Travel Around Japan (Day #3) : What A Stunning Evening at Dotonbori

*I wrote this post in two languages. Scroll down after the English version if you want to read this post in Bahasa Indonesia .* 

On the third day, we had to exchange our JR Pass receipt because we started using JR Pass on this day. We were going to go to Tokyo by Shinkansen. You can exchange your JR Pass at big stations or airport. Here is the list of JR Office which serve JR Pass exchange service :

  • Haneda International Airport : JR East Travel Service Center ( Arrival Lobby)
  • Narita International Airport Terminal 1-3 : JR Easr Service Center atau Ticket Office.
  • Kansai Airport : Ticket Office
  • Tokyo Station : JR East Travel Service Center (Marunouchi North) atau JR Central Ticket Office (Yaesu North)
  • Shinjuku Station : JR East Travel Service Center (New South Exit)
  • Kyoto Station : JR West Ticket Office

Last night we planned to head to Kyoto at 08.00 am, but we canceled it because the station was flooded by people who went for work. And the train didn’t have any vacant space for us with big and heavy luggages. Because of that reason, we took the train for Tokyo Station at 09.15 am. We took Tozai Line from Nishikasai Station and got off at Otemachi Station. To reach JR Tokyo Station, we just had to walk since it was integrated to Otemachi Station. When we arrived at JR East Travel Service Center, there were few people queueing inside that office. After we got explained about how to use JR Pass, we booked two Shinkansen tickets which was scheduled to depart at 10.30 pm and would arrived at 01.30 pm.

In Kyoto, we stayed at Urban Hotel Minamikusatsu, which was about 20 minutes train ride from JR Kyoto Station to JR Minamikusatsu (through track number two, destination to Yasu or Maibara). We didn’t mind with the extra time from Kyoto to our hotel. With good facilities in the room, Urban Hotel Minamikusatsu had cheaper price than hotel in Central Kyoto. 

It was afternoon when we arrived at Kyoto and it made us confused to rearrange our destinatination. As it was planned, we supposed to buy one day pass bus ticket but it was too late. Finally we decided to travel to Dotonbori, Namba, Osaka. We left our hotel at 03.00 pm and it took 1,5 hours to get to Dotonbori. 

There were three  nearest stations from Dotonbori : JR Namba, Namba Nankai, and Namba Subway. We already had JR Pass so we might searh for the route which was covered by JR Pass. We took train for Shin-Osaka (there was direct train from Minamikusatsu to Shin-Osaka, so you don’t have to transit at Kyoto Station), then transfer to Tennoji. From Tennoji, one more time we changed to JR Namba line.

Hyperdia Schedule from Minamikusatsu to JR Namba

Dotonbori area was 15 minutes walk from JR Namba Station. Dotonbori is part of Osaka, an alley where a stream flows in the middle of the alley. There were many stores in the right side and the left side of the alley. I had never experienced it before, enjoying stream flows in the middle of city. I never experienced it in Jakarta.

Welcome to Dotonbori
 
Suasana Malam di Dotonbori
 

There were so many activities that you could do here. Beside of hanging out at the cafe around the alley, you can ride boat to enjoy the stunning evening at Doronbori. If you want to take an experience at the boat, you hust have to pay JPY 900. 

If you’re interested to shop, Shinsaibhasi is the perfect place to stop by. You could find almost every branded item in here which had cheaper price than in some malls. Shinsaibashi was very near from Dotonbori, it was located at the pedestrian intersection. If you saw Glico Man sign, it means you were near from Shinsaibashi Suji.

Shinsaibashi

Beside of spending your evening, Dotonbory is the perfect place to taste the local foods, such as ramen, udon, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, etc. we decide to eat at restaurant which sold okonomiyaki and takoyaki. We had to queue because that place was full. But we were satisfied enough because they had the best takoyaki and okonomiyaki in town!  

Craving for Okonomiyaki & Takoyaki

 
The Famous Glico Man Sign
 

It was 08.30 pm, we were rushing to head back to Minamikusatsu since it would take 1,5 hours journey by train. Before you go back to your hotel, don’t forget to take a pose in front of Glico Man Sign. 

