Monday, May 8, 2017

Going Japan, again...

Sorry for the slow uploading of my Japan blog entries.
Been trying to unpack then repack my luggage for the past couple of days.

I'm heading off to Japan today, leaving home in about 30mins' time, and I'm still not yet finished packing my luggage. Heh.

Monday, April 24, 2017

(Japan Oct 2016) Day 4: Osaka to Arima onsen. Stay at Arima onsen

Day 4 (3 Oct 2016): Osaka to Arima onsen. Stay at Arima onsen.

It was a rainy day on this day, when we made the journey from Osaka to Kobe's Arima onsen.
This is probably 1 of the onsen (hotspring) towns that is more popular in Kansai region. 

We took a short shinkansen train from Shin-Osaka station to Shin-Kobe, and then transferred to a few non-JR trains to reach Arima onsen. Since we were lugging our luggage and it was raining, so I didn't really take photos during the train journey in the morning.

From the train station at Arima onsen, we took a short 5mins taxi ride to our ryokan, where we then deposited our luggage bags (since it was still too early for check-in) before heading out into the town to have lunch and do some exploration. 

There's a small 7-eleven convenience store down the slope not too far from our ryokan.

Walking about in Arima onsen.  Luckily the rain wasn't that heavy, just slight drizzling.  

foot onsen

We walked 1 round through the streets of the old town area of Arima onsen, while looking for somewhere to have our lunch.  

We chose to have our lunch at this restaurant.
 We had tendon for lunch. :) 

We sat outside the stall while we ate these, since there's still a little time left till we can check-in to our ryokan.  

While heading back to our ryokan, we stopped by the convenience store to buy some snacks and drinks, since there's no way I would want to walk down the steep slope from our ryokan later in the day again just to go to the convenience store 

Oh, hello Chinen. 
 We were finally able to check in.  For this night, we stayed at a ryokan called Arima View. They have a large variety of onsen pools, and I really enjoyed their onsen variety alot.   
If you are not staying at Arima view, you can also visit their onsen since their onsen area (plus their food court area) is also available to non-staying guests, with an admission fee.
This is our room.

While we were in our room, prepping to head to onsen, I spotted a Far'fetched pokemon on the radar map that is not too far from our ryokan.  Even though it was raining heavily outside and we had already changed into our yukata, but we took our phones and loaned umbrella from the ryokan, and DASHED OUT in search of the Far'fetched.  After walking around for about 5mins (including walking through a tunnel in the middle of nowhere), we finally found the Far'fetched outside another ryokan. :)

Looking for the Far'fetched.
Finally caught the Far'fetched outside this ryokan. lol.
 Now that we managed to catch the Far'fetched, we can finally stop staring at the Pokemon radar map for the rest of the trip. lol.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in the onsen, trying out the various onsen pools.  Then we had dinner, and then went onsen again.  Haha.  
Dinner at our ryokan

Guess my name was too long to fit into the column. Heh.

Go next to Day 5: Kurashiki

Saturday, March 11, 2017

(Japan Oct 2016) Day 3: Nagoya to Kyoto to Osaka.

Day 3 (2 Oct 2016): Nagoya to Kyoto to Osaka. Stay Osaka

Our original plan was to visit Uji in Kyoto on this day.  But by the time we arrived at Kyoto and deposited our luggage bag at the coin lockers, we realised that the weather was way too hot for us to want to walk under the sun. 
This was supposed to be autumn, but it felt more like summer to us.

And so, after eating a waffle from Manneken outlet and then wasting money on the coin lockers, we took out our luggage from the lockers and decided to skip Kyoto and just head for Osaka's air conditioned shopping malls instead.   -_-...

My brother's fav waffles

I nearly always buy a waffle from here whenever I am at Kyoto station.

Kyoto station. Wandering around while trying to figure out if we should skip Kyoto or not, cuz the weather was too hot for us.
 We decided to skip Kyoto, and instead, head for Shin-Osaka to deposit our luggage at the hotel, and then go to the air-conditioned shopping malls at Umeda station area to escape the heat.

