A Travellerspoint blog

Goodbye Japan

Hard to leave

sunny 4 °C

Today is the final day of our trip. We have a 9pm flight out of Osaka. Check out is 11am then we will leave our luggage at hotel while we take our final look around Osaka. Had our last look around Osaka. It is certainly a unique city and different to any other city we have visited. We have both loved our time here and will be leaving with amazing memories. Time to head to the airport and do the thing we have been dreading, finishing our holiday and heading back to reality. Train was quick and easy which has been the case for all public transport in Japan. Found a nice comfortable spot at Kansai airport with comfortable chairs, option to lay down on big square lounges with blankets, free wifi and heaps of food options. We kicked back here for a while before checking in.
Check in was quick and we had a final hit of sushi before heading through customs and getting on our flight home. Now the long haul home. Now comes that let down feeling when you know it is finished. However, you also know that around the corner will be another adventure.

Posted by andrewjenny 03:06 Archived in Japan Tagged osaka japan Comments (0)

Our last full day in Osaka

Reaching the end

sunny 3 °C

Our last full day in Osaka. The end of our trip is upon us. Today we visited the Osaka Castle. This castle in on a huge site in the middle of the city. It is surrounded by a series of moats. There were plenty of people out visiting for a Thursday. You can pay and go inside the castle, however, it looked really packed so we wandered around the main area in front of the castle which gives you great views.
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Headed back to Dontonbori area to do a bit of souviner shopping. Hadn't really brought much stuff so thought we would get somethings to take back home. If you don't have a definite idea on what you want you start walking in circles. Thought we would stop go back to hotel and do a list. Got a list sorted headed back out and it was a lot easier. Souviner shopping done. Now the biggest decision is what to eat on our final night.
After much deliberation we decided on sushi train. Yet again it was excellent and were able try some new and wonderful things. Spent some time just wandering around taking everything in for the last time at night.
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Tomorrow is our final day before we fly home tomorrow night.

Posted by andrewjenny 00:52 Archived in Japan Tagged osaka japan castle dotonbori Comments (0)

Quiet day in Osaka

Relaxing day

sunny 2 °C

Today is another we have nothing planned day. We had a bit of a late one last night so a bit slow to get up and running. Today is sunny but freezing. Max of 2 and very windy. The wind cuts through you. Got up and had a wander around Dontonbori. This is an awesome place for people watching. It never stops.
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We decided to head to Doguyasuji street which is dedicated to all things in the kitchen. This is where you go to buy all your kitchen stuff. This place is packed full of anything you could imagine you could need and then a bit more. We did a bit of shopping and brought a few things.
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After we walked through the maze of streets in Dontonbori just taking it all in. Not much else to report today. Very lazy day. As it is cold ramen is on the menu for tonight.
Quick report just had the best ramen ever. Hanamaruken ramen two blocks off Dontonbori. I had the slow cooked rib ramen. Simply awesome. Just go there.
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Posted by andrewjenny 02:37 Archived in Japan Tagged osaka japan Comments (0)

Himeji day trip

White castle and last samurai

snow 3 °C

Today we are taking a day trip to Himeji. We will be going there by a bullet train. We have been pumped about riding one of these trains. It is not a long trip, however, we both wanted to experience riding one of these trains. Got to the Shinkansen station and waited for it to arrive. As it cruised into the platform you cannot help but be impressed by this piece of machinery. Inside is a lot like plane. So off we went and these things motor you could feel the speed. Before we knew it we were at our station. Short but sweet, however, we were glad we did it.
At Himeji station we got our passes and travel sorted for Mt Shosha. We caught the bus which took us to the outskirts of Himeji and we reached the cable car which would take us up the mountain. Mt Shosha is a sacred site filled with temples. It is also where a lot of The Last Samurai was shot. Cable car was a quick trip up the mountain. We quickly realised that there was next to nobody visiting the mountain today. As we reached the top light snow started falling. Magic.
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Short walk to the entrance and we paid for admission to the site and for a bus to take us up the mountain. You can walk if you like, however, after seeing the road you need to take I am glad we took this option. We were dropped off at the Maniden temple. There was nobody around except us. Love it. With the snow falling and in these beautiful surrounds it was an awesome experience. We made our way up a road passed small shrines and reached the main area which consists of three buildings Daikodo, Jikido, Jogyodo and the Tombs of Hondas. This area is breathtaking. Standing in the middle of these buildings in the main area with snow falling and not a soul around. What can i say. We spent the next hour taking in what was around us and exploring the buildings. We did find someone. There was a monk doing artwork in the Jikido building. I could rave about this place forever. There are more temples, shrines and buildings scattered all over the mountain and you could spend a whole day exploring this place. A must do if you are in Japan.
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Slow walk back to the bus. Taking in everything around us. Quick bus ride, cable car down and then the bus back to Himeji town. We jumped off and checked out the Himeji castle which is an awesome sight. Decided not to walk up to the top. From down below there are great views of this majestic building.
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We walked back to station and caught train back to Osaka. What an awesome experience. Tonight we went to a sushi bar called Toki Sushi which I had read up on. Amazing sushi. The perfect end to a perfect day.

Posted by andrewjenny 03:49 Archived in Japan Tagged himeji japan car castle cable mt last samuri shosha Comments (2)

Kobe day trip

Home of Kobe beef

overcast 3 °C

Today we are doing a day trip to Kobe. Kobe is only a 30 minute train ride from Osaka. Kobe is a major port for Japan and also home of the famous Kobe beef. Train ride was quick and before we knew it we are in Kobe and it is freezing. We took the ropeway (cable car) up the mountain which overlooks Kobe. It was an awesome view of the city. Inside the carriages they had blankets which you needed. Got to the top and just as we got there it started snowing lightly and it was freezing. There are also a lot og gardens up here, however, being winter they are mot at their best. The views of Kobe were great, however, it was very cold and we felt we needed to be back down.
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As we got lower it started to rain. Freezing cold weather and rain do not mix well. As it was lunchtime we had planned to find a restaurant that served the real Kobe beef. All over Japan are restaurants claiming to serve the real stuff. I had read up on the best restaurants and lunchtime was the best time to get a taste of the real stuff at half the price. We found a place straight away and we went up three floors to a small restaurant with a large cooking hot plate in the middle with space for about 10 customers. We were the only people there. We were greeted and got a drink then the chef went through the menu and the different cuts of beef. We made our choice and it began. Jen and I were then treated to a culinary delight. Without going to into every detail we got to eat some of the most amazing beef we have ever had as well as an assortment of sides. With our own chef cooking in front of us. One of the best experiences we have had on this trip. Left there feeling very content.
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The rain had set in so we decided to head back to Osaka. It was raining in Osaka so went back to the hotel got warmed up and headed out to find a bar for some beverages. The rain was still going. Headed out for drink then went looking for some food. To wet so we grabbed a street snack and headed home. Heading to Himeji tomorrow.

Posted by andrewjenny 02:11 Archived in Japan Tagged japan car cable kobe beef Comments (0)

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