Hari ketiga adalah hari di mana kami perlu menukarkan JR Pass kami karena hari ini kami pindah ke Kyoto. Penukaran JR Pass biasanya terdapat di bandara dan di stasiun-stasiun besar. Berikut beberapa tempat penukaran JR Pass :

  • Haneda International Airport : JR East Travel Service Center ( Arrival Lobby).
  • Narita International Airport Terminal 1-3 : JR Easr Service Center atau Ticket Office.
  • Kansai Airport : Ticket Office
  • Tokyo Station : JR East Travel Service Center (Marunouchi North) atau JR Central Ticket Office (Yaesu North)
  • Shinjuku Station : JR East Travel Service Center (New South Exit)
  • Kyoto Station : JR West Ticket Office

Mulanya kami berencana berangkat pukul 08.00 am, namun ternyata stasiun dipadati oleh orang-orang yang akan berangkat kerja. Kereta pun masih penuh sehingga kami takut keberadaan koper kami yang superbesar akan mengganggu para penumpang lain. Oleh karena itu, kami pun baru naik kereta pukul 09.15 am. Kami menumpang kereta melalui Tozai Line dan turun di Otemachi Sta, kemudian berjalan ke JR Tokyo Sta (yang masih terintegrasi dengan Otemachi Sta). Antrian belum terlalu panjang saat kami tiba di JR East Travel Service Center, Tokyo Sta. Setelah dijelaskan panjang lebar tentang penggunaan JR Pass, kami pun memesan tiket Shinkansen ke Kyoto pada pukul 10.30 am dan dijadwalkan tiba pukul 01.30 pm.

Hotel kami di Kyoto bernama Urban Hotel Minamikusatsu, yang dapat ditempuh sekitar 20 menit dari JR Kyoto Sta ke JR Minamikusatsu Sta (melalui track 2 dari JR Kyoto dengan tujuan Yasu atau Maibara). Kami tidak masalah dengan waktu ekstra yang perlu kami tempuh dari Kyoto ke hotel kami atau sebaliknya. Dengan kamar yang bagus, harga di Urban Hotel Minamikusatsu ini lebih murah bila dibandingkan hotel-hotel di pusat kota Kyoto.

Tiba terlalu siang di Kyoto membuat kami awalnya sempat bingung menentukan tujuan karena apabila kami membeli one day pass bus ticket maka kami sudah rugi waktu. Apalagi kebanyakan atraksi di Kyoto tutup pada jam 05.00 pm. Akhirnya kami memutuskan untuk berjalan-jalan santai pada malam hari di Dotonbori, Osaka. Kami berangkat dari hotel pukul 03.00 pm dan memerlukan waktu sekitar 1,5 jam untuk menuju Dotonbori. 

Untuk menuju Dotonbori sendiri bisa turun di JR Namba Sta, Namba Nankai, dan Namba Subway. Namun karena kami memiliki JR Pass, maka kami mencari rute yang dicover oleh JR Pass. Rute yang kami ambil adalah sari Minamikusatsu menuju Shin Osaka, lalu pindah kereta ke Tennoji. Setelah tiba di Tennoji, kami pindah kereta yang menuju JR Namba.

Kawasan Dotonbori bisa dicapai sekitar 15 menit berjalan kaki dari JR Namba Sta. Dotonbori sendiri terletak di Osaka, merupakan sebuah jalan yang di tengahnya mengalir sungai dan di sisi kanan kirinya terdapat beragam toko dan restoran. Suasana santai di tepi sungai yang berada di tengah kota seperti itu tidak bisa didapatkan di Jakarta. 

Selain nongkrong di restoran ataupun di tepi sungai, Anda bisa naik boat untuk menikmati keindahan Dotonbori. Anda perlu merogoh kocek JPY 900 untuk menaiki boat tersebut.

Bila Anda berniat untuk belanja, Shinsaibashi adalah tempat yang tepat untuk berbelanja. Hampir semua merk-merk terkenal ada di Shinsaibashi. Harga yang ditawarkan di sana lebih murah dibandingkan di mall di Jepang maupun mall di Indonesia. Shinsaibashi berada sangat dekat dari Dotonbori, hanya berada di persimpangan area pejalan kaki di Dotonbori. Bila Anda sudah melihat Glico Sign, itu berarti Anda sudah dekat dengan Shinsaibashi Suji.

Selain tempat menghabiskan sore, Dotonbori juga tempat yang pas untuk menikmati kuliner. Beberapa makanan khas Jepang tersedia di Dotonbori seperti ramen, udon, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, dll. Kami memilih untuk makan di restoran yang menjual takoyaki dan okonomiyaki. Harus antri masuk sih untuk makan di restoran itu tapi kami tidak kecewa karena rasa takoyaki dan okonomiyakinya enak banget. 

Waktu sudah menunjukkan pukul 08.30 pm, kami pun bergegas pulang mengingat waktu yang harus ditempuh 1,5 jam hingga tiba di hotel kami. Sebelum pulang, jangan lupa berfoto di depan Glico Man ya! 

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