Nemophila Harmony in Hitachi Seaside Park, Ibaraki Prefecture

Taking advantage of the beautiful spring weather, we visited Hitachi Seaside Park located on the Pacific Ocean side of the Japanese coast in Ibaraki Prefecture.
About 130 kilometers northwest of Tokyo. _DSC0440-01-01[1]_DSC0441-01-01-01-01[1]Isn’t this view from the top incredibly gorgeous? _DSC0447-01-01-01-01[1]20170421_145811-01-01-01-01-01-01-01[1]Covering an area of 190 hectares, Hitachi Seaside Park is home to a variety of colorful flowers and grasses, as well as numerous other attractions, including an amusement park, cycling trails, a forest athletics field, BBQs surrounded by nature, food vans and cafes. But with the emergence of Nemophilas around mid April to beginning of May, it takes you to a whole new level. 20170421_144633-01-01-01[1]4.5 Million Nemophilas, also known as baby blue eyes paint the 3.5-hectare Miharashi Hills light blue._DSC0391-01-01-01-01-01 [1]_DSC0448-01-01[1]It could have been perfect when there’s no longer green but all light blue Nemophilas all over the rolling hills. If we only arrived 5 days later, that is its full bloom, it would surely be a spectacular sight ever! But still, aren’t these gorgeous enough?20170421_150221-01-01_(1)[1]20170421_150730-01-01-01[1]The rolling hills has been magically transformed by the sea of blue flowers which blends in with the sky. What a magnificent dramatic natural event. No wonder it has become a famous scenic spot and gazillions of tourists flock even more on its peak bloom which happens around the last week of April to 1st week of May.20170421_145805-01-01-01-01-01-01_(1)[1]_DSC0466-02-01-01[1] A Blue Phenomenal!

_DSC0423-01-01[1]A closer look of this beautiful baby blue eyes, Nemophilas!

_DSC0429-01-01-01-01-01-01[1]_DSC0425-01-01-01[1]I happily joined the throngs of people, and strolled leisurely around the area snapping way too many pictures. Forgive me. lol! _DSC0496-01-01-01-01 [1]And here’s the yellow Nanohana from the foot of the hill and those baby blue eyes like a backdrop._DSC0511-01-01[1]Other flowers abound in the park, so after spending so much of my time with the Nemophilas. What about seeing Narcissus and Tulips?_DSC0614-01[1]_DSC0523-01-01 [1]So beautiful that I couldn’t resist snapping too many photos._DSC0563-01-01[1]_DSC0559-01-01-01[2].jpeg_DSC0547-01[1]The tulips were spectacularly planted in shapes and undulating curves. There are over 200 varieties of tulips to enjoy and with so many varieties, it was hard to decide what to take pictures of first!_DSC0529-01 [1]_DSC0528-01-01[1]Oh Tulips, you’re too lovely!_DSC0526-01-01[1]Hitachi Seaside Park can be reached by train from Tokyo, (Shinagawa, Tokyo or Ueno Station) in around 90 minutes by limited express train about 3800yen(50sgd/1700php) one way or in around 2.5 hours by regular trains 2270yen(30sgd/1000php) one way. Then get off at Katsuta Station from where the park is a 20 minute bus ride. Park admission costs 410yen(5sgd/180php)

_DSC0343-01-01-01[1]You’ll not regret visiting this Sea of Baby Blue Eye Flowers in Hitachi Seaside Park,
Ibaraki Prefecture.

If you can’t make it on Spring time, then the Red Cochia in Autumn is a die die must-see!

Love,DSC_3685-01-01[1]Stylishwanderer.com

Visit Yokohama: One Day Walking Tour

Anyone who’s been to Tokyo will definitely tell you it’s such an exciting huge capital city. Electrifying, fast-paced and buzzing metropolis. You can’t even cover in one visit. But if you’re looking for something different, maybe somewhere with a slower pace and can be covered in a day, look no further than the port city of Yokohama.

_DSC0693-01[1]Let’s explore Yokohama!

