Tag Archives: Osaka

Something fishy…

22 Feb

Today we met up with Dayffd, Kye and Sam (?) who we met last night at Bonsai Guesthouse to go to the aquarium.

We grabbed some food for lunch on the way.  Indian again, not as good as the last place but still delicious.

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We then walked to the aquarium.
The aquarium surprised me, I didnt think I’d like it but there were definately some kawaii (cute) animals there. I even got to see a whale shark! If you’re in Osaka I definately recommend going here.

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This was the whale shark feeding!

After the aquarium we headed back to bonsai guesthouse to grab our bags and then jumped on the train to Hiroshima.
We got to Hiroshima, found the ryokan we are staying at and then called it a day.

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Art Galleries

22 Feb

Today I did my own thing and went to check out some of the art galleries in Osaka.
My first stop for the day was the National Museum of Art, Osaka.
They had 2 exhibions on while I was there,  their collection and one called What We See.
I really enjoyed their collection.  They had done great works by artists that I knew of as well as a few that were new to me that I noted down to research later.
One that I was a bit surprised to see was Marcel Duchamp’s work L.H.O.O.Q. I’ve only ever seen it in text books.  It was quite funny to see the Mona Lisa with a moustache even if it was only in pencil on this version.
They also had Andy Warhol’s portfolio Marilyn prints, a George Segal sculpture,  Wolfgang Tillmans, Roy Lichenstein and many more!

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The second place I visited was the National Bunraku Theater of Japan.  There were no shows in but I did get to see a very interesting exhibion. Bunraku is one of Japan’s  representative traditional performing arts,  designated as a World Intangible Heritage by UNESCO in 2003. It is a closely collaborative form which synchronises narrative recitation, shamisen music and puppetry in one performance.

After this exhibion I went in search of a post office as I had some postcards I needed to send. It seems that post offices are either rare of well hidden in Japan! I searched for an hour and a half and even asked a few people but still couldn’t find what I was looking for.
I then have up and stated walking back to the train station and ta-da! right in front of me was the post office!

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So I posted of my postcards which people will probably get after I get back to Australia and headed off to try and find the Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum.
The museum turned out to be pretty easy to find which was great because it was getting late.
I viewed a “exclusive premiere exhibion of Osaka prints fun the edo era” which were all amazing.
We recently had a Ukiyoe exhibion at the art gallery I work at so I was familiar with the idea.
Originally, prints represented (all male) Kabuki actors that were much appreciated by female audiences. Edo (today’s Tokyo) was the cradle of Ukiyoe prints,  nevertheless, Kamigata (today’s Osaka) was also a very industrious and creative area.  Where Edo represented style and elegance,  Kamigata stood for delicacy and a sense of humour, sometimes almost caractured, showing a desire to render the actor’s personality.

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After a day full of Art I grabbed some dinner from a place called Italian Tomato (since tomatoes are my favourite food it seemed perfect) and then headed back to bonsai guesthouse.

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Back at Bonsai Guesthouse I had a shower and got ready for bed and was hoping to talk to my boyfriend but the Internet was being terrible. After playing around with it for a while trying to get it to work I went upstairs to the common room to get some tea.  To my surprise I was doing into a farewell party for a Korean girl named Kim who I think worked at the guesthouse.  There were a lot of people there and I was in my pajamas.  They insisted that I sit with them and have some cake and a drink. I sat down next to a Japanese girl named Nami and talked to her for a long time.  She kept telling me that I was kawaii, she was lovely! She asked me if I have a boyfriend so I showed her a picture and she said that he was handsome. I asked her if she had one and she told me no,  she was not popular with the boys which surprised me because she was pretty.
Anyway,  I met many other people as well,  some staying at the guest house and others just party guests.
I met two guys from Chilli (their names were difficult to remember), two girls from Germany (Charlotte and another name that I had not heard of before), Daffyd from Wales who lives in Spain, many lovely Japanese people and one guy from the states.
It turned out to be a fun night.  I got to bed at about 1.00 as I knew I had to check out in the morning. 

