Japan, Day 5: Ama Hut Experience

I was so happy that I got to do the ama hut experience, especially with Ise ebi (Ise lobster) in season. The highlights of this experience were getting to eat seafood that were freshly caught by ama and conversing with ama divers, with the help of an interpreter.

I was undecided which tour company to pick between Osatsu-kamado and Hachiman. But the deciding factor was the free direct shuttle bus offered by Hachiman.

Japan, Day 5: Ise Jingu (revisit)

Despite the tiring walks from the previous days, I was still excited for this day trip because I would be going back to Ise Jingu.

During my previous visit, there were few people around because it was a weekday and we reached the place at around 8AM (read it here). But this time, it was a Sunday and already 10AM so there was a huge crowd of locals already.

Japan, Day 3: Korankei

Last stop for Day 3 was Korankei, which is considered as one of the best autumn spots in Chubu region. The place is very famous for momiji matsuri (autumn leaves viewing), and it is estimated to have about 4,000 maple trees of 11 types. Also, autumn night illumination is held every year from 5PM to 9PM wherein performances are held and lots of food stalls are set up.

Japan, Day 3: Obara Fureai Park

The bus ride from Senmi Shikizakura no Sato to Obara Fureai Park was about 15 minutes.

When we reached the park, I decided to follow the other locals and found food stalls. Perfect for my hungry tummy since I only had an onigiri for lunch. I checked out all the stalls and since it was very cold (less than 10C), I bought kishimen. Yay for my hiragana skills because I was able to read the stall’s food!

Japan, Day 3: Senmi Shikizakura no Sato

Ever heard of sakura blooming during autumn? Well, that is not a fantasy because there is a place in Japan where this happens. The town is called Obara, which is popular for shikizakura (四季桜 four-season cherry blossoms), and not too far from Nagoya.

My destination for this trip was the Senmi Shikizakura no Sato — farther than the more popular Obara Fureai Park.

Japan, Day 2: Kimono Rental

I was really looking forward to wearing a kimono since that is part of my bucket list. Despite previous trips in Japan, it was not a top of mind activity due to the extreme cold weather (winter and early spring).

One of the popular kimono rental shops in Kyoto is wargo and I chose their branch in Gion as they have a bigger selection of kimono designs and it was the area where I wanted to go around while in kimono.

Japan, Day 2: Yasaka Shrine (revisit)

Highlight of the afternoon in Kyoto was wearing kimono but since I arrived an hour earlier than expected, I decided to visit Yasaka-jinja (again).

I was surprised to see that there were still food stalls even if there was no festival or illumination night. The stalls were fewer though compared to our visit in 2017 when there was Higashiyama Hanatouro.

Japan, Day 2: Tenryu-ji (revisit)

While planning the Kansai Region trip last year, I read that this temple is at its best during spring and autumn so my expectations were high… and it did not disappoint! Even at the parking area, people were already having their pictures taken.

I bought the ticket for both main hall and garden (¥800) entrance passes, with the temple being my first order of business. No shoes allowed, by the way!

Japan, Day 2: Togetsukyo Bridge (revisit)

Good thing the rain stopped after finishing breakfast so I got to enjoy the view at Togetsukyo Bridge.

While it was a gloomy weather, that didn’t stop me from feeling happy because of the autumn colors. During my 2017 visit, the trees were either green or bare since it was still early spring.

Japan, Day 2: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove (revisit)

I wanted to visit Arashiyama again without a crowd so we got the earliest Shinkansen from Nagoya i.e., the Nozomi line at 06:20.

It was good that it wasn’t too crowded yet so there was still some semblance of tranquility despite tourists talking to each other. There was some drizzle but not enough to get us soaked.