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.
Because Kyoto Station looks pretty cool
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
Kyoto Station is a tourist attraction by itself
This is the Skywalk
Kyoto tower, right opposite Kyoto station
The train tracks below
The Skywalk is simply one long path taking people from one end of Kyoto station to another
You have restaurants and other stores on this side
There is a rooftop garden and viewing deck at this end as well
And a helipad
It was time to go back down
I wouldn’t call Kyoto Station’s architecture beautiful or anything
But it is definitely unique
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.
I bought my shinkansen ticket to Himeji (Cost ¥8600)
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.
These trains are older compared to the faster Nozomi, but not by a whole lot
The train was just as fast but not 300kms+ fast
There weren’t many stops along the way and I don’t remember which cities I passed
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.
I arrived in Himeji city before sunset
I used the Google Maps app to chart a route to the hostel. I found myself walking through many shopping arcades.
My hostel was located by this street. A street with a roof 🙂
This is where I would be staying for one night, Himeji 588 Guesthouse
The hostel is to the left
There aren’t many hostels in Himeji and 588 Guesthouse was quite close to Himeji Castle, so that’s why I chose it
The dorm beds were upstairs
My bed. It felt like I was in a wooden capsule. Cost ¥2700 a night.
Downstairs is where you can hang out, have meals and watch TV
Not very big hostel, but I guess it’s enough given how many guests they get on a daily basis
The toilets and wash area
I went back out to see my surroundings. That’s Himeji Castle in the distance.
Himeji city didn’t feel crowded at all
Wide footpaths. Such a rare luxury back in India.
I went to a nearby supermarket… just because
Indian curry packets seem quite popular in Japan
Seeing all these beef cuts got me wishing I had access to a nice kitchen so I could cook
Fish prices were quite high, and most of the prawns I saw were of the farmed variety
I was so tempted to try these Sushi bento boxes but I restrained myself as I wanted to eat them freshly made
Shops were closing by 7PM
Himeji isn’t exactly a bustling city
Anyway, I was only here primarily to see Himeji Castle
I walked around a bit more
I noticed cyclists coming out of the underpass
To the left is a conveyor belt you can roll your cycle on, to assist in bringing it up 🙂
After shopping at a nearby Daiso, I walked upto Himeji station, and then walked back to the hostel
On the way back, I thought of trying Lotteria. It’s the fast food chain by South Korea’s Lotte Group.
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 — 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 — 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 — and last night in Tokyo
Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport — 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