Inside Kyoto station terminal Japan

Japan: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen

Date: 24th March, 2015

After half a day spent at charming Arashiyama, I took the train back to Kyoto Station. Instead of rushing back to Shiori-an Guesthouse to collect my bags, I decided to explore the station.

Inside Kyoto station terminal Japan
Because Kyoto Station looks pretty cool
Kyoto station interior design Japan
Built at a cost of $1.25 billion, the station building complex houses a shopping mall, hotel, movie theater, Isetan department store, and several local government facilities
Inside Kyoto station design Japan
Kyoto Station is a tourist attraction by itself
Kyoto train station Skywalk Japan
This is the Skywalk
Kyoto tower from station rain Japan
Kyoto tower, right opposite Kyoto station
Kyoto train station tracks Japan
The train tracks below
Kyoto rail station Skywalk Japan
The Skywalk is simply one long path taking people from one end of Kyoto station to another
Restaurants Kyoto station Japan
You have restaurants and other stores on this side
Rooftop garden Kyoto station Japan
There is a rooftop garden and viewing deck at this end as well
Helipad Kyoto station Japan
And a helipad
Outdoor Kyoto station Japan
It was time to go back down
Kyoto station roof design Japan
I wouldn’t call Kyoto Station’s architecture beautiful or anything
Interior design Kyoto station Japan
But it is definitely unique
Bus stop Kyoto station Japan
The bus station outside. You can board buses going straight to Kiyomizu Dera from here.

I went back to Shiori-an Guesthouse, collected my bags and checked out. It was time to say goodbye to Kyoto and head to Himeji. I really wished I could spend at least a day or two more in Kyoto, or use it as my base and go to Nara and Osaka, which aren’t too far away. But I had to stick to my schedule.

JR ticket office Kyoto station
I bought my shinkansen ticket to Himeji (Cost Β₯8600)
Kyoto station shinkansen arrival
This time, I was going to be travelling in the slower Hikari train. And by slower, I meant its top speed is only 220km/hr.
Inside Hikari shinkansen Japan
These trains are older compared to the faster Nozomi, but not by a whole lot
Japanese city train window
The train was just as fast but not 300kms+ fast
Japanese city river bridge
There weren’t many stops along the way and I don’t remember which cities I passed
Seaside Japanese city
I could see Osaka bay in the distance

Here is a short video I took of the train arriving at Kyoto station, a brief clip of the speed at which the world outside was passing by, and the train departing from Himeji station.

Himeji city evening Japan
I arrived in Himeji city before sunset
Himeji shopping arcade Japan
I used the Google Maps app to chart a route to the hostel. I found myself walking through many shopping arcades.
Honmachi street Himeji Japan
My hostel was located by this street. A street with a roof πŸ™‚
Himeji 588 Guesthouse hostel Japan
This is where I would be staying for one night, Himeji 588 Guesthouse
588 Guesthouse Honmachi street Himeji
The hostel is to the left
Himeji 588 Guesthouse reception
There aren’t many hostels in Himeji and 588 Guesthouse was quite close to Himeji Castle, so that’s why I chose it
Himeji 588 guesthouse dorm hostel Japan
The dorm beds were upstairs
Himeji 588 Guesthouse dorm bed Japan
My bed. It felt like I was in a wooden capsule. Cost Β₯2700 a night.
Himeji 588 Guesthouse lobby Japan
Downstairs is where you can hang out, have meals and watch TV
Inside Himeji 588 Guesthouse dorm hostel
Not very big hostel, but I guess it’s enough given how many guests they get on a daily basis
Himeji 588 guesthouse wash area Japan
The toilets and wash area
Road to Himeji castle Japan
I went back out to see my surroundings. That’s Himeji Castle in the distance.
Himeji city Japan
Himeji city didn’t feel crowded at all
Himeji city footpath Japan
Wide footpaths. Such a rare luxury back in India.
Himeji supermarket Japan
I went to a nearby supermarket… just because
Indian curry packets in Japan
Indian curry packets seem quite popular in Japan
Beef cuts supermarket Himeji Japan
Seeing all these beef cuts got me wishing I had access to a nice kitchen so I could cook
Fish supermarket Himeji Japan
Fish prices were quite high, and most of the prawns I saw were of the farmed variety
Sushi bento supermarket Himeji Japan
I was so tempted to try these Sushi bento boxes but I restrained myself as I wanted to eat them freshly made
Shopping arcade Himeji Japan
Shops were closing by 7PM
Closed shops Himeji Japan
Himeji isn’t exactly a bustling city
Himeji castle evening Japan
Anyway, I was only here primarily to see Himeji Castle
Himeji city pavement Japan
I walked around a bit more
Himeji underpass Japan
I noticed cyclists coming out of the underpass
Cycle underpass conveyor belt Japan
To the left is a conveyor belt you can roll your cycle on, to assist in bringing it up πŸ™‚
Himeji city at night Japan
After shopping at a nearby Daiso, I walked upto Himeji station, and then walked back to the hostel
Lotteria Himeji city Japan
On the way back, I thought of trying Lotteria. It’s the fast food chain by South Korea’s Lotte Group.
Drinking at Himeji hostel Japan
I had my dinner back at the hostel with fellow guests

I didn’t feel like leaving the table. Underneath it was a heater and I was just too cozy! I sat there for at least two hours munching on snacks I bought at 7-11 and watching TV. I went to my capsule bed at around 10pm to transfer all of today’s photos onto my hard drive. I was freezing! I checked my phone for the temperature and it was 2 degrees celsius tonight — the coldest I have ever experienced! I put on an extra sweater and went to bed. I couldn’t wait for a warm morning.


Next posts in this series:

Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show

Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo β€” and my last bullet train ride

Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom

Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more

Japan 2015: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog

Japan 2015: Nishi-Shinjuku β€” views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck

Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and Kabukicho

Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple

Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River

Japan 2015: Boat ride to Odaiba; giant Gundam statue at DiverCity Mall

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms at Tokyo Imperial Palace east garden

Japan 2015: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen

Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park

Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street

Japan 2015 – Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park

Japan 2015: Rikugien garden’s weeping cherry blossom tree

Japan 2015: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise

Japan 2015: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza

Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji β€” and last night in Tokyo

Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport β€” and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time

Previous posts in this series:

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera temple

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion

Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto

Japan 2015: Walking around Akihabara and Ginza

Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba

Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time

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