And so our very anticipated Autumn-winter holiday to Kansai Japan came and went. Needless to say, we are now suffering from major post-holiday blues. After the 8-year hiatus, I must say, Japan, you are still as charming as ever. I used to travel to Japan yearly until 8 years ago, now after this great adventure, I think this annual trip to Japan might be a reality again.
I just got to share the hits for this trip for us. In fact, there are so many more hits than misses so I will try to keep to our top 5. If time permits, I will post more details on our itinerary and perhaps some reviews on the places and hotels we went, that is if I have the time.
Here we go on the best 5 of our Kansai Adventure!
Pictures say a thousand words and I shall let the following pictures say their thousand words first.
These are some pictures taken at Kiyomizudera which was still in all autumn glory when we visited. After this day trip to Kyoto, we decided that we must head back to Kyoto again. The colours, the tastes of Kyoto sweets and snacks are still so vivid in our minds. I have visited the same place when I was much much younger, yet I do not remember it being so beautiful. In the name of its charm and beauty, I shall dedicate another blog entry on our memorable day trip to Kyoto.
I thought Nara would top the list of my top five. Kyoto really emerged as the dark horse. Nara was lovely because of the space it could offer. The girls enjoyed the walk to Todaiji because of the spacious park and not forgetting the sight of many Wild deers along the way. The only minus point of this day trip was perhaps, the too-many deers outside the gate of Todaiji! The deers can go aggressive when they see the visitors feeding. Kay even had a deer head- butt her backside but thankfully the deer had no antlers so it all ended in good laughters instead of tears. Nonetheless, feeding the deers is still a must. Other than the deers, we also chanced upon a mini earthquake museum cum free resting place that was very charming. More on that too and our Nara day trip in another entry.
3) Universal Studio Japan
Of course this got to be in top 5. Great place for the kids and it also has most amazing attraction — Harry Potter’s Wizarding World. The rides, the characters, crowd and the long long walks in cold cold afternoons and evenings probably would be etched in our minds for a while.
We made a half day trip to Kobe to eat at the famous Steakland. Needless to say, the Kobe beef was heavenly. But the impromptu trip to visit the Kobe Illuminarie became the highlight of the visit. Highlight not just because of the meaningful event and the beautiful lights, more because of the extreme cold that we went through just to go past these lights. It certainly brought memories of 11 years ago back to me when I also went through the same cold, winds and crowd at the same place and same event. This round we also went to the night market at the end of the walk and had the best fried mochi ever! We wanted to have a second portion but the long queue turned us off. I guess the most beautiful memories will remain because of its elusiveness.
5) Food, themed restaurants, games Arcades, shopping and everything about Osaka
Kinda says it all, no? Who could resist food in Japan? The okonomiyaki, Takoyaki, ice-cream, cakes and the best lobster roll I ever had.
We even visited not one but two character inspired cafes – Peko and PomPomPurin. The shopping at Shinsaibashi and Sanbaigai and the pharmacy was just crazy. We had a mad time spending money in the arcades where winning prizes was not too difficult for amateurs like me. Not forgetting the kids-friendly Osaka Kids Plaza and Museum of housing and living. We also revisited Hep Five Ferris Wheel with the girls this time round.
So, one can see why it is not going to be easy for us to get over this holiday. Over ten days I believe we have seen quite a bit of Kansai despite traveling with a fairly large entourage with two young kids. I certainly have to applaud the kids for going through the many long walks and rather demanding itinerary.
The Ngs are certainly looking forward to return to Japan once again. Well for now we shall slowly nurse our blues and save really hard for our next adventure, hopefully. Will certainly be posting more so that I can relive the fun through writing once again.