Feel free to click on the links and read my stories. 🙂
Lately, I’m also loving the idea of traveling and doodling places and food on my journal/planner. It’s a creative way of preserving a memory in the most traditional way, that requires a notebook and a pen. I don’t have the best talent on it, but I don’t want to miss the chance of TRYING. You can also give it a try and you might enjoy and learn in the process.
I also shared my stories, tips and guides in exploring Osaka & Kyoto on a budget friendly manner while enjoying the cities. (Food Trip included!) If you want to feel the real vibe and see traditional Japan, these two cities are the perfect place to start your tour.
Last month, I also wrote about climbing Mount Pico de Loro in Nasugbu, Batangas and earlier of this month, I shared my experiences in climbing Mount Maculot for three consecutive years (from 2013 – 2014 -2015).
I am still updating my story about Mount Haruna, my second mountain in Japan! I will update this post as necessary.
For now, take a glimpse of Haruna-san.
November has been sweet and refreshing for me, from traveling to trying new hobby is pretty exciting! It’s like a breath of fresh air from studying Japanese writing. I can’t wait for December and its lovely surprises!
I’ll see you next year Philippines, I will work hard to meet you again. ♥️✈️👣
Kyoto (京都市) is located in the Kansai Region which is populated by almost 1.5 million people, making the city as the 7th largest in Japan. If you will also recall Asian history, it was once the capital of the Land of the Rising Sun. This city has a big part in Japan’s history and was spared from raids during the World War II.
Let’s see what I found in their city in one day…
As I mentioned during my earlier post about Osaka, I scheduled my trip to Kyoto during the second day. I woke up early, eating breakfast on the subway! Another first.(I am too shy to eat alone in public.) If you are coming from Osaka, you can easily ride a train and reach the city in an hour.
I was coming from Tengachaya Station via Sakaisuji Line Subway, upon reaching Awaji Station, I had to transfer railway line which is Hankyu Kyoto Line. Travel time via subway took me an hour and 30 minutes for ¥680.
Alternatively, if you are coming directly from Osaka Station, simply use the JR Line, look for the green train icon, this is one of the private railway company in Japan. It will only take less than an hour for you to reach Kyoto Station for only ¥560 (one way).
Once you reach Kyoto Station, do not forget to purchase your one day pass in the city. For ¥1200, you can travel around the city using subways and city buses. It includes a map and guide so you can plan or choose where to go.
PS. You can also choose bus only pass or subway only pass, definitely for a cheaper price.
Before I start my tour, I took a moment to sit down and sip some tea…
One of the major specialties of this city is their green tea or what they call ‘matcha’. It is the first place in Japan that planted tea seeds, making it the origin of traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Its taste is very rich and intense, I was able to easily differentiate it from the other matcha I tasted in Tokyo.
One of the major works of Hiroshi Hara is the second’s largest station in Japan (after Nagoya Station) opened in 1997 with 238,000 square meters under 15-story roof. It is Kyoto’s main transportation hub that has a contrasting design to many foreign tourist’s sites in the city. Very futuristic and spacious. You can find shopping malls (Cube Shopping Mall, Isetan, Porta Underground Shopping Mall), hotels, movie theater, bus stations, luggage storage/coin lockers and vast dining options.
If you need assistance, visit their general Tourist Information located at the 2nd floor, they have multilingual officers, brochures in English and computers for tourists usage. I know you’re waiting for this, FREE – WiFi.
If you are sending postcards, Kyoto’s Post Office is outside the train station (Karasuma Gate).
I must say that you can do a lot of things in this station, they have Observatory Deck and Skyway at 11th floor. I took my time to explore the station and here’s what I found…
This tower at 131 meters high is one of the iconic landmark in the city located in front of the station. (Karasuma Gate) The tower stands atop the 9-story building which houses the Kyoto Tower Hotel.
FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE
Kyoto is also known as the City of Ten Thousand Shrines, which includes all shrines and torii in Fushimi Inari Shrine. Located just outside JR Inari Station, second station from Kyoto Station for ¥140, one way. (Did I just write ‘station’ three times in one sentence? Lol. 😄)
Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) is famous for its thousands torii gates and considered as important shrine in Southern Kyoto. Inari is the Shinto God of Rice. Along the shrine, you will see a lot of fox statues, they believed that foxes are the messengers of Inari.
This torii was donated in 1589 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the famous leader I mentioned from Osaka Castle. 🏯
You can purchase a small torii for ¥800 and write your personal wishes/prayers and hang it at the base of the shrine. On the other hand, you can also draw on these fox-shaped wooden structures and write your wishes.
The top of Mount Inari doesn’t show skyscrapers of Kyoto, mostly small establishments, apartments, schools, parks and highways.
On my way down, I took some refreshments and I met an artist…
Khatie, as promised I bought one for you! 👌
It was made of rice flour and I was full the whole afternoon , you won’t see me posting another food on this trip.Yeah, that’s the only food I ate. 😊
Personally, I consider this place, Fushimi Inari Shrine, as one of the best and must-see in Kyoto, aside from the fact that it has FREE entrance, you can really appreciate and visualize Japanese culture and traditions.
I stayed here for two hours, enjoying the very colorful shrines and torii gates, climbing up the mountain, checking for souvenirs (magnets in particular) and chitchatting with Japanese wearing kimono. I wanted to stay longer but I still have to check some other places…
Hop on 🚌
In Kyoto, transferring from one tourist spot to another is quite confusing and tiring. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR MAP, CHECK THE BUS NUMBER AND ROUTE. From my experience, tourist spots are closer to bus stops so I often use the bus during my trip. But you still need to do A LOT OF WALKING.
From Kyoto Station, ride the bus number 100, 206 or 208 and get off Hakubutsukan-Sanjusangendo-mae bus stop.
Sanjusangendo (三十三間堂) is a famous temple made from 120 meters Japan’s longest wooden structure located in Eastern Kyoto. It is well known for housing a 1001 statues of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy. There are thousand life sized armed Kannon guarding the 11 feet tall seated Senju Kannon (at the center) with 11 faces and 1000 arms and has been designated as a National Treasure.
My trip to this temple was very exciting and unique, strictly no slippers and no picture taking allowed inside the hall. Be responsible and discipline enough to follow. It was not my plan to go here, but it was great to know, see and read stories of Japanese beliefs (Buddhism).
Originally, entrance fee was ¥600, however with the one day pass I got in for ¥500. Not bad. 👌
From Sanjusangendo, ride the bus 100 or 206. Get off at Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi bus stop. From there, it will be an uphill walk to the temple.
One of the famous temple in Japan and considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1994. It is known for its wooden structure stage, 13 meters above the hillside, which will let you view numerous maple and cherry trees. You can explore and look around the temple for ¥300.
Please be advised that some of the buildings in this area is under renovation.The construction has few but not overwhelming impact on your visit.
A niōmon is a Japanese name of a Buddhist temple gate guarded by two wooden warriors called Niō (Two Kings).
Here’s a map so you can visualize how big the place is…
I’m a traveler who’s not only after pictures, I grab the chance of knowing the history and culture of the country I am into. An hour or two is not enough for this place. Prepare a lot energy because, personally for me, Kyoto is synonymous to A LOT OF WALKING.
You will see a lot of Japanese men and women wearing their kimonos while roaming around the city! So much effort and love for their tradition!
Higashiyama District can be found along the slower slopes of the eastern mountains. You can definitely feel the vibe of traditional old Kyoto. The narrow lanes comprises of small shops selling souvenirs and Japanese specialties for take home. If you get tired from walking along Kiyomizu-dera and Yasaka Shrine, you can take some rest at the cafe or restaurants along the other shops. There are numbers of shops selling their creamy Green Tea ice cream, don’t miss the chance to try!
From Higashiyama District, ride bus number 100 and get off at Ginkakuji.
The Silver Pavilion or what they famously call Ginkaku-ji (銀閣寺) is a Zen temple that represents the contemporary culture or what they call Higashiyama culture during the Muromachi Period. They also call it “Temple of Shining Mercy”. It was built as a retirement villa of the 8th Shogun.
Walking all day can be absolutely TIRING, but these was all worth it! Everything about Kyoto is totally amazing, exquisitely preserved and maintained! Can you believe that I was on that ground? It is and will always be a part of every Japanese.
After full restoration in 2008, the temple is now open to the public in full glory. Please do not expect silver foil in it because the plans were halted during the Onin War (1967-1977).
As much as I would like to continue roaming around the other side of Kyoto, I need to meet my airbnb host, EJ Uy, at Osaka Station by 7pm for a dinner.
Please be advised that most of the temples and shrines in Kyoto accepts the last visitor at 4:30 PM only. You better start early if you want to see more.
From Ginkaku-ji, I ride the bus number 100 to reach Kyoto Station. I was almost lost because I don’t know where the right bus stop was, however some residents of this city really knows how to speak in English.
You just gotta give it a TRY asking them.
Time to go back to Osaka, but before anything else…
+ SOUVENIRS +
As a traveler, I always make sure that I have something tangible from the place I’ve been to, something that I can display at home. Aside from the postcards I bought in Inari, I collect Starbucks Tumbler & iconic magnets. 👌 Each tumbler costs around ¥1, 500 (tax included) w/ free coupon.
I also mentioned in my previous article, Tokyo KitKat Chocolatory in Japan offers different and unique flavors only available in a particular city. Kyoto offers new and distinct flavor called Itohkyuemon Hojicha (Hojicha Roasted – Tea Flavor). Special flavor like this may be a bit pricey, I got this box of 12 for almost ¥800.
Some postcards may cost ¥100-300 per piece due to design, but you can also grab box of 12 or 16 cards for only ¥300-400. While on the other hand, magnets may cost ¥250-500, depending on the size.
It was a fun-filled day in Kyoto! My legs wants to give up, but I have to keep moving. As much as possible I would like to share tips and guide for you, traveling around Kyoto can be quite confusing and definitely tiring. Make sure to have the bus guide/map so you can easily travel from one tourist spot to another.
I am grateful that to see this wonderful city even just for a limited time. I am proud of this country in so many aspects. It is very visible that their countrymen is very disciplined and you can see how they embrace their culture and tradition. Wearing kimono and geta sandal (similar to Philippine’s bakya) while paying respect to their temples and shrines is not easy, but they are completely happy and proud of it. They may not be the friendliest folks but don’t hesitate to approach them, they are kind and will definitely try to help you when necessary.
Not everyone in Japan can speak English, but you can expect their officials at the train stations to be of help because they knew business English. As a visitor, I highly recommend you to know some basic phrases and words so you can easily approach them. They will answer in few basic words so you can understand. 🎌 🎌 🎌
I spent less than ¥10,000 for this trip, I think that is a good start for interested travelers to visit Kyoto. I still have to go back and explore the other side of Kyoto! Maybe in 2016. 👌
I am currently doing my November#BlogSeries, however you might want to take a look on how I started it last October. It contains series of articles that discusses my other interests(reading books, doodling, scrapbook making, art journals) and personal opinions.
Here are the links to my October 2015 #BlogSeries.❤️
You also might want to check how my October 2015 went. Successfully, I was able to visit Osaka & Kyoto in a span of three days on a budget-friendly manner. (Read my Solo Backpacking in Osaka here.) If you are staying in Japan for a couple of months, you can simply travel around the country using Willer Express, it is definitely cheaper, safe and comfortable enough to ride on a long trip.
PS. I am still working on my story about Kyoto. (Will update this post as necessary.) Read it here.♥
Once in a while, I also take time to write about my previous travels and climbs when I was in the Philippines. If you are interested in mountain climbing, you can read my stories about climbing Mount Pico de Loro in Nasugbu, Batangas. It is highly recommended for beginners, even my best friend, Jme, was able to conquer the famous monolith.
Please don’t forget to read it and message your comments or suggestions about it. 😊
After conquering Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain here in Japan, which happens to be a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, I am also given the opportunity and resources to explore the Kansai (関西) Prefecture. I was able to roam around Ōsaka (大阪) and some parts of Kyōto (京都) on a budget-friendly manner for three days from October 30th until the 1st of November 2015.
Let me show you how I planned my solo backpacking. You just have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
First, I started planning the trip by looking for a cheap bus tickets, and fortunately Willer Express has a seat sale going on around Japan. I got my round trip bus ticket for only ¥9700; I chose the VALUE bus, which happened to be a double decker bus that has a comfort room, blanket for each passengers and an electric outlet (plug with two flat parallel prongs). Travel time to reach Ōsaka from Shinjuku (新宿) took 7 hours, including two bus stops.
No worries,Willer Express offers different types of bus according to your preferences.
If you want to reach Ōsaka in the fastest and expensive way; and you are coming from another country, you can book a direct flight to Ōsaka and arrived at Kansai International Airport. If you are in Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, allow 1 hour and 15 minutes travel time.
Alternatively, you can also try Shinkansen or New Trunk Line, known as the “bullet train”, for ¥14,000 – 15, 000, one way only. For tourists, I highly recommend you to purchase Japan Rail Pass before entering Japan. It is the cheapest way to travel around this country.
Since I am a resident of this country, Japan Bus Pass or Japan Rail Pass is not recommended for us. It is only allowed for tourists and sold outside of Japan.
Second, I looked for a place that I could stay in for two nights, dated October 30th and 31st of 2015. I didn’t try looking for hotels because the main goal of this trip is to have fun while not spending too much. My online friend from Paris,Diego of Cafe con Leche, kept on telling their viewers thatAirbnb is such a good choice of stay without hurting your wallet. So I did.
You can search from entire home, to shared or private rooms. The said site was easy to navigate and you will be able to see which ones has good reviews from the new ones, while considering your allocated money for accommodation. These hosts are verified using valid ID’s so you need not to worry about your safety.
After a few searches, I found a cozy flat near Namba (most famous entertainment district) that costs ¥8000 for two nights. Not bad, since I almost owned the loft during my stay.
Third, I planned my itineraries in Ōsaka and Kyōto. This was the most overwhelming part since I wanted to visit a lot of places but I have to consider my allowance and time. I wrote on my notepad all addresses and estimated entrance fee in each place so I can have an idea of how much to spend.
These three were the main preparations before my trip – buy ticket, reserve accommodation and plan itineraries. It’s just me and my backpack this time, in the city where English is not the primary language.
As every trip of mine goes,
To begin my story in this article, please be reminded that I will focus on how I explore Ōsaka. I will post another article about my one day trip in Kyōto. ♥
This trip was really memorable because I had a lot of ‘first’, including my first ride on a double decker bus and I was seated at the second floor. I felt dizzy at first but it made me sleep soundly, no announcements were made and lights were turned off. No one tapped me to ask where my ticket was or where am I going, if you know what I mean. While sleeping, I took advantage of the electric outlets and charged my phone and pocket WiFi.
Upon reaching Umeda Sky Building, I immediately head to Ōsaka Station, by simply following those people who were obviously going to work. But if you have wireless connection, use your maps and and you will be guided on your 10-15 minutes walk.
For ¥800, you can also visit the observatory floating garden of Umeda Sky Building. The majority of this building are offices, but you will find restaurants at the basement.
You can see thousands of people here everyday, aside from transportation, you can also enjoy shopping, dining and recreation activities. Grand Front Ōsaka is just across the station and Yodobashi (Japan’s biggest store for electronics and appliances) is only 5 minutes walk from the station.
PS, Ōsaka Station is one of the most attractive railway stations of Japan.
Ohayo Gozaimasu! Meet my barista on a Friday morning and YES, I challenged myself to talk to strangers, and it wasn’t so bad after all. You should do it, you never know because you might gain friends in the most unexpected place. 🙂
First things first, before I sat down, I head over to the Information Center (they know business English) and inquired about train or bus pass. In Tokyo, I always ride the private railway which is Japan Railways Group or JR. However this time, I chose to explore the city via subway because it’s cheaper.
It was also my chance to grab maps and brochures. ✓✓✓
This is what you see if you want to use the private railway.
While this is the sign you see for Subway, color may vary depending on the subway line.
After breakfast, I searched for my airbnb accommodation located near Tengachaya Station via Sakaisuji Line (Subway), just three stations away from Namba district.
You can still see and experience this type of toilet around Japan, so you better flex your legs.
Finally, I after 10 minutes walk from the station, I found my home for three days.
Aside from having a cozy loft, I can also cook my meal, do laundry if needed, it also has unlimited and strong wireless connection. I am very satisfied with my chosen place and I must say that ¥8000 was worth it. What makes it special, is that my host is a Filipino, he’s an English teacher in the area. He’s nice and very accommodating, he had work schedules so I ended up owning the loft.
I took some rest and started exploring the city by 12 noon.
As I said earlier, I took advantage of Ōsaka’s Amazing Day Pass. Since I am all by myself, I didn’t include Universal Studios Japan on my list, instead I chose Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. Originally, entrance fee for adults costs ¥2300, however I bought the Kaiyukan Pass for ¥2500, which includes my entrance fee to the aquarium, one day pass to all subways, new trams and city buses around Ōsaka.
By the way, one day pass in Ōsaka costs¥800 on a weekday and ¥600 during weekends. Since it was Friday, it implies that I was able to save ¥600 and many more because whenever I showed it to some tourist spots, I always get a discount.👌
Before starting to explore the city, do not forget to drop by the Information Center to buy your one day or two day pass. They have different packages depending on the places you want to visit. Please be guided that they have lower price for kids, students and senior citizen. It’s the best way to save and enjoy without Japan Bus 0r Rail Pass.
I highly recommend you to get it at Ōsaka Station because not all train station sells it. Offers are valid ’til March 2016. Will update this post as necessary. 🙂
It is one of the best and largest public aquarium in the world, with more than 20 tanks in different exhibits, in almost 11,000 tons of water. As I explore the place, it says that habitats here are from the Ring of Fire of the Pacific Ocean.
I also had videos of dolphins, sea lions, loggerhead turtles and penguins. If I am not mistaken, 6th floor has interactive exhibits, where you can meet Ringed seals, hear the Rockhopper penguins and touch and feel the texture of sharks and rays. I am very sure that your kids or people who love marine life will have fun in here. I’ll make sure to post the video once done. 🙂
Across the aquarium, you can visit Tempozan Marketplace, a good place to eat and buy “pasalubong” or souvenirs.
