Aug 12 Kyoto – eigamura, Uji and off to Tokyo

The girls will be leaving by regular train to Tokyo at 2.30pm. I would be taking the 8pm plus shinkansen to Tokyo. We’ll be meeting at the train station near the place we’ll be staying in.

Tips on going to Eigamura

We have one last place to visit in Kyoto. The Kyoto Studio Park (eigamura). It is the Japanese version of Universal Studios. no no no, not the one in Osaka, but the Japanese period drama version of USJ.

Kei who went to Kyoto on her own during the weekend said it was the best place she went. So we must must must go. If you know a bit of Japanese and are interested in period drama stuff, go!

To reach the Eigamura fast, don’t take the bus. They have a direct bus but it is so so so so sloooow. Instead, take the JR train to Hanazono and take the bus there. Saves loads of time.

Everyone woke up on time this morning because we have a schedule to follow. I left with my luggage to the Shinkansen gates to put them in the locker. My bag was heavy, it was hot and there were a lot of people crowding around the entrance to the Shinkansen gates.

I had to push and be pushed. I carried my bag upstairs because we leave from there but was told that lockers are downstairs. FINE! so I stuffed my things in the 400 yen locker and went to Lawson to find the girls.

We reached Hanazono on time and took the bus to two stops away. Then it was a short walk to Kyoto Studio Park

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I used their Kansai thru pass to get a bit of discount off the entrance fee. Yeah!

The theme park has old Japanese houses around. Fun to take pictures with but most you can’t go in.

They also shoot real movies and films here though I did not see any filming when I was there.

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Archery

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Watch it!

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There were people in costumes around. I suspect that it’s a Monday so there’s a lot less dessed up people around.

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Shinsengumi’s HQ

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Bad people

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Classes make us sleepy

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Some little girl

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The fun part of Eigamura was the performances they have. The first that we went to was a boring show about some toy during the Edo period. The lady sang and threw her toy around. It’s like a tube but if you flick it, there’s something spiral coming out.

The second show was Secrets and Lies of Movie Making. We had a screened off area and there are three guys playing the roles of the director, actor playing Shinsengumi and actor playing a ninja.

They showed how sound effects is added and how action scenes are choreaographed. At the end, they “filmed” part of a film with very comical ending. You would understand, even if you don’t know much Japanese.

Then the last was a performance on stage. They invited the audience to go up and play the role of a good samurai. Also comedic effects when little girls who are smaller than the sword tries to slash the bad guy. Ha ha

 Ghost exhibition 

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House of horrors (free version)

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New movie out soon by Toei: Cha Cha. Looks good

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Then a room full of power rangers stuff. ha ha

Power rangers! plural!!!

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We left earlier than scheduled but was satisfied with our tour. Then to the train station we went. A train came but I told the girls not to go on board, but it turned out to be the right train. Opps!

So we went down to the convenience store to buy lunch.

Lunch from Konbini  

Potato and cheese

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We reached Kyoto station with much time to spare. The girls went to get their luggage and we parted.

I couldn’t really decide on where to go in Kyoto by myself. Shall I go to the National Museum? Nah, it’ll take up too much time. Shall I go onsen? Good idea but 5 hours of onsen is too much.

In the end, I followed my instinct and went to Uji. Finally! My wish came true. Uji is one of the direct stops and I took the fast train there.

It was super sunny when I arrived. Uji is famous for Byodo-in and Uji tea. And also being the location for the last ten chapters of The tale of Genji. They have a Genji Museum but it was under renovation while I was there. Will go next time.

I didn’t want to pay the entrance fee for Byodo-in, I’m sick of paying for stuff like that. So I decided to just be spontaneous and stroll around. I armed myself with a walking map of Uji and off I went snapping photos.

The town of Uji tea

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Genji stuff on the top of the gate

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First stop was Hashihime shrine. “The Bridge Princess”, pardon my crude translation.

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Then a photo with Murasaki Shikibu (author of The tale of Genji) sculpture. (Like taking photo with Shakespeare’s bust)

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The bridge of Uji

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Cool river water.

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Photos of summer holidays are lovely, the sky is the perfect shade of blue and stuff like that. But in reality, it is very very very hot. Your sweat runs down none stop and you feel your sunblock dripping off your skin. 

Uji Jinja

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characters from The tale og Genji (sorry, don’t know who!)

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I’ve read from a book about Uji teaand decided to try out the Town’s teahouse. I didn’t know it was the formal sort of tea ceremony, I thought it was a cup of tea with sweet stuff. 500 yen, the place is opposite the tourist info place near Byodo-in.

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My feet ached. and I asked the lady to teach me how to turn my bowl and stuff. Being a foreigner, you’re pardoned if you’re rude. (I think!)

So after the tea ceremony, I walked with wobble feet, peeked at Byodo-in from behind trees and decided to leave. But the rapid train has just passed. So I thought I’d take the private train and subway back to Kyoto.

Terrible decision, even though I had extra stamps for my collection, the trip was super long. But thanks to PY’s Kansai thru pass, I was able to ride free.

On my long train ride, I found out abuot Kyoto Cultural Museum, sounds cool so I decided to check it out.

Bad thing is, the map’s so vague that even I cannot read it. Plus I have the tendancy to walk in different direction of the place I’ve never been to. Still, I reached it in the end after long long walks and an unfruitful direction asking session.

Even more unfortunately, the niec Genji exhibition had ended and I was left with boring pottery. Sob sob.

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Then I tried walking my way out to the city centre but got sort of lost and ended up in a shopping area.

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Arashi

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Found a I love Kyoto shirt at (guess where) Girodano! Ha ha. Bought it, will wear later.

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After finding my way out, I decided to take a bath at the bathhouse under Kyoto Tower. It was written in tiny print on my guidebook. I also get 150 yen off with the Kansai thru pass and book.

The bathhouse was very simple. Some sitting showers, a very hot tub, a sauna and a cold water area. still, a bath is a bath and I like boiling myself red. ha ha

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Before my train ride, I ate at Yoshinoya. It’s said that girls do not go there alone, but who cares, I need food!

anna sui advert

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Train station

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I debated whether to take the 15 minutes earlier train which I do not have a reserve ticket for. It came and seemed too crowded so I had to kick my bag to my platform.

Train to Tokyo was lousy, no plug for my computer and the writing desk was tiny.

Reached Tokyo around 11:26pm. Took train to Yotsuya and found the girls.

When we reached the hotel, M.was sleeping and HY bravely entered the hotel with a random person and woke M for us.

Thanks everyone!

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

2 Comments

    1. hello!

      I know it is long ago since you posted this but I am going to Eigamura, too. How much money were the extra charges, like for the hounted house etc.?

      Hope you see this :)

      1. I haven’t been there in a long long while. I don’t even remember the haunted house. Good luck with your travels.

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