Friday, August 18, 2017

Day 5 - Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe Trip 2017 - Kobe Part 1 - How to go to Kobe by train from Umeda Station, Osaka, Japan.

From our hotel, we took the subway to Umeda subway station (Tap out from the subway station), walked to Umeda Hankyu Kobe Line Station, tap again at the gantry to change to Limited express trains on the Hankyu Kobe Line take 25 minutes and cost 320 yen from Umeda Station to Kobe-Sannomiya Station.

There are few ways to go to Kobe-Sannomiya Station (do not alight at Kobe Station, all the happenings are at Kobe Sannomiya Station).

By Japan Railways (JR)

Direct, 20 minutes, 410 yen one way, frequent departures

JR special rapid trains require 20 minutes and cost 410 yen for the one way trip from Osaka Station to Kobe's Sannomiya Station. You can also travel between the two cities by Sanyo Shinkansen in less than 15 minutes, however, the shinkansen stations in both Osaka (Shin-Osaka Station) and Kobe (Shin-Kobe Station) are not centrally located. The one way trip by shinkansen costs 1500 yen for a non-reserved seat.

By Hankyu Railways

Direct, 25 minutes, 320 yen one way, frequent departures

Limited express trains on the Hankyu Kobe Line take 25 minutes and cost 320 yen from Umeda Station to Kobe-Sannomiya Station. Hankyu Umeda Station is located just next to JR Osaka Station.

By Hanshin Railways

Direct, 30 minutes, 320 yen one way, frequent departures

Hanshin operates direct trains from Osaka's Umeda Station (30 minutes, 320 yen) and Osaka-Namba Station (45 minutes, 410 yen) to Kobe-Sannomiya Station. Above fees and schedules are subject to change. (Refer to source.)

We used our IC Card (ICOCA Card) and tap at the gantry to go into the station. At the entrance of the gantry, can see information on which platform to go to Kobe. From the information, the red coded is the limited express train that goes to Kobe Sannomiya Station (is a faster train that skipped few stations), the black coded is the local train that stop every station, takes longer travel time. So do not take the local train. So we walked towards Platform 7,8 and 9.

Another sign, direct us to take the train at Platform 8 and 9, not sure what happen to Platform 7, never bothered to find out haha.

After about 25 mins, we arrived at Kobe - Sannomiya Station. After tapping out at the gantry, we looked for the tourist information office, which is located on Level 1 (ground level), outside the train station. We can purchased the one day City Loop Bus Pass and collect the map of Kobe from the tourist information office. The tourist information office might be difficult to find. Can always buy the one day bus pass from the bus conductor inside the City Loop Bus.

It is wise to get the one day bus pass 660 yen(adult), 330 yen (child under 12 yrs), cause need to hop on and off the bus to few places. The one ride fare is 260 yen(adult),130 yen (child), so does not make sense not to purchase the one day bus pass.

Walk to the City Bus Loop Bus Stop (numbered 7) - below map. No need cross the road, the bus stop is just outside train station.

Besides the bus driver, there's an attendant in the bus explaining the bus route but in Japanese. However, there's English, Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese announcement for each bus stop. Can pay cash, use IC Card in the City Loop Bus and also able to buy the one day bus pass from the attendant inside the bus.

More on Kobe attractions in next post.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Day 5 - Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe Trip 2017 - Morning Breakfast at Sarasa Hotel Shinsaibaishi

Our hotel accommodation comes with daily breakfast. I really have a good deal. At first, I booked for four nights accommodation at this hotel for about S$800+ with free cancellation with Agoda.com and then came across new promotion with cheaper price, I booked a new reservation(cause of the free cancellation with Agoda.com) and cancelled my first booking, wow I save S$200. Yayyy, can shop more haha.

The daily breakfast at the hotel is very basic and every morning the menu is about the same but at least I dont have to go out in the morning to hunt for breakfast. It comes with Japanese breakfast and a bread corner.

The bread corner comes with bread and cakes.

Every morning, we sure have the Japanese curry sauce.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Day 4 - Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe Trip 2017 - Shinsaibaishi Shopping Street

After the visit to Osaka Castle, we headed back to Shinsaibaishi Shopping Street. Shinsaibashi is one of Osaka's oldest and busiest shopping destinations which runs about 600 meters in length.

Whenever I travelled, I dont shop much but only in Japan, I can shop a lot cause a lot of stuff are attractive and make good souvenirs and gifts. Take note a lot of shops closed around 8 pm or 8.30pm except in Namba, the shops closes later.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Day 4 - Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe Trip 2017 - Osaka Castle

After lunch, our first sightseeing in Osaka must be the famous Osaka Castle. The recommended approach to Osaka Castle is through Otemon Gate at the park's southwestern corner. The closest station is Tanimachi 4-chrome Station along the Tanimachi Subway Line and Chuo Subway Line.

Osaka Castle is only 2 stations away from our hotel(10 mins) but we need to change subway train in between. From our hotel at Nagahoribashi (K16), we need to take the Sakaisuji Line(K) and change at Sakaisuji Hommachi (K15)(C17) and from here need to transfer to Chuo Line (C) to Tanimachi 4-chrome Station (C18). So is always easier to remember the Alphabet and number of the station instead of the long name haha.

It was a very very hot day (temperature around 35 degrees celsius) and it was suppose to be the raining season. (Throughout our entire trip, we encountered 2 raining days, 2 very hot days and the rest were nice and cloudy days.)

Admission to the grounds of Osaka Castle is free but need to buy admission ticket (600 yen) to go inside the castle.

Of course we took the elevator instead of the stairs but the elevator stops at 5th floor and we need to climb the rest of the stairs to 8th floor where the observatory deck is located. Nice view from the top, can see the whole of Osaka City.

Every floor is a museum, so walked every floor down to view the display.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Day 4 - Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe Trip 2017 - Crystal Nagahoshi Food Town, Osaka

The check in time for most hotels in Japan is 3 pm, but our room were ready at around 1.30 pm, so we quickly put our luggages in the room and went out for lunch and some sightseeing. Took the lift back down to crysta nagahori where the food town is. The lift is just less than a minute walk from our hotel and seven eleven.

There were several restaurants, coffee house, shops, etc, very convenient indeed.

We spotted a chinese restaurant very quickly, feeling happy cause we were really very hungry. We were attracted by the food display infront of the restaurant. It was not very crowded.

We ordered the set lunch, one was sweet and sour pork, deep fried prawns, egg soup and dessert and free flow of tea.

The other set was omurice, sweet and sour prawns, assorted vegetables and dessert.

The food was really tasty and delicious and we finished everything haha.