August 29, 2013

Osaka, Japan : Walking the streets

Osaka is quieter and less to see as compared to Tokyo. Most of it falls within similar area and this makes it easier for us to travel. We started the day walking towards the high end street where we could see a lot of branded and well-known names. 

It's nice walking in Japan. The weather is so cooling and even though the sun is shining, you'll hardly feel the heat. We arrived at the hip area where there were quirky, tiny shops and graffiti walls and coolest things you can find. 

Check out this building. There is a wall climbing facility right in the middle. How cool is that?

We walked until it was dinner time and luckily we came upon this hidden Chinese Restaurant along a dark alley and decided to try. Best decision ever cos we had the best food ever!!! For the first time during the entire trip, we had piping hot, delicious, freshly cooked food. Not only that, the price was quite reasonable too. We will definately go back there if we have the chance. 

Stopped for some Japanese Pancake after dinner. Tasted like Takoyaki but denses and bigger version. 

Snapped this while sitting on the steps, waiting for Rockstar at a humongous, multilevel music store.

Yay!!! Kit Kat shopping. Got so many Green Tea Kit Kat and Dark Chocolate Kit Kat and so much more. All to bring back as souvenirs. 

A picture of Shinsaibashi, super packed with people. Last picture of Osaka before we headed back to Tokyo the next day. 

p.s. I didn't do much touristy stuff during my last trip to Japan. Preferring to just walk and see as much as I can and blend in with the locals. I didn't take much photos too. Sometimes I find I need to put the camera down and to just live in the present. It's not often that I travel back to places I've visited before. Hence, the lack of tourist spots' and photos :)

August 26, 2013

Osaka : Day 3 - Den-Den Town, Dinner & Dessert

So after we left Osaka Aquarium, we started walking towards the train station. However, we got turned around and ended up walking the opposite direction. But it was OK because we did stop by for second-hand watches, peer into a small temple, walk passed a cemetery, had some street snacks, found a big Uniqlo outlet smack in the middle of nowhere and so much more. The sky was turning dark when found ourselves at Den-Den Town. Den-Den Town is almost like the Akihabara of Tokyo - the electronics city. It was definitely smaller scale comparatively. 

We walked the entire length of Den-Den Street and arrive at Doguyasuji. Their streets are connected. If you continue walking from Doguyasuji, you'll find yourself in Shinsaibashi and Dotonburi. Anyway, when we arrive at Doguyasuji, we decided to stop for dinner as it was getting late and colder. Since all we had the past days were just cheaper rice & meat, we decided to splurge on a slightly expensive meal. We found a nice looking restaurant, with a Japanese garden in the middle and smaller section off private dining area. Sadly, we were disappointed. The portion was small, and didn't taste that good. The bill came up to about RM100++. 

After dinner, we walked around more, exploring the side streets, narrowly avoiding expensive looking men in expensive looking suits, with a few expensively clad girls in his arms, surrounded by menacing men in suits entering closeup places. So exciting!! Just like the movies!!! I wondered what goes on behind close doors and am so very tempted to sneak in. Haha...fat chance ;p

Before we turned in for the night, we stopped for dessert... cos the desserts all look so pretty and I wanted to try them. It was so cold, yet I wanted ice-cream dessert -_-. But although it look pretty good, the dessert was just OK. It wasn't that sweet, just like everything in Japan. Hence wasn't tasty enough for me. But I did enjoyed it and it was worth paying for :) 

End of Day 3. Stay tune for more :)

August 19, 2013

Osaka : Universal Studio, Boat Ride and Osaka Aquarium

After a good night rest, we decided to visit Universal Studio. We took the train and found ourselves right at the front lawn of Universal Studio. Since we were early, quite a lot of shops were not open yet although there were many people walking around.

We stopped at MOS Burger for breakfast. Burgers were good but portion could have been bigger. Maybe cos we are hungry and needed more ;p

First glimpse of Universal Studio. I was feeling excited. This is my first time and I have never been to any Universal Studio or Disneyland, etc. Check out the rides!! Dayum!!! :p

But luck wasn't with us. There were so many people and the queue was super long. So we decided to forgo it as we didn't want to spend our day queing up. 

I managed to sneak a peek into Universal Studio from the gate at the entrance. The park just open and there were already so many people. Bye, Osaka Universal Studio.We shall meet again :(

We then took a wrong turn and spend so much time wandering around Universal Studio Car Park before meeting a parking attendant who directed us out. A half an hour walk led us to the pier that will take us to Osaka Aquarium. 

Ticket cost us 2300 yen (approximately RM75+) per person and that included entrance fee to the aquarium. We waited a short while for our boat to arrive and when it arrived, we boarded the 'Uncle Captain', the boat's name. 

The pier is located behind the Hotel Universal Port and if you are coming from Universal Studio - walk pass the train station, across the road and you spot the hotel from far. 

The boat ride was magnificent. We enjoyed it so much - with the wind blowing and the cool air as we watch the city line pass by. It was one of the best thing we did in Osaka. The sights was so pretty and even the darkening clouds didn't dampen our feelings. About 45mins later we docked just right outside the Osaka Aquarium and thankfully the sky seem to brighten a little. 

Entering the aquarium was easy, except for the slight confusion on where the entrance is. No queue at all and not many visitors were around. I feel in love with all the things at the souvenir shop but sadly, didn't get anything there except for the 2 Pachinko Ball from the slot machine thing. 

The aquarium boast a quite impressive number of wildlife too. Their display was split into different section. We were greeted by the Aqua Gate, a 11 meter tunnel-shaped tank before entering Japan Forest, which was design to look like a forest with rivers and streams running through. Lots of animals there too. It was followed by Aleutian Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of Panama, Ecuador Rain Forest, Antarctica, Tasman Sea, Great Barrier Reef, Pacific Ocean, Seto Inland Sea, Coast of Chile, Cook Strait, Japan Deep, and Floating Jelly Fish. 

We spend quite a bit of time watching the seals, dolphins, sea otters and penguins atics. So entertaining. And they were not performing, just swimming around - fast and accident free. So amazing!! I also like the Japan Deep where you could spot glowing animals in the dark. But the best of all is the Pacific Ocean, 9 meters deep with 5,400 tons of water. The whale shark named 'Yu-Chan' was a sight to see and the hundreds of  bluefin tuna *so mesmerizing* and Spotted Eagle and Manta Stingrays *so manyyy!!!*. Interesting fact : the width of the acrylic glass is 30cm. So no worries of it breaking :) And another must not miss is the Floating Jelly Fish - SO. MANY. JELLYFISH!!! Different species. Different kind. It'll give you goosebumps just watching them from behind the tanks. But so beautiful at the same time!!!

We had a quick late lunch at the food court @ Tempozan Harbour Village, just a short walk away. It housed one of the largest ferris wheel in the world. Food was simple and funny. We had takoyaki and something else which was sweet and savoury at the same time. Don't know the name as everything is in Japanese. Cost us 500 yen. 

The Osaka Aquarium is one of the largest public aquarium in the world and if you ever visit Osaka, I would give it a must-NOT miss. One of the best experience ever :) So worth the price and so much more.

p.s. If you want to read more about me, and can't stand the long wait in-between posts - hop over to where I share more about my daily life with my twin sister.