Category Archives: Japan

Kyoto Station

Arrival day into Japan, From KIX to Kyoto

November 2018
Our 2018 long haul trip takes us to the Land of the Rising Sun. Japan will be the first country for our trip to the Far East, after many years of traveling around Europe. We boarded a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur direct to Kansai. Departing KLIA at 22:10, we arrived Kansai airport at 05:40 the next morning. Flight MH52 utilising A330-300, took 6 hours of flying time which we felt rather ‘short’ compared to flying into a European city typically taking 12-14 hours.

Our Japan trip starting 2nd week of November 2018, coinciding with the start of autumn will take us to Kyoto and Osaka before flying to Tokyo with a brief one night stay at Lake Kawaguchiko for Mt Fuji.

Map of Japan

Upon arrival into Kansai, we will be collecting our pre-booked ‘Haruka’ train tickets & ‘Icoca’ pre-charged cards. Haruka is an express train service and coupled with the Icoca card (primarily to pay train & bus fares), you’ll be entitled to a substantial discounted train fare for the Haruka from Kansai to Kyoto, or to other designated station in between. We will need to collect our train ticket and the Icoca card from the JR Ticket Office.

Haruka tickets

The discounted ¥1,600 one way Kansai-Kyoto Haruka tickets.

Icoca cards

The regular & Hello Kitty Icoca cards. Two different designs to distinguish which is his & hers.

The International arrival level at Kansai airport is on 1F of Terminal 1. After passport control and handing our disembarkation card (distributed during your flight), claiming of our luggage and going through customs, we need to go up to 2F and walk over to the annex train station building. We then headed for the JR Ticket Office and after verifying details with our passport, paid & collected our Haruka tickets & Icoca cards. The Icoca card has a valid usage for up to 10 years. For more information and booking, visit here.

Kansai Airport

Passage on 2F airport terminal to Kansai-airport (train) Station in an annex building.

Kansai Airport

The annex building of Kansai-airport (train) Station.

Front part of the annex Kansai-airport (train) Station.

Kansai Airport Station

Rows of ticket machines for Nankai & JR trains towards your left.

Kansai Airport Station

At the end of the ticket machines, is the JR Ticket Office with it’s blue/yellow facade.

Kansai Airport Station

Inside the JR Ticket Office are counters for Japanese & English speaking visitors.

Directly in-front of the JR Ticket Office, are the ticket gates for our Haruka train platform on 1F a level down. Elevators are available for those with luggage.

Kansai Airport Station

Ticket gates for JR trains and Nankai trains. Credit : hiohio.net/travel-blog/

Kansai Airport Station

Past the ticket gates for JR trains, are stairs leading to the Haruka platform one level down. Elevators are also available.

Kansai Airport Station

The Haruka awaiting for passengers.

Kansai Airport Station

Seats in the Haruka train.

Kansai Airport Station

Luggage compartment in the Haruka.

(Note : 1F is GF (Ground Floor) in most other countries. Likewise, 2F in Japan is the 1st Floor and so on.)

Traveling time is 1h 15m for the Haruka to Kyoto station. If you’re riding the train in the morning, choose seats to the left to avoid the sun. As the train enters Osaka, you’ll notice a number of tall buildings, befitting it as the 2nd largest city in Japan. Our journey continues by-passing Osaka bound for Kyoto.

Osaka

The causeway connecting Kansai airport & the mainland.

Osaka

Boat on one of the rivers.

Tall buildings in Osakak

One of the tall buildings in Osaka.

Tall buildings in Osakak

Another modern tall building in Osaka.

Osaka

The unmistakable Umeda Sky Building.

Osaka

Coming up, a brief stop at Shin-Osaka station.

Once you’ve arrived into Kyoto train station, you’ll want to get out through the central exit for the Kyoto Tower (Shiokoji Dori) side. Depending on your itinerary, you may want to exit through the Hachijo Dori exit at the opposite side for your hotel or Shinkansen transfer. Elevators and escalators are available in this station. As with most Japanese hotels and guest houses, check-in is 2-3pm, thus you’ll may need to store your luggage till then. There are lots of coin operated lockers at B1 level of the station. A manned luggage office is also available although a little hidden, so ask around for directions. Cost of storage depends on the size of your luggage.

