Solo Trip in Kansai

Have you ever done something crazy or something you don’t think you will do it?

You will be motivated to do it when you have strong feeling about a thing. This is my hypothesis. You want to challenge yourself more? Your life are so boring? You are so stressful about your work? You just broke up? Or, you have no idea? haha+ 😀

One night, I saw the air ticket promotion. I clicked on that ads unintentionally. And once I realised, the computer desktop was showing the itinerary of Bangkok to Osaka!!! 😛

Travel alone in Japan is not in my plan at all because I think it’s hard and lonely. Last time I went to Luang Prabang alone and it’s so lonely because there’s nothing much to do. The town was so small. I could explore the whole city in two days but I had 4 days. So, the loneliness was killing me. 😦 It’s bad, you know? Well, another reason is railway system difficulty. According to my experiences in other countries and also in Tokyo, I could say that Japan has one of the most difficult railway systems ever! Actually, Japan has all the railway connected throughout country but it’s too many! There are so many providers, types of train, types of seat, and method of booking. The price is quite expensive as well (especially shinkansen). Preparation about train and subway is extremely needed. If you go there without information, you would waste a lot of time and money. Perhaps one major station have more than 10 types of trains. So, you definitely need more time to find your train.

As the time came, I was a bit nervous. My mom called me and asked about this trip, ‘so, you really go there alone?’ haha+ I wanted to tell her that I didn’t believe that I decided to do this either! Well, my flight arrived nearly midnight but luckily I still caught the last train to Namba.

I stayed at First Cabin Midosuji-Namba. I tried this accommodation before at Haneda but I didn’t know that they were not all the same. I didn’t have a private shower room!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG It’s hard when we did things for the first time (take a shower with other women) but I finally made it. 😦

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My first sunny morning in Osaka was a bit dizzy especially when I explored Umeda and Namba, major train/subway stations. It’s so confusing. I could say that I unnecessarily spent more time underground in these stations. However, my first visit was Floating Garden Observatory. It was so nice and beautiful. You could see Osaka in 360 degree view. Then, I visited Osaka Castle. It was so nice as well. Later that afternoon, I walked around Tennoji Zoo. I didn’t think that walking in the zoo could be more fun like this. There’s a lot of plants and animals in the zoo. That evening, I went to Tsutentaku Tower, near the zoo. I had a chance to see sunset in Osaka there. Then, I walked around Shinsekai shopping and eating street which was located around the Tower. I was back to Namba to find the famous Okonomiyaki restaurant, Mizuno, which I thought the taste was just okay.

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Next day, I went to Sakuya Konohana Kan. It was a botanical garden in Tsurumi Ryokuchi park located outside city area. It was good to see older people walking around, taking a rest, and riding a bicycle there. I also saw very cute children walking around with their teachers. Moreover, there’s some plant shops in this park as well. When I got into the botanical garden area, there’s so many things to see and to take pictures. They separated types of plants/gardens into different sections and zones. For the tropical zone, I thought I was walking in my garden at home. Later, I was back to city and visit Shitenno Temple and Museum of Housing and Living. In the museum, they built the town back into Edo period. It’s like walking in Japanese movie.

That evening, I went to Tempozan Ferris Wheel near Osaka bay. I didn’t think that it was so freaking scary when cabin reached the top. It’s me alone in the cabin and all the sides were see-through. I could see Osaka bay with 360 degree view but my feeling was so terrible. In one moment, I couldn’t sit on the cabin but down on my knees because I wanted myself to get closer onto the floor as possible. I thought I had acrophobia. 😦 Once my feet were on the ground again, I walked around Osaka bay and went back to Namba to try the famous Takoyaki. That night I stayed at Ryokan. It’s a kind of Japanese accommodation as if you were in Japanese house. I really loved this place because I could wear Yukata, sip a hot green tea, prepare a bed by myself, and act like a Japanese for one day.

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Next morning I hurry headed to Himeiji. I just planned about this place for a night because the rail pass that I bought would be worth my money If I traveled some places far away, not just Kobe, Kyoto, or Nara, as I first planned to go. I met a very nice auntie at tourist information who explained almost everything about traveling around Himeiji. That was a good one so I followed her suggestion. I took a bus to take ropeway to Mt. Shosha where Engyoji (Engyo temple) located. Actually, it was the scene of The Last Samurai movie as well. Once I saw the most beautiful temple inside Engyoji area, I was stunted for a moment. Imagine less people, gentle cool breeze, colourful maple leaves, clear blue sky, sunshine, pure nature, fresh air, and elegant buildings/decoration, I felt so calm.

After that, I went to the garden near Himeiji castle. The garden was so so so beautiful. It was so perfect to sip green tea while looking at this garden, waterfall, and fish. Next was my highlight, Himeiji castle. Even though I couldn’t get into the castle building due to the ongoing renovation, the white castle I saw was so perfect. It was so outstanding, elegant, peaceful, and beautiful. That night I stopped by at Kobe to try the famous KOBE BEEF. It was my first meal of the day (6pm). Also, the most expensive meal I ever had (¥4,659).
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I was back to Osaka and stayed at a new place, Tenma Itoya guest house. It was a hostel in Japanese style where I needed to prepare a bed by myself. I really loved this place because staffs and guests were so nice and friendly. We had a lot of conversation and exchanged so many information and suggestion during my stay.

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Kyoto was my next destination. I went to Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu dera, and Kinkakuji in one day. Actually I planned to visit more but I couldn’t walk a bit further. My foot got so much pain. Many talking about Kyoto and they all loved it. Well, I didn’t. I loved the style of buildings and temples of this town but it would be better with less people. Once I met so many people in the same destination especially the tourist attractions, my feeling for them was gone. I didn’t expect to meet so many people like this either. I might spend less time there too. I should have a week to stay in Kyoto, so I could feel more and fall in love with this city more. Later that day, I went to Gion area which was the shopping street in Kyoto. So many people walked around wearing Kimono and Yukata. Crowded people didn’t bother me anymore because it should be, right? It should have more people in shopping street. Haha+ Now, I started to love this city even it’s too late. Well, next time I will go back again. 🙂 That night, I had a chance to try one of the most delicious cold udon in town, Hagakure. The owner was so kind, he explained how to eat and wanted me to take a picture of him.

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Next day I planned to Kobe instead of Nara because it’s raining. There’s nothing much to see so I started my trip late. I walked around Kitano Ijinkan or foreign residence. Kobe had so many foreigners due to port trading with other countries in the past. Later that day, I visited Kobe Kajoen. It’s a place where you could find animals and beautiful plants, similar to zoo but far better. Actually, so many families loved to take their children to learn and to take a rest here. You could let children touch the animals and play with them. At the same time, you could admire the beauty of nature around you. I loved it here even the entrance fee was so expensive. I walked around the port of Kobe a bit and was back to Osaka to try the famous Ichiran ramen. I thought the taste was okay but not so good as the one I tried in Ramen Museum, Yokohama.

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Last day in Osaka, I decided to be just a Japanese not a tourist. So, I left my Cannon at the room. Then, I did shopping for myself, had a cup of coffee, and walked around this town with no hurry. Once I realised that I got just a few hours left here, my feeling was unexplainable. I was glad to go back home but I would miss this city badly either. I missed the friendliness of the people I met, I missed the cultures and all the buildings I saw, and I would really miss the taste of fresh coffee in Family Mart I had every morning.

Bye bye Osaka, hope to see you again. 🙂

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