Osaka September 2015

Hi Everyone,

This blog update is long, long overdue and I after too much time off from this I’ve started this again in 2016.
The past year has been an absolute rollercoaster; apartment hunting, moving, countless goodbye parties, adopting a cat-niece and applying for University in Korea but the biggest highlight has to be my first trip to Japan.

Back in September, my roommate and I both had some time off so we decided to make a quick trip to Osaka for a vacation.

We booked our tickets through PEACH  got a round trip flight from Incheon to Kansai for around ₩300,000 or about $270 USD. It would have been cheaper but we chose the extra option to have our bags checked instead of taking it as carry-on. Which was actually a good idea, since the only downside is that being a low cost airline the planes are pretty small, so there’s not much room to take things with you. The service itself was good, definitely a no frills deal, but when you’re heading only an hour and a half away you really don’t need much.

At the airport, make sure you pick up a little wifi-egg which you can get in the main terminal at Kansai airport. Different companies rent them for different rates, but they were definitely affordable.

We stayed at Hotel Taiyo near Shin-Imamiya which you can get to by both the Nankai Line or the JR Line.  Directions and map can be found on their website. Ended up taking the Express airport train by accident, but got there a lot faster, even if a bit more expensive.

We booked online for the Western Style room, but when we arrived, turn out we were given the Japanese style room. No price difference but definitely not as comfortable as we thought it would be. Honestly, I wouldn’t stay there again if I went for a longer period of time, but we were there for only two nights so it really wasn’t too bad.
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The bathrooms were decent, pretty small and with a little shower cubicle, however on the first floor they have Japanese style public baths, which switch from Men only to Women only at different times.

—-
First day out we went walking around Dotonbori and I don’t think we realized exactly how crowded this city could get. The best comparison I can think of is Myeongdong in Seoul. We walked from our hostel to the city because we really wanted to see as much as we could, ended up getting lost a few times but overall made it pretty quickly.

KakaoTalk_Photo_2016-01-02-00-54-58_60There were so many little shopping centers along the way, with arcades, clothing shops, electronics, makeup and restaurants.

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(I’m so mad I couldn’t win anything from the claw machine. I’ll be back for you…)

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_DSC0005.pngLater that day we went to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, which I honestly cannot remember the specifics of how we got to it but it’s located at the Osakako Station on the Chuo Line.

KakaoTalk_Photo_2016-01-02-00-54-51_50.jpegThis aquarium is absolutely massive! Every time of aquatic animal you can think of, they have it. The COEX aquarium in Seoul is absolutely nothing compared to this one.

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It’s like a maze of different aquariums, feeding demonstrations and even little pools where you can touch the manta-rays. Honestly, I was terrified seeing the giant crabs.

Can you blame me though?
Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 1.14.39 AM
NOPE NOPE GOODBYE 

At the end there were the most adorable seals.
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I can’t remember how long we spent there, but we could definitely feel the hours go by quickly being in there.

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(^This guy was cute)

That night, we met with a friend we first met in Korea and she took us out for dinner.
I don’t know the name of the restaurant since we actually just stumbled upon it while walking, nor can I give you an idea of the price since our friend sneakily paid the entire thing for us…(ありがとう!♡)
Some of what we had:
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KakaoTalk_Photo_2016-01-02-00-54-46_34.jpegAnd it was everything we expected from sushi in Japan.

After that we shopped around a bit, got shown some cool underground shops, which I sadly didn’t take pictures of since we were nearly rain-soaked and too cold to remember.

Headed back to Dotonbori for the night and I was so happy that I got to see this city come alive.

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——–

The next day, we got up pretty early to check out and made our way back to the airport. It really was such a bittersweet feeling since I wish I could’ve stayed longer but real life duties were calling back in Seoul. This time we took the regular subway there and got to see how beautiful this city really is.

All checked in and a few hours to spend, we hung out at a coffee shop, took a nap and walked around the airport before having lunch.

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And stumbled upon the Pokemon store?!?!?!??

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After all that, we reluctantly made our way to the waiting area and finally headed back to Seoul.

It’s  4 months later and I really miss it! Even though I didn’t speak any Japanese at all it was incredibly easy to navigate; almost everything was written in English or Korean and shop employees spoke a decent amount of English. (Note to self, learn Japanese phrases before going again.)

It felt  strange to be in a city where everything is different, and I have no idea what I’m doing. Strange but somehow secure. Hopefully this Spring I’ll head back to Japan, this time Tokyo and I might just scream with how excited I am. (I’ll literally cry in my room with excitement)

I definitely recommend that you visit Osaka at least once. This city is so alive, so beautiful and  comfortable. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

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Till next time

-Kari

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