- 1540H: Reached Kansai Airport （关西机场）
- 1600H: Went to JR (Japan Rail) Kansai Airport Station
- 1730H: Boarded train from Kansai airport to Kanazawa station, interchanged at Shin-Osaka station（新大阪）.
- 2130H: Reached Kanazawa station & checked-in hotel
- 2200H: Dinner at Kanazawa town
As it was dinner time, we just took some snacks on the train.
- 0700H: Breakfast at hotel
- 0800H: Took bullet train (Shinkansen) from Kazanawa to Toyama （富山）
- 0930H: Took local train from Toyama to Tateyama （立山）
- 1030H: Took cable car & bus to Murodo （室堂）
- 1300H: Lunch at Murodo
- 1600H: Took the same route back to Kanazawa station
- 1900H: Dinner at Forus Kanazawa
I guess a good time to go to Kurobe Dam might be during autumn as one can view the beautiful autumn leaves in the valley while travelling on Tateyama Ropeway. This tallest dam will discharge water from July to October, which also serves as a tourist attraction.
- 0800H: Took a bus to Kenrokuen Garden （兼六园）
- 1000H: Checked-out hotel and took a bus to Shirakawa-go（白川乡）. Simple breakfast on bus.
- 1330H: Lunch at Shirakawa-go
- 1600H: Left Shirakawa-go
- 1800H: Left Kanazawa for Kyoto（京都）. Simple dinner at Kanazawa Station plaform.
- 2130H: Checked-in homestay apartment at Arashiyama （岚山）
Shirakawa-go is a mountainous historic village and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The houses with special architecture were built more than 200 years ago.
No matter how tired, visitors have to climb up a small hill to have an aerial view of the whole village.
- 0800H: Walked to Arashiyama main street for breakfast
- 0830H: Visited Togetsukyo bridge（渡月桥）
- 0900H: Visited Tenryuji Temple（天龙寺）
- 0930H: Walked to Bamboo groove through back door of Tenryuji garden
- 1000H: Walked to Saga-Toriimoto preserved street （鸟居本）
- 1200H: Tofu lunch at Arashiyama area
- 1300H: Took Randen (tram) from Arashiyama to Ryoanji Temple（龙安寺）
- 1430H: Took a bus from Ryoanji Temple to Kinkakuji Temple （金阁寺）
- 1600H: Took a bus & JR train back to Saga Arashiyama Station
- 1800H: Dinner and night walk in Arashiyama
To go back to Arashiyama, we tried a different path. We walked to a bus station at Nishioji Dori Street opposite Kinkakuji Temple, and took a bus heading south to bus station near JR Emmachi Station. We took a JR train from Emmachi Station back to Saga Arashiyama Station.
- 0800H: Took JR train from Arashiyama to Kyoto Station. Simple breakfast at Kyoto station.
- 0830H: Keep luggagge at hotel near Kyoto Station
- 0900H: Took a bus from Kyoto Station to Nishi Honganji（西本院寺）
- 0945H: Took a bus from Nishi Honganji to Nijo Castle（二条城）
- 1100H: Took a bus from Nijo Castle to downtown Kyoto & Nishiki Market（锦市场）
- 1200H: Lunch near Nishiki Market
- 1500H: Took a bus back to hotel & checked-in
- 1800H: Took JR train (Nara line) to Fushimi Inari Taisha（伏见稻荷大社）
- 2030H: Dinner at Kyoto Station
- 0700H: Breakfast at hotel
- 0800H: Took a bus from Kyoto Station to Kiyomizudera（清水寺）
- 0930H: Walked through Higashiyama district（东山） preserved historic street to Yasaka Shrine（八坂神社）
- 1100H: Walked to Hanamikoji Dori (Gion Corner)（花见小路）
- 1200H: Lunch at Gion area（祇园）
- 1300H: Took a bus from Yasaka Shrine to Ginkakuji（银阁寺）
- 1430H: Walked along philosopher's path（哲学之道） to Nanzenji（南禅寺）
- 1700H: Took subway from Keage Station to Sanjokeihan Station
- 1730H: Rest beside Kamo River（鸭川）
- 1900H: Dinner at Pontocho（先斗町）
- 0830H: Breakfast at Kyoto Station. Took a train from Kyoto to Osaka Station（大阪）
- 0930H: Took subway from Higashi-Umeda（东梅田） Station to Tanimachi 9-chome Station
- 1000H: Checked-in hotel
- 1030H: Took subway to Osaka Castle（大阪城）
- 1330H: Lunch at Osaka Castle
- 1400H: Took subway to Shitennoji Temple（四天王寺）
- 1500H: Took Hankai Tramway to Sumiyoshi Taisha（住吉大社）
- 1700H: Took Hankai Tramway & subway back to hotel
- 1800H: Took subway to Dotonbori（道顿堀）
- 1930H: Dinner at Dotonbori
- 2000H: Shopping at Shinsaibashi （心斋桥）& Nippombashi（日本桥） area
- 2200H: Took subway back to hotel
There are 2 important city centers in Osaka, which are Kita (Umeda 梅田) in the north and Minami (Namba 难波) in the south. Due to limited time in Osaka, we have decided earlier to just concentrate on Namba area which looks more interesting. So we booked a hotel close to Namba area through Booking.com and was quite lucky to find a budget one which has a strategic location, even though it was like a last-minute desperate booking.
