Alhamdulillah just arrived home from our trip to west part of Japan yeayyyy. We managed to cover Osaka-Nara-Kobe-Kyoto-Tokyo in 6 days. Phewww. Of course with lots of walking, climbing and running. So how should I start?
Since I'm currently living in Saitama (East part of Japan-which is about 40 mins away from Tokyo), I bought express bus tickets to Osaka from Willer Express. Check out their websites ! The price is quite reasonable for 5 star express bus (I'm telling you this bus is wayyy much better than air asia flight). It took around 7 hours to reach Umeda-Osaka from Tokyo. I took 7.20 am bus from JR Osaki station and reached Willer bus terminal Osaka Umeda around 3.30pm. You can take night bus but since my friends from Malaysia will be arriving Kansai Airport around 4pm I chose to take the morning bus. The price is about 4800 yen per person. It can be cheaper or higher depends upon your travel date. The coolest thing about Japan is you can purchase or even pay off your bill in most of the convenience stores. I even made payment for bus at convenience store after reserving seats from their websites.
Upon arriving the bus terminal, I straight away went to the tourist information center near the station asking for way to JR Umeda train station. It is still in walking distance but walking with heavy luggage is a bit tiring (so be physically and mentally prepared!) Since Im having the status of residence-- I am not eligible to buy Kansai Through Pass or Osaka Amazing Pass. However, since I served as tourist guide I am eligible for both passes. Yeayyy. If you come for a short visit, you'll have no problem buying these passes. Make sure to have enough cash and show your passport.They sell this passes in few places such as JR Umeda station and Kansai Airport. Osaka Amazing Pass is like real amazinggg it allows unlimited one day ride of metro and also numbers of attraction such as Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Santa Maria Cruise, Observatory and others. If you add up all the expenses alone without using Osaka Amazing Pass the expenses is much higher--- I'm telling you its totally worth it if you get these passes beforehand!
Day 2 - Osaka
We travel as early as 7.00 am to get to Universal Studio Japan. Since we planned to spent entire day at USJ we decided not to use any of our pass to avoid wasting one day without using the pass (note that these pass have activation time that will expires in 24 hours-- for example since Kansai Thru Pass is 3 days pass and if you start using it at 7.00 am it will expires at 7.00 am the next day and that is considered as 1 day). You can purchase USJ tickets at the entrance but please come earlyyy or buy tickets online and of course you gonna need help from google translate ^.^
Day 3 - Osaka
This time we have decided to tour on Osaka the whole day. Guess what we left as early as 7.00 am and came back to homestay at 11.00 pm with 30 k steps only on that particular day. Phewww. The perfect choice is to use your Osaka Amazing Pass. It's a little bit tired if you wrongly planned your trip by going back and forth. So make sure to start you tour with the farthest place. I end up going to Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Santa Maria Cruise, Observatory, Osaka Castle and many more places for free with Osaka Amazing Pass.
Day 4 - Kobe & Nara
For Kobe and Nara we used Kansai Thru Pass. This time its a light tour since between Nara and Kobe it took around 2 hours train. In Nara we visited Nara Deer Park -- its just a public park with lots of deer. You can feed them too! After that we made move to Nara Tourist Centre. You can try Yukata for free and they give you free pictures of you in Yukata, folding paper craft and other. In Kobe we took Kobe loop bus and visited few places like Kobe Tower. Together with these pass they provide you a discount tickets for this loop bus.
Day 5 - Kyoto
We travel from Osaka to Kyoto early in the morning and stored our luggage in the lockers since we gonna travel to Tokyo using Shinkansen from Kyoto (it's cheaper and less tiring compared to travelling from Osaka plus we need to check out at 11.00 am and its definitely impossible if we're going to visit Kyoto for the whole day). It's always a must to ask for train map. The most awaited place in Kyoto is definitely --- Arashiyama Bamboo Forest! Take your time to stroll and walking down the path of bamboo. For Shinkansen price, since we travel in a large group of 9, they gave discount too which help us to save few yen for shoppingggg!
As for halal food you can always search on Have Halal Will Travel Apps. They provide you information of Halal Foods and Restaurant.
Day 6 - Mount Fuji Trip
It's definitely a must to enjoy the breathtaking view of mount fuji. We reserved express bus from Shinjuku Station to Kawaguchi Station. You can check their websites to reserved and for payment you can directly make payment at the counter upon arriving to Shinjuku Station. As we arrived Kawaguchi Station, we took public bus to Lake Kawaguchi. And decided to went for Mount Kachi-Kachi ropeway to get a clear view of Mount Fuji.
Day 7 - Tokyo Trip
There are plenty of places to visit in Tokyo including Shibuya, Harajuku, Odaiba (For the rainbow bridge and Gundam), For souvenir shopping, I would recommend you to Asakusa and proceed to Nakamise Street in front of Sensoji Temple for souvenirr. Make sure to survey since different stores sell same goods at different price.
Hope you gonna have a good trip! See ya!