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#mitsuekitravels | 19D18N Japan Travelogue 2022 (Day 4): Kimono Girl Adventures x Nara x Ootoro x Sightseeing Limited Express Aoniyoshi x Kyoto – 25 Dec 2022

mitsueki travels kimono rental winter 2022

Merry Christmas everyone on this day and I hope that you’ve had a wonderful Christmas spent with your family, friends and loved ones.

In case you’ve missed out on my Travelogue so far, read the previous posts here:

Otherwise, it’s onwards to Day 4 here in Osaka – let’s go!

Starting off with our own separate me-times where he ventured off earlier to chill and have his coffee/brekkie at the Lawson outside while I stayed in the room to chillax, get some UV rays and try to save my skin (bad eczema flare up due to winter temperatures). This man also surprised me with a Christmas present in the bathroom too 🙂 Now for some Godiva chocolate bread and some oranges for Vitamin C, we were off for his Christmas surprise that I prepped for him.

Surprise transformation begins today on Christmas Day into kimono girl and girl on the couple plan! My recommendation is to wear long johns on the inside so that you don’t get too cold. The plan I took also doesn’t include hair setting nor a shawl so I diy-ed it on my own. Total cost was less than $90 for 2 pax with a return plan the next day for this located at Umeda, near our hotel!

Our next stop – to Namba to exchange for our Kintetsu Rail Pass that we bought off Klook. Here, I need to remind you to bring your PHYSICAL passport for the exchange or else they will not allow it. Sadly..the mister didn’t do so and couldn’t redeem his rail pass for today 🙁

Also, cos this man was feeling hungry and such, he was busy eating fried chicken from Lawson and corn soup before our lunch at Nara.

If possible, try to rent your kimono as early as possible so that you can maximize your day trip out to Nara/Kyoto. In our case, we only reached Nara at around 2 or so after unexpected delays/queues.

And honestly, this was the main reason why we added Nara into the itinerary Vs Arashiyama – for ootoro at the highly recommended Magurogoya which his friends/Google reviews swear by.

Since you’re already here, just go ALL out and order their double layer ootoro bowl at 3000 yen (no service charge) which comes with 6 pieces of thickly sliced ootoro on the top, layered by 3 more pieces hidden below in a sweet vinegar sushi rice base. The sides include pickled cucumbers to go with the rice and a hearty bowl of miso soup, plus free tea from the establishment. This is also run by an elderly couple and they were really loved, especially the lady who could speak English too. Thank you for a wonderful Christmas meal and kind hospitality 🙂 5 stars please!

It started drizzling by then so we had to skip our visit to the iconic Nara Park to feed the deer and made do with visiting their covered shopping arcade next to the Kintetsu Nara station.

The famous freshly pounded mochi place is also located at the end of the shopping arcade where we got our hands on these mochi with red bean which is a must to eat on the spot for the maximum flavor when it’s fresh! Stay to view the pounding if you’re not in a rush but otherwise, head off to your next stop which is likely Kyoto!

Getting the Kintetsu Rail Pass means you have access to all the normal train rides around the Kintetsu line. However, it does NOT include the Sightseeing Limited Express Aoniyoshi which you must top up an extra 520 yen on top of your pass. This train only comes at certain timings and we were very lucky to be able to catch it at the right time. Find out more about this train here.

In my opinion, it’s worth it to take this train if you have the luxury of time and want to experience it. There are two types of cabins, double twin seats facing the window with tables for the sightseeing view, alongside other carriages with salon style seating for up to 4 pax. There’s even a drinks/desserts and souvenir shop onboard where you can get your hands on some unique one of a kind Aoniyoshi souvenirs and some treats to eat/drink onboard the train. If you want to save costs, get the free postcard for memories sake like what we did and you’ll have a free momento 🙂

In the end it was fortunate we topped up for this train and it was a limited express to boot cutting the travel time from 1hour to 30+mins for us to reach Kyoto at 430pm or so. Then it was a rush for us to hop onboard the city bus 206 to get to Kiyomizu-dera before they close at 6pm. Bus tickets are around 210 yen and you can use your SUICA card for that.

Phew, it looks like 8-9pm but it was actually 530pm or so when we took these photos as the daylight hours are quite limited during winter time. I wouldn’t recommend coming here so late as well as it’s abit too dark to see the temple / snap photos. Try to come early as mentioned to really maximise your time here and capture all the beautiful memories. Nonetheless, we did what we came here for – snap photos, view Kiyomizu-dera at night for the first time, pray at the temple, get a lucky lot, get charms and drink from the Otowa waterfall.

Once again, the downside of visiting so late = most of the shops at the Chawan-zaka Slope / the San-nen-zaka and Ni-nen-zaka Slopes leading to Gion would likely have closed (around 80%) so there wouldn’t be much to have a look see. Added to that..it started pouring (as predicted by the weather forecast) and we just pretty much quickly walked towards the Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station to seek shelter and get some dinner – which ended up to be discounted food from Takashimaya as our Xmas dinner feast hahaha. I was honestly still stuffed from lunch so I only had a bite while the mister scoffed down garlic butter chicken, Japanese glutinous rice and a lobster cream croquette.

Finally, it was time for us to head back to Osaka on an hour long train ride before having some ice cream for dessert, checking out the laundry facilities in our hotel and undressing/packing all the kimono items for returning tomorrow. Plus opening my Xmas present as well :p

Most importantly, thanks always for reading and stay tuned to your usual post tomorrow as we move into Day 5!


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Author: mitsueki

Hello! I'm mitsueki aka Daphne and I blog at mitsueki.sg! Follow me on IG for more updates too!

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