So we didn’t end up doing too much in these cities. We got a little lost and confused in Kyoto, so we only really visited Arashiyama when we were there. Osaka was mostly a pit stop on our way to Universal Studios. We did stop by Gudetama Cafe there at the suggestion of my friend Chris.
Kyoto – Arashiyama
We took the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto from Tokyo. It was so cool being able to ride it! I looked up how long it would take to drive that distance and it was almost 6 hours. On the bullet train, it took us just over 2 hours!! On the way to our hotel, we got a little lost, but we made it in the end. I wanted to see a few things in Kyoto, the main one being the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. It took us over 2 hours (and a few wrong buses) to get there. In the end, we gave up and took a taxi as we couldn’t figure out the bus stops. That being said, Arashiyama was a pretty awesome place to visit!
The bamboo grove was incredible! They grow so tall, we were literally surrounded by acres of bamboo. The grove itself follows a path, and you can walk it in around 10 minutes. It was also packed with tourists! Everyone was busy taking photos of themselves and their surroundings.
It was quite funny how everyone was trying not to get in each other’s way. I kept looking up at all the bamboo, it was insane how tall they were!
As we reached the end of the grove, the park set off on lots of different paths. There was a lake, and these stairs going up the hill to a monkey park. We were keen on visiting there, but as it took so long for us to find the place, it was closed by the time we got there.
We did climb up a bit anyway, just to enjoy the view. After leaving the grove, we explore the tourist heavy area of Arashiyama. They had heaps of stores, and cute shops.
I found one devoted to Rilakkuma! I had to pose with one of the bears.
Near the bus stop back to central Kyoto, we had a look around the nearby large river and bridge. The whole area was so beautiful. I’m glad this was the place we chose to visit during our short stop in Kyoto!
As always, we found vending machines. They are literally everywhere, on every street corner. You will never go thirsty here.
Once back in our hotel, we decided to try on the yukata robes they provided. We had to take an obligatory bathroom selfie with them on.
Osaka – Gudetama Cafe
The main reason we stayed a bit in Kyoto, is cause Universal Studios is based in Osaka, which is a 30 minute train ride from Kyoto. My friend, Chris, who is currently teaching in Japan met up with us in our first days in Tokyo. She mentioned that there is a Gudetama themed cafe in Osaka, just a few minutes from the station. On our way back from Universal Studios, we stopped by the cafe. I adore Gudetama! For those who don’t know, like Rilakkuma, he’s a famous character. Gudetama is known as the “lazy egg”. He’s so cute!
The whole cafe was covered in Gudetama! There were models, signs, soft toys, pictures and even a video. The human version of Gudetama freaks me out a little, I prefer him in his egg form. They were playing the video with Gudetama’s theme song, which is still stuck in my head today. The song starts 40 seconds in. Only listen to it if you want it to get stuck in your head forever.
Anyway, the cafe was adorable, and I fell in love with one particular Gudetama stuffed toy. It was so squishy!! I ended up buying him, even though it was a mission fitting him into my suitcase.
The food was obviously Gudetama themed. That tiny face was everywhere, and it was slightly strange eating him. Rory got a proper meal with rice, beef, eggs, chips and salad. I went with dessert as always. I had a vanilla and strawberry panna cotta. It was all delicious!
I’m so glad we made this detour! After hanging out at the cafe a bit longer, we headed back to Kyoto for our last night before heading back to Tokyo.
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Tomorrow, I’ll be talking all about Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!
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