Rain, Rain and Temples!

19 Feb

I woke up this morning with hope that it wouldn’t be raining. My hope was short-lived when we walked outside. I needed to do my washing today, I couldn’t put it off any longer so I had found out where a coin laundry nearby was and put all my clothes in a bag. There was just one problem: all I had left to wear was a shirt and long socks with a top and jacket. I was going to freeze!
I headed outside and to my dismay it was snowing! Great. Now I suppose I will understand how the Japanese school girls must feel everyday.
Luckily the coin laundry was only a few blocks away so we rushed they’re in the snow and packed all the clothes in the washing machine and then headed to a cafe in the same block for some breakfast/lunch.
When the meal came out I couldn’t belive how big it was. all this for only 800yen! There was no way I could eat it all. But I have it a good go.
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After trying to kill some time while our clothes were in the dryer we went back to the guesthouse with the warm clothes and I immediately got changed into some jeans. Much warmer!

We then headed off to go and look at Isshin-ji Shrine and the buddha statues that I thought were made out of human bones. The bones idea nearly made me not visit this shrine but Lock really wanted to see it so we went. I was happy to find out that it was much less morbid than I thought it was going to be and the statues were made from ashes and not full bones.
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Our next stop was Shitennoji Temple which is the oldest Temple in Japan!
I found out that the Temple was founded in 593 by Prince Shotoku and dedicated to the four guardian kings aka shitenno. Over centuries the buildings and structures have been distroyed repeatedly by various disasters, but the people’s devotion had always made it possible to rebuild.

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All of this took much less time then we thought so we headed to the Umeda Sky Building. We got off the train at Umeda Station but couldn’t see any signs pointing us in the right direction so I asked the closest person. The high school boy, Numda (?), tried to show us on a map how to get there but when we looked confused he offered to take us there.
10 minutes later, he’d taken us to the sky building and I’d found out he was going to college next year to study economics and today was his one day of school for the week so he was “sight seeing collages”.
We thanked him and then walked into the building. I don’t think I realised just how big it was going to be until we got to the 5th floor and entered the lift to get to the 35th for where we brought our tickets.
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The view from the 40th floor was amazing. I was feeling very faint though and a little bit nauseous though it was definately worth it!

After this we went on a hunt for some dinner. We found a cafe and had some pizza and cake. Yum yum!
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Tomorrow I think I will head to a few at galleries!

The Day That Nothing Much Happened.

18 Feb

Today we had to check out of Osaka Central J-Hoppers because they were closing for a few days for a staff retreat.  We jumped on the train around 11.30ish after a bit of a sleep in and then packing up our room.
The new accommodation want far away so we headed there in the pouring rain,  without umbrellas and with all our bags!
We got to where we were staying and asked to leave our bags as we couldn’t check in until 16.00. They let us do that and we trekked through the train yet again to find some lunch. Lock had done Maccas but I held out until after he had finished and grabbed a donut and a cup of tea from Mister Donut. It was good because we were able to spend a fair bit of time inside this way and not get too drenched.
We got back to the guesthouse at 15.00 to see if we could sit in the lounge room but they said we could check in.  Our rooms seem to keep getting larger at every place we stay at!
We cranked up the heater and tried to stay warm while making plans.
We decided to go to a Mexican restaurant I was told about which was only one train stop away since there was really nothing and the guesthouse. The restaurant was awesome, and the food even better! It was very Mexican themed with graffiti from visitors covering the walls.

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I ordered a burrito and a Mexican lemonade. The lemonade was amazing!  It tasted a bit like a spider.

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After dinner we stumbled across a place where we could play pool,  so we went in and played a few games.
We then headed back to the guesthouse for a bit of an early night and in an attempt to stay warm.

Yano-San!

