Rock, paper, scissors for the win

While we originally hadn’t planned to stay in Osaka for as long as we did (a whole week, which was about a third of our trip), the offer of free accommodation was too good to pass up (Japan’s hostels are relatively expensive) and so we decided to base ourselves in the city and do day trips from there.  Kyoto, Kobe and Nara are very close and easily accessible from Osaka, so while we didn’t get as much time in those cities as we would’ve had had we actually stayed there, the money saved and the extra time we got to spend with Megumi and Eanna made it totally worth it.

Thursday (November 12) we did another day trip, this time to Arashiyama, an area of Kyoto.  We walked around a bit and stumbled upon some guy getting interviewed by a news crew about rock-skipping.  I don’t know if he was some kind of rock-skipping champion, but he was really good!

 

23844185959_25f1f8b745_z

Lots and lots of boats

 

24185985596_8dab0afc36_z

You can get a ride in one of these cool boats

 

23583500594_22e1fd2988_z

Or you can make a tiny motorized version and zoom around the lake next to the real thing

 

23584992513_6324b13fe8_z

Arashiyama weir

 

23843995879_8e2722d473_z

More autumn leaves cause I just love them!

 

24103572802_06274b086c_z

Drifting along the river

 

 

Then we headed to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.  The bamboo grove is beautiful to walk through, and the bamboo grows so tall!  It’s one of the most popular attractions in the area and well worth a visit, it’s pretty spectacular.

 

24103413032_24a29caa1e_z

Bamboo forest!

 

24128773251_f50230b903_z

You can really get a sense of the height of the bamboo in this pic

 

24128759451_bf536fd2f9_z

Up close and personal

 

We walked through the bamboo forest and then headed over to the Tenryu-ji temple, which was pretty cool cause (for a fee) we actually got to walk through some of the structures.  The grounds were absolutely gorgeous and we spent quite a bit of time walking through the gardens.  Plus, there were lots of girls dressed in traditional kimonos, which was really beautiful.  I did ask Meg about it, cause we’d seen random girls/groups of girls/couples dressed in traditional clothes and we weren’t sure if it was for a special occasion or not.  She said that usually it’s just for fun, people will get all dressed up and spend the day sightseeing.  I love it, it’s so cool to see all the girls dressed up in their beautiful kimonos with their hair and makeup done too.

 

24184860116_3660e79d0a_z

Tenryuji Temple

 

24184728646_25b13ce989_z

So pretty!

 

24198135686_c3428b3754_z

I wonder how long it takes to rake the rocks like this?

 

24117511852_ec332b019b_z

Inside the temple

 

24141693491_68feab00e5_z

Love bare branches!

 

23843303009_b22e9ccc53_z

Thought you’d seen the last of the fluffy grass? Haha! Nope! I told you I have a slight obsession

 

23915209310_d7a1f5f3ff_z

Love the kimonos!

 

24116114522_55b6ff3086_z

Just hanging out in their pretty kimonos

 

24224167995_d6facae94b_z

I want a flower for my hair!

 

Then we had some time to walk around a bit and check out another temple (though we didn’t go in) before heading back to Osaka for the night.

 

22940216516_b40f3c1021_z

You can pay one of these guys to run you around town if you’re feeling lazy

 

22977340481_14abfb47a3_z

I don’t know what it actually is, but it looks like a golden turd

 

23857463759_5ea3cf5bb3_z

Details!

 

23597116884_7869cdd89d_z

Beautiful engagement pictures

 

Friday the 13th (Ooooh!) we spent the day sightseeing around Osaka, since we hadn’t really seen much of the city yet.  We bought the Amazing Pass, which is one of those passes that gets you into a bunch of attractions.  We wanted to get our money’s worth, so we decided to hit as many attractions as possible.  It was going to be a busy day! Our first stop was Osaka Castle.  We’d been looking at it from our balcony all week, so it was nice to finally see it close up and get to check out the inside and learn of the history.  There’s a moat around the castle! Plus there are nice views of the city from the top.

