Whimsical city

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Konichiwa Japan!

Konichiwa Nihonjin!

After a span of at least 5 years since my last visit to Japan, I re-visited Osaka - Kobe - Kyoto, this round, with my friends.

September 10, 2015 Osaka

AM - me and my BFF landed at Kansai International Airport and took the approximately 1 hour journey JR line train ride to Tennoji Station. From there, we took the subway line to Temmabashi Station to check in to our small li'l Muji inspired room - We booked through airbnb (thanks to my BFF Bobo who did most of the research :D). This Muji room was literally a one single bedroom with a tiny built in toilet so it's perfect for one person but me and BFF are small in sizes *ahem so yeah, we could still do with it.

Our cosy lil Muji Room at Temmabashi Station, Osaka

PM - our host (a very handsome Jap gentleman *thank God) told us a few of the attractions nearby.. no, I think just one - the Osaka Castle, which was just a mere 10 minutes walk away. And so we walked. The weather was pretty warm then.

That's Osaka Castle behind me
I thought this overwhelming huge door was worth shooting
Sun setting at Osaka Castle

At night, we settled ourselves at Dotonbori, one of the must visit places in Osaka :)

Self service vending machine. Ka-ching! Our order is served ;D
We ordered this via the self-service vending machine. But of course, we were served by live humans :P
Fast and yummy!
Apparently, a picture with the Dotonbori man is a must
September 11, 2015 Osaka - Kobe
AM - We spent the day hanging around Osaka eating and shopping

And the shopping starts
Me and BFF at Osaka

Dessert treat at Quil fait bon patisserie, spoilt for choices!

Osaka station

PM - And we headed to Kobe for dinner and for the magnificent night view at Rokko Mountain

But 1st, tsukemen for dinner

Loving this tsukemen! Dip and dunk, dip and dunk
To eat Tsukemen - dip and dunk the  noodle in the thick hot soup. Slurp the noodle all the way up. For ladies out there, need not worry about manners! Slurrrrpppp away. No kiddin' :>> That's what our Jap friends told us. Slurping the noodle from one end to one end shows you are truly enjoying and savouring the noodle. It wouldn't represent you as having sloppy table manners. After finishing the noodle, you may ask the restauranteur to reboil your remaining thick soup into a diluted version for you to savour (otherwise it'll be a wee bit too salty to drink the soup on its own).

'the 100 million dollar view" at Kobe ;) It was freezing cold!

Our 2 lovely Japanese friends hosted us and offered us a stay in Kobe for the night :))

That's Mitsuru, DJ-ing some of this oldies for us

September 12, 2015 Kobe - Osaka

Morning view from Mitsuru's apartment
Sushi for breakfast
Very fresh sushi - can't really get this in Malaysia
After our Sushi-filled breakfast, we toured around Kobe town and stopped at Saturdays for coffee.

Loving this iced latte at Saturdays, Kobe
Is it just me or does the barrista look hot?

Wefie: Nana, Nobu, Mitsuru and Bobo ^^
After our satisfying coffee break, it's time to say goodbye to Kobe and head back to Osaka.

Checking in to our next airbnb apartment in Osaka

but 1st, let us have coffee 
September 13, 2015 Osaka - Kyoto

It's time to meet our other 2 Malaysian buddies - Jasmine and Yuin who travelled on different dates.

Dinner 1st
A must visit at Kyoto - Potoncho

Quaint, cosy looking eateries are splattered around Potoncho 

Geisha spotted in Potoncho

Having our beer by lake at Potoncho

taking the subway back to our apartment. Our feet were in dire of a good massage
Back in Kyoto, the airbnb apartment that me and BFF were staying was a bit of a distance from the Subway Station hence bicycles were provided for us. For those who are travelling to Japan and wish to be more adventurous staying in airbnb apartments rather than mainstream hotels, knowing how to ride a bicycle is a plus point :)

our mode of transportation from our apartment to the subway station:) Pit stop at Fresco to get some drinks and food

Our cosy beds at the airbnb apartment we rented at Nishi Oji station

September 13-16, 2015

konichiwa kyoto!

Loving this fully-geared bicycle - built in basket, lock and stand. You can practically park the bicycle anywhere ^^

Someone who had not ridden a bicycle for years was testing her ride

A must visit to Arashiyama where we were coolly sheltered under green stalks of bamboo in the bamboo forest.


Me striking a pose at the bamboo forest

A group pic of us! lol
Our lunch at Arashiyama

Strong Jap men offering to give us rides around Arashiyama for a fee 
Eye candies - tall and strong
Awesome view at Arashiyama

The sight-seeing train

Me and BFF

We bought a cute Jap doll keychain for each other. Mine is Pure Beauty; Bobo's is Believe lol

Me enjoying the beautiful view in Arashiyama

BFF said we are not in Kyoto if we did not wear kimono and so we did. For around 5000 yen/person

Getting kimono suited 

The package includes a hairdo. FYI, the hairstylist (in the pic) is a "hamsap" man! Beware of his wandering hands (shame on him taking advantage of his customers!)
The following beautiful shots were taken by our dear Jasmine =)

Nana and Bobo

At Arashiyama
Photobombed by Yuin lol!

Never have I thought I would strut along the streets fully suited in a kimono
Our next stop is the must visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine.

Attempting a remake of one of the scenes from the Memoirs of Geisha

Waiting for the bus like any normal day. Perfectly normal to wear a kimono like any normal day. yep

Next stop to the Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

Another "enjoying the view" shot

Vanilla + green tea soft ice-cream for sale at every alternate stores here

Me enjoying my ride around Kyoto (actually just to and fro from the Subway station to our apartment)

But 1st coffee

crossing the tunnel to reach the Subway station

Food we ate at Kyoto
Food we ate at Kyoto

Night view at Kyoto

Night view at Osaka

Dear Japan, till we meet again. Hokkaido or Niseko perhaps? xoxo, Nana