Thursday, March 8, 2018

First Time in Japan (Osaka & Kyoto)


I just got back from a week vacation with my friends.We went to Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo.
The weather was around 7-12C most of the days and very windy on some nights.
I seriously didn't pack for such weather, that's why I only brought 1 coat and 1 thin outer LOL 

We bought our tickets half a year ago because it was on promotion. 
If you didn't know already, airlines like SQ and MAS will have promotions a couple of times throughout the year. Just ask your travel agent for more info.

We stayed at Hotel Brighton City Osaka Kitahama in Osaka for 4 nights.
I would say the hotel itself is nice. The bathroom is pretty spacious as well as the room.
There's a 7-eleven on the opposite and Lawson across the street.
The train station is just a block away so it's pretty convenient.
The area we stayed is not very approachable. 
We have to change 1-2 stations to get to our place and some will take a lot further to walk. 
My suggestion is to do research beforehand, like how far it is to go to the places you wanna go. 
If you're okay with walking a lot and changing stations, then this hotel is for you.
But do keep in mind that changing stations mean extra costs. 
It's not much but if you're traveling with a group of people, you might wanna consider some other places. 

Sat, 24 Feb 2018

We arrived at the hotel around 12-1 pm and we were unable to check-in before 3 pm.
So we headed to have our lunch.
I found a place through Foursquare called Columbia8 and it says to be serving Japanese Curry.
The place is located just a few minutes away from our hotel.
We headed there and found a super-mini restaurant.
It's beyond our expectation.
The place can only serve up to 8 people and no picture taking is allowed except for the food.
We had to queue for around 30 mins and while queuing, Claudia and I went to 7-eleven.
We heard a lot of good stuff that you can buy from there and indeed, we walked out of 7-eleven with lots of snacks. 
Back to the super-mini restaurant, we had to order at least one dish per person.
No one told us this but most of the famous restaurants have this unique policy where each person must order at least one dish and no takeaways allowed. 
Without having many choices, we ordered one each. 

The chef looks very promising when he explains his dish. 
Well, the dish itself doesn't look that promising to us. 
It's probably not our cup of tea, but we honestly don't like the dish.
It tastes super weird and the texture of the dish is just off. 
One of my friends says "it's like eating dirt". 
The plate is loaded with too much spices, literally, too much.
Each dish costs around ¥800-900 which in fact, isn't cheap. 
However, Japanese portion is HUGE.

So if you ask me, the price and the portion is considerable, but if you eat something that you don't like, then it's a problem lol

Anyways, after lunch, we finally can checked-in and showered.
We headed to Umeda, which is a shopping area, in the evening.
Didn't get to explore much because we were quite lost hahahaha
One thing about Japan is that their train lines are pretty complicated to understand. 
Moreover, most Japanese doesn't speak English so body language is needed. 
My friends and I took the wrong train a couple times and missed our stop quite often. 
So just imagine this, when Google says it will only take 30 minutes to arrived, we will take 1 hour. 

For dinner, we had Ichiran located in Umeda.

We were lucky because there was no queue that time. 
We ordered a bowl and share because we wanted to eat something else afterward. 
We had the spiciest one and it wasn't that spicy for us but that's expected, right? hahahaha
The ramen is pretty good but not as great as what I've heard. 
The broth is something tho and the pork slices are super good. 
However, overall, we think it's overrated. 
Found this Mochi place on our way back,
the strawberry is very juicy but I just don't like this fruit+Mochi combo

Sun, 25 Feb 2018

Headed to Osaka Castle today but didn't get in. 
It was raining by the time we reached this bridge. So we had to go back to the station.

We spent a lot of time getting there because we were, as you guessed it, lost. lol
and you know what, it turns out to be the best Takoyaki I've had from this trip. 
The sauce is delicious, the filling is very generous. It's just so good.
anyways, there are many food stalls around the area and we tried the Takoyaki (¥500)
We were supposed to go to Shitennoji Temple after the castle, but due to the unlikely weather, we were stuck at Abeno Harukas Department Store.
There are lots of snacks and food in general on the lower ground.
Waffle store around the station. I had the Matcha one and it's good :9

This sweet potato costs me around ¥500 and it's not that good. 
Bought it from a stall called Sweets or something like that.
I bought a Strawberry Cake and it is super good.
I normally hate cream but this one is exceptional.
It's very light and airy but luxurious at the same time.
Definitely one of the best ones I've had!
Japanese do know how to make things look good and taste good :9
It almost looks like Lapis Legit but in a circular shape
The one I bought doesn't taste like anything... Just sweet.

