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Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka April 5th 2014

Day 2 - Osaka to Kyoto, 5th April 2014 I woke up for the first time in Japan nice and early, refreshed after a good sleep with a positive attitude and ready to go exploring ! I only had till checkout time, which was 12 lunchtime (loving that) and due to the short nature of my trip it was then off to the old capital of Kyoto. I had found a really cool app called Triposo which is a tourist kind of guide type thing, basically you dictate how long you have to explore and it works out a map for a walking tour of the city to see all the highlights, genius. Thanks to Vodafones new overseas option I only have to pay $5 a day and I have access ... read more
City Backstreets
River
Selfie

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka April 4th 2014

So I have never written anything like this however my first solo travel was all about stepping outside my comfort zone so I figured why not go to the next level and write about it :) I lost my father (my best friend) a couple of years ago and it taught me a lot about life and how much we take it for granted, I learnt that you have to take advantage of it because ultimately we are here for a good time not a long time. Travelling to a foreign country by myself that I know nothing about and don't speak any of the language was a challenge I wanted to take on. Solo. Maybe I would learn something about myself, who I am, what I am really made of and what kinda strength I ... read more
Food Arcade
Osaka Ferris Wheel
Arcade

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka March 14th 2014

After my 5 days in Kyoto I was off to stay at the Eko-in temple in Koyasan, Mount Koya is nearly 3000 feet above sea level and is the headquarters of the Shingon school of esoteric Buddhism. I had to catch 4 trains a cable car and a bus to get there but that is all part of the fun. Due to its height it was below zero most of the time and snowing. Many of the temples open up their doors as lodging for visitors and although it’s not cheap when you take into the fact that you get an amazing vegetarian meal and a breakfast it is quite reasonable (around £60 a night. I chose Eko-in as it is the only temple that doesn’t charge a single supplement. Included in the visit is a ... read more
Prayers at the Oko-in temple
It's a long time since I've done this
Fire Ceremony

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka January 16th 2014

I got up late after a refreshing, much-needed 12 hours sleep. Yesterday was exhausting and with the time and effort it took just getting to the airport in Hong Kong and getting the 3 hour flight, I was as tired as when I went from London to Bangkok. Today I started the day gently with a lovely warm shower, worked my way around the local neighbourhood, had a chat to a few people in the hostel, went to an ATM which took 3 hours to find one that accepted visa and ended up in a local restaurant recommended to me by the owners of the hostel. It was a very good find especially as the Japanese owner spoke English. He talked to me a lot and explained that here in Osaka people will ask me a ... read more

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka January 15th 2014

I arrived into Kansai airport in Osaka, courtesy of Peach Airlines (the Ryanair of Japan.) The morning in Hong Kong was complicated, long and difficult in almost every way possible but from the moment I touched down in Japan I had a pleasant experience. I had a nutritious, set meal in Osaka airport with soup, fish, pork noodles, vegetables and green tea. All toilet seats in the airport were heated and I was able to get into a ladies only carriage on the Osaka train to my hostel (I think these exist so men don't hassle us and we feel safer at night.)Once I left the airport I got the Osaka train and was given a manual written in English with a step by step guide on how to buy a train ticket and how to ... read more

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Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka January 6th 2014

Hi everyone The last couple of days around Gotemba have been amazing. I'll just talk about a few highlights. On Saturday we took the Hakane ropeway (cable car across the mountains). We had some spectacular views of the geothermal activity on the mountain. Lovely smell of rotten egg gas! The ropeway was absolutely packed because it was still Japanese new year. It's hard to describe the density of the crowd. We were packed in like sardines but people were quite calm and happy. This was quite unlike the crowds in the Kyoto food centre where it really as every person for themselves. Our reward for t... read more
I love Miss Kitty
Not so good grammar!
No definition of what doubtful things might be

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka September 21st 2013

21st Sept: We arrived at Osaka Station pretty late, about eight o'clock. The signage wasn't great, but we found the right platform to take the train to our hostel. We let the first train go by as we didn't think it was the right one and we didn't really want to end up somewhere random. The second train looked a lot more promising and we got on that feeling slightly more confident. I think it was only one stop, maybe two, to our hostel. The walk from the subway was about five minutes and really easy, we didn't get lost. The staff at the hostel were lovely and helped us plan what to do that evening. We had our own room, which was nice, although it was right up on the fifth floor, that was a ... read more
Graffitti
Dotomburi
Dotomburi

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka » Shinsaibashi September 11th 2013

That night we arrived, we promptly went out to eat in the Shimanouchi District. one the the entertainment areas of Osaka. We arrived at a hole in the wall with seating for 6,cantina style. I ordered a rich pork soup with seaweed on top. It was salty and tasty. YES I AM OBLIGED TO EAT MEAT because grapes are 25 dollars a BUNCH! Oh the agony! The district was entertaining! Red light as well. Lots of night clubs and youngish women dressed to kill. Did I mention the architecture. Next day we started out the by taking the subway to the JR station ( Bullet train ) to activate our JR Railpass to allow us to travel throughout our trip, in Japan. In Osaka, we have to think like an Osakian when figuring out the protocol ... read more
Shopping District
Canal Shopping Area
Canal  Building

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka » Shinsaibashi August 11th 2013

Konnichiwa! Today's entire day was dedicated to Universal Studios in Osaka. I'm not a huge amusement park guy but I do enjoy walking around and seeing the sites. The problem was that today was hotter and mustier than the devil's armpit after he ran a triathlon. It seems each day keeps going up in temperature. "You still think it can't get hotter? Well, let me move the heat dial from an 8 to a 9 and see how you like it!" Seriously, it was baking hot. I knew I was going to be a sweaty mess, but I felt relieved when I saw that all the Japanese people were sweaty messes as well. And speaking of the Japanese people, the park was crowded with them. Like, I think all of them. That place was jam packed. ... read more
Cyberdyne Systems
A real life Terminator
It's all about the hats

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka » Shinsaibashi August 10th 2013

Today we arrived in Osaka. I didn't have time to post a blog yesterday as we were too busy. This Tour of Japan is fast and crazy and I've usually only been able to write posts for the blog late at night. Yesterday was our last day in Kyoto. The first thing we did was take a tour of a sake brewing plant, which included lots of sake tasting. I couldn't say that sake drinking for me first thing in the morning of what would prove to be the hottest day would vw a wise thing, but hey, we were there and the sake was free. The sake brewmaster gave us the tour and was a pretty cool dude. Then we headed to a confectionary house where we were trained in making Japanese sweets. The sensei ... read more
Japanese confections
Japanese Tea Ceremony
Origami




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