Pregnancin Babymoon: Nara, Uji & Kobe Travel Itinerary
& How to Save on Winter Maternity Outfits
There’s only so much one can do in Osaka & 3 full days is plenty. To balance out the city buzz, we fit in day trips in between our 1-week tour to laidback towns like the evergreen matcha town Uji & famous hot spring town Arima in Kobe.
The result is a relaxing & wholesome babymoon overall with lots of walking (we did an average of 16,644 steps/12.7km per day for a week)! If you’re traveling with kids or elderly, this itinerary will likely suit you too. 😊
For a pregnant lady living in a country with only 1 season to choose traveling to a country during winter doesn’t sound like the most practical of ideas. Aside from the compulsory winter maternity outfit you’d need to buy, there’s also the question of how good the soles of your boots are in case of wet wintry slippery grounds. Yes? That’s what I thought, initially.
After some planning & research, I learned that it is actually extremely doable, provided this is not your first winter trip. The reason being, winter clothes (tops), in general, aren’t skimpy. Although I was already at the start of my 3rd trimester, I didn’t have to buy any new sweaters or coats. The same applies to gloves, socks, & boots, should you already own a trusty pair. (I like UGGs for comfort & Timberland/Dr. Martens for their waterproof feature).
What I had to buy additionally was only 2 pairs of UNIQLO HEATTECH Extra Warm Leggings in size L to be layered underneath my usual maternity pants/skirt. My cousin introduced me to Daiso hot pads, which we stick inside our coat pockets to warm cold palms to our hearts’ desire.
In case you’re wondering, no, we did not encounter any slippery obstacles throughout our journey & in case you didn’t know, a pregnant woman has raised body temperature & therefore should avoid heat exposure e.g. sunbathing at the beach, to prevent hyperthermia.
The first thing that comes to mind when one hears “Nara” is “deer” & there’s no doubt why. Determined to make our itinerary diverse, we still ended up spending 75% of the day with deers at the huge park, 15% at Higashimuki Shopping Street, & 10% at a charming lunch place.
Are Nara deers aggressive?
There are 2 kinds of people in this world & so are there 2 kinds of deers – friendly & unfriendly. It depends on which deer you meet. In general, maybe because we’re talking about Japanese deers, they have amusing manners as far as bowing to you (for food). If you have none, they’d tail behind you for a short while to try their hungry luck. The dumbest thing I saw was tourists who bought deer cookies (sold all around the park) to feed them yet are so afraid they screamed & threw food on the ground, scaring/agitating the animals. If you think you might fall into such category, maybe the deer should be asking instead if their visitors are friendly or aggressive.
This restaurant I found is a bit off-trail, therefore absolutely not touristic. If you’re up for a cozy, traditional lunch made of quality ingredients followed by a short stroll towards the park, look no further. This part of Nara surprisingly holds a warm place in my heart; I find myself replaying its memory in my head from time-to-time.
Order: Tempura set lunch
Address: はり新, Japan, 〒630-8333 Nara, Nakanoshinyacho, 15 はり新
As you walk from the entrance till the end of the park, you’ll find yourself standing in front of Tōdai-ji temple. The entrance fee is 800 yen (~ RM30) per pax. The touristic thing to do here is to call through the hole in 1 of the pillars at Daibutsu Hall, which we did not enter nor do.
Uji is so petite that everything you’d want to see is a comfortable walking distance. Here, we overdosed on matcha, an outcome you can expect.
Like in Nara, I avoided the ultra-touristic areas when it comes to food. Aiso is a restaurant & inn on Ajirogi-no-michi Street overlooking the Uji River. It goes without saying that dining above these waters is bound to be a romantic experience, even if you’re eating solo.
Order: Eel set meal
Address: Togawa-3-4, Uji
To Do: Byodo-in, Omotesando St.
The tea street that’s all about matcha souvenirs, desserts & eateries. You’ve got to bring home something from here!
The Tale of Genji Museum (1st full-length novel in the world)
Ujigami Shrine (UNESCO)
We didn’t have time to visit these 2 but we enjoyed Uji so much if we ever come back, this missing part of the itinerary would be fulfilled.
To Eat: Tsuen Teahouse & Shop
What it is: The oldest tea shop in Japan
Address: Higashiuchi-1 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021 (Closes: 5.30 p.m.)
If I could do Arima again, I wouldn’t mind staying overnight at a ryokan – without being pregnant. While it is now declared safe in Japan for pregnant ladies to indulge in hot spring water, I figure too much of hot & cold transitions an entire day surrounded by wet floors doesn’t sound very wise. One could be extra careful, but one is also extra clumsy when carrying 2kgs in front with loose ligaments (thanks to the relaxin hormone)!
That said, we only did a gold leg bath & filled the rest of the day discovering must-eats.
Arima Onsen: Kin No Yu (金之汤）
A short walk from the bus station where we got off takes you to Kin No Yu, where you can treat tired/freezing feet to an outdoor onsen bath with no time limit. Arima is famous for its natural gold & silver hot spring water.
Lunch: Sabo Thic Tac
What it is: A 100-year-old traditional Jap house
Order: Japanese curry
Address: 820 Arima, Kita-ku, Kobe.
Extra lunch option: Kutsurogiya
What it is: Kettle rice topped with meat/seafood & vegetables.
Address: 839-2, Arima, Arima-cho Kita-ku, Kobe (Closed Tuesdays)
Snack: Takenaka Butcher Shop
What it is: The BEST beef croquette I ever had in my life.
Order: Kobe beef croquette
Address: 813, Arima-cho Kita-ku Kobe (Closed Wednesdays)
Tea/Dessert: Café de Beau
Order: Signature Tanba black bean pie & Arima cake roll
Address: 835 Arima, Kita-ku, Kobe.
Dinner: Hyōtan gyoza
What it is: Gyoza recommendation featured in New York Times
Order: Gyozas & be prepared to queue
Address: 1 Chrome-11-15, Motomachidori (11.30 a.m. – 10.30 p.m.)
With that ends my babymoon. I hope it inspires you to have one too because it’s absolutely worth it & so are you. 🤗