Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Summary of My 8D7N Kansai, Japan (2013) Travelogues & Travel Expenses For RM2,850 Per Pax

Here is the compilation for all the posts relating to my trip to Kansai Region, Japan where we cover Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Himeji and Kyoto for 8 days and 7 nights. Plus, by end of this post, I also share on how much I spent throughout my trip.

Day 1: 10th October 2013
Japan - Osaka 01-2
Flew with Malaysia Airlines for RM797 (all-inclusive) and it's direct route from Kota Kinabalu to Kansai International Airport (KIX)

Japan Osaka 01-4
From KIX, we took Haruka Limited Express using ICOCA & Haruka card to Shin-Osaka station.

"ICOCA is an IC card convenient for JR, subway, private railway, buses and shopping in the Kansai Area and other places worth 2,000 yen (500 yen refundable deposit plus 1,500 yen worth in train and bus fares) wheres as Haruka is a discounted ticket for Kansai-Airport Express to access from KIX to Osaka, Kyoto or Kobe area (either a round-trip of a one way ticket)."

Price for ICOCA & Haruka:
Round-trip type = 4,060 yen
One-way type = 3,030 yen

Japan Osaka 01-03

Hotel Consort Osaka 02
Direction: Exit 2 of Subway Midosuji Line Nishinakajima-Minamigata station and the hotel on the left side.

 Japan - Osaka 04
How To Get Shinsaibashi and Dontobori:
From Shin-Osaka station, we took Osaka City Subway Midosuji Line to Shinsaibashi Station by using the ICOCA card we bought earlier. The fare is 240 yen.

Day 2: 11th October 2013
Kofukuji Temple & Nara Park 
Japan 2013 - Day 02 Nara 01
How To Get To Kofukuji Temple:
Kofukuji Temple is five minutes walk from Kintetsu Nara Station (using Kintetsu Rail Pass), or 20 minutes walk from JR Nara Station. Can also be reached from JR Nara Station by clockwise running loop bus number 2 or any of the buses bound for Kasuga Taisha (7 minutes, 190 yen). Get off at Kencho-mae bus stop.

Day 3: 12th October 2013
Universal Studios Osaka
Japan Universal Studio 00
How To Get To Universal Studios Japan:
There are several direct trains per hour and many more connections require a simple transfer at Nishikujo Station before reaching Universal City Station on the JR Yumesaki Line. Upon reaching Universal City Station, five minute walk to the entrance gate of the Universal Studios Japan. 
Admission Fee: 6,980 for adult and 4,880 for children 
Opening Hours: 10 am to 8 pm on low season and 9 am to 9 pm during peak season

Hotel Remm Shin-Osaka 02
Stay: Remm Shin-Osaka Hotel
Direction: Central Ticket Gate of JR Shin-Osaka Shinkansen line

Day 4: 13th October 2013
Japan - Himeji Castle 03
How To Get To Himeji Castle & Kokoen Garden:
From JR Himeji station, it takes 15-20 minutes walk from the Central Exit down the broad Otemae-dori street.
Admission Fee: Himeji Castle (1,000 yen)
                             Kokoen Garden (300 yen)
                             Himeji Castle & Kokoen Garden (1,040 yen)
Opening Hours: 9 am until 5 pm

Japan - Kobe 09 Kitano
How To Get To Kobe:
Kobe is located 20 minutes away from Osaka, 50 minutes from Kyoto and 40 minutes from Himeji with JR trains. Apart from JR West Kansai Area Pass or Kansai Thru Pass, another alternative passed you can opt is Hankyu Tourist Pass (1 Day Pass for 700 yen and depart from Osaka Umeda) or Hanshin Tourist Pass (1 Day Pass for 500 yen and depart from Osaka Umeda/Namba). These passes are available in Kansai Tourist Information Center Kansai International Airport.

Day 5: 14th October 2013
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Japan - Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan 01
How To Get To Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan:
Nearest station is Osakako Station on the Chuo subway line. From the station, it requires 5-10 minutes walk to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. Out from the station, look for the huge Tempozan Ferris Wheel as Kaiyun located next to it. 
Admission Fee: 2,300 yen (I would recommend to buy 
Osaka Kaiyu Ticket)
Opening Hours: 10 am to 8 pm

Japan - Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan 04-1
We bought the Osaka Kaiyu Ticket, a combination of Aquarium Kaiyukan admission and Osaka Subway One Day Pass which sold at 2,550 yen. In the case of purchase separately, the admission fee for Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan alone is 2,300 yen and Osaka Subway One Day Pass cost 600 yen, which indicates we save at least by 350 yen for a pax by purchasing the Osaka Kaiyu Ticket. 

