I am really doing much more the last time. I feel like I have seen more in the last two weeks than I have in the whole two months that I am already here. Today I didn’t really feel like doing a big excursion. I needed to write and submit the essay for school and my room could need a deep cleaning tour. On other hand I really wanted to visit Osaka. The weather was really nice today, and before it’s going to rain again, I wanted to do something, besides sitting in my room doing homework. Furthermore, I woke up pretty early again. Therefore, I could finish my school work in the morning without wasting the whole day.
Around 10:40 I headed to the subway and from there to Sanjo Keihan station. There are several ways to reach Osaka. I chose the Keihan line, which is a one of the cheapest options. One-way cost 410 yen, which is approximately 3,5€. At least one thing here, that is cheap.
My train departure was at 11:00 o clock. I arrived in Osaka around 11:45. I decided to go off at Kyobashi station, because it’s much closer to the Osaka castle park, than Yodoyabashi station. From there I walked my way to the famous castle.
It was so hot. I definitely didn’t expect that. I was super happy that I brought shorts with me. Therefore, I changed immediately my clothes. One thing about Japan, which is really good is, that there are everywhere public toilets which are most of the time very clean. I experienced it so many times while travelling, that there are no bathrooms anywhere on public places, which is so annoying. One thing that doesn’t exist here at all are trash bins. There are just nowhere any possibilities where you can leave your trash. Nevertheless, is it very clean everywhere. In school, the teachers tell the children that all trash you produce has to be taken back home. Really impressive! In Europe are trash bins everywhere, but the streets are still dirty.
I reached the Osaka park quite quickly and wandered around the pretty castle. I loved the construction of this park. The castle is right in the centre. You need to pass some bridges to get closer and closer. The castle itself is the highest point of this area. Therefore, you can see it already from further away. When reaching the centre, you have a beautiful view over the city, the castle and the park. Really nice. Furthermore, I appreciated the many quiet sitting spots in the shadow, where you can just relax and take a break.
After a while I took the subway straight to the city centre. When I walked outside, I was literally right at the shopping street of Osaka. So many international chains, but also unique and crazy shops. I felt a little bit like in Tokyo, the high buildings and the big advertisings everywhere is something that I couldn’t imagine in Kyoto. The buildings in Kyoto are in purpose all very flat.
I walked through the shopping district, went in some shops and bought some sunglasses at H&M. Summer is coming, or is already here!
At the end of this road I reached the famous Dotonbori district, the heard of Osaka. Osaka is well known as Japans city of food. It is crazy. This street is absolutely amazing. So many restaurants and street food options. Unbelievable. Especially the look of these restaurants is amazing. Most of them have a 3D statue/ figure outside the roof, so you can tell what food there are selling. Osaka is mostly famous for the best Takoyaki in whole Japan. Everywhere are shops selling these little balls filled with octopus. But not only Takoyaki is available here. Everything you can imagine is part of Osakas food paradise. The famous fluffy Japanese Cheesecake and pancakes, Okonomiyaki, Kobe beef, Ramen, Cheese dog, Melon Pan, just everything! I couldn’t stop taking pictures of these streets. I really want to come back during evening or night time. Should be pretty amazing.
In the middle of a thousand of people there is a little shrine, where you can have a moment of piece and silence. There you can see the two contrasts of Japanese culture. Crazy!
I just walked around here and sat next to the river to enjoy the weather and the city atmosphere a little bit. When travelling alone, I really enjoy that I can do whatever I want to. I feel like I perceive the whole environment much more intense than when I go with other people. When going with someone else you are talking and sometimes rushing. Of course, it is nice to share the experiences and to have someone with yourself, but the experience alone is just more intense. This day some Chinese people ask me if they can take a picture of me. So weird. I felt like I would be back in South-east Asia, where it is quite normal when people taking picture of foreigners. But here? I never expected that. Of course, it isn’t that common to see Europeans here, but Japan is still very popular for tourists nowadays. Well, that wouldn’t have happened when I would have been with someone else.
Around 5pm I headed back to the train station. Unfortunately, I took the wrong train back to Kyoto. The direction was the right one, but this train stopped on every single station existing between Osaka and Kyoto. Super annoying! Instead of arriving around 6pm, I arrived at 6:50pm. Oh well. From there I walked back home, and another Japanese Photographer asked me if he can take a picture of me. Whyyy? Well. On my way home I went to the supermarket. I cooked dinner at home, skyped with my mum, my sister and my brother and went soon to sleep. I am definitely coming back to Osaka! It was such a nice contrast to Kyoto and not far away at all!