Side Trip To Nara: Maximizing Your Day From Osaka
Nara is a pretty small city. It was the capital of Japan before Kyoto. It can be visited as a side trip from Kyoto or Osaka, but, its relatively nearer to Osaka.Half-day (four hours) would be enough to see a lot of Nara’s major sights. But we managed to make it less than that. Why so fast? No it wasn’t at all, just nice to cover the most visited areas. The major sites too were situated just around the grounds of the park. Yay! Easy breezy for a lazy me. Lol.
First stop, Nara Park. A public park located at the foot of Mount Wakakusa. Over 1,200 wild sika deer classified as a natural treasure roam freely around the park nudging tourists for food and playfully snatching maps and anything else they think could possibly also be food. As they were EVERYWHERE, and so are their poop. Be careful! Haha
The fun part is feeding the FOREVER-HUNGRY deer! Lol. You can buy “shika sembei” (deer biscuits) from any random vendors to feed them. But be sure to buy at your own risk. Amazed as I was since the deer knows not to steal from the vendors but once they caught you buying the biscuit, gotcha! They literally will chase you till you hand them down all your biscuits. Clever!
Tōdai-ji alone is even worth making the trip for. It is a World Heritage site and possibly the most popular destination for tourists. Capping Nara off is Kofuki-ji Temple and its 600-year-old five-storey pagoda, the original of which was moved in Nara from Kyoto in the 8th century.
Nara is really just a quick trip from Osaka. You can have it half a day or even a few hours if you only wish to see the most visited attractions.
Left around 11 and roughly would take about 45mins travel back to Osaka. Decided to eat lunch there so trying out the sushis in Lawson (Convenience store in Japan) definitely a big help to ease my hunger pangs. Eee!
You might want to take a grab of these sushis. WORTH a TRY of your 1 dollar, 100Jpy. Yes I said it right!
WHERE TO NEXT? Arriving back at Osaka head straight to Umeda Sky Building.
UMEDA SKY BUILDING
There’s no better place to get a bird’s eye view of Osaka than the Floating Garden Observatory. Stands 173-meter-tall. It gives viewers a 360° panoramic vista of the entire city. Umeda Sky Building is the most amazing piece of architecture featuring two 40-storey towers in the district of Osaka. The two main towers are connected with each other by the Floating Garden, a rooftop observatory on the 39th floor.From Jr Osaka Station take the “Chuo Kita Guchi” (north central exit). As you are heading Umeda, You’ll walk past by Grand front Osaka. It is a large commercial complex north of JR Osaka Station in the Umeda district that was opened in 2013. It consists of a wide variety of shops and restaurants, an Intercontinental hotel, office and event space, as well as a residential tower.After the panoramic vista of the entire city of Osaka from the Sky building of Umeda, take the way back to Osaka Station. Eat yourself broke by taking a stop at Grand Front Osaka for shops and restos inside the huge mall.Spotted a nice Japanese small resto just across the Grand Front Osaka and with No regrets for a random pick of place to eat. I say, really not bad when you are in Japan. The authentic Japanese food, Oh, well I just love it!
So, for a first time traveller in Japan, never get your lazy feet off to rest! haha After pumping some fuel in my tummy, time for an afternoon journey. Hurray for Universal Studios Osaka. See my separate post for the awesome theme park! 🙂