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Old 09-19-2012, 04:49 AM   #211
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Loving the train ride we're on at the moment....


Looking forward to Kyoto.....as, I'm sure...(ye of little faith) Battymum is as well.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:52 AM   #212
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Eventually I went into a travel agent located in the station and they were able to give us directions to the hotel.

From the platform you go down into the station and turn right. Going straight ahead you go up some stairs and continue going straight. Eventually you will come across the hotel on your right. It is on top of the station, but I’m still a bit confused as to how…

Hotel Granvia is very fancy. The décor seemed fancier then CST, but not necessarily a better hotel.

From this entrance you go up some escalators, then you walk along a really long hallway that is lined with several restaurants, eventually you come to some elevators where you need to go down a level to get to the lobby. I think there must be 4 sets of elevators all in different locations, North, South, East and West. We only ever used the one set though, as it was closest to our room - I think it was the South set...

Check in was nice and easy, and because it was already after 2pm we were able to go straight up to our room. The room was a lot smaller then CST, but the bed was more comfy.





The view also left something to be desired…




After we were settled in our hotel room we headed back into the train station to see if we could grab something to eat. I didn’t want anything too big, so we ended up in one of the Japanese bakeries. I got this yummy hot dog thingy, and DH got like a cold meat bun thingummy and a long bread stick filled with bacon and cheese. I was very impressed by this bakery – it was so nice!!





We went for a bit of a walk around the station without really knowing where we were going. There are a lot less English signs in Kyoto compared to Tokyo, so it’s not as easy to just find your way around.

Eventually after a bit of walking we came across Umekoji Park. This was really pleasant, but wasn’t as special as the parks we’d seen in Tokyo, there was a section where you could pay for access, and it was probably a lot nicer, but we didn’t really feel like paying to see another park. There were a heap of cats about the park. Not sure if they’re stray or not, but they were everywhere! I love cats.

There’s also a train museum here, again you had to pay for entry, and I’m not that big a fan of trains, so we skipped it.

We worked out that the Kyoto Aquarium was right next door to the park, so we figured we’d go in there for a look around. It was incredibly humid because of the rain earlier in the day, so we were looking forward to getting into some air conditioning. Unfortunately it was about 5pm by this time, and that’s what time the aquarium was shutting, so we turned away determined to walk down the road a bit further to where a shrine was supposed to be.

Eventually we came across what I think was the Nishi Hong Shrine? We took some photos of the outside, but again it looks like it shut at 5pm, so we’d missed it as well.







Unfortunately this was a trend with Kyoto, almost everything shut around 4-5pm, even though it was the middle of summer, and there were a heap of tourists still milling about the entrances past this time.

We made our way back to Granvia for a couple of hours rest.

For dinner we went up further above the train station into a couple of floors of restaurants. The majority of them were noodle places, so we picked a random one. Ordered our meals from a vending machine and took a seat for dinner. I made a run back into the train station to get some drinks because the only drinks available at the restaurant were water and green tea.





After dinner we found that almost everything in the train station was also shut, and it was maybe 9pm.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:55 AM   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BecBennett View Post
Eventually I went into a travel agent located in the station and they were able to give us directions to the hotel.

From the platform you go down into the station and turn right. Going straight ahead you go up some stairs and continue going straight. Eventually you will come across the hotel on your right. It is on top of the station, but I’m still a bit confused as to how…

The view also left something to be desired…




Isn't that the train station?



If so.....you're practically right on top of the station......practically....

Nice looking hotel room....did it also shut at 4 or 5?
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:59 AM   #214
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Yeah it's the train station, part where there's no trains

The whole Kyoto part of the trip it felt like places were shutting just as we got there
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:01 AM   #215
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Yeah it's the train station, part where there's no trains

The whole Kyoto part of the trip it felt like places were shutting just as we got there
I would have used that as an excuse to stay at the hotel.....and enjoy the.....room.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:06 AM   #216
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Well isn't that saucy...
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:13 AM   #217
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So......didja? Enjoy the.....room, that is.


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Old 09-19-2012, 06:40 AM   #218
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**snicker** stop it, you're making me blush!

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Old 09-19-2012, 06:42 AM   #219
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Aren't you still within your 1st year of marriage?.....



(you can blush some more now.....)
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:54 AM   #220
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Sorry, thought I had already commented - but thanks for the update!

