Hidden gems in Osaka/Kyoto

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My last trip to Osaka and Kyoto was a perfect vacation after half year of work, and it was my third time there. Unlike previous trips, this time I didn’t rush at all and I gave up most of the famous sights so I just visited one or two places a day. I tried to explore these cities’ hidden gems, which you won’t find them on guidebooks. And normally I would prefer to walk instead of taking public transport if possible, because then I can have deeper understanding of how the city actually looks like by strolling around 🙂 And the following article is going to introduce some of the “hidden gems” in these two amazing cities. You could consider them if you also want to make your Japan trip different from other tourists!

Nanten-en 

Nanten-en is an authentic  Japanese onsen ryokan located at the suburb area of Osaka, well, a really suburb area of Osaka called Amami. I took 1-hour train to get there from the city, and literally the ryokan is just next to the station. Amami is a small village which doesn’t even have a vending machine or convenient store, the ryokan itself is already the landmark of the village. So for local people, here is definitely an ideal place for weekend getaway; and for foreign tourists, it is a good place to experience the authentic half-board culture in Japanese ryokan with hot spring.

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Source: Internet

Since there’s no other restaurants/convenient stores nearby, you can only choose to have the dinner and breakfast at the hotel, but trust me, this authentic ryokan with over 100-year history knows how to make good Japanese food. I strongly recommend you to choose the Kaiseki Cuisine(懷石料理) for dinner. You can enjoy quality food here with much lower price than in Tokyo or Kyoto.

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The selection of material in Kaiseki Cuisine is based on season and different themes, like this one is called “flower”. (@Fashionmimo)

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Dinner is served in a private guest room and breakfast is in a big dinning room with pleasant garden view, but first, let me take a snapchat 😉 (@Fashionmimo)

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The village and the Amami Station, if you are looking for entertainment, this                         place might be a bit boring but for me, the tranquility here is priceless. (@Fashionmimo)

Chion-in 

Well, Chion-in(知恩院) is well-known. The temple is located at Gion, the heart of Kyoto while also the busiest part of the city. However, even though thousands of people visit the temple at day time, only few of them know that actually you can actually spend a night here.

Nothing is special if you choose to stay here, only if you choose to attend their morning buddhist ceremony, this would be one the the most memorable things you’ve done in Kyoto!

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Source: Internet

Since photo shooting is not allowed during the whole ceremony, so I found the picture on Google. In a nutshell, only hotel guests would be invited to attend the ceremony and it starts at 6:30 every day, which means you need to wake up very early and the staff will lead you to the temple. The whole ritual includes monk chanting and worship. Overall it is a very interesting experience.

AWOMB

Now it’s time to talk about food! AWOMB is an experimental restaurant in Kyoto providing artistic DIY sushi set, which means you can make your own sushi with the material provided like this:

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Super cute isn’t it? I believe that every girl would scream out like I did when they first see this! Despite of the food, the interior decoration of the restaurant should not be ignored as well, it is influenced by Japanese minimalist aesthetic: the gate is too small to be noticed, everything inside is made by wood…

Normally the restaurant is very popular and requires reservation, if you want to walk in, hope you have the same luck as we have! (Yes we made it!)

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Yeah my excited face lol (@Fashionmimo)

AWOMB has two restaurants and a studio, both of the restaurants are in the central area of Kyoto but with different policies, for more detail you can refer to their website http://www.awomb.com/ (@Fashionmimo)

mikaelahuang

29 Comments

  1. January 31, 2017 / 12:59 am

    I love it. We will be back to Kyoto later this year and I was just starting to look for places to visit/stay. Perfect timing. Thank you so much!

    • January 31, 2017 / 12:33 pm

      Thank you very much;) Have a great trip in Kyoto! Hopefully this post would provide u some useful information.

  2. January 31, 2017 / 6:53 am

    WOW ! I wish I had spent more time in Japan on my last holiday! These photos are making me miss it 🙂

    • January 31, 2017 / 12:34 pm

      Thank you! I know that feeling cuz I miss Japan all the time as well😂

  3. January 31, 2017 / 6:55 am

    OMG! I can’t wait to go to Japan when I’m older! Definitely pinning these places to visit.

  4. January 31, 2017 / 12:44 pm

    Amazing photos! I love the food photography, looks super delicious and the whole trip just relaxing!

  5. January 31, 2017 / 11:55 pm

    Your blog is so pretty! and I am so in love with Japan and its culture,
    so pleased that i found you xox

    • February 1, 2017 / 11:18 am

      Thanks dear! I’m happy to know someone who shares the same interest with me too!

  6. February 1, 2017 / 12:38 am

    This is so great! I love your photos. I really hope to go to Japan someday, and will be referencing your blog for some of those recommendations. Thanks for sharing these hidden gems!

    • February 1, 2017 / 11:15 am

      Thank you Tiffany, you are so nice!! xx

  7. February 1, 2017 / 9:25 pm

    Nanten-en looks so beautiful and idyllic. I’ll try to stay there next time we plan a trip to Osaka.

    • February 2, 2017 / 12:49 pm

      greatttt! Share your trip with us later!

  8. February 5, 2017 / 12:32 am

    I love your blog. Its amazing! I just followed you on Bloglovin’. I hope you’ll also like my blog and follow me on there. All the best!
    The Uptowners

    www theuptowners.wordpress.com

    • February 7, 2017 / 9:42 am

      Thanks! your blog is lovely and please keep up the good work!

  9. February 7, 2017 / 3:23 pm

    Amazing culture!!! Beautiful photos !!! True jems !!!
    Wish you a beautiful day !!!

    • February 8, 2017 / 11:36 am

      Thanks Joanna! Wish you a lovely day too!

  10. February 9, 2017 / 1:36 am

    Great pictures and excellent story line, thank you for taking of your time to post the article for us to get to see and read.

  11. February 10, 2017 / 7:04 pm

    Have always wanted to go to Japan. Love it. Great photos!!

  12. February 21, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    I love your blog! I recently followed you, but I only had the chance to really read most of your posts today.

    This post made me want to go to Osaka!! <3

    • February 21, 2017 / 4:01 pm

      Hi Inelle, I’m happy to hear from you and thank you so much for your kind support! xx

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