Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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

Previous posts on Summer in Japan Diary Part I, Part IIPart III can be read here. (click on link).


Since we don't have much time in Kyoto, we have to choose between either Arashiyama Bamboo Forest or Fushimi Inari. We ended going to Fushimi Inari with reasons that it is closer so we can spend more time exploring the place rather than rushing back and forth Arashiyama.

The Entrance Gate of Fushimi Inari Shrine

Though the primary reason of most tourists coming here is the famous Torii gates leads to exploring mountain trails, the shrine itself is also very much interesting, not to mention there are plenty of foods sold here. From the must have Kitsune udon to beef skewers. Do allocate at least an hour to explore the area. 

Souvenirs Shops 

The alley behind or beside the shrine with tons of shops and food street vendors

The key to get that perfect shot of this iconic thousands of oranges torii gates is PATIENCE. You will see everyone is trying to take selfies here, so it ain't easy. Hubs is not someone who really cares about picture taking. He is more of the save the memory through the eyes, seize the moment kind of guy rather than capturing everything with camera. He said that it ruins the fun of holiday when you are too busy with camera and picture taking. Well, I'm with him on that, taking too many pictures indeed ruining the fun, but on the other side, I always feel that picture means a lot, you might not appreciate it now, but when you're older you get to learn that precious feeling when you see the old pictures and have your memories taken back to that time. Don't ya think?

So... I waited until that timing when no one is around to get that perfect shot... and this is it.

From Fushimi Inari, we went back to hotel, check out and went straight crossing the street to Kyoto Station for our Shinkansen ride to Tokyo. The shinkansen is very neat, clean and comfy. We totally dozed off almost the entire ride.
Hundreds of stores, supermarkets and restaurants inside the station 

Ekiben (bento box) to eat during Shinkansen ride. There are many stores selling Ekiben at the station ranging from 750 - 1500 Yen per box. Ours is 850 Yen (IDR 109.000,-) and 1100 Yen (IDR 140.000,-).

Duration: 2 hours 20 mins
Price: 13.910 Yen (IDR 1.780.000) per person (one way)

Address: 2-6-2, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku
Price: IDR 2.540.000,- per night via Agoda 
*price might be vary depends on your period of stay.

This hotel is actually one of the hardest one to book because it is so popular. At least by the time when I did the booking, it was always sold out. It was a very good luck that we landed 4 nights via Agoda. I have no hesitation on booking this one since there are so many good reviews, but personally if you ask me do I want to stay here again the next time I'm in Tokyo, probably no. The hotel is more than good. It is brand new, modern, the room is very nice, we had a great stay, but I am not really fond of the location despite that it is located next to Family Mart and only 5 mins walk from Shinjuku station. I think it all comes to preferences, I have always been loving Shibuya more than Shinjuku, so for me, next time, I would much prefer to stay at Shibuya like what I did on my previous Japan trips. 

It is very important to know which station you want to take off. I had done my research and understood that instead of Tokyo station, we should just stop at Shinjuku station for the nearest station to our hotel. It was easy peasy to locate JR Kyushu Blossom hotel from Shinjuku station. Exit South, cross the street, find Mcdonalds in an intersection, and the hotel is in that alley.

4-8-5 Jingumae, Shibuya (Omotesando station exit A2). Enter the alley next to a huge Apple store and just follow the sign to Maisen.
Open: 11am - 10pm

As soon as we did the check in and got a little rest, we went straight to first thing first... Maisen Tonkatsu. My love for tonkatsu is undeniable. I love love love tonkatsu. It's my second favorite Japanese food right after sushi and sashimi. Honestly, I am not that into Tonkatsu Maisen in Japan because they don't provide goma sauce for the shredded cabbage's dressing, I prefer the one at Singapore. But still, goma sauce aside, YUM! 

Kurobuta Loin Pork Cutlet Set 3100 Yen (IDR 397.000,-)

Ps. If you are also into tonkatsu, Katsutoku (formerly Katsusei, they changed the name to Katsutoku as they no longer franchise the brand, but the chef, menu and taste are the same) is my favorite tonkatsu place in Jakarta. They previously have 3 branches but now only left one in Plaza Senayan. I'll be doomed if one day they run out of business.

Address: 5-10-1 GYRE Building B1F, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku (Meiji-Jingumae exit 4 Harajuku)
Opening hours: 11am - 8pm

After our lunch, we strolling around my favorite area in whole Tokyo, Omotesando. Basically every area in Tokyo is charming, but our heart sets for Omotesando, walking around Omotesando and the alley where Luke's Lobster located is one of my favorite thing to do. I'll post few pics on next post since this post is too heavy on pictures already.

We ended up resting our feet while having some sweet tooth moment at the popular New York dessert shop, Magnolia Bakery. We had their famous banana pudding and Coconut cake. The banana pudding was way too sweet for our non sweet tooth tongue, but the coconut cake was still as good as I remember. 

Mini banana pudding 380 Yen (IDR 49.000,-) and Coconut cake 580 Yen (IDR 74.000,-)

Harajuku Meiji Jingumae Station exit 3

Omotesando and Harajuku is just a block away, an easy walking distance. Too bad that we came during summer. Anyway, as you may all know, Takeshita street at Harajuku is the most popular and crowded street in the area. Personally, the street has never been my favorite, since I'm not really into crowds and there's nothing really attracts me except the Calbee+ store where we can have fresh potatoes and a huge Daiso. You would also find famous Harajuku crepes in this street. 


Shibuya Crossing's view from Starbucks

Shibuya on day light


See you on next post...

*Based on trip 3-11 July 2016. Currency rate 1 JPY = 128 Rupiah


iris said...

Hi Ivy! I have been an avid fan of your blog for years!
and your posts to Japan are really helpful since I'm going to Japan in 2 weeks. Such a perfect timing :)
Thank you and cant wait for your next posts :D

Ivy said...

Hi Iris!

It's always a good feeling to hear my babbling can somehow be helpful. :)
Am on my way to finish up the entire trip posts, meanwhile, have a great great trip in Japan!