Kyoto Station

Arrival platform 30 at Kyoto train station.

Kyoto Station

No doubt we’re correctly in Kyoto.

Kyoto Station

Central entrance/exit of Kyoto train station facing the Kyoto Tower.

Kyoto Station

Kyoto Tower in-front of the station’s central entrance.

Kyoto station map

Useful map of Kyoto Station. Credit : KyotoStation.com

Kansai prayer room

Kansai Airport Prayer Room

November 2018
First order of the day upon arriving Kansai Airport was to perform our morning prayer. Kansai Airport offers a prayer room on level 3F of Terminal 1. Coincidentally, Malaysian Airline passengers disembark at Terminal 1. One can take the elevator but for odd reason, it only stops at 2F and 4F. So it’s your choice to then take the escalator up one level from 2F or down one level from 4F. Way to the prayer room will pass Uniqlo & Daiso.


Prayer room kansai

The prayer rooms are separated by gender. It has it’s own ablution area and the room is quite spacious with the prayer area fully carpeted. These prayer rooms are one of the better ones we’ve been in Japan. A big thank you to the management of Kansai Airport for providing these prayer rooms. From their website, we understand there are two more prayer rooms available at departure airside. Unfortunately, we’ll be leaving Japan via Narita Airport.

Kansai prayer room

Directional board. The area marked ‘1’ is Korean Airline lounge. The prayer room is towards the right past the lounge.

Kansai prayer room

Hallway towards the prayer rooms as seen from outside Korean Airline lounge.

Kansai prayer room

Entrance to the men’s prayer room.

Kansai prayer room

Ablution area.

Kansai prayer room

Prayer area with directional sign to Makkah.

Kansai prayer room

Chairs available for those requiring to  perform prayers sitting down.

Kansai prayer room

Entrance to women’s prayer room opposite the men’s.

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor – Kyoto’s Fabric Outlet

November 2018
Bus stops are located just outside the Kyoto train station. With our luggage stored, we took a bus to explore Kyoto’s downtown attractions. (We’ll detail how to understand and use Kyoto’s bus services in a future post). However, before doing so, we dropped by a well known Kyoto fabric outlet.

Located in downtown Kyoto, Nomura Tailor, at 362 along Shijo street is a fabric outlet stocking comprehensive tailoring requirements. About everything you’ll require from fabric to needles is available in this 3 storey building. Although Nomura Tailor isn’t a tourist attraction, it was actually listed first in our itinerary. Knowing my wife passion for fabric and sewing, it was a delightful stop for her before we really started visiting the tourist attractions.

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Entrance to Nomura Tailor fronting Shijo street.

We spent easily more than an hour browsing the store from the exquisite fabrics to tailoring accessories we never imagined before. Need a circular scissors, choose from the varieties and sizes they carry. Need an apparatus to plant ‘stones’ onto your fabric, they have them too. Require the stones themselves, choose from the quality of glitter you fancy.

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Wife starting to inspect the fabrics.

Nomura offers varieties of fabric from the reasonable priced right up to the standard of Liberty’s. No doubt, the Liberty range of fabric here, matches the price as you would expect in Regent’s street. Even for a husband who know next to nothing about fabric, I know a Liberty when I see one. Their design, color, precision print, and quality of material sets them apart.

Although I’ve little interest here, the beautiful design and pattern of fabric rolls and cut pieces stacked side-by-side makes interesting photography subject that kept me occupied. Would you believe, a husband was inside Nomura for more than 1 hour ? Wife actually felt guilty taking up time here, she hurried her purchases.

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

For those keen on handicraft, you’ll find tons of material and accessories to keep you busy. Be it cross-stitch, weaving, knitting, T-shirt dye, repairing or upgrading your handbag’s handle, strap, buckles, zippers or whatever you can think off. Since this isn’t a topic I’m well versed, let the photos do the talking instead. For more information, visit Nomura’s site here. (In future posts, we’ll be visiting fabric outlets in Osaka & Tokyo as well).

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto