Japan: The Second Time Around

Last May, the boyfriend and I flew to Tokyo on a whim (sort of) and since it was quite unplanned, everything happened very quickly. We were there for 4 days and 3 nights and it wasn’t enough considering that Tokyo is a huge city. Just when we were starting to feel at home, the trip was already over!

Soon after the trip, we learned that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was set to open in July the same year and I was pretty much devastated. Why oh why? Why didn’t I know??? My only consolation was that Osaka is quite far from Tokyo and even if it did open while we were in Japan, we still won’t be able to go. I believe that would have been worse.

To pacify me, the boyfriend suggested that we go back to Japan in 2015 for my beloved Harry Potter. I had this crazy idea to schedule the trip on my birthday to make it more special. Winter + Harry Potter + Quality Time — it couldn’t be more perfect!

So, true to the plan, on the 18th of January this year we flew to Osaka. We went straight from Kansai International Airport (KIX) to Kyoto via the Haruka Line (¥ 4,060 for the roundtrip ticket to KIX including ¥ 1,500 worth of ICOCA load).

Hello Kitty ICOCA
Of course I had to get the ICOCA card with the Hello Kitty design.

The journey from KIX to Kyoto was roughly 77 minutes long (according to research) and the hotel where we stayed in was a few minutes’ walk away from the train station. We booked capsules in 9h Capsule Hotel in Kawaramachi— it was our first time to try this kind of hotel so it deserves a separate post. (That is, if I find time to create another blog post!)

9h Capsule Hotel

We left for Osaka on the 20th after we visited Mt Kurama Temple. We stayed in Richmond Hotel Namba Daikokucho which is just a couple of blocks away from Daikokucho Station and a station away from Namba Station where you will find Dotonbori. The boyfriend tried to walk from Daikokucho to Namba and it took him around 10-15 minutes which isn’t bad. It was not easy for us to find an affordable hotel that is decent and accessible at the same time, and Richmond did not disappoint. There were two or three convenience stores nearby and two supermarkets where we bought our stash of food.

We made it a point to make a day trip to Nara. It is famous for its deer park and the Todaiji Temple. There were deer everywhere, the experience was both scary and amazing.


After Nara, we made a quick trip back to Kyoto for Fushimi Inari. It was freezing cold that day!


Osaka – Kyoto – Osaka – Nara – Osaka — it sounds tiring but not really, thanks to Japan’s efficient railway system.

This is it for now, let this be some sort of a teaser. I will post more detailed entries in the next few days. :)


3 thoughts on “Japan: The Second Time Around

    • Tangled Up In Daydreams says:

      I usually hate commuting but their railway system made traveling quick and easy even with luggage in tow. How I wish I could say the same thing about the transportation system here, but perhaps we’ll get there someday. :)

      • Moritz says:

        Haha, well, the train system everywhere else than in Japan is a disaster. There is so much to learn for European and American politicians in this regard.

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