Japan Photo Diary Part I: Osaka & Kyoto

April 9, 2017
Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Osaka and Kyoto - 1

I apologize for the delay in this post everyone! Poor health and a far-too-old laptop (I’m waiting to pull the trigger on the Microsoft Surface Pro 5 as soon as it debuts) make for an awful combination, but I’m so excited to share my Japan Photo Diary of Osaka and Kyoto with you all finally!

When the hubby and I began the new year, one of our resolutions was to travel more. In our past adventures, we explored the more traditional destinations such as Paris, Rome, and Santorini, but always within a comfortable distance as we both hate long flights. But this time, the allure of Japan beckoned us. 15 hour flights be darned, we decided to fly across the world and spend nearly three weeks in the beautiful Land of the Rising Sun. Starting from the western Kansai region, we began our journey in Osaka and traveled to Kyoto, two cities so geographically close yet all the more unique in their own cultural flair and character.

:: 3 Days in Osaka ::

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Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Osaka - 12 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Osaka - 13 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Osaka - 14 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Osaka - 15 Afternoon lunch at Ichiran Ramen.

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A luxurious late-afternoon massage at The Ritz-Carlton Osaka Spa, which uses only luxury ESPA products.

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Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Osaka - 58 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Osaka - 59 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Osaka - 60 A special “Strawberry Collection” Afternoon Dessert Buffet at The Ritz-Carlton Osaka, available through May 31st, 2017.

Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Osaka - 61 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Osaka - 62 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Osaka - Final Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton Osaka was our first and only choice for our stay in Osaka. Located within walking distance of the Osaka Station and multiple subway stations, it was ideal to get to after a long flight and easily accessible during our stay. The hotel is not only beautiful, decorated in the style of an ornate 18th-century Georgian-style home with beautiful crystal chandeliers and Persian rugs, but it also feels like you’re just at home, no doubt thanks to the amazing hospitality by the team there. With 6 dining options, a boutique shop, gourmet patisserie, and flower shop all on-site, you have everything you might need without even stepping outside the hotel doors. Of all the hotels Matt and I have stayed in so far, we have never felt as welcome and at home as we did at The Ritz-Carlton Osaka. When you find yourself in a foreign country with a huge language barrier, this type of accommodation can make all the difference in the experience. When it came to making reservations or helping us navigate our way throughout the city, The Ritz-Carlton Osaka never failed us once, and we highly recommend it to anyone looking to stay in Osaka for their first time. Special tip: if you visit before May 31st, 2017, make sure to take part in their “Strawberry Collection” afternoon dessert bar with an assortment of sweet and savory strawberry desserts, designed by fashion designer and Chef Oriana Tirabassi.

Food:

  • For Osaka-style tempura, make sure to check out two-Michelin starred Yotaro-Honten. This unassuming restaurant is 95 years old and now run by Chef Touru Ohira, the third-generation in his family to do so. This style of tempura is made with salt and cottonseed-oil, which is much lighter and less greasy tasting than normal tempura prepared in vegetable or sesame oil. Every piece is made table-side when you opt for the set menu, and as promised each piece has a clean finish on the palate. The Sea Bream in rice is a must-have as well.
  • For a late-night meal, head to the famous Mizuno Okonomiyaki for Osaka-style okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) in the Dotonbori Area. The lines outside can attest to the quality and popularity among locals and tourists alike. The restaurant is small with limited seating, but don’t worry- the line moves quickly and the wait is well worth it.
  • If ramen is more your thing, head to Ichiran Ramen right next door. An introvert’s dream, you can potentially enjoy a bowl of ramen here without talking to anybody during your visit. Here you can customize your ramen selection via a vending machine, choose a solitary booth to sit in, and be handed your food through an opening. Not only is the experience unique, but their ramen is also considered some of the best in the world. For those in NYC, you can now experience Ichiran at their Brooklyn outpost, although prices are more than double that of what you may find in Japan.
  • Michelin-starred Takama is small homey restaurant located in north Osaka and known for their hand-made Jyuwari soba. With two dining tables seating only 10, it’s imperative that you make a reservation. They close when their soba sells out so make sure to go sooner in the day than later! My personal recommendation: the duck-broth soba set- you won’t regret it.