Day 6: 15th October 2013
We took JR train from Shin-Osaka station heading Kyoto Station using the ICOCA card we bought on the first day. As it was too early to check-in into our hotel, we went to Arashiyama which is popular for fascinating bamboo forest as well as Fushimi Inari Shrine which well-known for its astonish and exceptional sight of more than 10,000 small and vibrant orange torii gates that arch a long walking path up to the hill.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Kyoto - Arashiyama 02
How To Get To Arashiyama:
The nearest station to Arashiyama is JR Saga-Arashiyama and one way ride from Kyoto Station takes 15 minutes only under JR Sagano line. 

Fushimi Inari Shrine 
Kyoto - Inari Shrine 04
How To Get To Fushimi Inari Shrine:
From Kyoto Station, take train to JR Inari station along the JR Nara line

Hotel Best Western Kyoto 02
Stay: Best Western Kyoto
Direction: Take Kyoto City Bus and stop in front of Mina Shopping Mall. Walk through the small alley and the hotel located behind it.

Day 7: 16th October 2013
Except for Arashiyama and Fushimi Inari Shrine, I personally think the best ideal to travel around Kyoto is by taking Kyoto City Bus which cost 500 yen for a day pass. This pass can be bought at the main Kyoto Bus Information Center in front of Kyoto Station.
Kyoto City BUs

Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) 
Kyoto - Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) 02
How To Get To Kinkaku-ji:
Take Kyoto City Bus #101 and 205 from Kyoto Bus Station to the Kinkaku-ji Michi bus stop.
Admission Fee: 400 yen
Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm

Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)
Kyoto - Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) 01
How To Get To Ginkaku-ji:
Take Kyoto City Bus #5, 7 and 100 from Kyoto Bus Station to the Ginkaku-ji Michi bus stop. It takes 10 minutes walk from the bus stop.

Admission Fee: 500 yen
Opening Hours: Open daily 8.30am to 5pm

Day 8: 17th October 2013
Goodbye Kansai Region & My Shopping Haul
2013 Japan (Kansai Area)10From Kawaramachi-dori where we stayed, we hopped on Kyoto City Bus to Kyoto Station and from there, boarded on Haruka Limited Express directly to the airport. The train ride takes approximately of 80 minutes.

And the following are the details of travel expenses for two paxes (both mommy and I) spent throughout the 8 days and 7 nights trip in Kansai Region, Japan, excluding the amount we spent on shopping haul:

Air Fare
KK-Osaka(Kansai)-KK via MAS

Hotel Consort Osaka (2 nights)
Remm Shin-Osaka (3 nights)
Best Western Kyoto (2 nights)

ICOCA & Haruka Card
Add: Top-up ICOCA
JR Kansai Area 3 Days Pass
Kobe City Loop Bus
Osaka Kaiyukan Ticket
Kyoto City Bus for 2 Days

Admission Fees
Universal Studios Osaka
Himeji Castle & Kokoen Garden

Foods & Beverages
Foods and beverages














(The exchange rate by the time I changed 100 yen = RM3.145)

  1. It's absolutely a great steal seeing that all inclusive including 30kg luggage allowance, in-flight meals and entertainment. Unfortunately, this direct route has been ceased permanently.
  2. Refer my post on Accommodation in Osaka & Kyoto 
  3. Refer my post on Oishii Everywhere in Japan
Averagely, we spent roughly around RM2,800 for a pax, including airfare, hotels, transportation, food as well as admission fee to Universal Studios Osaka and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. For this time around, I didn't share how much I spent on my shopping haul but to be frank, we spent a lot on omiyage (souvenirs) especially on confectioneries and snack such as Kit Kat and Tokyo Banana.  

Transportation wise, there is a myriad of tickets and rail passes are available for the tourists in order to save money. To know more about these, you can refer here Rail Passes for the Kansai Region. As for the exact train timetable, route and fare from starting point to the end, refer to Hyperdia

Kansai Passes & Tickets

Friday, October 23, 2015

Foodie Friday: Oishii Everywhere In Japan

Sushi! Bento! Donburi! Ramen! Udon! 
It's never ending list when comes to food in Japan.

It's quite pathetic that both mommy and I can't have the utterly fresh sashimi, Japanese well-known delicacy consisting of raw meat and fish sliced due to our common weak stomach, but that ain't gonna stop us from indulgence ourselves with the rest of scrumptious and delicious Japanese cuisines. 

Foodie Friday Japan 01
#1: Our dinner on first night arrived: Tori Katsu Don - Obviously my favourite

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Japan (2013): Accommodation in Osaka & Kyoto

I think I mentioned quite a few times that I travel in flashpacking style, instead of backpacking. It's actually almost similar trail to the backpacker, but as a flashpacker I tend to have more flexible and with little bit extra of budget looking forward to travel in slightly luxurious. Instead of staying in hostel and dormitories, most of the times I prefer to splurge myself staying in trendy and chic boutique hotels.

