Stayed in a Capsule Hotel and Sagano Romantic Train Ride for Cherry Blossoms

by - Tuesday, September 17, 2019

It was last year when my grade school BFF messaged me that she’s traveling to Japan and asked if we could meet up for Spring the following year (after exactly 10 years! Who would’ve thought?)

And regretfully, I think I almost bailed on her due to my rather strict and shifting schedule. Lucky for me, I was able to make it at the last minute, so last April off to Osaka we went!
Diane buying train tickets from the machine

- OSAKA -

Dotonbori
Our first agenda of the day is a museum. I wanted to bring her there because there’s a kimono rental plus I noticed that it’s just 1-2 stations away from her hotel. To my surprise, the museum was closed that very same day but we wasted no time sulking and I decided to bring her to one of my favorite places in Osaka—-Dotonbori!

Ichiran Ramen
A big chunk of our day was spent souvenir-hunting and shopping around the area. My bff, Diane, loves makeup as much as I do so checking out Donki and many stores until late at night came as no surprise.
Dinner was in Ichiran Ramen, very touristy as usual. I think the most memorable part of this trip was her reaction after we got out of a store and it was already dark. And you know how it is in Namba/Dotonbori Area: the neon lights! All the sparkly things match the dusky background of the sky. She was giggling and I love it because this is what I love and I miss about the city life, too. The bustling noise, the cityscape, and the lights! *cries in Japanese haha*

A-Style Shinsaibashi
I stayed in an all-female capsule hotel. BEST DECISION EVER!
First, I basically just paid ¥3,318 (PHP 1,650 per night) and take note that it was Cherry Blossom season and budget hotels could go as high as ¥12,000 (PHP 5,800) so it was definitely a huge bang for my buck.
Second, it’s the amenities! The shared bathrooms are clean and well-maintained. And you can easily tell they know their target market well because of their ‘Shampoo Shelf’; they basically brought in all the kinds and brands of shampoos and conditioners you can choose from!
And don’t even get me started with the lounge and powder rooms. (Look closely and you can see a Nano Face Steamer to open your pores to prep your face for your skincare routine). I don’t have a photo of the powder room on first floor (it was full of people and we need to respect their privacy) but you get a vanity mirror, hair dryer, Shiseido products and all sorts of girl things, etc. (I did not get all these pampering from my previous capsule hotel experience, I even had to pay for a bath towel). 
TIP: One lesson I learned the hard way is to make sure that the lockers of your capsule hotel are separated from the actual sleeping capsules. (Like reaaaally far away from the sleeping area) Why? 

People would be checking and opening their luggages in the wee hours of the morning to pack their stuff for their flight or checkout.

And believe me, nothing is more annoying than the noise of people rummaging through their luggages at 3 in the freaking morning! But A-Style Shinsaibashi GOT IT RIGHT!
Fortunately, I’m always handed the top floor of the bunk bed. God, I love climbing! The capsules are sturdy and pretty soundproof so I did not hear a single snore, thank goodness
Standard Capsule Bed
A-Style Shinsaibashi staff also made it clear that the sleeping area is a no-talk, no-phone, silent zone and almost every facility comes with a keycard lock too. Everything felt cozy and secure. I had a great stay and I highly recommend it for female and solo travelers. (Definitely coming back!)

Second day of the trip was spent shopping in Umeda area. I checked in to the hotel I originally booked first. (I stretched my trip a day early so I had to book a capsule hotel for that) It was raining all day and I didn’t want to just stay in so I hopped from one mall to another in Umeda.

- KYOTO TOUR -

Fushimi Inari Taisha
The next day is for the Kyoto Tour I booked from Klook. I’ve already been to almost half of places included in the itinerary hence the not-so-much photos but I’ll include a link of detailed kwento about these places.


TRAVEL KYOTO: Fushimi Inari Taisha (2017)


Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
TIP: if you’re not coming through a guided tour I suggest going to these places very early in the morning. These are open for the public any time of the day so beat the crowd, get here at 6 or 7am and be Instagram photo-ready!




TRAVEL KYOTO: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest (2017)

Sagano Romantic Train
I booked this tour for the sole purpose of Cherry Blossom Viewing via ‘Romantic train’. After Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and our buffet-style lunch, our tour bus went straight to the train station. (Train fare included in the tour)


Technically, it was the best viewing week but then IT FREAKING. RAINED. ONE. DAY. BEFORE! I sighed in defeat because I already knew what to expect: Goodbye sakura! So long sakura! Haha



PS: If I’m not taking photos, I usually document my adventures through Instagram stories: @deshibelle 😊

Kiyomizudera
Kiyomizu Temple’s renovation won’t be finished until 2020 so there was not much to see when we went there but Kiyomizudera definitely did not disappoint because surprisingly, I was able to catch some Sakura trees while I was there. Yay!



It was already in the afternoon so the number of tourists did not surprise me anymore. 








Kyoto, you never fail to amaze me! 

Shameless plug! Instagram: @deshibelle 


I usually bring home the “Ema” (wooden wishing plaques) that I buy and keep them as souvenirs but this time I wrote my wish and left the plaque in the temple. These plaques are then burned in a ritual on New Year’s Day to make room for new wishes.


My last day in Kansai was spent mostly for shopping for pasalubong and checking out stores and malls I haven’t gotten a chance to check out before. For someone who likes her things organized and planned, this Spring trip was honestly one of my most laid back trips ever! I did not make any itinerary, booked an additional capsule hotel accommodation at the last minute, and even the guided tour was booked in a rush but everything was all worth it!

PS: I went on another impulsive, unexpected trip again! Oh, how I love adventures!

This was long but thank you for reading! 😊
Deshibelle


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