 

24117193862_9db38031d1_z

Osaka Castle

 

23929667250_804fdd17cc_z

Looking up

 

23857348449_549f28fda9_z

City view

 

23929636380_ac773609ae_z

Looking out over Osaka

 

24225221695_95efef23f2_z

Osaka with the mountains in the background

 

24199032016_5dbcc64dcd_z

Moat!!!

 

Next we headed to Hep 5, a huge shopping mall with a red ferris wheel on top!  I love ferris wheels, so that was fun.  Then it was off to the Umeda Sky Building to check out the Floating Garden Observatory.  It’s this really cool observatory that connects two towers on the 39th floor.  You get a spectacular view of the city and the journey up to the observatory is pretty cool too because the escalators are outside the building.

 

23047310685_4ff3b3c2c4_z

Love the look of the pods

 

22629059967_07cf26dff5_z

Shopping mall ferris wheel!

 

22655198219_2d58e47464_z (1)

View from the top

 

23929525590_0f1249806f_z

Looking up at the Floating Garden Observatory (you can see the escalators crossing from one side to the other)

 

22620957918_cf7bd5bcc0_z

Awesome escalator ride up to the observatory

 

23598143073_36dd5bc3f9_z

Walking around the observatory (those are the escalators below)

 

22416503884_a197cb80c5_z

View from the observatory

 

24198933566_b1ce4110ba_z

I guess I’ll have to love the handrail forever then

 

23857158549_864e70462a_z

This is a specially reserved place for lovers in the 173-meter high Umeda Sky Building. When the lights come on in town, and stars twinkle in the sky, the Lumi Deck surrounds the couple in gentle light. You can secure your Heart Lock , the promise of a loving twosome, at the ‘Fence of Vows’ installed around the Lumi Deck.

 

24198906206_947b9d99ed_z

Heart Locks on the Fence of Vows

 

24198908846_fd0ccc5b86_z

Heart Locks

 

 

After the floating garden we went to check out a few design shops Kathy wanted to visit.  Japan is really well known for its pottery and ceramics, and the design stores we visited had some beautifully crafted pieces.  I really enjoyed the stuff at one of the stores we visited called Graf.  I ended up buying a beautiful ceramic plate that I LOVE and Kathy bought a bunch of beautiful stuff.  You can check out some of their products here.  We had a bit of time to kill, so we headed over to the Osaka Science Museum for the last 30 minutes before it closed.  It was a short but fun visit as it is an interactive museum (I LOVE interactive science museums) and we had a great time playing with as many exhibits as possible before they kicked us out.

 

22416331694_6165fce6a2_z

Found this throwback while checking out one of the design stores

 

22646877149_d3519ff824_z

National Museum of Art (it was next to the Science Museum. Would’ve loved to check this out, the building looks so cool)

 

23604179184_a09e442720_z

National Museum of Art lit up at night

 

23936818130_aca6042c55_z

Grounds around the Osaka Science Museum

 

23025453802_f70b52f528_z

Spinning! This exhibit was a LOT of fun!

 

Then it was time to meet up with Meg at Hommachi Station.  We walked around for a bit before settling on this cool place for dinner.  It was in the basement and had all private booths (and by private I mean completely private with a door and everything), with a button to ring for the waiter.  The waitress came and told us that for ¥1500 it was all you can drink (sake, wine and cocktails), or we could play rock, paper, scissors against the waitress and if we won once, the price would drop to ¥1000, if we won twice the price would drop to ¥750 and if we won three times the price would drop to ¥500.  Meg was elected to go up against the waitress and she won once, so we got it for ¥1000.  It was amazing!  We got warm sake and cocktails (really yummy) and the girls also got beers.  We ordered a bunch of delicious appetizers and we had the best time.  Meg was super excited to be having a girls night out cause it had been a while since she’d been out without the kids and we had so much fun getting tipsy and catching up and laughing (especially as Meg’s English got worse and funnier the drunker she got).  We finally left to catch the last train home, but we had so much fun that Meg decided to see if she could ditch her husband and kids the next night too and come out with us again!

 

 

23025377382_658d76aa3e_z

Appies!

 

22646784389_5626165b6f_z

Yum

 

If you’re interested in seeing more travel pictures, follow my instagram account at: packursuitcase

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Never miss a post!

Subscribe now for updates