There are 2 subway lines that stop at Tanimachi-9-chome (Tanimachikyuchome), namely Tanimachi line & Sennichimae line. It is just 2 stops away from Osaka castle, one stop away from Dotonbori/Kuromon market/Namba area and one stop away from Shitennoji Temple. So, our hotel is in the heart of everywhere we planned to visit.
We went back to the hotel at about 5pm. After rest and bath, we took subway and exited just at the next station at Nippombashi Station, where we walked for 2 minutes to reach Dotonbori, which is a famous street by the river.
We queued and waited for more than one hour for it. Luckily it was worth the wait. We only ordered one to try and share, and very quickly we regretted it as we should order two. Anyway, we planned to taste different kinds of foods at other shops too.
After having dinner, we just walked around the numerous crowded shopping streets there. It was raining lightly but all the major streets have roof above them.
- 0830H: Took subway to Kuromon Ichiba Market（黑门市场）
- 0900H: Breakfast at Kuromon market
- 1100H: Lunch at Dotonbori
- 1200H: Took subway back to hotel
- Took subway to Tennoji Station（天王寺）
- Took train to Kansai Airport
We refunded the remaining credit and deposit in our Kansai One Pass (ICOCA) at JR West office at Kansai Airport Station. There is a handling fee of Y220 per card.
We were in Japan around end of May & early June, so it should be about spring-summer time. The weather is just nice for me, may be slightly above 20C in daytime. The sun shone brightly but we did not feel the heat except on day 6 afternoon. It's quite windy and it's a bit chilling.
Of course we missed the cherry blossom time in Mac/Apr, as we can only travel during school holidays. Many of the temples & gardens are famous for their spring (cherry blossom) and autumn (orange leaves) scenery.
To travel the same route as we did (Kanazawa-Alpine route-Shirakawago), a better time might be mid-April when you can see the snow wall at its best as well as cherry blossom in certain parts.
Overall, except Shinsekai, everything went well according to plan in this trip.
How about the overall cost then?
During my visit time, the currency exchange rate was at around 100yen = RM3.80, which is a recent high. A normal ordinary meal costs about Y600-1000 per person (~RM23-38), a cone ice cream costs about Y250-300 (~RM9-12), a bus ride in Kyoto costs Y230 (~RM9), and entrance fee to tourist spots is about Y300-400 (~RM12-15). Some of the things in the 100-yen shop (RM3.80) are really worth to buy.
We had a buffet breakfast at Daiwa-Roynet Kanazawa (Y900 = RM34 per person) & another at Almont Hotel Kyoto (Y1800 = RM68 per person). Both are quite nice but the one at Daiwa-Roynet is more worth the money.
The overall cost of this trip for 2 persons (base on 3.8 rate) are roughly RM12,331.
- Flight + meals + travel insurance
- JR Rail pass: USD262 (RM1098)
- Others: RM430
- Two nights at Tune Hotel KLIA2: RM400
- Two nights at Daiwa-Roynet Kanazawa: Y15000 (RM576)
- Two nights at Kyoto homestay: RM515
- Two nights at Almont Hotel Kyoto: Y32600 (RM1254)
- One night at Weekly Uehomachi Osaka: Y7500 (RM300)
- Meal/snack - RM1500 (~RM100 per person per day)
- Entrance fees - RM840
- Shopping/Gift - RM1350
Excluding money spent in shopping, total expense will be around RM11,000, which means RM5,500 per person.
Is this an expensive trip? Well, depends on how you view it. It can still be cheaper actually as a lot can be saved from accommodation and dining. You can stay in dormitory or capsules and take bread & instant noodles but these are not what we want for our 10th year anniversary.
Overall I'm quite satisfied with this trip as I was ready to fork out my hard-earned RM10,000 for it, with the fear of unexpected over-spending.