I stayed somewhere in Shibaura Island where Tomodachi Station is only a 10 min. walk and is a JR YAMANOTE LINE, a railway loop line considered one of Tokyo’s busiest and most important lines, connecting most of Tokyo’s major stations and urban centers. Hence, I got the easiest access to explore Yokohama. With just 1 direct line, voila! reached in 30 mins. I didn’t expect it to be that fast tho’. Located south of Tokyo, Yokohama is the second largest city after Tokyo by population and situated in Kanagawa prefecture. Believe me or not, the most interesting parts of the city can easily be visited in a nice and interesting one day walking tour._DSC0658-01-02[1]_DSC0658-01-01[1]Each time I visit a place especially if it is my first time, I always do a bunch of reading online. Why? There’s a lot of places to see but it also depends whether it suits your interest. Thus, I have picked a few famous sights to see in Yokohama and managed to do it in just a day._DSC0669-01[1]_DSC0646-01[1]It’s hard to miss Yokohama Cosmoworld and its colourful ferris wheel. It is divided into three zones according to age appropriateness and unlike other amusement parks, there’s no entrance charge. Instead, you pay only for the rides that tickle your fancy._DSC0680-01-01[1]Head east towards the huge Ferris wheel in the distance. Once you reach the Ferris wheel, The Cup Noodles Museum is just across the street. It’s a fun and interactive museum that shows you the history of instant ramen noodles and the creative thinking of the man who’s responsible for it all – Momofuku Ando a.k.a. the father of instant ramen. _DSC0673-01-01[1].jpegJust keep going, and walk through the World Porter’s shopping mall on the other side of the street. Upon exiting the opposite end, you can see about a block away The Yokohama Red Brick Warehouses. But before reaching The Red Brick buildings, I stumbled unto this Marine and Walk Yokohama. It was not on my list but was really glad I came across that lovely cozy area._DSC0756-01-01[1]_DSC0758-01-01-01[1]It has a great range of interesting cafes, clothing & souvenir stores. The shops are pretty good as well. A bit of a hidden gem and doesn’t appear on any of the top lists for things to do in Yokohama. Oh my gosh! It should. Very chilled facility with chic atmosphere. So, we can’t afford to miss a meal from one of the cafes there._DSC0763-01-01-01[1].jpegAnd just a short distance from Marine and Walk Yokohama, you’ll reach The Red Brick Warehouses. One of the major tourist spot in Yokohama. A cultural & commercial facility that utilizes two historical buildings constructed more than a century ago._DSC0863-01_(1)-01[1]_DSC0823-01_(1)-01[1]_DSC0775-01-01[1]Built as a government bonded warehouse during the Meiji and Taisho eras and, as Japan’s first modern port facility. It stopped being used as a warehouse in 1989. Underwent nine years of conservation and renovation work until reopened in 2002 as a cultural and commercial facility._DSC0783-01[1]_DSC0819-01-01[1]

Literally a walking tour without a map guide. haha! But we managed to! Aren’t all these photos the proof? lol!_DSC0901-01-01[1].jpeg

Soak in the atmosphere at Yamashita Park by Strolling through the park. You can definitely enjoy stunning and majestic views of the harbor and Minato Mirai._DSC0897-01_(1)-01[1]20170418_173823-01-01[1]_DSC0899-01_(1)[1].jpegWe ended our day at Osanbashi Pier to see the sunset and the lovely nightscape of Minato Mirai Skyline. Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal, where large-scale cruise liners dock. 20170418_180226-01-01[1]20170418_175449-01[1]20170418_180058-01-01[1]Surrounded by the sea, the pier’s rooftop features wooden walkways that are perfect for a leisurely walk while taking in the best views of the bay.20170418_175612-01-01[1]20170418_180038-01-01[1]20170418_175415-01[1]The cool breeze of the wind & amazing views of the bay made my day!_DSC0919-01[1]
Just as the sun went down, the weather also dropped to around 13°C, darn! Imagine how freezing cold I was with my outfit. lol! But really, the views were too exhilarating that I didn’t mind I was shivering with the weather. haha! 20170418_180324-01-01[1]20170418_183636-01[1]Indeed a lovely nightscape! Who wouldn’t want to walk with these views? 20170418_184356-01[1]20170418_184645-01[1]20170418_190252-01[1]It was nice exploring Yokohama! Sayonara.

