Visited Japan in end Nov after the border has reopened to international tourists. It was a 14-day trip from Kansai to Tokyo via Hokuriku – visiting Fukui Prefecture for the first time.
Overall itin – KIX > Osaka > Arima onsen > Kyoto > Fukui > Kanazawa > Tokyo
Landed in Osaka/KIX and it roughly took about 40 min to exit into the arrivals lobby, despite possessing the 3 QR codes generated by the Visit Japan Web, and there was no line in immigration.
Headed into the Osaka/Umeda by limo bus and checked into Hotel Granvia Osaka. To our surprise, there was a super-long line on Sunday evening (maybe due to the GoTo program as most were locals) and it took like 50 min to get our room key on the highest Executive floor.
Had our first dinner in Japan (in almost 3 years) in a local “kappo” in West Umeda. Food was so delicious – esp the tempura items. Felt a bit sorry for the shop – we’re the only customers in that evening until around 8:30pm when we’re about to leave.
On the next day we took express bus to Arima onsen (our 3rd stay) in 1 hour. After dropping our luggage in the onsen hotel, we hiked up to the Zuihoji Koen (Park), passing by the familiar temples and the public onsen bath along the way. There were some visitors – all locals but not crowded. A senior couple asked me to take photos for them and he offered a handshake after knowing that we’re from Hong Kong.
Koyo had clearly past peak – the driver of the hotel shuttle bus told us it was 1 week ago. We knew it but that’s the earliest timeline we could visit Japan 🙂
Koyo in Arima onsen and Zuihoji Park
2nd stay in Kourokan – annexed ryokan of Gekkoen, Arima onsen
Main Chef Omakase course (5 sets daily)
======> Kyoto (Part 1) ======>