Sadly, it rained all day. For the first half of the day, it was like Seattle or London rain, no need for an umbrella (unless you aren’t a local, or as I heard one Londoner say, “Carrying an umbrella makes you look like a twat.”). The second half of the day, it was more like a Boston or New York rain (but not during hurricane season) and of course, me without an umbrella. I also didn’t do as much as I would have liked to because of that.
I got up and took a train to Osaka, just 26 minutes on the rapid line (free with a JR Pass – This pass is just paying for itself). The nice thing about Osaka is I managed to ONLY take JR trains so I didn’t have to worry about draining my IC card, enough of that will happen when I get back to Tokyo. I had big plans for Osaka, but after being there for about 4 hours I was exhausted and wet so I ended up leaving early.
Here’s what I did:
- Walked to Osaka Castle and explored it. This wasn’t as amazing to me as Nijo Castle because they gutted out the main tower and used it as a museum for artifacts. I was hoping it would not have been gutted.
- Went to Tennoji station and spent some time in MIO (shopping center)…Japanese people really like their malls. Did I mention I hate shopping? The 10th and 11th floor have a ton of restaurants so I went into a restaurant, did my usual, point, and received. I just wanted to say, I really do love Japanese food, like real Japanese food. It is so balanced, with the vegetables and meats. I like the mild flavoring and pickling of the vegetables.
- I also stopped by a Japanese dessert cafe and got this dish, that was rice balls grilled then dipped in a soy sauce and sugar syrup, it was AMAZING!
- Then I returned to Kyoto to dry off and rest.
Here’s what I wanted to do:
- Osaka Castle
- Shi-Tennoji Temple
- Eat at MIO
- Sumiyoshitaisha Shrine
- Go to Dotombori/Shinsaibashi shopping area (they are supposed to have some really cool hair ornaments that I wanted to buy)
- Have some dinner somewhere, then back to Kyoto
Ahh well, it didn’t quite work out the way I wanted, but it’s ok I think needed to rest. I’ve been going pretty non-stop for the past 3 weeks traveling from Amsterdam, Belgium, and Sweden.
After returning to my hotel in Kyoto, I discovered a shoe drying machine O_O Yeah…it was pretty awesome. I’ve never seen one before and I was terribly grateful for it as my shoes were completely drenched so I used it to dry my shoes, socks, and the bottom half of my pants.
I ended up laying in bed and resting while I waited for my clothes to dry. I had it in my mind to maybe venture out and get some curry…well, that didn’t end up happening. Instead, I ended up going to a 24-hour ramen place. This place is called, “Ten’nen Tonkotsu Rāmen Ichiran Kyoto Kawaramachi“. The process was really interesting, first cash only…
Step 1. Get in line
Step 5. Give your ticket and toppings card to the person on the other side of the window (you can’t see their face because it’s a half window)
Step 7. (Optional) You are left with another toppings card in case you want more of something (for additional cost), ring the bell, they will look at what you want then deliver your ingredients
Was it good? Uh…it’s Japanese ramen…in Japan…so yes. Was it the best? I’ve had better in Tokyo. I’m super tempted to go to Sapporo…lol…but I don’t really want to take the 8-hour train ride for that. I will also mention that this place is QUITE popular, it was a little after 20:00 and there was a line. I ended up waiting, maybe 20 minutes to get a table.
At this point, it’s raining pretty hard so I just wanted to get back to the hotel, as again my shoes, socks, and pants were wet.
- I’m not sure how I can ever go back to a regular toilet after here
- I wish I had started on the western part of Japan first, that’s where all the history really is.
- I really like tofu pudding. I never thought I’d say that. Thanks, Japan.
- The girls here are super well-dressed…if you’re into that. I’m a west coast girl…and not the kind from LA, the laid back kind so I am super amazed at why they still wear dresses and skirts in inclement weather…and even while sight-seeing, they wear heels. I couldn’t do it. Good for them, my ankle and feet would be killing me.