Next on the blog: Hitachi Seaside Park on the Pacific Ocean side of the Japanese coast.

Love, _DSC0669-01[1]Stylishwanderer.com

 

Journey Through a Thousand Gates – Fushimi Inari

The moment we got off the train, I started craning my neck, looking for all the orange. Yes, to be honest! lol. Even if you have never heard of the Fushimi-Inari shrine, I’ll bet you’ve seen pictures of those reddish-orange torii gates, stood closely together forming like a tunnel. And a scene from Memoirs of a Geisha was shot here, Who can remember? :p20160401_142154-01[1]20160401_142208(0)-01[1]The torii gateway snakes all the way up the mountains, creating several tunnels of redness amidst the heavy greenery. It was beautiful and as you can Imagine me on my first time visit, would be like, non stop snaps even if they all look the same. lol.20160401_143347-01[1]20160401_143349(0)-01[1]20160401_143348-01[1]The significance of the shrine located at Fushimi Inari is to honor Inari, the Shinto god of rice. You will see foxes sculpture throughout the grounds, as they are said to be the messengers for Inari. Each torii gate was donated by companies and individuals thankful for their blessings, the long tunnel of toriis is one of the most iconic and sacred landmarks of Kyoto. But, if you’re more interested in sightseeing than knowing the history, you can still enjoy the Fushimi Inari shrine. There’s so much to see and you could easily spend over four hours exploring the offerings of the religious site.20160401_142216-01[1]20160401_142354-01[1]20160401_152556-01[1]20160401_152558-01[1]I actually had no idea how much hiking would be involved just to get up the mountain. (My bad! I never made a search on this) So, we just followed the trail with boldness? haha! As it gets steeper, freezing cold as we get higher, sadly, I just can’t. Too bad to stop at the middle of the hike but I literally felt like grasping for air. Nasal flaring to its highest level. Sorry. I fail. haha! The torii tunnels are literally going up to the top of the mountain, and if you are tough enough to climb the whole thing, then it would be a very rewarding feeling when you reach the top. 20160401_143926-01[1]20160401_143612-01[1]20160401_150219-01[1]20160401_144559-01[1]20160401_144613-01[1]

Okay, back to the main entrance after the failure hike with these kawaii ladies. :p 20160401_152819-01[1]20160401_152810-01[1]

If you can make it at the top of the mountain you surely will witness a beautiful scenery but like me who fail the hike, haha! Just head back, food stalls are waiting for you! lol. (the main reason why I’m no longer fit) I must admit! :p
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GET THERE AND AROUND

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Fushimi Inari Shrine is located just outside JR Inari Station, the second station from Kyoto Station along the JR Nara Line (5 minutes, 140 yen one way from Kyoto Station, not served by rapid trains). The shrine can also be reached in a short walk from Fushimi Inari Station along the Keihan Main Line.

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Coat/Romper/Turtle neck top  Dotonbori Shopping Arcade

Vintage suede shoes F21 Osaka Japan

Loose-type Backpack Esprit

20160401_160453-01[1]Stylishwanderer.com

 

 

 

Kinkaku-ji: The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

Kinkaku-ji Temple, in all its majesty is something you must see with your own eyes to believe. A stunningly beautiful temple covered in gold leaf, even seeing it in person feels almost illusory. It’s as if viewing a famous painting for the first time. But it is so much more than just art, it is a piece of history that solely rests in the peaceful pond of Kyoto.20160402_142656-01[1]20160402_142641-01[1]

Admission is ¥400. 20160402_141746-01[1]

Walking towards the Golden Pavilion, you’ll see the hojo, (Ooops! this ain’t yet the temple) lol. :p This is actually the head priest’s former living quarters. 20160402_141542-01[1]20160402_141538-01[1]

Voilaaah! From afar you can see the glimmering glory of this temple reflecting its beauty in the surrounding pond. 20160402_142028-01[1]20160402_142251-01[1]20160402_143109-01[1]

The Golden Pavilion, as it’s commonly known, was originally built in 1397. It withstood wars and time only to be burnt down in 1950 by a monk suffering from mental illness. The current temple is rebuilt in 1955 based on the original structure and more extensive gold leaf coating was used in this version. In all its glistening glory, stands as a legacy of medieval Japan. It is a World Cultural Heritage Site and one of seventeen locations that comprise the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. 20160402_142448-01[1]20160402_142524-01[1]I wasn’t expecting it to be that gold! lol.
And as you walk past the temple is a small native hut with pretty old mementos. They also sell some souvenir! :p20160402_143215-01[1]

Just follow the pathway inside the temple grounds and it will lead you to their zen garden.

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There’s still a lot to see though, infact there is also a silver temple located nearby called “Ginkaku-ji”. Despite the name, the temple isn’t covered in silver but is believed to have earned its name from the moonlight reflecting on its dark exterior, which used to be covered in black lacquer. It isn’t not a waste if you can’t make it to the silver pavilion (my tip) :p

Pathway heading out flooded with tourists 🙂20160402_144253-01[1]

From Kyoto Station:

Slowest and easiest route:
Bus #101 or #205 from Kyoto station, about 40 minutes, ¥230.

Fastest route:
Karasuma line train to Kitaoji, 13 minutes, ¥260. Then take bus #101, 102, 204, or 205 to Kinkaku-ji, 10 minutes, ¥230.

As per my Itinerary, I spent half day in Arashiyama district  (Click to read post). Leave the Scenic Countryside of Kyoto around 1 or 2 to visit Kinkakuji temple. You probably will end around 4-5 depending on the crowd, traffic etc. and just nice to be back in kyoto station before sunset. If you are planning to take the shinkansen ride bound for tokyo then this I say is the most time efficient course if you still want to explore kyoto before leaving for tokyo on the the same day. ENJOY!

20160402_143134-01[1]Stylishwanderer.com

 

The Scenic Countryside of Kyoto

Located on the Western Outskirts of Kyoto lies the Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty of Arashiyama. It’s terrifically charming and feels a bit like traveling back in time a few hundred years. Undoubtedly, it has become one of the famous landmark which offers a unique window into Kyoto’s historic heart.

Start the day around 9 in the morning to explore the district of Arashiyama. For those who have JR PASS, take the JR Sagano line from Kyoto Station and alight at Saga Arashiyama Station. It is 10 mins. on foot before you reach the gate of Tenryuji temple. Entrance costs ¥500 (6sgd/203php) and it’s really worth the visit.20160402_090653-01[1]As we mosey around the temple grounds of Tenryuji, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and considered as Kyoto’s top 5 Zen Temples, I was in awe.20160402_091643-01[1]
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The glorious garden that surrounds it is a testament to the timeless nature of Japanese landscaping. 20160402_092054-01[1]20160402_092934-01[1]20160402_092419-01[1]20160402_092824-01[1]20160402_092345-01[1]20160402_092244-01[1]20160402_093323-01[1]20160402_093424-01[1]20160402_093148-01[1]After Tenryuji, head back to where you entered the temple grounds. From there is actually the starting point of the must see Arashiyama Bamboo Forest (Click to read post).20160402_090442-01[1]20160402_090412-01[1]20160402_090259-01[1]20160402_093556-01[1] I love the wind chime quality of the bamboo rattling and the light rustle of the leaves. It’s magical! And as you keep walking towards the end of the groves, is the way to the breathtaking view of Arashiyama Mountain.20160402_095821-01[1]20160402_100437-01-01[1]20160402_103035-01-01[1]20160402_103032-01-01[1]If there is one place in Kyoto where I could say I fell in love with at first sight, then It would be the scenic view of Arashiyama Mountain. Surrounded by wonderful scenery of nature and the togetsu-kyo bridge as its most iconic landmark. It’s definitely magnificent! Here, you will be listening to relaxing sounds of the river, spotting boat rowing, and running into visitors enjoying their rickshaw rides. I spent a few hours to savor the picturesque setting. So, you definitely must dedicate at least half a day at Arashiyama district. Now, I’ll let the pictures do the talking. 🙂
20160402_113612-01[1]20160402_113253-01[1]20160402_113340-01[1] 20160402_104133-01[1]20160402_104507-01[1]20160402_114441-01[1]20160402_120610-01[1]20160402_114806-01[1]20160402_115221-01[1]And To cap off the morning part is my favorite activity, EATING. lol. It’s time for lunch! There are lots of small souvenir and food shops lining both sides of the street. So for a choice of place to eat is definitely not a problem. Just don’t be afraid to try any of them. Gladly, I’ve picked the best place to dine in. The Japanese resto which I forgot the name (sorry) :p situated right across the end of Togetsukyo bridge. Gazing at my favorite view, the quaint countryside of Arashiyama Mountains with many tourists walk blissfully in different direction while eating my authentic Japanese meal is beyond any doubt unrivalled. A great combo of food and setting. 20160402_104814-01[1]20160402_112854-01[1]20160402_111035-01[1]20160402_111044-01[1]

Itadakimasu!20160402_110656-01[1]20160402_111455-01[1]

I purposely had a simple meal cause I know that on the other side of togetsukyo bridge lies a lot of  Japanese food stalls by the river.

And who do not want to try as much food as you can? lol.

TADAAAH!
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The sunny freezing cold weather paired with yummy matcha vanilla ice cream! Ahhh.. Heaven!20160402_122008-01[1]

The first part of the day ends here. So, the next part is to visit the famous Golden Pavilion Temple before taking the Shinkansen ride bound for Tokyo. I’ll be making a separate post for the Ginkakuji Temple coz I find this post a bit lengthy now. lol.

 

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I hope you find this blog post helpful, especially for you guys planning to explore the Countryside of Kyoto, Arashiyama district. It actually is one of my fave!

-Stylishwanderer.com

 

Osaka Castle: Why You Have To Visit

If there is one must-see for any visitor in Osaka, then it should be Osaka Castle. Truly a magnificent symbol of the City. It signifies the pride of Osaka. Beautiful and majestic on its own; with Sakura it’s positively magical. In addition to being historically significant and artistic architectural it provides visitors with much things to do and see.20160331_094620-01[1]20160331_094605-01[1]20160331_093919-01[1]20160331_095100-01[1]It is well laid out. There is a lift to take people up to level five of the total seven levels or you can climb the stairs yourself. The idea is to get to the top and work your way down the levels. Sadly taking snaps inside the castle is prohibited but the displays are great and worth the visit with a picturesque view at the top.20160331_093737-01[1]20160331_094724-01-01[1]20160331_094908-01[1]20160331_095301-01[1]20160331_095725-01-01-01[1]20160331_095803-01[1]20160331_100255-01[1]20160331_102025-01[1]
While it costs you 600 yen, 7.5sgd or around 250php to access the castle. It’s totally free to take a stroll around the grounds, exploring the many fortifications and gates that stand strong to this day. 20160331_110653-01[1]20160331_112718-01[1]20160331_112707-01[1]20160331_112643-01[1]20160331_092730-01-01[1]20160331_092704-01-01[1]20160331_092916-01[1]20160331_092938-01[1]20160331_092909-01-01[1]20160331_092900-01-01[1]20160331_093128-01[1]

After you enter the gates, you can see a whole street with food stalls. The food stalls ranged from sweet to savoury. 20160331_113501-01[1]20160331_104130-01[1]20160331_103723-01[1]20160331_110453-01[1]20160331_110537-01[1]20160331_111525-01[1]20160331_114822-01[1]20160331_115551-01[1]

Sakura made it more magical on our visit! From every corner you walk, you see those different colors in bloom. Some were white others were pink. But well, they’re just too lovely! 20160331_093239-01[1]20160331_093222-01[1]20160331_095754-01[1]

Hanami. 🙂

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HOW TO GET THERE:

This link may help you if you are traveling from Jr Namba Station.

http://www.rome2rio.com/s/Jr-Namba/Osaka-Castle

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Stylishwanderer.com

 

 

 

Universal Studios Japan: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

20160330_134208(0)-01-01[1]On my visit, Universal Studios had a “Re-born” parade to celebrate their 15th year anniversary.  So glad to have witnessed the fun parade where casts of different attractions were present. Teary-eyed as I was watching right in front of my eyes, like as if I was part of it. Too dramatic. Lol. But yes, it’s true. A sprightly mood from everywhere. Crowded but fun. Staffs drones smiling and waving to everyone. A vibe literally contagious.20160330_152024-01[1]20160330_151612(0)-01-01[1]20160330_142526-01-01[1]Great if you fancy a whole day out. And if you do so, then I recommend getting a fast pass, if not you might end up losing your temper. Fast pass gives you fast access to most of the attractions from the massive queues especially the rides. But for some who don’t usually take rides, like me,haha (Yes, I’m a scaredy cat.) Lol. then single pass is fine since the park alone is already a fun attraction. Amazing sight with a sublime atmosphere. Definitely, never a dull moment for all age group.20160330_142157-01[1]20160330_161610-01-01[1]20160330_161615-02[1]20160330_162204-01[1]20160330_162414-01[1]20160330_162425-01[1]20160330_162514-01-01[1]20160330_154742-01-01[1]20160330_161131-01[1]20160330_161229-01[1]20160330_155302-01[1]20160330_160732-01[1]20160330_160306-01[1]

Lucky I’m not fond of the rides, and if you are then just go get ready for the insanely loong queue for each one.

So, here’s where I was busy queueing from. Foood! I prefer queueing for them. lol. :p

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My visit to USJ was not even a full day. The morning itinerary was in NARA and back to Osaka, headed straight to Umeda and finally spent afternoon here till around 7 in the evening. It may look packed but it was not. See blog post for the morning trip to NARA. As to my memory, reached nearly 3. Despite the crowd, still able to get in. Hurray for luck! lol.20160330_154927-01-01[1]20160330_154933-01-01[1]20160330_154935-01-01[1]20160330_155746-01[1]20160330_155531-01[1]20160330_155514-01[1]20160330_160218-01[1]20160330_155130-01[1]20160330_155114-01[1]20160330_155329-01[1]20160330_154539-01[1]If you are visiting japan, do visit Universal Studios in Osaka and never miss to get a feel of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Apparently it’s the main attraction and whether you are a fan or not, most likely you will end up getting stunned.20160330_172024-01[1]20160330_172048-01[1]20160330_181506-01[1]20160330_182143-01[1]20160330_181938-01[1]20160330_181951-01[1]20160330_182013-01[1]20160330_182110-01[1]Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hmm.. Need I say more?20160330_182152-01[1]20160330_182652(0)-01[1]20160330_182503-01[1]20160330_182652-01[1]20160330_182807-01[1]20160330_182250-01[1]20160330_182320_001-01[1]
Each attraction has time entry specially during peak season. So for a 5pm timing for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was just perfect. As the sun finally set off. The lights making it more real. The weather dropped further making me feel even more cold. Brrrrr!20160330_182902-01-01[1]20160330_183147-01[1]20160330_183345-01[1]20160330_184755-01[1]

I’m really lazy to queue especially when I see it’s too looong. But okay, I’ll try for once. Just for this famous one, Butter Beer!

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And since I survived the long queue, I bought one with the mug instead of the disposable cup. My memory for this awesome trip to Osaka!

Sayonara!20160330_190405-01[1]20160330_191057-01[1]Get There and Around

By train

The entrance gate of the Universal Studios Japan is located a five minute walk from Universal City Station on the JR Yumesaki Line (also referred to as JR Sakurajima Line). From Osaka Station, there are several direct trains per hour (15 minutes, 180 yen) and many more connections that require an easy transfer at Nishikujo Station.

