Trip Report by Charles

Osaka (Day 1)

We arrived at the Kansai airport in Osaka in the morning. As we took an overnight flight, upon arrival we had to wash up in the airport’s toilet. After washing up and storing our luggage at the airport, we went to have lunch at Ichiran Ramen at Namba. The ramen there was simply heavenly, one of the best ramens I ever had. We then explored Osaka’s Denden town and also visited the hotel we’ll be staying during our last 2 days in Osaka. After that we headed back to the airport, collected our luggage and took a shutter bus to where we’ll taking our domestic flight to Tokyo. Due to heavy rain, the flight was delayed and we arrived at Tokyo quite late. We took the train somewhere and then took cab to our hotel. We left our luggage in the hotel and went to have supper at Matsuya. We then ended our first day in Japan.

Tokyo (Day 2 & 3)

We went to several places in Tokyo such as Asakusa, Shibuya, Akihabara, Shinjuku, Harajuku. The clothes here are really very fashionable and you can really get a lot of things from here as compared to the other parts of Japan. So if you want to buy any anime, clothes, accessories you should not hesitate to spend most of your allocated shopping money here. Meaning the amount of money you have set aside for spending aside from meals and accomodation etc. We also met Sensei’s Japanese friend and his ex student and tried conversing in Japan. Nic-senpai and I tried taking train on our own for the first time in Japan to meet Sensei and his friend at Akihabara, but we walked to the wrong station and got confused which line to take. We eventually figured our way to the correct station, at the same time we got to understand the railway system in Japan better. It was a bad and also good experience =)

Takayama, Shirakawago (Days 4 & 5)

We made our way to Shinjuku in the morning to take the bus to Takayama which was around 5.5 hours long! We stayed in a guest house for our 2 days there. There are around 6 single beds and 2 double beds in the big room. On the following day, we took a bus to Shirakawago. The place was very beautiful. It is very greenish and quiet with a lot of traditional houses. You can also spot some of them planting their own crops like fruits and vegetables. We climbed all the way up and witnessed breathtaking scenery from up high. We then head back to Takayama in the evening and visited an onsen and a game center.

Nagoya (Days 6 & 7)

We woke up early to catch our bus to Nagoya at 10am. We arrived at Nagoya around noon, left our luggage at the hotel and went to Sakae for lunch. We had miso katsu and it was delectable. I then explored the whole Sakae full of departmental stores, went to it’s Pokemon Center, Oasis 21, walked all the way to Fushimi station realizing there’s nothing along the way actually. I took a train from Fushimi station to Osukannon to visit the Osukannon temple as well as its shopping arcade which has nothing fascinating, then made my trip back to the hotel and met up with Sensei. He brought us to a restaurant/pub with unforgettable local special appetizer and chicken wing. The next day, sensei suggested we walk to Sakae station, 2 stations away, to take a train from there to Nagoya port to save money. It was quite a distance away considering I have walked from Sakae to Fushimi. It was also drizzling and the weather was so humid, definitely not a good choice to take a long stroll. Eventually I found out that the train fare from Sakae to Nagoya port is actually no difference of from Nagoya to Nagoya port. We visited Nagoya’s Aquarium and watched the spectacular dolphin show, afterwards the Nagoya Castle in the late afternoon. We then head back to Nagoya station in the evening to roam about, had dinner, and ended the day.

Osaka (Day 8)

We took the morning train from Nagoya to Osaka. We settled down at the hotel and spent half day our own personal time. I went to have lunch at Ichiran again because it is awesomely palatable and I’ll definitely be missing it when back in Singapore. I roamed the shopping street of Namba consisting of Shinsaibashisuji shopping street,Nankaidori shopping street, and Dotombori shopping street. Afterwards I took a train from Namba to Umeda. Walked around the place and visited the Pokemon Center there before I headed back to the hotel to reunite with Sensei. We went for dinner and met with Sensei’s another Japanese friends at Izakaya. We celebrated Nic senpai’s birthday and then sensei brought us to visit some secret place there. Then we ended our day.

Himeji & Kyoto (Day 9)

On our last day, Sensei brought us to Himeji area. Sensei and I did some hair grooming while Nic-senpai took a stroll towards Himeji Castle. We then went to Kyoto. Despite the rain, we managed to visit Fushimi Inari and Kiyomizudera. We headed back to Kyoto station with some personal time before we took the shinkansen back. I also learned about the “ekibento” which is very convenient for people to buy their meals and eat during their train ride. There is so many variety to choose from giving me a hard time choosing. The bullet train was so fast that I didn’t have enough time to finish my ekibento. We then needed to transit to another train back to our hotel to pick up our luggage before we take a train to the Narita Airport. However there is a delay due to the rainy weather which is common during rainy days as the rail tracks are really old, the trains have to slow down to avoid breaking them. Time passes so fast that it’s time for me to leave Japan already. I don’t want to go back to Singapore T.T I’m so glad to have been on this trip, as Sensei brought me to try so many delicious Japanese food and visited so many places. I feel that the most important thing you need to know to explore Japan is to understand it’s train system. As they have very broad and complicated train system as compared to Singapore, you will not be able to conveniently travel from places to places if you can’t understand their train system, as well as their various mode of transport, whichever is cheaper and more time efficient. I will definitely visit Japan again to explore more places of interest and learn more of their culture as well as shopping ^^

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