Other Tips: Spend an afternoon or a late night in Dotonbori, a large down-town area housing countless restaurants, arcades, shops and more. This area is also home to the famous Glico Running Man Sign. This advertisement is by none other than the famous Pocky manufacturer and has endured for over 70 years. This simple sign of a man running to victory is a favorite for locals celebrating sports victories and has become a symbol for success. For unobstructed views of Osaka from high above, the Floating Gardens of the Umeda Sky Building offer the best views of Osaka from the 39th floor. Sites such as the Osaka Castle (don’t miss the green tea ice creams in front of the castle), the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, and Shitennoji Temple are also beautiful attractions rich in history and religious influence.

:: 4 Days in Kyoto ::

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A morning visit to the Zenrin-ji Temple.

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Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 14 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 15 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 16 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 17 An afternoon visit to the Kinkaku-ji or Golden Pavillion Temple, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 18 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 19 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 20 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 21 The only Pierre Hermé in Kyoto is located inside The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto.

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The 10,000 Torii gates at the Fushimi Inari Shrine.

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The hills of the preserved historical district Higashiyama

Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 39 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 40 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 41 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 42 One of the best kaiseiki meals we enjoyed at Giro Giro Hitoshina.

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Morning caffeine fix at % Arabica on the banks of the Ōi River.

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Beautifully designed interiors back at The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto. The design concept is based on five Japanese words/ feelings: Utage (festive), Seido (serenity and movement), Miyabi (elegance), Hana (splendid), and Nagomi (harmony).

Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 58 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 59 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 60 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 61 A quick visit to CLAM Coffee Sarasa, well worth the detour.
Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 62 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 63 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 64 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 65 Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - 66 A final dinner in Kyoto at Sumibi Torito for chicken yakitori.

Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Kyoto - Final

Hotel: Given the amazing experience during our stay in Osaka, Matt and I opted for The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto during the second leg of our journey in the Kansai region. This property sits on the Kamogawa river and many of their rooms and suites, ours included, offers sweeping views of the riverbanks and the Higashiyama mountains- a beautiful sight to wake up to and enjoy a sun-drenched breakfast beside floor-to-ceiling windows. What we loved about this property was the refined balance between the traditional Japanese influences and modern touches such as all the latest technological appliances, automated room controls, and luxurious suite facilities. Overall, the Kyoto hotel felt like a more modern sister to its Osaka counterpart in the Kansai region. We didn’t encounter as many staff as we did during our stay in Osaka and feel this might be well suited for perhaps those on business or couples who enjoy their privacy. Nonetheless, it was one of the best properties we have stayed in and look forward to returning.

Food:

  • One of our most memorable breakfasts (besides the amazing spreads provided by The Ritz-Carlton properties) was at a three-Michelin starred restaurant called Hyotei. While we couldn’t make it for a full kaiseki lunch or dinner, thankfully Hyotei also serves a phenomenal set breakfast menu. We opted for the Torigayu chicken rice porridge set, which was so filling that we were able to last well past lunchtime without an additional meal. If you can’t secure a reservation for lunch or dinner (unless you do so well in advance), breakfast here is the next best option and not to be missed.
  • Giro Giro Hitoshina is a small but famous restaurant on the banks of the Takase Canal. With an outpost in Paris, Giro Giro is one of the best kaiseki restaurants offering innovative fusion Japanese fare. The atmosphere is as lively as the food is good. This is definitely what you might call hipster kaiseki- oxymoronic as that may be.
  • On our final night in Kyoto, the weather turned for the worse, and we experienced torrential downpour. Despite this, we trekked out to Sumibi Torito and tuns out, it was well worth it. We simply couldn’t leave Kyoto without trying yakitori or skewers, and Sumibi served up some of the best. This place focuses primarily on various parts of the chicken, so try everything on the menu as portions are bite-size as is typical with yakitori.
  • For coffee lovers, CLAMP Coffee Sarasa is a joy.  With freshly in-house roasted beans, they really know their coffee. The location may be confusing as it’s located at the end of a small alley, but keep going and you’ll find a beautifully rustic cafe and delicious coffee paired with simple pastries. For your early  morning hike in Arashiyama, head to the % Arabica outpost by the Ōi River. This coffee shop as well as its parent location in Higashiyama boasts one of the most beautifully designed cafes that draw people in for the interior alone. Of course, the coffee is exceptional as well, especially with latte-art world champion Junichi Yamaguchi at the helm.

