Saturday, June 16, 2012

Japan Trip - Day 2

OK, so continue wth Day 2.

We woke up rather early but still had no real idea where to head to. Oya, usually I would be the one constantly doing research for our trips but due to my finals and work issues, I just ahd no time to research much. In the end, we decided we HAD to see the castle and just go along with whatever attraction that Osaka had to offer.

The best way to actually enjoy Osaka would be to buy the Osaka Unlimited Pass. For 2700 Yen, you get a pass that allows you unlimited rides on the subway and also entrance to the main attractions in Osaka and some discounts to others. We should have bought the pass at the airport so the first 2 hours was spent trying to get to the nearest Information Center (which we found out was at Namba duh!) and purchse the passes there.

Once we had the passes, we headed straight to Osaka Castle. It had started drizzling when we arrived but not so much that we could still walk there from the station.

This was in front of the big entrance leading up to the castle. You can see teh castle in the background. It was raining slightly and very windy so it was rather cold.
This is the Osaka Castle. There's 7 floors, each floor is dedicated to a different theme but mostly it's about the wars that happened in Osaka and the important people involved. I didn't take many photos here because exhibitions did not allow any photography. So En Rashid and I just took our time walking around, looking at the videos and historical artifacts.
This is the view from the observation platform. That building with the black round dome thingy is the Museum of Natural History. It was closed that day (every Tuesday) but was included as one of the free attractions in our Pass, so we decided to come back and visit it the next day.
En Rashid enjoying the view. There was a gift shop inside too but we didn't buy anything. Bloody keychain cost like RM20!! WTH?!
Oya, forgot to mention that it was my birthday that day. The best gift (other than being in Japan with En Rashid) was dressing up in an authentic kimono! Bestnya!! This was on the ground floor as we were exiting the castle. This lady had set up a stall that had all these kimonos and samurai outfits to choose from. Best thing was it only cost 300 Yen per person. And you could take as many photos as you like.
That samurai sword that En Rashid is waving around is real. Hehehehe, member cukup bangga ngan topi yang dipilih. The biggest and baddest!
Tu dia...The Last Samurai versi Melayu!! Terbaik!!

This pose was actually to show the ribbon at the back but you can't really see it here. Oya, the lady also choose the biggest flower to pin to my tudung. Luckily I was color coordinated. Hahaha.
There were a lot of school children around, on school trips so we could always call on one of them to help take a picture of the two of us. You can't see it here but we were both actually freezing at the time. It was still drizzling and the wind was rather strong.
Right next to the castle, you can visit the Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden. Unfortunately for us, the sakura trees had stopped blooming but it was still a pretty sight. This photo was taken in one of the houses there. Apparently the yo-yo is a deadly weapon!! Hehehe.
A photo of the garden from the entrance. You have to pay to enter but with the Pass it's free.
After all that walking around and playing with samurai sword, we were famished. So we headed to Tennoji station to find some food. What I love about the restaurants in Japan is that they display everything on their menu up front. And seriously, what you see is what you get. No false advertising here. We choose this pasta restaurant because it looked delicious and the menu was also written in English.
This was my dish; I think it was calamari and clams in tomato sauce. The specified what type of sauce they used so we felt pretty safe eating here.

En Rashid had Japanese pasta with spinach and salmon, I think. It tasted good despite his facial expression here.
After lunch, we walked around for a bit. It was still raining outside, so we just strolled inside the shopping complex. We got rather addicted to the coffee shops over there; every few hours we would stop to buy hot mocha or capachino. Here we are enjoying a cup while En Rashid is constantly trying to find free wifi. Wifi was available everywhere but you could only access it of you had an account. Even in Starbucks, the wifi was password protected. Sigh...
We had planned to go find the Shitennoji Temple (also free) but it started to rain heavily and both of us had no raincoat or umbrella. So instead we decided to head back to the hotel for prayers and a quick nap. When we got there, this envelope was waiting under our door.... was our Sumo tickets!! They had arrived safe and sound. I had purchased them online and had asked the purchaser to post them to the hotel as that would cost less than having them post to Malaysia.
 After a quick dinner (more bread), we headed out to see the Floating Garden Observatory. The directions said "10 minutes walk from the Hankyu station" but we still got a bit lost. Once we got to the building, there was the matter of finding out how to get to the 173rd floor. The directions were in Japanese, so we just kind of deciphered the diagram and finally made our way up. We needed to take a lift to the 3rd floor then change lifts to the 170th floor. Then take the longest escalator ever to the 172nd floor. Then you go up some stairs to the observation deck. This is me trying to stay cool but actually getting a little bit of vertigo feeling.
 Look at the date! It's my birthday!!
We spent half an hour enjoying the sights from the deck. The sky was clear and you could see for miles. This is the view from the ground floor, looking up towards the deck. Pretty cool.
This is the entrance to the building to go up. It doesn't say "Observation deck here" so we were walking around a bit trying to find out how to get up there.
Then we walked over to the HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel. HEP stands for Hankyu Entertainment Park. Sini ada lagi ke Hankyu? Anyway, the ferris wheel was basically on the roof of the Hankyu shopping mall. We were the only ones on it which made it feel slightly more romantic. Hehehe..the ride took around 15 minutes so it was a nice, relaxing way to end the day.
Before heading back to the hotel, we took a quick detour to Hard Rock cafe. Then back to the hotel for some well needed rest.

Day 3 coming soon.


Sal said...

Along, aku tengok ko pakai kimono macam balut toto kat badan...hehehe. Well, flower kat atas kepala tu suit your tudung...hehehe. Waiting for your day 3 entry....

Huda Ahsin said...

Love the flower too...

Nak tengok gambar you berdiri sebelah sumo wrestler lepas ni...

Nur H said...

comeynya! suka la dpt pakai kimono tu...jeles, jeles..