17 Feb

Today we woke up in Osaka Central J-Hoppers and tried to figure out what we were going to do today.
We decided to head to nipponbashi first which is the Osaka version of Akihabara aka “Electric City”. We looked around many many electrical shops full of gadgets and gizmos. I brought a stylus for my phone which had made these blog entries much easier to do on my phone.
My favourite shop was one that we found
at the end of our exploration. It was a little shop that sold vintage consols and games! If I had more room in my luggage I would have brought something.
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We then headed to America-mura, or America town. I was told that it was like Harajuku but was very disappointed after having such high expectations. Harajuku was probably one of the highlights of my journey.

That night Yano-San took the guests of J-Hoppers out for Japanese dinner and drinks, like he does every Sunday.
Yano-San is a funny old man. In between saying “oh my god! it is bery bery cold” he also showed us some magic tricks and tried to trick is into eating plastic donuts.

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The first place we went to I had tempura vegetables. This is probably my favourite Japanese dish so far, the sauce that it came with made it even better!
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At the next place Lock was game enough to try sashimi…. He said it was delicious but I could tell he was lying, which he confirmed later.
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We also tried sake warm, which I didn’t like very much, and Asahi beer.

The restaurant was famous for the sumo wrestlers that are there and it had photos of them on the wall.
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We got a group photo before we left for the station.
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At the train station Yano-San and Ko-Chan danced on the platform. I asked them to do Gangdam Style but they didn’t know what it was. Instead Ko-Chan decided to pole dance!
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All in all it was a great night. Thanks Yano-San!
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Kyoto to Osaka

16 Feb

We woke up this morning and checked out of Khaosan Kyoto Guesthouse. Before we moved onto Osaka there was one last thing I wanted to see: the international manga museum.
Lock, Hanako, Max (a German guy we had met last night) and myself headed off to the manga museum.
On the way we stopped off at Moss Burger for a quick lunch.
We managed to find the manga museum after first walking straight past it and then having to ask for directions.
The manga museum was great. It seems that a lot of Japanese people user it as more of a library. We had a look at a few exhibions that the museum had to offer. One was 1000 prints by different artists of Maiko.
We also came across this guy… A Japanese storyteller. I thought he was absolutely hilarious though I didn’t understand much if his story.
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After we listened to his story we had a look at the main exhibition. This showed how amine was made and had examples of popular anime from every year along the walls.
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We stopped in at First kitchen for some pasta for dinner on the way back to pick up our bags then said our goodbyes and went to the train station to board our train to Osaka.

Planning Part Four – Osaka

21 Jan

The Fourth town in the trip is Osaka! I’ll be staying here for 5 whole days.

I’ll have to find many things to do. Here are a few that I have found so far:

  • National Museum of Art – because I love art!
  • Osaka Contemporary Art Center
  • Shitennoji Temple
  • National Bunraku Theater – traditional Japanese pupper theater! – who wouldn’t love this!
  • Tempozan Ferris Wheel – I hear it’s a great view. I will take some photos while I’m on it and share! it was the World’s tallest ferris wheel from 1997-1999… and I’m scared of hights… this will be interesting!
  • Festival Gate Theme Park
  • Tennōji Zoo
  • Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine – built in 12 BCE… so old!
  • Osaka Castle Park 
  • Universal Studios Japan – I’m not so sure about this one…
  • Nanba Grand Kagetsu – another theater
  • Shitennoji Temple – The oldest temple in Japan, built over 1,400 years ago!
  • Nobeha no Yu Tsuruhashi or Spa World – Public Baths – why not!?
  • Umeda Joypolis Sega – games! this building even has a ferris wheel on the roof.
  • Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
  • America Mura (American village) – apparently this is simmilar to Harajuku and if it is I’m sure I’ll love it
  • Isshinji Temple – this one is a bit creepy – Its mausoleum houses an unusual thing — 12 Buddha statues made of human bones. The practice started in 1887 when the first statue was made from the bones of 50,000 corpses. Bones are donated by families and collected. A new statue is made every 10 years or so.

Anyway I think I covered everything. As always, if you know of somewhere you think I should visit that I haven’t mentioned let me know, or if you have visited any of these places share your experience with me in the comments.

Hannah x

 Osaka