Ohayo my lovely Occasional Travellers! I’m just back from a lovely (but sweltering) trip to the Kansai region of Japan. The weather there now is is INSANELY hot. I complain constantly about Singapore’s weather, but I did not expect the Japan summer to be even more unforgiving – we were averaging 34-35 degree temperatures everyday and the air was just so muggy! No rain though, just blue, blue skies and now I have an annoying sunglasses tan on my face 0_0 . I was last there in 2006 and it was much cooler then.
I mainly spent time in Osaka – I really liked the Umeda Sky Tower and the Kaiyukan Aquarium was amazing for escaping the heat. Other posts of interest include Osaka Castle, the shopping streets of Shinsaibashi and more, and of course eating our way through Osaka’s awesome food! I even have a 48 hour guide if you only have that much time to spend in the city.
Nara and its friendly deer population is quite a sight to behold. Hang on to your loose things because these deer get hungry!
Also close by is Arashiyama and its impressive bamboo forest and temples.
We also made a quick detour to see the spectacular Torii gates of Fushimi Inari!
And had our very own Japan Hour adventure when we roadtripped to nearby Awaji island in search of Udon in Kagawa and finding the longest suspension bridge in the world and whirlpools along the way:
I still haven’t done my solo trip this year, but travelling with other people is never a bad thing – I probably ate a hell lot more (and spent more!) on this trip than I would have if I was alone. I travelled with a dear colleague Y, and many thanks to her friend M who kindly put us up at his place throughout the trip – Japanese apartments are made for one person, so him putting up with 2 girls and offering us his bed to sleep in while he bunked on the couch was really generous =)
Stuff in Japan is just kinda expensive – I spent a fair bit more than I budgeted for and I didn’t actually shop as much as I did in other places. The cost of living in general is just quite a lot higher than in Singapore, whether it was meals, transport or just plain ol’ shopping. The service is unparalleled though, and the packaging when you buy anything is always exquisite, if sometimes a little excessive.
Look out for the Osaka posts! I’m headed diving over the Singapore National Day long weekend, so I definitely need to get started on these posts before a backlog piles up. In the meantime I’ll leave you with this as a teaser of what’s ahead…