Japan Trip 2012 – Part 3

By this point we have already experienced many aspects of Japan. Tokyo was a modern and trendy metropolis, Kawaguchiko was breathtaking and peaceful and Kyoto was beautiful and traditional. Each city was very different but beautiful in it’s own respect. Here we head down to Osaka, the place I’ve always wanted to visit (mainly for the food). This part we do alot more travelling to different little towns and villages so each part will be fairly short. We used Osaka as our base and went to places all around it.


When we first arrived at Osaka, I wasn’t quite as excited as I was in Shibuya. It didn’t have the funky streets, the strange looking young people all dressed up and the interesting shops. At the heart of one Japans biggest train station (I’m talking about BOTH Osaka and Shin-Osaka stations), I can say that there pretty much nothing around it. That is until we discovered Dotonbori and the never ending aracdes of shops but even that didn’t quite save it. So my first impression of Osaka was a rather disappointing one, but of course that isn’t completely true about the city itself. I still had a great time here, but to compare it to Tokyo is like comparing a sour grape to a sweet wine.

Osaka caslte
Osaka castle. Nice beautiful castle gounds surrounded by water. (That's not the actual castle in the pic btw!)

Osaka castle cherry blossoms
Osaka Caslte was completely surrounded by cherry blossoms! This was the most we've ever seen in one spot...

Rude people in Osaka.

For our entire trip we’ve never encounted anyone particularly rude…until we got to Osaka. We asked a random stranger if he could help us take a picture with the cherry blossoms. To our surprise he immediately gave us a strange look, waived his arms and just shot off.

Another experience was when we went to have ramen for dinner, I asked if we can sit at the table which I pointed at. Without any consideration he replied “No table No table, you sit here”. 2 seconds later, he gave the table spot to another couple who walked in after us. If I hadn’t pre-purchased the meal at the vending machine, I would’ve immediately turned around and walk out the door.

Cherry blossom closeup
Another cherry blossom closeup
Super extreme osaka caslte pose
Here is the king standing next to the real Osaka castle >)
Mos burger lunch meal
Finally we got to try out Mos Burger. I've heard lots of good things about it so we had to see for ourselves. The burgers were really tasty! but wayyyy too small! I feel like I need to eat 3 burgers to fill myself up. It's cheaper than burger chains in Sydney but not really worth it in Japan.
Osaka Dotonbori
Osaka Dotonbori. Here is where I wanted go! I've seen cool pictures of this place and the nice looking river. To be honest it was OK, didn't live up to my expectations. It's just a manmade river in dodgy Osaka.
Osaka strange ferris wheel
Some strange looking ferris wheel (if that's what you call it, tho it isn't round!)
Dotonbori billboards
Dotonbori billboards. Crazy billboards, one of the biggest I've ever seen! This place really does light up at night.
Osaka takoyaki
Finally I got a taste of Osaka Takoyaki, from the origin! I'll be fair and say it was quite tasty. But it wasn't that different to Colo Tako's in Sydney. Of course there were heaps of other places but we chose the one where most people lined up so I guess this is as good as it gets?? well I'm not complaining, I love it still =)

There isn’t much to do at Osaka itself but there are lots of nice towns around it which are good for day trips. This is truly where our JR pass shines as we were able to go just about anywhere with it!


Nara deers
There were wild deers everywhere! they arent really afraid of people so they actually walk up to you if they want. Clearly I wasn't a very interesting subject...
Nara Deers
However, they seem to be attracted to chibi for some reason! O.O"
Nara Slow cafe
Slow cafe. So slow that they haven't even set up the store at 2pm in the arvo
Deer poop mochi
Deer poop choco dango. Not sure why we bought this! but it tasted pretty good though (don't get the wrong idea...)

Universal Studios

We were rather fortunate or unfortunate that it rained hard during this day. Fortunate because there was practically no queue and we were able to hop on to every single ride where it normally takes 2 days to do so. Unfortunate because the theme park felt really dead, we were drenched, and finished every attraction around just after midday. The indoor rides were pretty awesome though.

I recommend the Spider man ride! It was incredible. You sit in this indoor rollercoaster that travels through giant 3D screens and the whole car spins around 360 degrees. It’s pretty dizzy but…

Universal studios
Chibi with the nice Poncho!
Osaka okonomiyaki
Osaka okonomiyaki. Really good stuff!


Kobe was a really western town, infact I thought I was back in Sydney! In other words, it didn’t really appeal to us although we were told it’s a very popular destination for local Japanese people. There was a theme park next to the waters called “Kobeko land” (Kobekoko land in Chibi language) which was so similar to Lunar Park. We spent less than half a day here and would not recommend it.

Kobe Tower
Kobe Tower. A bit like Centre point tower without the top observation deck. Clearly not as tall either, it's only barely taller me.
Bruce lee in Kobe chinatown
Here's Bruce lee in Kobe chinatown. Gota love this guy! =P


After we were done with Kobe, we spent the remainder of the day at Himeji. Not much to see aside from the Himeji tower which was under construction and more cherry blossoms.

Cherry blossoms fall
Halfway through our trip, the cherry blossoms begin to fall. All good things come to an end.
Here we got a taste of our very first Taiyaki! Chibi always wanted to kiss one so here you go. Taste wise, amazing of course! we got the traditional red bean and one with white cream. Yumm...

Kinosaki Onsen

One of Japan’s top onsen towns! If you don’t know what onsen is, it’s the japanese natural hot spring that is both indoors and outdoors. The onsen experience was absolutely amazing. It was sooooo relaxing, you feel like a different person afterwards. To make things even better it was raining a little bit that day so the outdoor experience felt really natural. It reminds me of a scene in Pokemon where Team Rocket falls into a natural spring somewhere in the snow mountains. It get’s so hot when you’re in the water that you need to get out, but so cold in the air that you must jump back inside. I know how they feel now hehe.

Kinosakionsen is really just a small town with a few streets. Here's one of them. Nice relaxing town.
Seafood dons at Kinosakionsen
Famous for it's crabs, we had the Crab don and shrimp sashimi don. It's so nice the thing just slurps into your mouth. Time's that by 30 or so.
The SHINKANSEN! was again the highlight of this part. Thanks to it we were able to get around to all the places quickly and easily. We caught it 12 times in total for our trip.


I know nothing about Hiroshima aside from the fact it got bombed. It was a pretty fascinating place though. It was just over 60 odd years ago that it happened, but the city felt so normal. It’s fascinating because it was just like any other city. Nothing particularly interesting.

Cute Totoro cakes
Cute Totoro cakes.
Hiroshima streets.
Hiroshima A-bomb dome
Hiroshima A-bomb dome.
Hiroshima A-bomb dome before and after
Hiroshima A-bomb dome before and after
They call me the Shinkansen Ojichan
They call me the Shinkansen Ojichan.
Shinkansen toy
And here's the awesome Shinkansen toy chibi got me. I love it!! thank you =)




  1. ahahaha.. That poster of Shinkansen Ojichan is my favourite XDDD The photo with the cherry blossoms on the ground looks amazing too :]

    LOL. Deer poop choco dango. XDDD

  2. My only experience with Osaka was being stuck at the station for 16 minutes because of a late train. I always enjoy bringing that up when people whine about CityRail (rightfully so) and are overly obsessed with Japan (not rightfully so).

    Rude people in Osaka, I see. Well, there are rude people in every country. Also, racism is a real issue, as much as Japan try and hide it. Check out this video:


    Not sure if I’ve mentioned this but I do have a story to share. When I first arrived in Japan, as we were going through customs, the officer asked why I came here from Hong Kong. I spoke to him in Japanese, and after a few exchanges, he let me through. Then, it was my friend’s turn. My friend talked to him in English. The officer asked him the exact same questions. My friend gave the same answers. Again, all in English. The security then asked my friend to open his suitcase for inspection. Strange how we were treated differently. Just saying.

    Haha, that pose again XD. Hope you did the pose in Hong Kong!

    Yeah, I too got to try out Mos Burger in Ikebukuro! I keep calling it Moe Burger by accident =3.

    Osaka Dotonbori looks really amazing in that picture man. Maybe it’s different in real life.

    Hahahahaha, the deer saw you and was like, “meh”, MZ style XD. They’re probably more willing to approach people who look a little intimidated.

    Slow cafe sounds like a winner! The poop dango looks good, too.

    Yeah, Kobe Tower looks pretty short indeed 8). It’s funny how Japanese people love Bruce Lee, even though he wiped out an entire Japanese school by himself in Fist of Fury XD.

    Hiroshima is a place I’d be interested in checking out if I’d had more time. The streets do look normal indeed. However, to my knowledge, even to this day, if you visit many of the spots with a geiger counter, the thing still ticks off. Sadly, it also happens in other parts of Japan now because of what happened in March last year.

    Anyway, I guess the next post will be about Hong Kong _(*3*)/~

    1. I don’t feel like we were treated differently because of our race. We were just unlucky to ask the wrong guy for a photo. He probably didn’t feel comfortable using a camera and reacted badly :/ There were plenty of real nice people who helped us take pics.

      The staff who sent us to another table was rude, but I feel like the overall experience was more pleasant than negative. Most staff were awesome (apart from this guy)

      I’m not doubting racism. It exists everywhere. But it’s not something I personally experienced while in Japan. (Or maybe they can’t tell the difference between a Chinese and a Japanese XD)

      1. That’s cool. I definitely never meant to imply that racism is a bigger issue in Japan than in other countries. What I meant was that racism exists everywhere including Japan. I for one have no bad experience with Japan at all. Although I had more fun in Hong Kong, I had some bad experiences there.

        The thing is, when I was in Japan, I hardly spoke to the people in English. I’m not sure how much patience people will display if they’re struggling to understand me. It’s the same thing in Hong Kong. I wonder how they treat people who only speak English. Of course, I’m confident the Japanese have incredible patience. That little episode I had at the airport was just really jarring. It can happen in any country, though.

        1. By the way, if I were in that restaurant, I would’ve asked why those people were allowed to sit there and not us! >O

        2. I only spoke in English while in Japan (apart from the occasional sumimasen and arigatou) and I thought people were pretty patient. One lady offered to give us her train ticket because she had just bought a new weekly or monthly ticket and had a spare one to giveaway free. Upon knowing we couldn’t speak Japanese, she continued to try to explain to us she’s giving this ticket for us to use. I think it’s actually amazing how much we can communicate through basic body language 🙂

          1. Oh, and while we were in Kyoto, we were lost in the middle of nowhere trying to find our hotel. An old gramps riding a bike stopped to ask if we needed help, and not knowing any English either, he stayed put and tried to help us out. He eventually asked a postman for directions and then personally took us there, instead of just pointing in some direction 🙂

          2. What a cool gramps (^-^). Often, it’s the older generation I’m concerned about. The ones who experienced the WWII or its aftermath. So, yeah, good to hear. Seeing those US rescue helicopters fly over to Japan during march last year was very moving.

            I’ve heard about a story in Hong Kong. Some white tourists ate in a restaurant. Later, they visited again, this time with a Chinese local. The menu they received looked completely different from last time’s. Turned out that restaurant gives a pricier menu to tourists. It became a legal case. Stuff like that probably happens a lot across the world.

          3. Yeah, that Ojichan was so nice! Almost nicer than the check-out lady at 7-eleven that bowed at me 5 times for buying an Onigiri >D

            We didn’t experience the slightest bit of racism. Of course racism occurs in every country but I reckon it’s nothing compared to what happens here. I read an article that asian overseas students get bashed up here quite frequently O_O

          4. Also at Kinosaki Onsen, we were having trouble with understanding how to buy the entry passes. We weren’t sure how it works and they were trying to explain to us things like you can buy this pass and access all 7 onsens in the town and you can hire a towel which you can take with you to other onsens and return it there. Took us probably over 10 minutes to understand each other but at the end we all just had a good laugh =D

    2. Ya, I was merely just comparing Osaka to the other parts of Japan we went to and in general I find that people are much nicer in Tokyo. People were more than happy to help us take pics.

      I remember when we were in Kyoto, we asked this old gramps to help us take a shot at the bamboo grove. Not only did he tell us where to stand but took his time and shot like 5 photos (non of them looked that great unfortunately >D). So we were shocked at what happened in Osaka. But in general Osaka isn’t bad at all, infact, the people are already several notches nicer than people here in Australia and Hong Kong. But compared to say Kyoto, they seem a little rude.

      LOL love your comment about Bruce Lee! that is so true.

      *Crap, better fly back to HK to take extreme pose shot!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *