Autumn in Japan – Last day

Autumn in Japan – Last day

November 8, 2015, it was a Sunday and also our last day in Kyoto and it’s gloomy! 😦 It was raining hard but we have to follow our schedule. The four of us took turns taking a bath and packing our things. After having bread, cup noodles and coffee for breakfast, we went on our way to the Kyoto station. There we bought our JR Pass and proceeded to the Osaka station.

Osaka Station

Upon reaching the station, we looked for traveler lockers so we can leave our bags and search for the nearest kingdom hall. It was really convenient for us tourists since we don’t need to bring everything with us.

Then, we decided to have our lunch at the nearest restaurant within the building adjacent to the Osaka train station.

We had a hearty lunch, again we had the miso soup 🙂 and vegetable salad. My cousins enjoyed an order of sushi while I enjoyed tempura. I’m not a fan of raw fish that’s why – it’s a  good thing they have fried pork and tempura 🙂

Then it’s time to search for the kingdom hall. It was a few blocks away from the Osaka train station.

A brother saw us near the parking lot and he invited us to join him as he walked towards their kingdom hall. We enjoyed the warm welcome of our fellow JWs in the english congregation. We heard an encouraging talk from a Japanese brother and during the Watchtower Study, we gave encouraging comments. 🙂 We felt really blessed to be a part of Jehovah God’s organization because we experienced first-hand the warmth of the brotherhood even if we are far from home. It was faith-strengthening for all of us.

After saying our goodbyes, we proceeded to the Osaka train station and saw the flea market. There, we also bought additional souvenir items for our loved ones in the Philippines. Thanks to Ate Yeyeth – a fellow JW from the congregation we have attended, she pointed us to shops that sell items at a much cheaper price.

Kansai International Airport

Now it’s time to go back to Kansai International Airport so we can board our return flight to the Philippines.

After checking-in, we decided to have our dinner.

Boarding our flight

Though we’re somewhat sad because we’re already leaving Osaka, Japan – we are also excited to see our families in the Philippines so we can relate our experiences to them.

Hopefully, in the coming years, we’ll be able to return to Japan and visit other places. One thing I’m sure of – the memories of autumn that we’ve had in Osaka and Kyoto will forever stay in my heart. 🙂

 

Autumn in Japan Day 4

Autumn in Japan Day 4

Kyoto was once the capital of Japan. This is why tourists like us who would like to see the “old Japan” are better suited to explore and experience this homey yet historical place.

Our target for today? Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge, Bamboo Grove, Tenryu-ji Zen Temple, Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Nijo Castle and the International Manga Museum 🙂

From our hostel, we had to walk through the subway to reach the bus station.

A bus ride took us to the well-known Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge. Another face of fall/autumn greeted our eyes. It was refreshing to feel the soft breeze while we were exploring the area.

The view at the bridge – amazing and captivating! 🙂

The mystical Bamboo Grove

According to posts on the internet, this bamboo grove is more mystical when visited at night because of the effect of lights that reflects on the bamboo when it turns into an eerie green.

The Tenryu-ji Zen Temple and its enclosure

Upon entering the gate, it was like walking inside the set of an old movie.

One thing I was able to appreciate was the canned hot coffee and tea from their vending machine. 🙂

The best things I saw in this enclosure are the Japanese Maple trees 🙂

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reddish leaves of the Japanese Maple trees
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with the Japanese Maple trees

After our tour of Arashiyama, it’s now time to board a train and another bus to see the next tourist spot.

The Golden Pavilion or Kinkaku-ji Temple

Months before going to Japan, this temple came out of my research. So it was really wonderful to see it in person. After securing our entry passes we were ushered towards the inner part of the compound – there we saw the Golden Pavilion. Most tourists are all taking selfies with the pavilion but for me what I really liked was the landscape and the artistry done to the surroundings of the temple.

Our next stop was the souvenir shop outside. We had fun choosing and buying souvenir items for our loved ones and we even took a photo with a tourism student trainee :). She was really friendly and helpful – she told us which bus to take for our next destination. A very good way to promote tourism since tourists like us are always guided 🙂

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The Nijo Castle – a world heritage site

By now, we have already seen two temples and somehow we have grown tired and weary because of the long walk. But we’re not supposed to rest yet ’cause it’s now time to see a real castle with moat and all. So we decided to ride another bus and visit a world heritage site – the Nijo Castle.

First thing we did here is the guided tour inside the castle. Since the castle is really old, we were not allowed to take pictures nor touch the walls and tapestries for they might break or crack. Some parts of the castle are under repair/restoration. It only took us 10 minutes to finish the tour and start exploring the castle grounds.

While touring the castle grounds a realization hit me -imagine if you’re in one part of the castle ground and you are quickly needed inside the castle, how long will it take an errand boy or girl to fetch you? Remember, they have no cellphones during those times. 🙂

Within the castle’s compound are small souvenir, drinks and food stalls/tents, since it’s already late in the afternoon and we are tired and starving, we decided to try their menu. 🙂

The International Manga Museum

After another bus ride, all we need to do is walk towards our last destination for the day – the International Manga Museum. My niece was really excited, for she is a fan of Manga characters and she loves reading Manga comic books. We gave her 20 minutes to explore the museum and read one of her favorite Manga books in the reading lawn. 🙂

On the other hand, my cousin wanted to try Japanese cuisine, so before going back to our hostel we had dinner at an authentic Japanese restaurant and tried a Kyoto specialty – the famous Japanese pizza a.k.a. “okonomiyaki” complete with side dishes.

 

Since we’re not used to the taste of the Japanese pizza, I think we were not that satisfied with what we ordered and ate. But the thing is, at least we tried a Kyoto specialty. 🙂

It was a very long day for all of us since we have visited several tourist spots, but we enjoyed every single minute of our day. Tomorrow is our last day in Japan and we’re excited to go back to Osaka and meet our fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses. 🙂