I seem to be up at 5:30AM-6AM everyday while here in Japan, so I guess lets make the most of this quiet time in the morning to start on these travel posts! Japan… is so far so good, we are suddenly nearing the last few days here though only a few days ago I thought… man we’ll still be here for another weekish! Now we are left with 4. It’ll be sad to leave this place, but I hope that I’d be back here again in near future. I’ve read soooo many blogposts leading up to Japan (my form of researching) and have learnt of some tips and yummy places to try.. so I hope I can giveback to the online community in some way too… I’ll try!
Photos are taken by Myself (Fujifilm X100s) and Alfred ( Canon 5D3, mostly using 16-35mm f2.8L)
Lets begin with our crazy 24hour trip to Japan.
We chose to fly Scoot because not only was it $200ish cheaper, we could also have an excuse to stay in Singapore for a few days before going back to Sydney – making the most of those public holidays of course! The thought of traveling 24hrs and not even getting us to the States or Europe is crazy and somewhat daunting. Incase you are wondering, we paid about $1200aud return.
We got to the airport nice and early, there wasn’t much school holidays crowd luckily, so even queuing for TRS was a breeze.
About 8 hours later, we found ourselves at a very familiar place, Singapore. We were greeted by our Singaporean friends at the gate and obviously with these friends there HAS to be a food, in fact a feast involved. We had 5 hours to bum but chose to stay in the terminal instead. We ate at Soup Restaurant (a favourite of ours when departing Singapore!) All this food between 7 people.
I love Singapore airport purely because it is so traveler friendly, lounges and charging stations everywhere, perfect for those in transit.
Too tired to take any snaps on the plane, and even when in Transit in Taipei for an hour. So basically, Sydney – Singapore; 8hours, Singapore-Taipei; 5 hours, Taipei to Tokyo; about 3hours I think.
I was so dying to get out of the plane the moment we descended onto Narita Airport around 10:30AM. After queuing for about 30mins to exchange our JR Pass, we were on the N’EX (Narita Express) bound for Shinagawa station, which we then hopped onto the shinkansen to Osaka! Which adds another 3hour travel time to the 24hours. We figured this way we would be able to maximise our time there, rather staying in Tokyo for one night then off to Osaka the next day. It worked out pretty sweet as we did have an extra half a day in Osaka. We managed to reach Osaka around 4:30PM, which is a little earlier than expected.
Love Japan’s country side
First meal in Japan
We checked in at our hotel in Esaka (just 2 stops away from Shin-Osaka). No photos of this hotel because were somewhat disappointed with it despite its awesome location. We booked a non-smoking room but was given a smoking room because they overbooked. 🙁
We made a detour to the Pokemon Centre in Umeda! Was a little disappointed we couldn’t find what we want there, and it really was just a small section as part of Daimaru department store 🙁 We still intend to check out another Pokemon Centre when in Tokyo.
Luckily, our detour was worth it when we discovered a Tokyu Hands just downstairs in Daimaru, we keep stumbling across this place! What a wonderful place it is *dreams*, wait till you visit the main branch in Shibuya… (more on this later!)
So much to see, there is something for everyone!
Nanoblock is CRAZY cheap in Japan, almost about half the price of what we pay in Sydney, therefore we do plan to buy several of these back! Also, they have an awesome range too which probably isn’t available in Sydney.
I love, love, Tenyo’s Disney puzzles, I wish I can have it all but I don’t know what I’d do with them after we make it?! I don’t have that much space at home to frame them all up 🙁 This one is on my shopping list for sure. Will buy later near the end of the trip. Oh, we tried to avoid buying stuff before Tokyo purely so we would have less to lug around, this is with our fingers crossed that we will come across it in Tokyo!
We walked past this place selling some sort of Cheese cake, I said; “This place must be good, look at that queue!” Minutes later, my friend, Michelle recommended me the same place, apparently the cheese cake feels like you’re “eating air!”, I agree with that one! Will blog about this later too.
Me and my other Partner in Crime
The moment we strolled down Dotonbori, I realised why I miss this place so much… because the sight and smell of food is incredible wonderful! We were so hungry, that we wish we could eat the whole place up *burps*
Took a while to decide what to eat for dinner since there was too much to choose from! We settled for Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba at Creo-Ru
I thought we were going to cook it ourselves, but was wrong… they brought it out and slid it onto the hot plate in front of us, it was pretty much already cooked but just to heat it up some more. Looking at the Yakisoba, I want some right now! (Currently 7:40AM) This place is probably not the best for these dishes, but the flavours were still awesome (or because we were starving?). I think we spent about 2000¥ for this meal.
We stepped out of the restaurant, and within a few minutes we joined the queue outside of Creu-Ru for their Takoyaki, mainly because Alfred was still hunrgy. I’ve never seen his appetite so good in a while, Osaka is good for him.
One of the perks of where our hotel was located, we loved taking a sniff of the ramen soup/pork broth from this local Ramen shop. Smells so good… we never tried it though. I wish I had one of these places near home.
That was a somewhat photo heavy summary of our first 5 or so hours in Osaka. Will hope to share the next few days of our trip soon.
Day 01 – Arriving in Tokyo, straight to Osaka. Night out at Namba & Dotonbori.
Day 02 – Kyoto daytrip (Fushimi Inari shrine, Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto Gogyo ramen, Nishiki Market, Ginza, Maruyama Park, Philosophers Walk, Ninenzaka & Zanenzaka, Katsukura
Day 03 – Exploring Osaka (Osaka Castle Park, Osaka Aquarium)
Day 04 – Hiroshima daytrip (Atomic Bomb site, Mazda HQ, Miyajima island) Osaka – Kobe Misono