Day #16 in Japan [Koya-san & Osaka]

About one month prior to the big trip to Japan; I made a reservation to experience a temple lodging stay for one night. The reservation for two people was made online on the official website of the Koyasan Tourist Association and Shukubo. I am not used to the Japanese-style toilets so I opted for the modern Japanese style (bath/toilet common style) arrangement, which was ¥11,000 a night (per person). So our one night stay for two people was ¥22,000 ($232.00 CAD).

This blog posts detailed the next morning at Koya-san (check-out day).

Wed, Dec 25, 2013 (Day #16)

This year, I wanted to spend part of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day away from the city hence the temple lodging. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Christmas and celebrate it every year. However, it was just nice to be able to do something different, and simple.

Staying at Shojoshin-in Temple for the night was an absolutely wonderful experience, and it was just so serene. I highly recommend Shojoshin-in Temple as the monks and staff were extremely friendly and polite, and the room was rather spacious for its means.


Breakfast was served promptly at 7 am in the same room that we had dinner. Like the dinner that we had the previous night; the breakfast was all vegetarian and nicely presented. My personal favorites of the entire meal were the miso soup and beans; so tasty!

Exploring Shojoshin-in Temple

Shojoshin-in Temple is one of the oldest temples on Mount Koya (Koyasan). Its large structure looked absolutely magnificent, and there's a Japanese style garden in the backyard. 

Leaving Koyasan for Namba (Osaka)

Unfortunately, Osaka wasn't part of our itinerary as I couldn't fit exploring that city into our schedule. However, we decided to make an impromptu stop at JR Osaka Station for lunch. We actually ate at two places for lunch inside of the station as the portions are rather small.

Soba (unknown English name of restaurant) (lunch)

The first place was a small soba shop (name is unknown in English). The both of us got the tori-nanba soba (¥880 x 2) which was served with chicken and green onion. 

Din Tai Fung (lunch)

I randomly chose Din Tai Fung as their decor appealed to me. I didn't even know that this was an award-winning Taiwan chain until my return to Toronto when someone told me that there was a "fake version" in T.O.

Prawn fritter with mayonnaise sauce (¥840)
Fried rice with shrimp set (¥1470)
Shrimp stick spring roll (¥315)
After lunch, my boyfriend decided to get some dessert.

So we stopped at this one place specializing in sweets and he got himself some kind of mango fruit cup (¥494).

 I skipped desserts, and just got myself a venti green tea latte from Starbucks (¥590).

We walked around Takashimaya (mall underground JR Osaka Station) for a bit, and then it was time to head off to Okayama; a city in Japan.

Both of us had our JR Rail Passes but we didn't even bother to line up to get reserved seats. Rush hour was over so it was completely unnecessary as there were plenty of seats available in the non-reserved section at this time.

So off we went to Okayama!

The trip took an estimated 53 minutes and our hotel was only a 10-minute walk from the station. The one great thing about the hotels in Japan is how meticulous they are; I liked the folding cranes on top of our robes.

The entire day was really exhausting as we've been up since 7 am. So we decided to relax in the hotel and end the day with dinner. A friend of mine who have been living in Japan for the past few years actually recommended the city. However, there isn't really that much to do in this city. He later told me that he probably wouldn't have suggested the place lol.

Daisyo Izakaya (dinner)

Anyways as it was really late at night when we decided to have dinner; many restaurants have already closed or near closing. We searched online and saw that there was a Lawson nearby so we walked in that direction. Directly across from Lawson was an izakaya called Daisyo. I mentioned earlier that Okayama wasn't very English-friendly and this was illustrated as the menu was completely in Japanese, and none of the servers understood English. We randomly chose items based on the pictures (the prices are listed in Japanese and not numerical as well).

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