How did you know what to order from the vending machine -was there an English menu or was it a bit of a lucky dip?

The bakery looks good - actually all the food is looking good!
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:57 PM   #221
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Usually there were displays of the food, with matching pictures on the vending machine, not all of them had that though, so usually the waitress would help
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:02 AM   #222
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We were up bright and early today because we wanted to take a day trip to Osaka to see the Tenjin Matsuri Festival.

The tourist information centre was right across from the hotel entrance in the train station, so we went in there to ask the best way to get to Osaka. The lady at the counter was able to tell us the best way to get there, and even the platform to wait at, which was really handy.

We caught the JR Rapid train to Osaka and were there in about half an hour. We had to stand the whole way in a pretty packed train, but it wasn’t that bad, and there were only maybe 4 stops, so it felt like it went pretty quickly.

Once we arrived in Osaka we wandered the train station for a fair bit trying to find some breakfast. There were a heap of restaurants in there, but nothing seemed to take our fancy and pretty much all of the restaurants had long lines of people waiting to be seated.

So instead we again went into the tourist information centre and got advice on the best way to see Osaka. We were told by again the really helpful people when everything was happening for the festival, and given maps and advice on the best way to get there. We decided we wanted to see the street dancing, the parade along the river and the fireworks, but these weren’t due to start until about 3pm, so we had plenty of time for random site seeing.

First we caught the Osaka Loop Line to Osaka Castle.





When we got there we found a cafeteria looking place and decided we’d have a meal there before we went any further. It was another one of the ones where you need to order from a vending machine, and nothing was in English. Luckily we knew what we wanted and the lady there spoke perfect English. We both ordered Takoyaki, and DH also got a big thing of soup.





There weren’t any drinks here except filtered water, so I got us two glasses. The meals came out pretty quickly and they were delicious! I love me some good takoyaki!

There was a couple sitting across from us, and I think they were congratulating us on the fact that we could use chopsticks. That was funny and a little awkward…

We then made our way up to Osaka Castle.

















There were two options, you could either line up and get the elevator to the top, or you could walk up the stairs. The line up for the elevator stretched out the door, so we figured we’d just take the stairs. However we soon worked out that you’re supposed to start the tour at the top, and walk down each level to get the full experience…

So we walked all the way to the top floor (I want to say 8 floors..?) and started with the awesome view from the surrounding balcony.





Then we made our way back down one floor at a time. There were a couple of floors that photos weren’t allowed.

Generally my opinions of this place are along the lines of: if you’re interested in Japanese History then this place is awesome, otherwise it’s a bit of a bore…


You could pay money to get dressed in the period costumes.

We’re not that interested in Japanese History… However we looked through everything because I think we felt that we owed it to Japan… Or something. You know? We went over there for a holiday and it somehow seemed wrong to not spend time learning about the history while we were there…

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Old 09-25-2012, 05:40 AM   #223
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Okay....so what DID you learn about Japanese History?



Osaka Castle looks lovely. Was the tour in English and/or Japanese? I'm guessing from your comments that this is NOT somewhere where my DS12 would be interested to go see (unless they allow kids to dress up!)
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:24 AM   #224
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Looks like another interesting day!

So can you tell me, should takoyaki be gooey in the middle?
I have only had them once, and to me, I thought they should have been cooked more - , but I ate them anyway, cause I'm polite like that! (with no ill effects)
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:33 AM   #225
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Okay....so what DID you learn about Japanese History?



Osaka Castle looks lovely. Was the tour in English and/or Japanese? I'm guessing from your comments that this is NOT somewhere where my DS12 would be interested to go see (unless they allow kids to dress up!)
Ummm... Not much, there was a heap of info if you're wanting to learn...

I'm pretty sure the tour was in English, but that's just from memory, it could have been in Japanese with English subtitles... Most of it was on moniters around the place.

I think the period costume was more for kids then adults, we saw a few kids getting dressed up in the big armor and helmets, but no adults. So he might enjoy it.

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Looks like another interesting day!

So can you tell me, should takoyaki be gooey in the middle?
I have only had them once, and to me, I thought they should have been cooked more - , but I ate them anyway, cause I'm polite like that! (with no ill effects)
Umm, I don't know... I think it should be less cooked then the inside of a donut, and a little bit more battery... The best stuff though you really only taste the octopus inside, and the batter doesn't really register
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