I was thinking of conquering my fear of heights via Ferris wheel, all by myself. So I did, entrance fee originally costs ¥800, but since I have my one day pass, I got it for ¥700. 👌
It was 15 ° that day so instead of rewarding myself with an ice cream, I chose this Peko Cream Puff for only¥105.
I go back inside the marketplace and looked for some magnets, however I found another animal park or what they called “anipa”. Entrance fee was ¥600 but I got it in around 40% off using my amazing one day pass.
After which, I headed to Namba District to have a little bit of shopping, sight seeing and food trip for dinner. Be cautious, you might get robbed in this city because of SHOPPING! 😄
Using the subway for transportation was made easy by my railway map labeled in English, I got it from the train station. Go get yours!
Earlier I mentioned that I listed all places I wanted to see and include the train station where I should get off – I think it’s helpful and time efficient.
Welcome to Namba District in Minami (南, “South”)
Your one stop shop for shopping, entertainmentand gastronomic adventures.
You will easily noticed that big octopus on the wall, usually the lines here at Dōtonbori Konamon Museum is long, but it was getting late when I took this shot.
Takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese snack made with flour and filled with mayonnaise, ginger, onion, diced octopus and tempura scraps. It’s very hot when served so be careful, I swallowed one of it and I ended up crying! Lol. 😄
In Tokyo, Coca Cola costs ¥160 per 500 ml and while walking around Osaka it is sold for only ¥100. If you got thirsty while roaming around Japan, you can see a lot of vending machines for a quick refreshments.
I went home around 9 PM and took a warm bath for a good sleep on my Japanese futon. And that summarizes my Day 1 in Ōsaka. I will try to make a more detailed story of each place soon! ♥️
After roaming in the former capital of Japan, I spent dinner near Osaka Station, with my airbnb hostand his friend.
We had few talks about the good places in the Philippines, hiking facts and how my day went in Kyoto. It was a great feeling that you can meet and talk to fellow Filipinos in another country. Takahiro was able to get along because he knew how to speak in English, by simply watching YouTube videos. 👌
One of the best Ramen I tasted here in Japan 🎌 is theirTonkotsu Ramen, very creamy and nearly white in color. Its broth came from pork marrow bones that have been simmered. (Marc of @norecipes)
On my way home, I met my friend from college in FEU, KuyaAnthony. We took some time to sit down and talk about anything and everything right after graduation. It was a busy night in Namba since everyone was enjoying Halloween Party wearing their costumes. Walking in this particular street that night was a real struggle for the two of us!
I treat him with coffee since he already had dinner and I tried Kyoto Delight, which has corn flakes topped with green tea and vanilla ice cream, red beans and two kinds of mochi (like bilo-bilo in Philippines).
It was really a long day in these two cities, so I decided to take 8 hours of refreshing sleep. 🌟
Ohayo! It was a good day to explore the city again; weather was bright and the air was very cool. I packed all my things, making sure not to leave anything including my inner wears! 😊
I bought my one day pass for ¥600 since it was a weekend.
I get off at Ebisucho Station on the Sakaisuji Subway Line (Exit #3),just two stations away from the loft I stayed in.
In order for you to save time and avoid long walks, make sure to exit at the right path. After you get off the train, look at the yellow signage to check where to exit and follow the number indicated.
Originally entrance fee was ¥700, but since I am a pass holder, I got it for ¥600. More discounts, more fun! 😎
Upon falling in line, I was welcomed by these machines that dispensed capsule toys. Price ranging from ¥100-400, some of it are cute souvenirs that depicts Japan’s culture.
This tower is actually the second one to occupy the space because the first one built in 1912 suffered a lot of damages in fire back in 1943. After the war, they reopened this one in 1956 and continuously advertises Hitachi. In 1999, they celebrated the completion of Billiken, the God of Happiness, enshrined at the 5th floor of the tower.
One of the amazing facts I learned is that it has 6 LED patterns around the year! They use it to depict the season better.
January – February has white lights to depict snow.
March – April has pink lights to depict cherry blossoms.
May – June has green lights to depict new leaves.
July – August has blue lights to depict the sky/sea of summer.
September – November has gold lights to depict ears of rice.
December has blue green lights to depict Fir tree.
4th and 5th floors are the tower’s observation platforms.
3rd floor have diorama displays of the Luna Park, 100 years ago. You can also find their Cafe de Luna Park that offers different parfaits and for souvenirs they have Glico-ya, buy your favorite Pocky here. 🎌
On the 2nd floor, you can see Kinnikuman Museum and more shops for omiyage or take home souvenirs. After checking the museum, I finally saw a good gashapon (ガシャポン) or gachapon (ガチャポン) that offers unique Osaka souvenirs, I got it for ¥200.
That’s my Takoyaki! 🎌 Photo credits to my cousin, Karen.
Please be reminded that entrance and exit of this tower is at the basement.
After exploring this tower, I headed to Shitennō-ji Temple at Shitennoji-mae-YuhigaokaStation on the Tanimachi Subway Line (Exit #4). Entrance fee was ¥300.
On Sundays, Japanese entrepreneurs build their tent and sell food, accessories, crafts and fresh delicacies. 🎌
As I read on the brochure, this is one of the oldest temples in Japan and the first temple to be built by the state. (Buddhism)
Visiting temples, shrines and towers gave me so much amusement. It was like traveling back in time and seeing the vivid history of this country. What happened in the past, was right in front of me.🎌
Lastly, I went to the famousŌsaka Castle 🏯. Along the Tanimachi Subway Line and Chuo Subway Line, I get off at Tanimachi 4-chrome Station.
Originally, entrance fee to the castle turned museum is ¥600, however I got ¥100 off because of my one day pass ticket. This park is totally huge and you need to stretch those legs. 🙂
The castle’s museum features different artifacts from which you can learn more about history and its construction. It has large variety of historical materials that they were able to preserve. Take a glance of history on the 2nd floor, and kindly be reminded that 3rd and 4th floor does not allow photography.5th floor has miniatures that depicts “Summer Wars in Osaka”. While on the 7th floor, it has dioramas of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s life. Lastly, on the 8th floor, another observation deck of Osaka.
Do not forget to buy souvenirs located at the 1st floor.
PS, restroom is only available at the 2nd floor.
I just can’t get enough of you, Osaka Castle. 🏯♥️
The exquisitely done, vibrant castle at night.
Let me show you some souvenirs I got from Osaka. 🏯♥️
Post its from Kaiyukan around ¥500
Collection seals from Tempozan Marketplace for ¥30 each
Matcha biscuits around ¥230 and Matcha candies for ¥60, all from Dotonbori
16 Postcards from Osaka Castle for only ¥350
My legs totally hurt that night and my tummy was growling, so before I head to Umeda Sky Building for my ride to Tokyo, I looked for something to eat…
I ended up at the basement (B2F) of Lucua Umeda in Osaka Station and I found Hakata Shinpu Ramen, it was full house compared to other food chains. I had to fall in line to get a seat. As I read the menu, it was a family business ran since 1968 and that explains why Japanese loved it.
I am so hungry so I decided to grab extra five pieces of gyōza for ¥300, these dumplings are filled with ground meat and vegetables, wrapped in a thin dough. Dip it in vinegar and soy sauce. 👌 For my main dish, I chose their famous Authentic Hakata Pork Bone Broth in White with egg for ¥850. It was prepared in front and me, and I must commend its taste and texture. Price was totally worth it in every sip and slurp.
After eating, I took some minutes to rest. I can’t stay any longer since I can see other customers falling in line just in time for dinner.
Figuring out my expenses…
I am glad to share this trip with everyone using my photos and stories, from preparation phase until the actual days of my trip. I hope you are enlightened and determined on how to explore Osaka! You really have to prepare your legs for A LOT OF WALKING!👣 👣 👣 You need not to worry how to fill your tummies because I guarantee you that there are a lot of food stalls in the area, or you can even drop by at their convenient stores which has a lot to offer as well.
Last September I posted about Tokyo’s KitKat Chocolatory and may I remind you that Osaka offers new flavors of Kit Kat, uniquely available in their city. Grab ones if you must!
As I explore the city, people I met and talked to were very amazed how Go Pro works, they saw that it is small yet captures good photos. I didn’t mind holding it since it’s very handy and convenient to use. This camera helped me to build rapport with other residents and tourists. Although, I am planning to get another camera like Leica 📷, one of the best and I have to work hard for it. 👌
I guess it’s quite cheap to travel and roam around Osaka than in Tokyo. I had a lot of fun figuring out what to do, where to go. I realized and did a lot of new things I never thought I could. Surely, it helps me discover myself even more and I am loving every minute of it.
Being an adult can be overrated at times, but it can also be FUN like this. You just have to broaden your options and have the will to do it. But keep in mind that in every adventure, prioritize your safety.
Life is pretty amazing and horrible at times, but with the right company of friends, you will learn to get by.
After sharing my Mt. Cristobal and Pico de Loro experiences, let’s take a glimpse of my narrative for Mt. Maculot “Rockies”, my third mountain.
At first, I was hesitant to climb this mountain, due to some unexpected casualties, although, I can’t stop thinking about it so I tried, THREE TIMES in THREE YEARS. You read that right, I always have time for Mt. Maculot since 2013.
If you are planning to visit Mt. Maculot in the future, allow me to share these important details:
You can simply ride a bus from Cubao or Buendia, bound to Lemery with the earliest trip at 4 am. Alternatively, you can also take buses that are bound to Lipa, then take a jeepney to Cuenca. Kindly ask the driver to drop you off at Poblacion Town Center (along highway).
From there, you can take a tricycle to the jump-off.
Always check the weather and always prioritize your safety. 🙂
As I mentioned in my previous posts, I started climbing in 2013. I tried to be a ‘weekend warrior’, however working in a BPO company have some struggles which includes monthly changes of schedule and since I am under a sales account, December means gift shopping month.
Finally we were able to plan an overnight hiking with friends, this time in Mt. Maculot. This was actually the first time I brought a friend, it was her first climb, first overnight at the mountain and it was also her birthday. Celebrating at the top of the mountain with new friends wasn’t so bad after all.
She’s one of the bubbliest and bulliest person, I know.
After a 3 hours bus ride, we arrived at around 12 noon along the highway of Poblacion and decided to eat lunch before we begin the ascent.
Liempo BBQ, 1 cup of rice and soup for P70.
Mt. Maculot is located in the town of Cuenca in Batangas. It is the major attraction in the municipality and the most popular mountain for mountaineers & campers. The mountain’s difficulty at 3/9 which makes it really a good choice for beginners as you enjoy the scenic views of Taal Lake.
On March 4, 2003 issue of Philippine Daily Inquirer, says that Cuenca is also known as the “Home of the Bakers”. They even celebrate ‘Tinapayan Festival’ held every June. No wonder that when you visit the place, you will see a lot of bakery shops in every corner. Grab some for breakfast or snack during your climb.
In this photo, you will see tricycles that will bring you to the mountain’s jump off.
These tricycles will drop you off first at the Barangay Outpost for registration, P20 per hiker. After which, you will be drop off at the mountain’s jump off at the Mountaineer’s Store at Barangay 7 “Siete”, Cuenca.
It was Jamee Jessica‘s birthday and first climb, so let’s have the ‘obligatory shot’ before the ascent begins.
As I always say, Let the adventure begins.
The start of our climb was quite easy and tolerable.
(Photo from L – R) Meet Adah, John D, Jamee, Yours Truly in Pink, Mara, Jahzee, Jervin and Ivan
I actually had tooth extraction (considered a minor surgery) a week before my climb, I am advised not to do extraneous activity to avoid bleeding. However, I already made a promise to Jamee Jessica and my dearest hiking buddy, John D., promised to lend his trekking pole and carry my 2 liters of water.
Again, my gazillion thanks to this person.
As we ascent the mountain, the trail gets steeper. If you feel like you’re running out of breath, do not hesitate to take a rest and hydrate yourself every once in a while.
Hiking a mountain, no matter how high, is like achieving your goals using little steps. You tend to feel afraid, doubting yourself if you can make it, but in this journey, you will see helping hands along the way.
The question is, will you allow yourself to trust them?
Hiking with Jamee Jessica was a bit special because I always see her as my younger sister. I tried to look after her along the trail, but I let her enjoy walking in the forest.
Along the trail, you will also find numbers of resting spots, wherein some locals are selling buko juice for 10 pesos. During our climb, the weather was refreshing and I didn’t even apply sunblock since the trail is covered with trees.
One of the stops we made was really breathtaking, having a glimpse of the Crater Lake.
“Ladies of Mt. Maculot”
As we took some pictures, we had a little casualty, John D was asked to take some photos and he suddenly slipped and got some bruises. We apologize for giving you such remembrance.
You’ve got to learn how to smile after the pain.
The higher we climb, the steeper it gets.
Hiking Buddies! We called our group, Triple A and Handsome JohnD, three ladies that has names starting with letter “A“, however Adelaine was busy during this time and she wasn’t able to join us.
Whenever I go on a hiking, I always look for something unusual, calling it #TrailFinds. It’s not everyday that you can find a leaf like the ones you see during Autumn. (I didn’t bring this home.)
At the campsite, you can see a store labeled as “7/11”. They sell hard drinks, cigarettes, soft drinks, instant coffee, noodles, candies, chocolates, chips, and even ‘Halo- Halo’. Kindly expect a higher price since you are at the top of a mountain. You should also be aware that some people/hikers are also boisterous at night, drinking and chatting.
After pitching our tents, we took some rest and took all the time to get to know each other.I had to sleep early after dinner because I felt pain from my extracted tooth. I am so grateful they spend time with Jamee Jessica for the last few hours of her birthday, they let her experience “DO-FO”. Lights were off around 10 pm, and when my not so little sister slept beside me, she was shivering. I had to hug her and make sure she’s okay.
So if you’re planning to climb around December-January, make sure you have enough clothes to layer for cold weather.
Breakfast at the top of the mountain with your friends is always a good idea.
Mornings are also the best time to reach the summit.
She made it on her first climb!
‘Cause we’re happy at the mountains. ♥
It was foggy that morning and we were reminded to be extra careful while reaching summit. It may take 10-15 minutes from the campsite to the ‘Rockies’. *FYI, it is very steep and you need to be extra cautious while scrambling up with rocks because it might hit you it in the head.
Blurry Jump shot with big smiles! 🙂
Are we happy or are we happier? :D
Going down the mountain can be harder than ascending, but it is fulfilling, most specially when everyone in your group is safe and well.
After the descending the mountain, you can take a break and eat ‘Halo Halo’for only 25 pesos. There are also available restrooms that you can use ranging from 15-25 pesos. Water is sold separately.
You can also try Traverse wherein you can see the Grotto and stations of the cross. For more information, check it on Pinoy Mountaineer‘s website.
Before we head home, the three of us decided to visit Tagaytay, and unexpectedly get off the jeepney when we saw Sonya’s Garden signage. Spent 700 pesos for unlimited healthy and organic dinner. Must try!
* Thank you Ivan for some of the photos I took from your photo gallery. 🙂
After one year, we decided to spend our advanced Christmas celebration on this same mountain for a day hike. The weather wasn’t so friendly then, but we still push through since we have our guide for assistance. 8-)
Meet the Maculot Crew version 2.0. ;)
(L-R) Doc Jay, Doc Adelaine ‘Ads’, Yours Truly, Teacher Adah, JohnD, Ma’am Hermi, Sir Ralph, Sir Dan and Sir Kim in front.
As you can see, we have new faces for this climb. Teacher Adah, brought her friends Ma’am Hermi, Sir Ralph & Sir Dan (on the right side of this photo).
Just like these flowers, you grow and bloom as time passes by. It may not be the way you planned it, but it always has a reason. You just have to open your eyes and see why…
Just like these flowers, we also fade.
Meet John D. Dela Rosa, I met him during our Banahaw climb last March of 2013. He’s the quiet-observant hiker, but as you get to know him, you will feel safe and comfortable to share your thoughts and feeling, WHY? Simply because he never judge. I realized he is one of the truest guy friends I know in just a short period of time. We bullied him a lot of times, but when the tide is high and the road is rough, we know that we have each other.
As I mentioned earlier, the weather wasn’t friendly at the campsite up to the summit. You need to be EXTRA carefulif you will push through with the activity.
No clearing, all fog.
Reunited with TRIPLE A and HANDSOMEJohn D. Dela Rosa!!! We also had our exchange gift at the campsite. All of our gifts seems to be very useful.
Before the rain pours, we were able to eat our lunch at the campsite. ‘7/11’ was closed during our climb, maybe they were preparing for Noche Buena.
This was the trail going to the summit; it was still foggy and some stones were slippery. Please be cautious in every steps, if the weather is too bad kindly prioritize your safety.
Thank you, Ma’am Hermi!
We ended the night with hot Batangas Lomi, a type of noodle dish that make use of thick egg noodles with quail eggs and pork, kikiam, ham or meatballs, generously topped with chicharon.
As I post pictures of my adventures online, via Facebook & Instagram, my friends became interested and eager to try hiking. This was my first time to organize a climb with beginners, so I let them choose which mountain they want to try for a quick day hike. They were my classmates in college, so I decided to call the event “TAMARAWS UNITE”.
In the past two climbs, you will see that the weather was cold and a bit refreshing. Last month of June was scorching hot and I highly recommend that you should bring arm sleeves, 1 – 1.5 liters of water, sunblock and/or capduring the summer months.
After reminding them about the few do’s and don’ts, we started ascending with constant breaks. They were really surprised how steep the trail was.
We also hiked with RK, my boyfriend, who assisted some of my friends while climbing up.
The last time I spent a day with them was at the hospital, and now we’re at the mountain.
Isn’t it a beauty? ♥
Stayed under a tree for a few hours, for lunch and nap time.
I once posted that no matter how painful the sun touches my face, I still chose to stay.
Why stay if you are in pain?
Maybe because even it’s painful, this amazing sun shed me light and realizations in life.
While everyone was busy taking their photos, we’re celebrating our 2nd mountain together.
I am not a professional climber, but I learned to follow what’s necessary. At first, I was hesitant to bring them at the mountain, I might cause them bruises or risk their lives. Thank you ‘tams’ for trusting me on this one and I considered this climb very memorable since everyone made it to the summit and we all got home safe & sound. Most importantly, it made us happy & bonded.
Thanks for joining me on my last climb in the Philippines for 2015!