Other Tips: Typical sights such as the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and Fushimi Inari should not be missed, not to mention the numerous historically-rich spots such as the Philosopher’s Walk and countless temples. The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove feels other-worldly, with bamboo stalks surrounding you and filling the place with an ethereal and serene light. For photography enthusiasts, go at sunrise and make sure to bring a tripod as you’ll need to shoot at a lower shutter speed given the deceptively low levels of light. After this, cross the bridge over the Ōi River and visit the Iwatayama Monkey Park. Here you can view the area from high above and feed the wild monkeys. Make sure to visit Fushimi Inari’s 10,000 Torii Gates as well. Not only are they Japan’s number one tourist destination, but it is also a revered shrine for all who come to purchase Torii gates to appeal for good fortune, especially businessmen. The entire circuit to the mountain top takes approximately 2-3 hours round trip so comfortable shoes are of the utmost importance. Other notable areas to visit include Gion, where you may see geishas shuffling between tea houses; Higashiyama, a historical district around the Kiyomizudera Temple; and the various UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Kinkakuji Pavilion, one of the most awe-inspiring sights we’ve come across in our travels.

Brown Eyed Toast - Japan Photo Diary Osaka and Kyoto - Final The sunrise from our room at The Ritz-Carlton Osaka.

Final Tips: Coming from NYC where you can get by on a single credit card, we were surprised to find that Japan is such a cash-centric country. Make sure to always keep cash on you, preferably in a change purse. When using public transportation, never throw away your subway tickets as you will need them to exit stations. Further, fares are based on expected distance traveled, and if you travel further or less than what the original fare was purchased for, you may always get a fare adjustment before exiting the final station. Finally, make any restaurant reservations well in advance (think 30-60 days). Michelin-starred and other elite restaurants usually only accept reservations from hotel concierge or from prior visitors who can refer you. Japan also has the most restrictive reservation policies, with hefty late or cancellation fees, so arriving on time is imperative.

When we set out for this trip, we knew so little of what to expect in Japan besides preconceived notions of what Tokyo may be like. What we found visiting the Kansai region was a fantastic balance between the modern infrastructure and city life offered in Osaka and the beautiful, cultural richness of Kyoto. We regret not taking more photos due to the cold (we booked the trip when forecasts read 60 degrees, but turns out the temperature was just like that of frigid NYC) but are nonetheless very grateful for the experience. Next time we’ll make sure to visit during spring in time for the cherry blossoms 🙂

If you have any other questions or tips, make sure to leave them in the comments. As always, thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed!

A big thank you for The Ritz-Carlton properties in Osaka and Kyoto for such incredible accommodations during our stay. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Learn more here: The Ritz-Carlton Osaka and The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto.

Signature xo Soo

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30 Comments

  • Reply Jacqueline April 9, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    YAY! Glad you were able to get this post up! Sorry about your computer issues that’s seriously the worst. I’ve really been considering adding Japan as a place to visit. Your photo diary is giving me serious fomo and half priced ramen sounds sooooo good. I bet all the food is so amazing. I don’t blame you for wanting to stay somewhere that’s walking distances to subways and such. You’re a trooper for doing at 15 hour flight! I’ll make sure to plan out my reservations well in advance as you suggested!

