Tuesday, May 17, 2016

(Japan Feb 2016) Day 3: Visit Kobe and Osaka.


(Day 3) 19 Feb 2016: Visit Kobe Animal Kingdom and Osaka. Stay at Osaka


Brief schedule for this day:
1045-1120 Visit Johnny's shop near Umeda station.
1145-1207 JR Osaka station to JR Sannomiya station via Special Rapid train 
Bought waffles at Sannomiya station
1215-1230 Sannomiya to K Computer Mae station via Portliner train
1230-1620 Visit Kobe Animal Kingdom + lunch
1630-1645 K Computer Mae to Sannomiya station via Portliner train
1707-1728 JR Sannomiya to JR Osaka station via train Rapid train
Visit Pokemon Center
Visit Tokyu Hands
Visit JUMP shop
Dinner
Visit Don Quijote

Number of steps walked on this day: 17708

While my cousin R and PW went to explore Osaka on their own, my husband and I started this day pretty late since we only intended to visit Kobe Animal Kingdom for this day.

But first, I stopped by the Johnny's shop near Umeda station. (They have other outlets at Tokyo Harajuku, Nagoya and Fukuoka). 
A Johnny's shop is where they sell official photos of the various groups from Johnny's & Associates.  
Examples of some of these groups which you might probably heard of are: 
SMAP, Kinki Kids, Arashi, KAT-TUN, Hey! Say! JUMP...etc...  

Since they have an outlet that's so near to our hotel, so I might as well go take a quick look before we head for Kobe,  since I've never visited one before.
The security guards OUTSIDE the building was VERY strict.  I was just standing at the public pavement and just took the following 2 pics, and I was told no photography and to keep my camera.  
1F and 2F is Johnny's shop.

The exit of Johnny's shop. 
 I was first directed to the shop entrance at 2F, where there are rows of photos (sorted by the groups like Arashi, KAT-TUN, NEWS, Hey! Say! JUMP...etc... ).  To place a photo order, just take the pencil and the order form that's available at the shop, and then fill it up with details like the group's name, quantity of photos...etc.  There's an English instruction somewhere if I remembered correctly since I was able to fill it up with no problems and my knowledge of Japanese language isn't really that fluent. 
They only sell photos at the shop.  Each photo costs 160yen (I think). 
Then once the order form is filled up, I brought it down to the 1F and hand it over to the cashier.  The cashier then went to collect the photos, and then showed it to me to ensure that she got my order correct, before making payment.
Since it was a weekday morning, so there weren't any queues, although there were already around 20+ other customers in the shop by the time I arrived.  
In the end, I purchased a few photos of Yabu Kota from Hey! Say! JUMP.

Ok, back to the rest of the day.  
After I'm done with my visit to the Johnny's shop, we took a short train ride from Osaka station to Kobe's Sannomiya station.  There are local trains, semi-rapid, rapid, and special rapid...if I'm not wrong.
Local trains stops at every station along the way, semi-rapid skips some stations along the way, rapid skips more stations along the way, and special rapid skips most of the stations. 
The train fares was the same, regardless of whether u take local/semi-rapid/rapid/special rapid train to get from point A to point B.  
Anyway, since Osaka is a major station, and Sannomiya is also another major station, so the Special Rapid train will stop at both stations, which was why I chose to catch a Special Rapid train since it will get us to Sannomiya much faster than catching a local train.



Arrival at JR Sannomiya station.

Collecting station stamp :) 
 Every time I go to Japan, I will bring along a small blank booklet for me to write down things like expenses, daily schedule, as well as to use to collect stamps like these at the various stations and places of interest at Japan.  But I don't go out of my way to walk around train stations just to look for the stamp booth. I'll only use it when I see one.


My brother is VERY CRAZY over Manneken's waffles. During our earlier trip with my brother, he fell in love with Manneken waffles that I believe he ate more than 20+ waffles during that particular trip.  
Which was why, when I saw this Manneken shop at Sannomiya station while we were walking towards the Portliner station, I immediately thought of buying a waffle, taking a photo of it, and sending to my brother. :)
Although I intended to try to buy some waffles back to Singapore for him, but considering that this is just Day 3 of our trip, and I don't want to lug waffles all across Japan, so his waffles will have to wait until we go to Kyoto on the last 2 days of this trip.
For now, my husband and I just bought 1 waffle each to munch on for our Portliner train journey towards Kobe Animal Kingdom. 

Some outlets sells large gift boxes like these that comes already pre-packaged.
 From JR Sannomiya station, it's just a couple minutes walk to reach the Portliner station.
We boarded the Portliner train from Sannomiya station, and headed for K Computer Mae station, which is just 1 stop before Kobe Airport actually.



Waffle breakfast

View of Kobe port area during the train ride.

Arrival at K Computer Mae station.

