Things To Do in Osaka, Kyoto & Nara, Japan - Amateur Traveler's Tips & Guide

January 13, 2018 Alvian Tan

[Japan Trip]

It's been 4 months since I left blog world, I'm a bit busy with my life ( especially my fuckin' uni duuhh! ) and also I don't know what content I should post anymore so it took some time to remember the first reason why I want to make a blog. Yes, it's all just for fun. So I shouldn't feel burdened about creating content just to gain attention. And most importantly, I remember last year I made a post about things to do in Tokyo, and it's like half story of my Japan's trip. Since I just posted half of it, I feel responsible to post what's left on my Japan Trip. That's why today I'm gonna post about what to do in OSAKA, NARA and also KYOTO based on my experience!! Are you excited ? Cause I am wohhp! 



[Todaiji Temple]

Todaiji Temple
406-1 Zoshicho, Nara, Nara Prefecture 
630-8211, Japan

First of all, I didn't stay for a night in Nara. So it was just one day trip to Nara and since my mom was a temple and shrine-holic. I decided to take her back again to Todaiji Temple! It was really nice temple and I really love all of Japan's old style architecture. Did you know that Todaiji Temple has one of largest bronze statue of Buddha in their Grand Buddha Hall? If you want to pray and ask for luck in Nara, you can absolutely visit this temple!

[Nara Deer Park]


Another main tourist's attraction of Nara is Their Deer Park, You can find this park while you were going to the Todaiji Temple! It was surrounded by so many deers and I was scared of their horn, but deer in this area is tame, so you don't need to worry about it! This place also have many stalls that sell some biscuits for the deer. I forgot how exactly it was but it would range from 350 - 500 yen if I'm not mistaken!



Kyoto is one of the oldest town in Japan. It has so many famous tourist's attraction and also good food to eat. I even confused to start with what, but let me start from the temple and shrine I visited while in here!


294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama Ward, 
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0862, Japan

First of all was this beautiful Kiyomizu-dera! It was one of the most famous temple in Kyoto I've ever known ( for more about this temple you can check about it on my old post, just click here ). We visited this place again cause my mom want to drink their famous holy water for health, wealth and relationship! 


[Kiyomizu dera]



There was so much to explore in this temple but since we didn't have that much time to enjoy this place, we just moved to our next destination!


Ohh yeah, some people told me that Kyoto is famous for their dango. So on the way back from Kiyomizu Dera, we found this Dango store and it was nice to try Japanese snack! Dango itself was tasteless because it was made of rice, but the sweet flavors from the brown-ish sauce itself was already good, but remember not to buy much of dango, because it was made of rice that's why it made you easily full.

[Inoda Coffee]

Inoda Coffee
140 Doyucho, NakagyokuKyoto 604-8118, 
Kyoto Prefecture

Ohh yeah, we had a breakfast near the Karasuma station! It was Inoda Coffee. They had a nice coffee in here and full of variant menu for breakfast. 

[Breakfast menu]



I won't say it was bad and I think that was okay for the breakfast. But their coffee was really good. This place was super nice for their outdoor space, and could be place for chillin' with your friends. The price was not that cheap also so it would be good if you just order some dessert and coffee or tea to accompany you and your friends.

[Honke Owariya]

Honke Owariya Soba
322, Niomontsukinukecho, 
Nakagyo-ku Kyoto-shi, 
Kyoto, 604-0841, Japan

If you are one of the big fan of Soba, you should go to Honke Owariya while in Kyoto! They were Soba from 1465! We finally had a chance to try this place before it was crowded. You should check their opening hours to avoid queueing for this place


It was priced 1080 Yen. Shippoku is a hot Kake soba topped kamaboko, shitake mushroom, mitsuba and thin omelet. If you don't like cold soba and preferred the hot one. You better try this. The soba soup itself already savory and as you can see it was so clear and not oily that will gave you an aftertaste! I enjoyed this soba very much!


It isn't complete when you visit Japan without eating some tempura and looks how beautiful they made their tempura ! It was super crisp but so average for me, but it was a nice side dish while eating soba.

[Hourai Soba]


[Plain Soba]

Okay, first of all, this soba was quite pricey so we just ordered one. But who would know that it was for 3 - 4 portion. They have 5 stack of cold soba and they gave us 8 topping as well!. The toppings are shiitake mushroom, shredded thin omelette, shrimp tempura, nori, wasabi, sesame seed, Japanese leeks and grated daikon.

[Dipping Sauce]

It was all up to you how do  you want to eat it, which topping you prefer, you can mix it and have it your own way. Probably this was the most recommended menu for you to try because if you split the price for 3 - 4 people it would be so affordable. With dipping sauce to make it more perfect. It was a must try restaurant if you visit Kyoto, Japan.

[Arashiyama Bamboo Groove]

Arashiyama Bamboo Groove
Ukyō-ku, Kyoto,
Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Okay, so you may know this famous bamboo groove if you ever saw your friend posted it in Social Media, but it was really hard to catch a nice picture because this place are usually very crowded. SO, I decided to come here very early, around 6 AM just so we could catch a nice photos in here.





Okay, so after Arashiyama Bamboo Groove, we moved to our appointment to try Tea Ceremony experience.

[En Tea Ceremony]

En Tea Ceremony
272 Matsubaracho, Higashiyama Ward, 
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0063, Japan

So I managed to try something new while we were in Kyoto, because this place were quite known for their green tea. I was hoping that I could try and learn how to have a proper Tea Ceremony. So I visited their website and book the date. This Tea Ceremony was hosted by En Tea Ceremony. You can google them to book the date!

[En Tea]



Japanese tea ceremony was sacred and beautiful. Every movement had their own meaning and also we could taste the true taste of green tea. We even could experiencing to whisk and made our own green tea. It would be hard for me to explain it through blogpost! You should try and experience it by yourself! The one who teach us was Karin and she's very kind and beautiful also! Thank you Karin. Ohh don't worry, they're so fluent in english too!

[Karin & Me]

[Karin & Mom]

Finally it is the last list place to visit while in Kyoto. It was none other than Fushimi Inari Shrine!

[Fushimi Inari]

Fushimi Inari Taisha
Japan, 〒612-0882 Kyoto Prefecture, 
Fushimi-ku, Fukakusa Yabunouchicho,

This famous place was one of the main tourist attraction in Kyoto so if you really want to take a nice photo, make sure you come very early in the morning so you could get a hundred red gates photos like me, LOL!









[Potato twist]

First of all was this potato twist! For me, it was nice but you could get this kind of snack easily in Jakarta so if you want to try it, go ahead! But remember to make some space in your stomach for more other food HAHA

[Beef skewers]



Next, we had this kind of beef skewers! It marinated with some sweet sauce! From the smell and visual, it looks promising enough! But after I ate it, it was not that worth to eat. I barely could taste it because it was so tasteless. So I won't recommend it for you guys!


For the okonomiyaki, it was an okay and quite good so you can try it if you want. The portion was a bit big for yourself so make sure you share it with your family or friends!

[Yaki Dango]



Next we had this Yaki Dango! Yaki means grilled and Dango is rice flour dumpling! So the dango was grilled on the top of charcoal and then coated with some sweet brown sauce. It was really nice and a bit salty. It is unique so I said you should try this food!

[Pork bacon coated rice]



Yeaayy! Last of my list was this pork bacon coated rice! It was super good and also savory! The pork bacon was cooked perfectly and marinated that well so it is very delicious. On the top of that, there's some mayo sauce you could add as you preferred. I would say this was the highlight of the street snack I would love to try in here! so made sure you try this while you were here!




Back to this big city with shinkansen, I would recommend you to buy and try the convenience store's bento because they had so many variant and also taste really good! If you are ran out of money, I would prefer to eat their bento. Because cheap price doesn't mean cheap taste. All of the Bento was really good here!

[Osaka Castle]

Osaka Castle Park
1-1 Osakajo, Chuo, Osaka, 
Osaka Prefecture 540-0002, Japan

Back to this big city, one of the place I never visited before was Osaka Castle! So we decided to this famous landmark as one of things to do while in Osaka!







Okay gotta admit that this park was really wide and it was really far from the castle itself, it took us about 20 minutes just to get to the castle. But, the view was amazing, air was so refreshing. If I am Japanese, I would go to this place once or twice a month to take a good walk and enjoy my time!



Not forgetting that they have the comfiest Starbucks which I really love! And not forget to try Japanese's starbucks special drink! It was cooling off my body from Japan's heat!





What I really love from Osaka's Castle was their snack stall at the entrance. Because my mom was so tired, she want to take a rest in the entrance, luckily they have so many snack's stall like skewers, takoyaki, shaved ice, and many more. They also have many gift shop that you could visit while in here!




Crowd place always makes me dizzy but nothing was like Dotonbori area! It was crowded but I love it! So many good food, shop and unique place to visit and enjoy while you were in Osaka! After having a nice shopping time and buying gifts from friends and family. It's time to pamper our belly!


2 Chome-11-4 Sennichimae, Chuo, 
Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0074, Japan

Okay, after eating all those soba, ramen, tempura and many more. We should eat Sushi AT LEAST ONCE while in Japan! Luckily, we passed on this famous Conveyor belt sushi while in Dotonbori! You can find this place which has a long queue and also big sushi sign on the top of their store!



They have so many fresh and authentic sushi of their own! Tamago, salmon, unagi, inari and many more is served in this place. What I love was every place priced with only 100 -150 yen! I couldn't resist myself and ate for almost 15 plates! Everything was good and delicious! So make sure to make time to queue and visit this store! Lol


Konamon Museum
1 Chome-6-12 Dotonbori, Chuo, Osaka, 
Osaka Prefecture 542-0071, Japan

Okay, so if you happened to saw a giant octopus at the top of the store, you probably already visit this place. I think this place was some kind of takoyaki museum ( if I'm not mistaken ) but at front, they sell some takoyaki with so many variant of flavors!



Osaka was famous for their Takoyaki so you guys should eat some takoyaki in Osaka too. For me, I would visit the store that has a long queue because you know if there's an queue in Japan, which means that place is famous! So here I am ordering my original flavors takoyaki. They served us a very soft, tasty and also delicious takoyaki! Everything was perfect and delicious, that's why we decided to buy more for take away!


And I couldn't believe that my trip was already over. It was really fast but I enjoyed every minutes in Japan. It was my dream country to live since I was young 'cause I am that stupid otaku back then! But that's it the end of my trip. Hope you guys enjoyed reading it and also I will post more good picture and post often on my blog from now on!

See you :)


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