  • Reply Candace April 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Longer flights can be a bit of a bore (and even more of a risk for being in the air that long), but wasn’t that 15 hour flight well worth it so experience all this beauty? Japan has always been on my list to travel and now I’m more comfortable knowing I have several options of places to visit there from reading this. Osaka definitely seems like my favorite out of the 2 cities because of all the beautiful architecture, especially the Shitennoji Temple. Just the design of the building makes me want to go inside! I sure wouldn’t mind staying at that Ritz-Carlton in Osaka either. Hand written, personalized notes have always been my soft spot 🙂

    http://www.thebeautybeau.com

    thebeautybeau.com
  • Reply Michelle @LeHoarder.com April 9, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    OMG Soo, so far your trip looks amazing! Your photos are stunning and those Ritz locations are gorgeous! What a dream! Those long flights really are hard. I make sure to stay at least 2-3 weeks anywhere that needs a 12+ hr trip – otherwise I’m totally jetlagged the whole time LOL. And I hear you, it’s hard to take pics when it’s bitter cold out. This year really was a doozy! Can’t wait to see the rest of your trip!
    XO
    http://www.lehoarder.com/

    lehoarder.com
  • Reply Helen Chik April 10, 2017 at 3:20 am

    I haven’t actually had a chance to work with the Ritz Carlton yet but the ones in Shanghai are amazing and it seems their standards are upheld all over the world and you just can’t beat Japanese hospitality!! Your photo diary is incredible and making me want to head back to Japan now even though it’s been low on my priority list. Let’s just say you’ve just bumped it up significantly on the list!!!

    Glad you’re back and posting again Soo!

    Helen xx
    http://helenchik.com

    helenchik.com
  • Reply Lisa Mao April 10, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I know the struggles of long flights but honestly once you get past the (15 hour long) flight, it’s so worth it so be exposed to the culture from halfway across the world, so different from the western culture we grew up with.
    Osaka has been a place I’ve been wanting to visit, the hotel you stayed at there looks incredibly beautiful in a very Victorian style decor – that photo you took in the hallway is breathtaking (God and that photo of their spa? Take me now). Pictures speak louder than words and the first three days at Osaka looked amazing. Especially that ichiran ramen omg girl you know I love my ramen especially if I can customize it I’m all over that.
    I have to say Kyoto was my fav from the two – it has a much more suburban vibe that makes it seem more low key and comfortable. I love to be surrounded by nature so that’s no surprise hehe. The arashiyama bamboo forest you walked through is a site I’d love to see for myself one day, definitely looked so ethereal.
    One thing I know for sure. The ritz Carlton is the hotel of choice for traveling – it made your travel experience all the more incredible with how accommodating they are. Something that’s a MUST when I go traveling.

    Wanderlustts
    http://www.wanderlustts.com

    Wanderlustts.com
  • Reply Jennifer Lee Quattrucci April 10, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Dear Soo,
    It has been such an extreme pleasure to read and reflect upon your Japan Photo Diary Part 1: Osaka & Kyoto.
    I’ve enjoyed all your travel posts and I’m glad the allure of Japan beckoned you to take the long flight. It’s definitely true that the two cities were so geographically close yet so unique in their own cultural flair and character and you proved this time and again with all these magnificent photos and such fabulous descriptions of all the regions had to offer.
    The view of Osaka from the Floating Garden Observatory of the Umeda Sky Building is completely amazing! I would absolutely love to experience a luxurious late-afternoon massage at the Ritz-Carlton Osaka Spa ! That’s so wonderful that they use only luxury ESPA products.
    Your late night meal at the famous Mizuno Okonomiyaki looks absolutely delightful! I absolutely adore the capture of the spectacular “Strawberry Collection” at the Ritz-Carlton Osaka.
    Everything about the Ritz -Carlton Osaka and also the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto completely impressed me ! The accommodations and service takes my breathe away.
    I felt like I was right there with you as you visited the Zenrin-ji Temple and the Philosopher’s Walk in Kyoto.
    Thank you so much, Soo , for such a beautiful account!
    Yours truly,
    Jennifer

    Mommyteacherfashionista.wordpress.com
  • Reply Sarah April 10, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Japan is a country that I have always wanted to visit. Living in South East Asia, the flight isn’t as long for me, so I should make the most of it while I am in the region. And I want to book my trip even faster, especially after looking through your picturesque post.