We could already see the Kobe Animal Kingdom from the station platform.


Upon exiting K Computer Mae station, we arrived at the entrance of Kobe Animal Kingdom.  Very convenient. 

The lockers at Kobe Animal Kingdom. 
The both of us absolutely LOVED this place!! 
(this is the official website of Kobe Animal Kingdom, and no, this is not a paid advertorial post, we simply just enjoyed this visit alot.)
I don't know why this place wasn't being mentioned more in other travel blogs/websites.  
Admission fees is 1500yen for adults and 800yen for children.  
From what I understand, this zoo usually closes on Thursdays, except for some holidays and Golden Week).

This is a good place to bring children, as well as those who are wheelchair bound (since I saw quite a number of visitors who were in wheelchairs). 

The thing which we loved most about this place is how the animals are free to walk around amongst us visitors.  
We could really go up close to them to pat them or take photos of them (avoid using camera flash though).

Here are some of the many photos which I took during this visit.  


The rabbits area.














There's a small cafe here called AlpaCafe.
AlpaCafe





Desserts sold at Alpacafe
 We decided to have our lunch at this buffet place (in Japan, buffet is known as "viking") in the zoo called Flower Forest.  
The spread is normal though, but the interesting thing is that if there happen to have an animal show at the outdoor area next to this Flower Forest, then you can enjoy your meal here and still watch the animal show.
Our buffet lunch.

Can see animal show while seated at the dining area.


Buffet spread.


The view of the animal show (dog catching some frisbee) from our table. 
What I had for lunch.

What he had for lunch.
After lunch, we went out to the outdoor area where animals like the Penguins, Alpaca, Camel, Horses, Deers, and Kangaroos are located at.

Kois in the drain

You can purchase koi feed to feed to the koi.  

Penguins :)

The feed which u can buy to feed to the alpaca.






Once a day (I think, you'd have to check the Zoo's schedule) the zoo staff will bring 1 alpaca out for a walk around the zoo. 

Here, the alpaca and the zoo staff was walking past the penguin enclosure.



At the end of the alpaca walk, the zoo staff will stop and let the alpaca sit down so that visitors can pat the alpaca and also take photos with the alpaca if they want to.

After that, I visited the deer and kangaroo enclosure.




Here's a camel, drinking from the tap.  






Even if it rains, you can still use 1 of the umbrellas which the zoo provides (see below pic) to access to the outdoor areas of the zoo.

Time to visit the indoor area.

Capybara :)












A sloth dangling upside down.




There's also an area with a few small enclosures for owls.






Finally we managed to cover most of the zoo, and since it's nearing their closing time, so it's time for me to do some souvenir shopping. 
Below are some of the merchandise that you can buy from the souvenir shop inside the zoo.













Cookies :)

Us.
We left Kobe Animal Kingdom just before they close for the day.
Since we've visited Kobe a few times during our previous trips, so we decided to head back to Osaka and do some shopping at the stores near Osaka station.

First stop for the evening, Pokemon Center that's inside Daimaru building next to Osaka station.




















And then, we went to Tokyu Hands, which is also located within Daimaru building.

After Tokyu Hands, we headed to the other side of Osaka station to visit JUMP store located inside Yodobashi Camera building.  

Here are some pics of the JUMP store.
Yodobashi Camera building
 JUMP store sells official merchandise from popular Shounen Jump mangas/animes like One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Slam Dunk, Dragonball, Haikyuu...etc...






Assasination Classroom




Yamada...




Then, it's time for dinner.  Since my husband bought me a very nice bag from Tokyu Hands, so I let him decide what to eat for dinner.  He chose this restaurant that sells burgers and steaks, located inside Yodobashi Camera building.


Here are the stuffs which we bought on this day:
2 boxes of cookies, and 1 small alpaca stuffed animal.

From Pokemon Center. 1 wallet and 1 box of biscuits.

From Jump shop. Haikyuu clear folder, One Piece pouch, Naruto plastic kunai (think there's some sort of sweets inside the kunai though, anyway, I've still yet to unpack this from my bag). 

From Tokyu Hands.  A bag (for me), a spray nozzle that you can attach to plastic bottles (for him), a bottle for furikake (for us), and a bunch of insoles (for us).  Think this batch of insoles should suffice until our next Japan trip.
 I also went out to do some late night shopping at the nearby Don Quijote store again.  
This time, I tried to see what sort of things I can buy with just a budget of 1000yen (about SGD12)
This whole lot comes up to 952yen (about SGD11+)
In the end, I managed to buy 1 box of candy which you can craft yourself into sushi shapes, 1 jumbo pack of chocolate koala biscuits (which I finished over the next couple days actually), 1 small box of Van Houten chocolate, 1 packet of facial mask, and 1 pack of furikake (rice toppings).  

:)

End of Day 3.





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