20160330_191516-01[1]Stylishwanderer.com

Forever 21 Knee high boots, Warmer tights

Online Free flow trench coat and Turtle neck top

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.20160330_094246-01[1]20160330_094253-01[1]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
20160330_094904-01[1]20160330_094851-01[1]20160330_090541-01[1]20160330_091740_001-01[1]20160330_091907-01[1]20160330_094043-01[1]20160330_094105-01[1]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!
20160330_092817-01[1]20160330_092457-01-01[1]20160330_092445-01[1]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.20160330_091148-01[1]20160330_085236-01[1]20160330_085309-01[1]20160330_085538-01[1]20160330_085618-01[1]20160330_085442-01[1]20160330_091133-01[1]20160330_091003-01[1]20160330_090739-01[1]
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!

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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.Screenshot_20160512-003132-01[1]20160330_120613-01[1]20160330_120617(0)-01[1]20160330_120555-01[1]Screenshot_20160512-002813-01[1]Screenshot_20160512-002710-01-01[1]20160330_120457-01[1]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.Screenshot_20160511-001841-01[1]20160330_113004-01[1]20160330_112957_001-01[1]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.20160330_124708-01[1]20160330_124707-01[1]20160330_123433-01[1]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! 🙂

20160330_072749-01[1]stylishwanderer.com

 

 

A Glimpse of OSAKA

Osaka is like a big downtown. Stayed there for 3 days before heading to Kyoto. For a first time traveller in Japan, many would be asking which part to go first? Should be Tokyo? Kyoto? Or Osaka? I’d say do Osaka first, I didn’t regret going there first, in fact I’m glad I did.

Osaka is a more compact Metropolis, much easier to navigate. A great way to get a feel of using the railway system and getting a glimpse of a Japanese way of life before heading to the larger Tokyo.

Osaka is the food mecca of Japan. A food lover’s paradise. The so called “Japan’s Kitchen”. Their love for food is so legendary that it’s given rise to the saying: “Osakans are ruined by spending on food.” Oh, felt guilty for this. Lol. So If you’re planning a trip to Osaka, then chances are you’re going there with one goal in mind – to eat. Food is one of Osaka’s main attractions, but as anyone who has visited will know – it has many other charms awaiting to be discovered!

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The one sign that has lasted the longest, for over 70 years, and is very famous for tourists, is the 33m Glico Man sign at the Ebusu-bashi bridge. It’s a simple graphic showing an athlete in a victory pose.

(So here’s my Obligatory shots for this famous landmark) lol.

Shinsaibashi-Dotonbori

The heart of Osaka. If Shinsaibashi is the city’s prime shopping district known to be the largest shopping area in osaka, then Dotonbori is its kitchen. Visiting Osaka without making a stop here would be like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. With its free-spirited decorations and glitzy neon signs, let Dōtonbori’s cuisine culture pull you in to its warm grip. Situated alongside a lively canal, there is no such thing as subtleness in this area of Osaka.  It is considered the best place in the city to try their regional dishes like okonomiyaki, takoyaki, udon and a lot more. Giant mechanical crabs and huge octopi statues adorn shop fronts, tempting passers-by with promises of what food specialty awaits them.

Time for FOOD STROLL! Yaaay! :p20160329_194512-01-01[1]20160329_195700-01[1]20160329_195951-01[1]20160329_200227-01[1]

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Worth the queue. Hmm though pricey but so tasty! (2000Jpy, 25Sgd, 870Php)
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Takoyaki, one of the region’s famous delish dish 🙂
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Melts in your mouth! Urgggh!
20160329_210138-01[1]20160329_210256-01[1]20160329_205706-01[1]20160329_204028-01[1]20160329_204808-01[1]20160329_204755-01[1]After pigging out, you can head back for another stroll but this time is for shopping. Ain’t a good combo after non stop munching? :p

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