    The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Osaka looks absolutely gorgeous, I love that it is conveniently located and has a range of amenities within its premises. I am totally eyeing the Strawberry Collection dessert bar. It looks so beautiful, I would love to try each and every dessert. And the view of Osaka from the Floating Garden Observatory looks breathtakingly beautiful.

    But while I really love the vibe of Osaka, I would have to say that I love your photographs from Kyoto more. My favourite picture is of both of you walking inside the Fushimi Inari Shrine.

    There is so much to do in both cities, I could easily plan my trip just by following your experiences. Especially with both of your hotels choices. Not only do they look fantastic but there location in both cites is perfect.

    And I think a visit during Spring would be the perfect time for me. As I would love to see the cherry blossom trees :).

    xxx
    Sarah
    sarah.x.atiq@gmail.com

    sarahatiq.com
  • Reply Open Kloset April 10, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Hey Sweetie,
    How are you?
    I don’t even know where to Start, Because it is such an Amazing and Detailed post about The Ritz-Carlton Osaka and Kyoto:)
    I am a Travel Blogger so I always love to Read Reviews about Hotels.
    I had a Chance to stay in Ritz-Carlton Lisbon and I just Loved The Design about the Hotel.
    Really Loved that you made a Very Detailed post about Everything, this is sooo Important.
    The Osaka Hotel Room and Bathroom is sooo Elegant and Sophisticated:)
    The Photo While you are Sitting next to the Window is Just Breathtaking:)
    I was Just Obsessed about the Takama Michelin Starred Restaurant:) Need to Visit for sure:)
    The “Strawberry Collection” Afternoon Dessert Buffet was Something like a Dream, The Photos are So Beautiful and I was just Drooling:) The Chef and Fashion Designer Oriana Tirabassi so Talented:)

    The Kyoto Hotel is Amazing as well, Loved the Design concept based on Five Japanese Word:)
    I am In Love with Japanese Design actually, I red many books about it:)
    The Chicken Yakitori at Sumibi Torito Looked just like Heaven, I am sure tasted as well:)
    Really Enjoyed this Review:) Want to visit Both Hotel For sure:)
    And your Final Tips were super Useful!
    Love Open Kloset By Karina
    Happy Monday Beautiful

    openklosetfashion.blogspot.pt
  • Reply Shalini April 10, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Soo, these are lovely capture of Japan. I can totally relate to you when it comes to long flights. I tend to fly business most times if our flight is over 7 hours. I cannot take the cramped leg space.
    I absolutely loved your Osaka experience. I am so sad we didn’t get to go to Osaka due to our time limit in Japan, but after reading and seeing your pictures, I will make sure to do a trip next time. The floating garden sounds wonderful and the sea bream over rice at Yotaro looks so good! I must try when I am in Osaka next.
    Your Kyoto pictures took me back to Kyoto. It is one of my fav cities in the world. The quaint streets and beautiful architecture just got to me. Loved all your photos of philosopher path and Tori gates. Also, picking the Ritz Carlton for both destinations is the best decision you guys made. Traveling can be exhausting sometimes, especially long distance so coming back to an excellent hotel with impeccable service is the best! Thanks for sharing your Japan diaries. I cannot wait to go back soon. xo

