It’s been a challenge for me to gather my thoughts for this blog post. This past week, John, Beeta, our friend Michael, and I all went on a 4 day trip to Japan. Like any vacation, so much happens that it becomes overwhelming when you want to narrate it to people. This is definitely true for Japan! It was an amazing cultural and visual experience. Instead of going day by day on what we did on our trip, I am just going to list out the best experiences that we had.
We visited Osaka and Kyoto. In 4 days, we saw and experienced so much! I would recommend Japan to anyone who wants an Asian adventure and can’t wait to go back one day to explore more! Here are all the things that I loved about our trip!
- Sleeping Accommodations – The Capsule Hotel
While in Osaka, we stayed in a Capsule Hotel. I had heard about Capsule hotels and definitely wanted to experience it. Capsule hotels were made for businessmen who work late. It was an easy place for them to get a shower and rest during the working week. Though still used by businessmen, it has also become very popular with tourists who want to save money or just want to experience something different.
I thought it was great and very comfortable! Men sleep in one area and women in another. When checking in, each person gets a key to their own locker. Inside the locker, you could store your stuff and provided for you are towels and pajamas. In the sleeping area, you had a big sitting area, a nice bathroom/sink area, a spa, a sauna, and then the rows of capsules.
The capsules themselves were great! It’s definitely not for the faint hearted or for one that might be claustrophobic. Otherwise, it was roomy enough to move and sit, had its own a/c, a tv, etc.
We stayed in the Capsule Hotel for two nights and I will definitely book another Capsule Hotel if I return to Japan.
The PJ’s provided by the Capsule Hotel
Beeta’s and my capsules! I had bottom and she had top.
My capsule without the lights on.
Inside the Capsule – At night, when ready to sleep, you pulled the shade down.
- Dining Experience
The Japanese have wonderful food! It was 4 days of filling meals! Korean food is wonderful but sometimes its not as filling. In Japan, it was fun trying new things and everything was good! It was a trip filled with sushi, udon noodles, soups, ramen, etc.
The soft serve green tea ice cream was also amazing! Green tea flavored anything is good!
Fresh Japanese Ramen Noodle Soup
Okonomiyaki! Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. So delicious!
Japanese Curry Udon Soup
- Sites & Attractions – Osaka
Osaka is a lively and vibrant city with a lot to do and to see! We spent our first day there and tried to fit in as much as we could.
Osaka Castle Park – This park is a beautiful area where the Osaka Castle is located. The palace itself is stunning! Osaka Castle has a long history behind it and it was fun to see! I believe the castle was built in the 1500’s. I would recommend definitely going to visit, though the museum itself which is inside the castle, was just okay. I probably could have passed the experience of going inside. Really the best part of going inside is going to the top of the castle and seeing the views!
The Osaka Palace 🙂
The stones in the stone wall that surrounded the castle were huge!!
Umeda Sky Building – The Umeda Sky Building is one of the tallest buildings in Osaka. When viewing it from afar, you notice how stunning the architecture is. The building is composed of two 40 story buildings and at the top, they are connected by two escalators. They really are the highest escalators in the world with the top of the escalators being 567 feet above ground! At the tip top of the building is the “floating garden”. It was a cool site to see but the term “garden” is misleading since there was no plant life at the top.
The Umeda Sky Building!
Looking straight underneath, from down to up!
View from the top!
Tempozan Ferris Wheel – The Tempozan Ferris Wheel is one of the world’s largest ferris wheels. It sits on Osaka Bay and you can see panoramic views from the top! Though it spins slowly, it was fun to experience!
Osaka Night Life – Since Osaka is a vibrant city, it also has a great nightlife! Walking up the streets at night, there were many bars and restaurants that were worth visiting!!
- Sites & Attractions – Kyoto/Arashiyama
Kyoto is a 30 min train ride outside of Osaka. You go from a city to a smaller and more charming Japan. Kyoto was beautiful and boasting with sites to see.
Kyoto Shrines and Temples – There are so many temples and shrines its unbelievable. There are definitely too many to see in just a day or two, so its best to just pick a few and go from there.
John and me
Beeta and our friend Michael
Peace and Serenity
Downtown Kyoto/Gion District – This was a fun area to shop/walk/and dine in! There was a lot to see and to do here. Kyoto is very pretty and the architecture reflected the beauty!
Arashiyama- Arashiyama was my favorite town that we saw! It was a little town less than a 30 min train ride from Kyoto. This town is tucked into the mountains. It was charming! No matter what direction you looked, you saw its beauty!
A pomegranate tree!
On the streets of Arashiyama
Arashiyama Monkey Park – This Monkey Park, was one we stumbled upon by accident. While in our hostel in Kyoto, we saw a picture that showed the Japanese Macaque. We then asked our hostel director about it and he informed us of the monkey park. Nestled at the top of the mountain is a beautiful park where over 200 Japanese Macaques live. You have to hike up a 15-20 min trail to get to the top but its completely worth it! While hiking up, you will see monkeys in the trees or on the trails. Once you get to the top though, all you see are monkeys and breathtaking views of Kyoto! There is a little hut at the top where you can buy drinks and feed the monkeys. The monkeys are used to people and aren’t too phased. You are warned though not to stare them in the eyes or they might try to fight you!
The Bamboo Forest – This is literally like its name, a beautiful bamboo forest! This was a lovely site to see! I would recommend trying to go to this site early as the crowd was very large when we went and it was hard to take pictures.
All in All
All in all, Japan, in the 4 days that we were there, was wonderful. I am happy to be back home in Korea with my pups but I definitely will want to explore more of Japan again!
Till next time!
The most adorable Japanese children ever!