And because I travel with my mom for this trip to Japan, hence finding a comfortable and great location would be my main priority. We stayed in three different hotels throughout our trip there, 2 hotels in Osaka and the final one in Kyoto. Bear in mind as all of these hotels we stayed are indeed located in great and excellent location especially so near to train station and bus stop, thus the price is relatively higher. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Japan (2013) Day 8: Goodbye Kansai Region & My Shopping Hauls

Date Visited: 18th October 2013

Every trip must comes to an end and so does this one. It's our final day here in Japan and of course, it's difficult to bid goodbye to this amazing and wonderful country - definitely one of the best countries I ever visited. Packed our luggage, check-out from the hotel and heading back to Kansai International Airport. From Kawaramachi-dori where we stayed, we hopped on Kyoto City bus to Kyoto Station and immediately from there, boarded on  Haruka Limited Express directly to the airport. The train ride takes approximately of 80 minutes.  

Last Day in Kyoto
#1: Using ICOCA & Haruka we bought on the first day arrived - Check out the post HERE

Kyoto to KIX
#2: Search result from Hyperdia

Last Day in Kansai International Airport
#3: Kansai International Airport - Best part is there is a free WiFi!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Japan (2013) Day 7: Kyoto - Kinkaku-ji & Ginkaku-ji

Date Visited: 16th October 2013

Second day in Kyoto and that's also indicates our second final day in Japan before we left tomorrow. Our itinerary for the day is to do temples sightseeing. We used the Kyoto City Bus One Day Pass which we bought a day earlier in Kyoto Bus Station for 500 yen. Like I mentioned in previous post, except for Arashiyama & Fushimi Inari Shrine, majority of the main attractions may best be reached by bus. 

Kyoto - Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine
#1: Stumbled upon Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine not far away from our hotel while looking for breakfast

As there is a bus stop nearby our hotel in Kawaramachi-dori, from there we waited and took the Kyoto City Bus #101 or 205 directly to our first destination of the day, Kinkaku-ji Temple. Upon reaching the Kinkaku-ji Michi bus stop, it requires another few minutes walk before we could clearly see the amazing temple itself. Just follow the Kinkaku-ji Temple sign or else, follow the huge crowd go.

Kyoto - Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) 01
#2: Kinkaku-ji from far away

Monday, October 12, 2015

Japan (2013) Day 6: From Osaka to Kyoto [Arashiyama & Fushimi Inari Shrine]

Date Visited: 15th October 2013

Up to date, Kyoto is still my most favourite city in Japan. It's like love at first sight when I visited for the very first time five years ago. So when I return back to Kansai again, I decided to stay for two nights. 

After checking-out from the second hotel we stayed in Osaka, we took train from Shin-Osaka station to Kyoto station using ICOCA card we bought earlier. Upon arrived Kyoto Station, we took Kyoto City Bus to our hotel located in Kawaramachi-dori. With only two subway lines in Kyoto, the ideal way to travel around is by taking bus cause majority of the stations located far away from the main tourist attractions. 
Kyoto City Bus One Day Pass = 500 yen for unlimited bus rides 
Kyoto City BUs
#1: Kyoto City Bus 

One way bus ride cost 220 yen and with more than two bus rides, Kyoto City Bus One Day Pass is absolutely worth the price. Because the time we check-in was still early, the room wasn't ready yet for us. Without wasting any time, we left our luggages in the hotel and decided to venture Arashiyama, more outlying area from the city centre which is famed for bamboo forest. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Japan (2013) Day 5: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Date Visited: 14th October 2013

Osaka Aquarium, which also locally known as Kaiyukan is claimed to be one of the largest aquariums in the world. This is one of my travel wishlist I wish to do and see if I happen to revisit Osaka again, and now I had finally accomplished it [Check out my old post - Things To Do & See in Osaka]. Visiting any kind of zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks and anything that relate to animals is what I always passionate about. 

We went Shin-Osaka Visitors' Information Center which situated inside Shin-Osaka station (unfortunately closed since 31 March 2014) to purchase the Osaka Kaiyu Ticket. It's combination of Aquarium Kaiyukan admission and Osaka Subway One Day Pass which sold at 2,550 yen. In the case of purchase separately, the admission fee for Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan alone is 2,300 yen and Osaka Subway One Day Pass cost 600 yen, which indicates we save at least by 350 yen for a pax by purchasing the Osaka Kaiyu Ticket. 
Japan - Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan 04-1
#1: Osaka Kaiyu Ticket (combination of Aquarium Kaiyukan admission and Osaka Subway One Day Pass) = 2,550 yen per pax

Friday, October 2, 2015

Foodie Friday: DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe @ Singapore

Date Visited: 27th September 2015

Growing up with super heroes like Superman and Batman, this DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe is insanely attract me to stopover in Singapore, before flying back home from New Zealand, my recent trip. I came across this super heroes themed cafe & restaurant from one of my favourite blogs, Lady Iron Chef. Coincidentally, my sister who is currently living in Singapore shared about this too, making me so eagerly wanna go and try the first ever opened in Singapore. 

DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe Singapore 01
#1: Freshly opened in Marina Bay Sands, to be precised at The Shoppes