  • Reply Christine Kong April 10, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    I love this travel diary because of all the amazing photos and details about your trip, but also because I just went to Japan in the Fall and sadly only was able to visit Tokyo. Your diary of Osaka and Kyoto make me want to go back and check out these equally beautiful and historic cities. I am a fan of the Ritz Carlton properties and these that you stayed in both seem to meet and exceed the Ritz standard of luxury. I love the traditional Japan influences as well as the modern touches to the beautiful hotels. The breakfast bento boxes look so delicious and the welcome tray in Osaka is too perfect to eat. You were able to see and visit so many incredible sites in both cities. I’ve seen the 10,000 Torii gates in so many photos and really wanted to go there myself while I was in Japan but didn’t make it. I also long to see the traditional kimonos in Kyoto and the geishas in person…maybe on my next trip. I will definitely have to revisit your travel diary when I go to Japan again because I will make sure to visit these cities and even stay at the Ritz hotels when we go again. xoxo, Christine
    http://dailykongfidence.com/

    dailykongfidence.com
  • Reply Aimara April 10, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    These photos are breathtaking! My parents visited Japan a few years back and they were in love! Everything looks beyond beautiful, like unreal! I hate long flights too but it seems like it was worth it!
    Hope your health is better now girl. Better late than never to share these amazing photos!
    Thank you so much for all these tips on hotels, restaurants, reservations, cash.. I mean.. Amazing post girl!
    Thanks for sharing! I’m wanderlusting heavily right now!
    XO
    Aimara
    http://www.waysofstyle.com

  • Reply Lily April 10, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Love every picture! You made me want to go to Japan so badly. Really enjoy reading the post.

  • Reply Tandya April 10, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Such a great post! I remember you posting these photos on Instagram a while ago! Quality over quantity, and this post is quality. I love how you are so detailed in your posts. I never really thought about going to Japan before, but your pictures make me feel otherwise. It’s worth it, but still such a long flight though! I have been flying literally since before the age of 1 and I get anxiety now! (probably from watching the news too much) Flying for me is however a necessity since I have family in the UK. Even those 10 hours kill me, I can’t imagine anything longer than that! I am also OBSESSED with all things Ramen, and I see you ate that there! YUM! The hotels that you stayed at also look lovely. You can never go wrong with the Ritz.

  • Reply Andreea Birsan April 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Soo, you took so many gorgeous pictures in Japan! I really loved traveling there through your photos! Japan is on my bucket list for so long, but what stops me from going there is the long flight. As you have pointed out, long flights are out of the comfort zone and places in Europe are handier to book! Really hope I’ll make it there the next year, so I can reunite with one of my best friend who happen to live in Kyoto. Now after seeing and reading more about Osaka, I will have to go there as well. The castel looks fantastic and the services provided by Ritz are beyond perfect! I’d have to agree with you, accommodation like that really makes the difference when you deal with such a strong language barrier. Not surprised by the fact that they are more into paying by cash instead by card. Ran into the same problem into my Latest trip to Netherlands, and I wish I had cash on me, haha. Running all day to ATM’s is no good. As for the public transportation tickets, I’ll keep that tip in mind. Oh and by the way, I forgot to mention that I’m really lusting over that strawberry buffet which looks oh, so delicious! It was a pleasure reading your post. x

    Andreea

    couturezilla.com
  • Reply EVA April 11, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Absolutelly stunning and unique experience to visit the best developed country in the World. So many traditions and great story about their culture. Yo impressed me with these pictures and so etailed post. The JAPAN culture is endless. Happy to travel throghout you thoughts and pictures SUPER WORK!
    XX
    EVA
    http://www.themermaidfashion.com

    themermaidfashion.com
  • Reply EVA April 11, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Absolutely stunning and unique experience to visit the best developed country in the World. So many traditions and great story about their culture. You impressed me with these pictures and good detailed post. The JAPAN culture is endless. Happy to travel throghout you thoughts and pictures in Osaka and Kyoto. SUPER WORK!
    XX
    EVA
    http://www.themermaidfashion.com
    themermaidfashion.com

    themermaidfashion.com
  • Reply Vanessa April 11, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Wow, this post is amazing! The pictures are absolutely breathtaking, I feel like I’m there myself. I totally agree with you, long flights can be stressing and boring sometimes but it looks like it was totally worth it! I’ve personally never been to Kyoto or Osaka but they look magnificent! I especially loved the pictures of the hotel at Osaka, they’re stunning. Thank you for sharing, you gave me some good trip ideas.

