For my third day, I decided to follow my plan to make a day trip to Kyoto. I took the train to Osaka station and transferred to a train heading for Kyoto. The train station is a little overwhelming for me as it was my first time there. There were schedules for normal train and express train. As I was unsure if there is extra charge for the express train, I decided to wait for the normal train. After about 40 minutes of train ride, I stepped foot in Kyoto.
At the train station, I was greeted by the symbolic Kyoto Tower just across the road. I headed to the bus terminal to explore a while and found out about the sightseeing bus and guided tour offerings available. I didn't manage to find out more info on day bus passes though. Hence, I decided to focus on places that are within 2km radius of the train station for the day. For my first destination, I decided to walk to Nishi Hoganji with the help of Google Maps. Along the way, I passed by a small shrine and also Kōshō-ji, which is just beside Nishi Hoganji.
Next, I made my way to the Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum. At the start of the museum, they have showcased mini train models of various famous trains around the world and also those used in Japan. Further in, there were several old trains and even a steam train ride. At a distance, there was also a view of an existing train tracks with trains zooming past.
Later on, I headed to Tō-ji, which means eastern temple. During the visit, it started to drizzle. Apparently, it is the beginning of the rainy season in Kansai/Kanto area. Fortunately, it is just a drizzle rather than the rains we see in Singapore. So, I decided to wear just a windbreaker with cape instead of an umbrella.
After the short visit, I went back to Kyoto station in search of lunch. I settled for pork cutlet rice in Katsukara, which apparently has rave reviews online. The meal costed ¥1450, but it comes with unlimited serving of salad, pickles, miso soup and barley rice. It sure is a good deal and most importantly, the pork cutlet tasted so fantastic. Before the dish was served, I had to choose the sauce I want and pour it into a bowl of sesame. I was told to pound the sesame and it gave a fragrance that certainly whets my appetite. The sauce tasted great, the pork cutlet was crunchy and less oily as expected, and the rice is great as well. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who likes tonkatsu.
After my delightful lunch, I took a bus to Nijō Castle. It's still drizzling now and then in the afternoon and I realised that my windbreaker is trapping more heat than I expected. Kinda regretted now bringing my ultra-thin windbreaker for the trip.
Next, I found my way to the subway station and took the subway to Higashiyama Station, which is the closest subway station to Heian Shrine. I stayed in the beautiful Heian Shrine for sometime to rest my legs before continuing my day.
Along the way back to the subway station, I was tempted to try red bean dessert. It doesn't come cheap at ¥800 but it sure is yummy.
After my dessert, I decided to head back to Osaka. I wanted to look for the famous Misono teppanyaki restaurant in Umeda but didn't manage to find it after walking rounds and rounds in the area. Eventually, I settled for dinner in a random teppanyaki restaurant. As a consolation, I enjoyed my meal very much. I am just so amazed how soft cooked beef can be. It seems that I have never tasted such soft and delicious beef in Singapore before. I paid ¥2,690 for the meal and feel the quality is well worth it. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the restaurant though.