishi Market
Opening hours: 11.30am - 3pm, 6pm - 12am

Gogyo ramen is a popular ramen shop in Kyoto famous for its burnt ramen. Though I personally didn't find anything so special. I had their famous burnt soy sauce ramen with the signature black broth. I find the noodles over cooked and the broth wasn't had that tangy shoyu I was looking for. Hubs' pork plate was quite ordinary as well.

Special Kogashi Shoyu-Men 1290 Yen (IDR 165.000,-)


Rice with Kyoto Pork Plate 890 Yen (IDR 114.000,-)

NINENZAKAN - SANNENZAKAN

Kyoto is beyond charming! I fall for Kyoto the moment I stepped my feet at Ninenzakan and Sannenzakan, the two Kyoto's most famous street leading up to Kiyomizu Dera temple. The old school vibes, the houses, all the Japanese or non Japanese walking around with Kimono.




Along the street up to Kiyomizu Dera temple, you will find rows of shops selling assorted kinds of things, from souvenirs, snacks, etc. Many of the snacks are mochi, green tea ice cream and rice crackers.


KIYOMIZU DERA TEMPLE


GION

Another area you definitely must go when you're in Kyoto is Gion. Such a charming street with all those Ryokan, reflecting the authentic Japanese culture. If only we came not in summer, I could easily spend hours there just to awing on the cultures. Just like when we went to Korea and only spent a day in Busan and regretted it, we also regretted to only spent 1 night in Kyoto. Such a lovely city.


Gion itself took like quarters of my camera's memory card portion since everything is camera worthy. I can't upload all here but probably I'll make one in Steller (Ivys_Life).

Summer in Japan Diary {Part IV}, click here.

*based on trip 3-11 July 2016. 1 Jpy = 128 Rupiah

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