    Vanessa

    http://thefashionstatement.net

    thefashionstatement.net
  • Reply manda April 11, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    I bet you are so glad that you finally were able to get your post up and that you made that long flight! I love every Ritz Carlton I’ve been too. They always have such a great spread like you just discussed. I really love the decor of the Ritz Kyoto. Just magnificent. Such a great tip about bringing cash that’s definitely good to know! Love that you detailed your experience so well in addition to your food recommendations. What a great review!
    Manda | http://EvocativelyChosen.com
    evocatelychosen.com

    evocatelychosen.com
  • Reply Sheree April 12, 2017 at 1:01 am

    Your travel diary of Osaka and Kyoto is so beautiful! You certainly have a great eye capturing the lifestyle and streets of Japan. I’ve always loved reading people’s travelogues as if I am there myself. The 10,000 Torii gate is one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit; my best friend went there and was able to take photos dressed in traditional kimono there with her husband and it looked beautiful! I can’t wait to see more photos.

    ~ xo Sheree
    Posh Classy Mom
    Instagram

    poshclassymom.com
  • Reply Rachel Holliday April 12, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Oh my gosh your photos look like an actual travel brochure! I’ve always wanted to go to Japan and this makes me want to visit Osaka even more- I like how eclectic it looks, from the classic architecture of the castle and temples, to the towering sky scrapers! That bamboo forest looks so unbelievably breathtaking too. The Ritz-Carlton looks like such a luxurious choice- you must have felt like an absolute queen in this palace.

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

    thedailyluxe.net
  • Reply Mandy Arisa April 12, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Oh my gosh Soo! I have been waiting for this blog post ever since I saw your photos on instagram. Where do I start, there are so many things in this blog post that kept me intrigued the entire way. I’m glad you were able to show me what The Ritz Carlton hotels in Osaka and Kyoto were like because I’m actually considering a trip to Kyoto and the hotel looks amazing from your experience above.

    Also I saw that you ate at Ichiran Ramen – that is seriously my favourite!! I’m craving it so much after seeing your photos. I heard there is one in NYC and totally can’t wait to try it when I visit. The food at The Ritz also looks amazing – I can see you had an amazing time! I need to travel more just like you 🙂

    http://www.ministryforstyle.com

    x Mandy

    ministryforstyle.com
  • Reply Lily Rose April 12, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Oh my freaking god, your Japan trip is a dream. Japan has been on my bucket list to visit for so long. I only thought I would visit Tokyo, but now I might have to make a stop in Osaka too. How close are they from each other? I’m absolutely in love with the Ritz Carlton hotel you stayed at in Osaka, the 18th century Georgian style decor is so royal and I’m all about that princess/queen style. Besides that, the rest of the trip is amazing. The food, the structures, the temples, the markets! I’m just daydreaming over here of tasting ramen from a restaurant in Japan… Crazy how you have to make reservation 30-60 days in advance for those Michelin star restaurant. But I bet it’s totally worth it!

    -Lily from With Love Lily Rose

    withlovelilyrose.com
  • Reply Kierra April 12, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    What a great way to really document your trip and also so happy that your husband and you opted to travel more this year. That is such a great plan. I can’t wait to see more adventures that you guys take. I am loving all the photos you have taken. You will have these as memories as well, and memories are always needed to look back on. I have never been to Japan, but I hope to make it there someday. The culture looks to be amazing and very eye opening. The buildings are also so gorgeous. Your photos really captured it all. The ethnic food, the wildlife, Geishas. I loved learning about Geishas in school . The 10,000 Torii Gates looks to be awesome too. This is one thing I’ve never heard about. I’d love to see more photos of this location.
    I’m sure the spring time is so gorgeous there and I’ll try to plan my time to travel there in the spring/summer as well. I know what you mean about going to a place and not knowing what to expect. Italy was the same way…. they used a lot more money currency then credit cards. One thing you didn’t mention was, “What was the best part of your trip?”

    After reading this Osaka and Kyoto are now added to the bucket list.

    naturallyfarout.com
  • Reply Gina April 12, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    What an excellent travel diary full of magnificent details. I love reading this post, and definitely, I would love to visit Osaka and Kyoto. The pictures are so beautiful as it is the hotel!!! thank you for sharing this grandeur experience!!! love it to the max!!!

    xx, Gina

    artsyrunway.com
  • Reply Maryam April 12, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Your travelogue is very interesting and detailed. I am with you about long flights. 15 hour flight is pretty long but you guys chose your hotel wisely. Traveling can be exhausting so staying at a nice hotel like Ritz Carlton is a smart decision. I always pictured Japan as a place with lots of tall buildings, similar to NYC but reading your post, I learned there’s more to it. I like the architecture specially in Kyoto and the floating garden in Osaka has just been added to my bucket list 🙂 Thanks for the tips on coffee shops too, I am a huge coffee lover so its good to know who serves the best coffee.

    xo, Maryam
    http://www.glamandposh.com

  • Reply AMC April 13, 2017 at 3:29 am

    I’ve been waiting for this blog after seeing all your posts on Insta! Loved reading all about your experience in Japan.

    I’m heading overseas next week and I’m staying at the Ritz Carlton in Abu Dhabi. I am even more excited after seeing that as it looks incredible and know their standard of hotels are so high 👌🏾

    After my brother in law to be and His girl friend went to Japan, I have been interested in going but after reading this, even more so! Sumibi Torito sounds so good! I looked up their website and it all sounds so good! I love Japanese food so I would not be able to leave without visiting here and arashiyama bamboo grove.

  • Reply Eliza April 13, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Everything looks absolutely fascinating! The Osaka is just like another world to me, so futuristic and breathtaking.
    I’ve never been to any of Asian countries before, but I’d love to visit some of those places some day. I was absolutely fascinated by the food in Osaka, it looks so unusual to me. I wouldn’t survive there for sure, haha! I would not dare eat any of these things.
    Kyoto looks more familiar to me, and this is definitely the place I would love to visit. It’s more pleasant and home-like, loving it. All in all, I think this is such a great experience to learn a bit about different cultures and traditions! And the photos are so great, the whole atmosphere of both of these place is just amazing!

    Cheers, Eliza | http://www.fashion-confession.com

    fashion-confession.com
  • Reply Queen Horsfall April 13, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    I travel so much, that used to long flights and long rides. But definitely understand you if you are not used to it. Japan is actually on our travel list to travel, specially since my husband is half Japanese, it would be weird to not travel there. I was so pleased to read your post, what you did and ate, because it will make easier our trip, to see same stuff that you done. My husband is a big fan of coffee, we would def visit it. I never stayed at Ritz properties but they look amazing, I hope I can stay there soon. We are about to take our next road trip 😉

  • Reply marcy April 13, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    WOW babe absolutely love reading this great post!! Japan its been in top of my bucket list since always but is so difficult for me to go because is to far hahaha and also the season that I always want to go everything is fully book. My boyfriend is kind off living in Tokyo whenever he is not traveling ( which means he is never there) but I still have an excuse to visit. The pictures are absolutely stunning and the Ritz looks like the place to stay.
    Thanks for all the tips and recommendations will make sure to take them in count when I visit soon.

    xoxo
    Marcy

    marcyyu.com
  • Reply Elif Kadioglu April 13, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    What an excellent trip! The pictures are absolutely breathtaking! Japan is a country that I have always wanted to visit, especially Tokyo but reading this post I also would love to visit Osaka and Kyoto! The Ritz-Carlton hotel looks really amazing! I love luxury bathroom and their interior. And such a beautiful sunrise from your room in Osaka. Giro Giro food pictures looks so good, this makes me wanna visit Japan even more.
    I am so with you, long flights can be exhausting but in the end it is all worth it!
    xoxo
    Elif

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