After walking around the food area, we were so tired and we needed to sit down.
So we randomly sit at this place called Abeno Katsu Sand Parlor Romantei and ordered some food.
We sat down and Claudia just suddenly went away.
Without any suspect, she came back 10 minutes later with a pie and they sang Happy Birthday song to me.
I was shocked and blessed.
The Happy Birthday greetings fell when she was running and it broke into pieces lol

Anyways, we had this pork sandwich and egg sandwich.
And it is superbbbbbb. The pork is juicy and tender.
The egg sandwich is the bomb.
Even the bread itself is super soft and fluffy and just delish!
Do give it a try if you're around!
We went to Dotonburi at night and had some street food like takoyaki and yakitori.
The takoyaki we had isn't that good and the yakitori isn't my cup of tea as well.
Scallops and Salmon Yakitori

Mon, 26 Feb 2018

Universal Studio Japan Day!

Woke up pretty early today because we couldn't get the express tickets online.
It was sold out everywhere!
So we tried our luck and headed there around 9 am.
It only took us 10 mins at most and we finally got it!
It costs  ¥12,200 for 7 attractions (exclude entrance ticket)
which in fact, is so worth it!
Never ever go to a theme park without express tickets.
It's damn crucial!
Anyways, we got to ride all 7 and my favourite has to be the Flying Dinosours.
Super fun and exciting.
Bought it so that only I can take a picture of it :)
(it's a pork-filled bun)
and with it ;)

and as expected, it doesn't taste good...

Harry Potter fans will know this drink. 
Don't be fooled by its' name.
Butterbeer doesn't contain alcohol at all. 
It tastes more like sweet caramelly soda drink.
The foam on top tastes like caramel to me and the soda, well, it just tastes sweet and a bit of butterscotch.
I suggest you give it a try because it's worth the hype ;)

The Turkey Leg isn't as good as it looks.
It's very dry and hard...

and at the end of the day, I lost my favourite beanie... :(

 Tues, 27 Feb 2018

Kyoto is amazing. 
We spent a day there and we wish to have had stay longer. 
It has this different vibe from Osaka which we love.

Anyways, we took the JR lines to get to Kyoto.
You can just Google to know which train you should take.
We rented the Kimono and it costs us around ¥5000.
We didn't make a reservation in advance but we were quite lucky to be able to rent it.
I suggest you should make one if you're planning on renting some or if you don't know how, like us, come to the place rather early. 
We reached the place at 12pm and they say the kimono will only be available at 12.30pm.
The place we rented is inside Kyoto Tower, level 3 if I'm not mistaken.

Sorry to say this but I seriously had to drag my feet while using Geta (read= traditional Japanese slippers)
I had to seriously take it off to climb and go down the stairs :)
My friends were okay with it tho.
Probably it's just me... right....
Nevermind... continue with the story now..

We headed to the infamous Fushimi-Inari Shrine afterwards. 
Spent a lot of time there taking pictures and walking around.
It's a bit difficult to get the proper shot without anyone behind because it's a pathway and it's super crowded.
Me in real life :)
Found this super good Matcha Ice Cream with the crackers thing on our way back from the shrine.
It has a good Matcha taste and bitterness yet still slightly sweet.
The cracker is so darn good as well.
There are so many street foods along the street around the shrine.
Too much that we stuffed ourselves too much hahahaha
We had Takoyaki, super long sausage, and I can't remember what else for now. lol
Overalls, everything is pretty decent. Not great, just average.
Hokanji Temple
The world-renowned Omurice - Kichi Kichi.
Well, the chef is very humble and friendly.
However, this is a taste preference.
Personally, I dislike red wine sauce and I think that's the sauce he serves with the Omurice.
The egg is egg-celent, tho. 
We ordered a plate of chicken and soup of the day as well,
because each person must order at least one.
The chicken is pretty good and the soup of the day was corn soup and it was delish!

there you go!
The story of my Osaka trip.
Tokyo post will be up soon kay?
Stay tuned! xx, Julia.


Post a Comment

© Julia Joman. Powered by Blogger.