Friday, August 11, 2017

Day 4 - Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe Trip 2017 - Kyoto to Osaka by train, Sarasa Hotel Shisaibashi

Day 4, we collected our luggages from the hotel and made our way to Kyoto Station to take the train from Kyoto Station to Osaka Station. There are number of options to go to Osaka from Kyoto.

Osaka Station (do not not mistaken Osaka Station with Shin-Osaka Station) is best served by the Special Rapid service on the JR Kyoto Line. The Special Rapid Train will get you to Osaka Station in 28 minutes for 560 yen. Trains depart from platforms 4 and 5 at Kyoto Station. Read about other way to travel from source.

Different trains are marked by different symbols, so it is important to consult the information board to check the time of the train, its mark, and the numbers from where you can board.

On the platform, there are marks on the ground or on the walls across the train platform, often denoted by triangles, circles, and color combinations, that show where the train doors will open. These signs will also show the boarding point number and whether there are priority seats (seats reserved for the injured, disabled, elderly, or expecting mothers) within close proximity of the doors.

View more information and pictures about the markings from source.

The ICOCA Card (IC Card) can also be used in Osaka, so we just tapped our card at the gantry and head to the correct platform. When the train arrived at Osaka Station, we tap out of the gantry and then walked over to Umeda Station to board the subway train to our hotel at Nagahoribashi (K16 or N16), we need to change train at Shinsaibashi Station. It is easier to remember the number of the station as the name of the station can be quite long to remember.

As we booked our trip only two months before hand, difficult to get choice hotels at good price at Osaka Station or Namba Station. It is more convenient to stay at main station like Osaka Station or Namba Station, so that there's no need to change so many trains, especially if there's a lot of luggages.

Our first choice was at Hotel New Hankyu Annex at Osaka Station but they were fully booked and second choice was IBIS Hotel at Namba Station, also fully booked. So we booked a newly opened hotel, Sarasa Hotel, Shinsaibaishi (there's another Sarasa Hotel at Nipponbashi), so dont confused the two hotels.

Anway, I got a very good price at Sarasa Hotel cause when I booked for 4 nights, it costs me S$800+ but there's free cancellation, and we chanced upon new promotion of 4 nights for $600+ and we booked the promotion price and cancelled the first booking, we save S$200.

This map of the train route is very handy, found at the back of the brochure I collected from our hotel, I tear the map out and is very handy for quick reference to board the train and changing of trains.

Sarasa Hotel Shinsaibaishi can be accessed at Exit 5A at Nagahoribashi Station but OMG Exit 5A do not have lift and the flight of stairs were many, difficult to cart our luggages up, so we exit at EXIT 5B, and walked(short walk of less than 1 minute) through the connecting building called Crysta Nagahori. Passed by some restaurants and looked for Exit 3 South (not to be confused with the subway station exit 3). Took the lift and walked towards the 7 eleven and the hotel is just next to seven eleven.

Spot the 7-11 logo on the map, the hotel is just next to it.

Sarasa Hotel is a very cozy and clean hotel (opened in January 2017). The staff were very friendly and helpful.

As with most Japanese Hotel, the room were small but we could fit our luggage in one corner of the room.

The closet does not comes with a door. Bedroom slippers were provided but the floor were not carpeted and very clean. I even walked barefooted haha.

The only negative about the hotel is the very small toilet. I am already small sized and I find it a bit cramp. This is definitely not suitable for big sized people.

The laundry room was on the 3rd floor (if I am not mistaken), the washing machines and dryer are coin operated. No detergent, need bring your own.

There's a drinks vending machine in the laundry room.

There's also an ice dispenser in the laundry room but no water dispenser. Strange the hotel dont provide free complimentary water. But no problem, the 7-11 store next to the hotel is very convenient, we bought the big bottle of mineral water at only 100 yen.

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