Japan Adventures – Kyoto & Osaka

So we didn’t end up doing too much in these cities. We got a little lost and confused in Kyoto, so we only really visited Arashiyama when we were there. Osaka was mostly a pit stop on our way to Universal Studios. We did stop by Gudetama Cafe there at the suggestion of my friend Chris.

Kyoto – Arashiyama

We took the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto from Tokyo. It was so cool being able to ride it! I looked up how long it would take to drive that distance and it was almost 6 hours. On the bullet train, it took us just over 2 hours!! On the way to our hotel, we got a little lost, but we made it in the end. I wanted to see a few things in Kyoto, the main one being the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. It took us over 2 hours (and a few wrong buses) to get there. In the end, we gave up and took a taxi as we couldn’t figure out the bus stops. That being said, Arashiyama was a pretty awesome place to visit!

arashiyama bamboo grove 01

The bamboo grove was incredible! They grow so tall, we were literally surrounded by acres of bamboo. The grove itself follows a path, and you can walk it in around 10 minutes. It was also packed with tourists! Everyone was busy taking photos of themselves and their surroundings.

arashiyama bamboo grove 02

It was quite funny how everyone was trying not to get in each other’s way. I kept looking up at all the bamboo, it was insane how tall they were!

arashiyama bamboo grove 04

As we reached the end of the grove,  the park set off on lots of different paths. There was a lake, and these stairs going up the hill to a monkey park. We were keen on visiting there, but as it took so long for us to find the place, it was closed by the time we got there.

arashiyama bamboo grove 03

We did climb up a bit anyway, just to enjoy the view. After leaving the grove, we explore the tourist heavy area of Arashiyama. They had heaps of stores, and cute shops.

arashiyama 03

I found one devoted to Rilakkuma! I had to pose with one of the bears.

arashiyama 01

Near the bus stop back to central Kyoto, we had a look around the nearby large river and bridge. The whole area was so beautiful. I’m glad this was the place we chose to visit during our short stop in Kyoto!

arashiyama 04

As always, we found vending machines. They are literally everywhere, on every street corner. You will never go thirsty here.

arashiyama 05

Once back in our hotel, we decided to try on the yukata robes they provided. We had to take an obligatory bathroom selfie with them on.


Osaka – Gudetama Cafe

The main reason we stayed a bit in Kyoto, is cause Universal Studios is based in Osaka, which is a 30 minute train ride from Kyoto. My friend, Chris, who is currently teaching in Japan met up with us in our first days in Tokyo. She mentioned that there is a Gudetama themed cafe in Osaka, just a few minutes from the station. On our way back from Universal Studios, we stopped by the cafe. I adore Gudetama! For those who don’t know, like Rilakkuma, he’s a famous character. Gudetama is known as the “lazy egg”. He’s so cute!

gudetama cafe 01

The whole cafe was covered in Gudetama! There were models, signs, soft toys, pictures and even a video. The human version of Gudetama freaks me out a little, I prefer him in his egg form. They were playing the video with Gudetama’s theme song, which is still stuck in my head today. The song starts 40  seconds in.  Only listen to it if you want it to get stuck in your head forever.

Anyway, the cafe was adorable, and I fell in love with one particular Gudetama stuffed toy. It was so squishy!! I ended up buying him, even though it was a mission fitting him into my suitcase.

The food was obviously Gudetama themed. That tiny face was everywhere, and it was slightly strange eating him. Rory got a proper meal with rice, beef, eggs, chips and salad. I went with dessert as always. I had a vanilla and strawberry panna cotta. It was all delicious!

gudetama cafe 03

gudetama cafe 04

I’m so glad we made this detour! After hanging out at the cafe a bit longer, we headed back to Kyoto for our last night before heading back to Tokyo.

Previous Japan Posts:

Tomorrow, I’ll be talking all about Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!


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29 thoughts on “Japan Adventures – Kyoto & Osaka

    1. It really was such a stunning place! Everywhere we went in Japan was bustling with people lol. Still we did find a few quiet spots where we could just enjoy the scenery 🙂


  1. I did not even know about a Gudetama, till you introduced me to it. Those meals look whacky! Love the Yukata robe selfie, and hey, I am awestruck at the magnificence of the bamboo groves. I do not think I have seen the like of these ever. xx


    1. I’ve known about Gudetama for a few years and I’ve always loved him haha! The bamboo grove was incredible! It was the main thing we wanted to see in Kyoto so I’m glad we got to go and see it in person 😀


  2. I remember when I first arrived in Kyoto, I had a bit of a breakdown because I couldn’t figure out where anything was or the public transport system, but the bamboo forest was the first place I visited! Shame you didn’t have more time to explore Kyoto, but the beauty of Arashiyama is a good insight 🙂 xx


    1. Oh man same with us! The bus stations just didn’t make sense to us! We were planning on visiting a few things in our first day in Kyoto, but it took so long to get to Arashiyama that we weren’t able to do much else which is a bit of a shame. I am really happy we made it to Arashiyama in the end though, it definitely was stunning 😀


  3. Ah yess, the bamboo grove. One of the best places ever lol. I hope to visit it one day. Alex wants to see it too. And the Gudetama cafe is CCUUUUUUUTTTTEEEEE! Figures they would have a cafe for that too I mean they have everything over there lol.


    1. The bamboo grove was definitely high up on my list to visit! I’m so glad we got to see it! I hope you guys get to see it some day too 😄
      I loved the Gudetama cafe so much! It is pretty funny how they have a themed cafe or store for anything and everything 😂


      1. Yes I hope so too!
        I know right? One of my favorite things about japan is that they have themed stores and all of that, it really makes visiting worthwhile,no matter where you go. I hate how boring the US is. Nothing is themed, and I don’t find very many places as interesting lol.


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