Came across this apple vending machine at Shin-Osaka station, while walking towards our hotel.

Shin-Osaka station's exterior

Chargeable parking for bicycles near Shin-Osaka station.
Walking towards our hotel.
 For this trip, we would be staying at Toyoko-Inns for quite a number of nights, since it is inexpensive and usually located near train station.  The beds are pretty hard though, but the free breakfast is a nice touch, especially for those on a budget.  
Our room at the Toyoko Inn hotel not too far from Shin-Osaka station.

 After depositing our luggage, we went to Shin-Osaka station to look for a quick lunch since we were both really hungry by now.

Tendon for him

Katsudon for me

After we were done with lunch, we took a short train ride from Shin-Osaka station to Osaka station.  Since we were using JR railpass, so we took the JR train line instead of the subway line since the JR line is covered by JR railpass while the subway line is not. 
1 of the shopping malls next to Osaka station.
 The area surrounding Osaka station is usually known as Umeda area.  There are many shopping malls around here.

Ahh....air-conditioning...I missed you...

1st stop, Tokyu Hands inside Daimaru building next to Osaka station.

I currently have a fridgeezoo in my fridge (that nags at me whenever I keep my fridge door opened for too long) which we bought during 1 of our earlier Japan trips.  
Ours speaks in Japanese (with a thick Osaka accent, lol), and my aunt and cousin R wanted us to help them get a English version for their fridge.

And that's why we went Tokyu Hands to look for some fridgeezoo. 

Next stop, Pokemon center!! Both hubby and I were in the midst of Pokemon Go craze during this trip (still yet to catch a Far'fetched at this point of the trip) and so, we both spent quite awhile browsing through the store.

 In the evening, we went to Shinsekai area for Kushikatsu dinner.  

Found you!! Kushikatsu Daruma!
 Kushikatsu is 1 of the food speciality in Osaka.  It is basically food on skewers, breaded and deep fried.  There's many options, like beef, pork, chicken, mushroom, prawn, squid, sausage, quail's egg...etc...and are pretty inexpensive at between 100+ to 200+ yen per skewer.

The key thing to note is, to NEVER DOUBLE DIP into the kushikatsu sauce.  Meaning, after you have taken a bite onto your skewer, you should NEVER re-dip the same skewer into the sauce. 

Our favourite is this chain called KushiKatsu Daruma.  They have quite a number of outlets spread across Osaka.  Since many tourists visits KushiKatsu Daruma, so they usually have an English menu

My personal fav is the pork katsu, whereas my hubby likes the quail egg.

You can recognise KushiKatsu Daruma by their mascot of this guy holding 2 kushikatsu sticks in front of him.

Evening at ShinSekai

 The shops at ShinSekai are usually stores selling kushikatsu, although there are also shops that sells other food other than kushikatsu.

After dinner at Shinsekai, while walking towards the train station, we saw this large Don Quijote outlet.  Since it started to rain, so we dashed into the store for some shopping.
Many tourists often shop at the Don Quijote store at Dotonbori, but I try to avoid that particular outlet cuz it is usually packed with foreign tourists and can be quite chaotic.  
I prefer the more peaceful, and larger outlets in the suburbs where I can shop at a more leisurely pace.
The large Don Quijote store just infront of 1 of the exits to Dobutsuenmae subway station.

1 of my objectives of this trip was to buy an Anello bag.  And so, I got a brown one from here. 4500yen if I remembered correctly.

We also bought some snacks at Don Quijote too. Spent more than 1hr shopping at this outlet, since it was still raining outside, and we didn't have anything else planned for the evening anyway.

Saw more Fridgeezoo again here, seems to be slightly cheaper than Tokyu Hands though. 

Once the rain stopped, we took took the subway back to Shin-Osaka station and walked back to the hotel.  Since most Don Quijote stores either opens for 24hrs or at least till past midnight, so be sure to check the time when you are shopping at Don Quijote and don't miss the last train/subway back to your hotel.