We had been to quite a few temples during our previous trip to Kyoto, and we wanted to check out something new this time. Located near JR嵯峨嵐山駅 JR Saga-Arashiyama Station, we took a bus from the main street in 嵐山 Arashiyama to reach 愛宕念仏寺 Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple. The place is not big, but we thought it was very worth the trip to see the Rakan statues!
It was deceptively dry despite the incoming typhoon, and we thought we should go for a late lunch/early dinner. We found this yakiniku place near the shopping street that opened early, and we found ourselves as the first customers. We found the food to be quite standard of a typical Japanese BBQ. Perhaps the food would be tastier if we drank some beer 🙂
There was this relatively popular conveyor-belt sushi outlet at JR Kyoto Station, and the food was pretty decent, with a few interesting sushi items. Three of us conquered 19 plates (each ranging from ¥146 to ¥463, plus 10% tax, total bill ¥4090).
The weather turned out better than expected, and we decided to go ahead with the hike from 貴船 Kibune to 鞍馬 Kurama as planned.
We headed for breakfast at a Happiness Cafe nearby at 7:30am, and caught the 8:30am subway to Kyoto station. It was crowded at Kyoto Station and we had to squeeze into our connecting train. The crowd-at-door syndrome was not unique to Singapore 😅
At 出町柳駅 Demachiyanagi Station, we purchased a ¥1800 discount ticket (Train – Hot Spring All in One Pass 貴船鞍馬散策チケット) each that would allow us a return trip to 貴船/鞍馬 Kibune/Kurama (usual ¥860) , plus the entrance fee to the 鞍馬寺 Kurama Temple (usual ¥300), and entrance fee to くらま温泉 Kurama Outdoor Onsen (usual ¥1000).
First meal of the day in Kyoto was 牛ロースカツ膳 Chuck Tail Flap (¥1480) and 牛リブロースカツ膳 Rib Eye Roll (¥1380), with 10% tax, which came with free-flow rice, miso soup and cabbage. This place was definitely tourist-friendly, with its multi-language guide on how to eat 牛カツ Gyukatsu aka beef cutlet. We were quite impressed by the crispy exterior of the cutlets while the inside was medium rare and juicy.
Coffee post lunch, we found this lovely coffee place. Still full from lunch, we opted to share a Cake set (¥1010). The coffee was definitely a perk-me-up. It was strongly bitter and rather acidic, but yet addictive. The chestnut roll was pretty OK, but we preferred the one we tried during our previous trip. It felt like time slowed down inside here! A lovely space to chill 🙂
Location: 1 Chome-9-1 Sennichimae, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0074, Japan 〒542-0074 大阪市中央区千日前1-9-1 (Google Maps)
Nearest Station: Train Kintetsu Line Kintetsu-Nippombashi Station 近鉄日本橋駅 (3 min walk)
For a change, we decided to skip okomiyaki and takoyaki, and the number of yakitori places around the area inspired us to find one, but unfortunately the one we wanted to try didn’t seem keen to want to serve non-Japanese. Oh well. We decided to continue roaming the streets while slowly making our way back to the hotel for an early rest. As we walked past the bars and all, we chanced upon an Izakaya menu being shone under spotlight by the roadside. Turned out that the place was at the basement, and because the menu had assorted skewer platter available, we decided to give it a try!
It was a very cozy place with 4 tables (8 seats) and a small counter bar area, and the waitress only spoke Japanese. We opted for the table and basically just pointed to the 鶏と豚と野菜１０本 (10 chicken, pork and vegetables skewers) (¥1800, worked out to be ¥2640 including appetizer and tax) 😂 Since we were not drinking, we had some みず plain water to go along. There was also a small side of pickled radish, cucumber and ginger to go along with the skewers.
We were very glad that we decided to come here. Each chicken skewer was simply juicy and flavourful. The pork skewer paled in comparison. But the vegetable ones were very delicious too! We also didn’t feel hurried and could take our own sweet time to enjoy the food and each other’s company.
Gotta say this was one of our best random find during this trip 🙂
Location: 1 Chome−18−1 Higashi Shinsaibashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Japan 〒542-0083 大阪府大阪市中央区東心斎橋1-18-1 BEST PLAZA B1F (Google Maps)
Nearest Station: Subway Midosuji Line/Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line Shinsaibashi Station 地下鉄御堂筋線/長堀鶴見緑地線 心斎橋駅 (1 min walk)
We reached the ramen place around 18:30 and there was already at least 10 people hanging outside waiting. We placed our names in the waiting list, and proceeded to order from the vending machine. The Japanese menu had more options (e.g. 2 options for noodle type) compared to the English menu. We opted for the Thin noodles with everything all in (¥1220) and a Grilled Gyoza (¥410). It was a quick 5-minute wait and we were ushered to the counter seats.
The staff was kind enough to give us an empty bowl for sharing without us having to ask 🙂 The ramen was awesome! I particularly enjoyed thin noodles, so I could be a little biased 😛 The noodles were springy with a nice bite. The char siew was so tender that the fats literally melted in our mouths! The soup was flavourful and the saltiness was balanced out by the spicy oil. Overall, we were very satisfied with the ramen! The gyoza was quite juicy but we felt that the fillings were a bit too finely minced.
We were done before 7pm. Noticed that the crowd is on and off, but the turnaround is pretty fast.
Location: 1 Chome−5−7 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Japan 〒542-0085 大阪府大阪市中央区心斎橋筋1丁目5-7 セーナビル1F (周防町通り) (Google Maps)
Nearest Station: Subway Midosuji Line/Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line Shinsaibashi Station 地下鉄御堂筋線/長堀鶴見緑地線 心斎橋駅 (4 min walk)
We had tried to ask our hotel to help us with the reservations, but they were unable to, due to some reservations policy. Nonetheless, we decided to try our luck walking in. Turned out that we were the very first customers at 12 noon when we arrived.
There were 3 lunch menu, and the difference between the ¥8,000 and ¥6,000 menu was an additional main dish of grilled wagyu beef. We didn’t get to see what was in the ¥15,000 menu, but anyway we opted for the ¥6,000 one, knowing that we would be eating lots during the trip 😅