Getting lost in Japan | last days

Day four was perhaps our busiest. This being our last full day in Japan we wanted to make the most out of it and really pick out the must-sees in our itinerary.

That had to start, of course, with Fushimi Inari-Taisha (a.k.a. the famous shinto shrine in Memoirs of a Geisha. I’ve completely forgotten about that film but vividly remember falling in love with this clip).

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It was so packed with people that you’d have to wait for the half second you’ll have the area to yourself to get a good shot. Props to my brother for capturing this one of me capturing the emptiness!

After exploring the shrine, we grabbed a bite at a food stall just outside. It turned out to be my favorite meal of the whole trip – their yakitori + shaved ice… Yum. I immediately missed the yakitori when I got back home that I had to try some of our local offerings, but nothing has come close to it so far.

SO good.

After Fushimi Inari, we headed to Nijo Castle, which turned out to be the most boring part of the trip. Really couldn’t appreciate the history of the castle with no guide. We pretty much just walked around the castle sporting ??? and … thought bubbles on our heads (or maybe I’m speaking for myself).

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Perhaps a visit in autumn would be more enticing?

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Afterwards, we headed to Kinkaku-ji Temple, or the Golden Pavilion.

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It was beautiful, but yep, that’s about all there is to see here…

We had [super late] lunch at a pizza restaurant outside, then were off to track the bag I bought that my brother left in our bus ride home the night before. Our host Kiyoko kindly called the lost and found station for us in the morning but apparently gave us the wrong train station so we messaged her on Airbnb and were told  to “ask somebody!” but um hun, not so easy when nobody understands us… (Still – A+ for effort from everyone we asked about it then, from the lady in the laundry shop who asked the lady in 7/11 who tried to talk to us using her phone + Google Translate… Such kind people!) Anyway, she realized she gave us the wrong directions later on and after maybe wasting an hour and a half, we were finally led to the right station and I got my bag back. Ah, Japan – have I mentioned how much I love how honest your people are and how safe your country is? Because I do so so so much.

It was dark at this point, so we decided we’d end the day with good food and shopping for pasalubong.

Okonomiyaki – the Japanese version of a pancake. Probably the weirdest meal I've ever had.

Okonomiyaki – the Japanese version of a pancake. Probably the weirdest meal I’ve ever had.

More kind people!!!!! Had to take a photo with the owner and crew of this off-the-beaten-path restaurant.

We went to an AEON mall near our home’s station and shopped ’til closing time, dragged our bags through the 900-meter walk home (we tried to hail a cab but the driver couldn’t give us an estimate and we were sure it would put a dent on our wallets, so we sucked it up), packed our bags, and slept.

The next day, our fifth, was also our last – so photo ops were in order!

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How pretty is her bathroom?!

With our cutiepie host, Kiyoko! Such a kind, cheerful lady. Hope to see you again someday!

With our Australian and Chinese housemates! They all just arrived the night before so we only got to meet and chat this morning.

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Last healthy breakfast lovingly prepared by Kiyoko; the goodbye note we left her; and her cat!

Not going to lie – my main reason for booking this house was the piano, haha.

Kiyoko called us a cab after breakfast and then we were off! (We can officially confirm that, yep, cabs here are costly. Our ride set us back by 2100 JPY, roughly 900 pesos for a 15-minute trip to the station!)

We began to run inside the station, got our tickets to a train that would arrive in the airport just in the nick of time, so we were super anxious. Thankfully, we arrived within boarding period.

And then we were home!

On my next blog post, I’ll do a round-up of our itinerary, tips, and expenses, along with an edited film of the videos I shot (I’ll have to actually finish that one first, though, so might take a while, haha), so watch out for that! ∎

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More from my trip to Japan: Day one | Day two | Day three

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