Osaka, last full day

I never got the chance to post pics from our final day in Osaka! It was the coldest day with temperatures in the 50s, but we made it to Osaka Castle, a Buddhist temple and Dotonbori.

We met the kindest people, saw beautiful landmarks, and of course ate our way through the country! Japan will stay dear to my heart for the rest of my life, and we are already dreaming of our next trip… 

I love the way they advertise in Japan! The train was covered in pictures of this J-pop group


Osaka Castle






Definitely worth 300 yen (about $3)



A gorgeous landmark representing the unification of Japan in the 16th Century


Osaka Castle Park


bread, cheese and bacon pastry… mmm


the “love hotel” district! reminded me of Vegas in a way


Okonomiyaki – the Japanese pancake


very good lunch spot with a kind owner who spoke English


Shitennoji temple


We got to walk up inside, but no photos were allowed





Shinsaibashi shopping district


Iconic Dotonbori Glico man

Takoyaki (fried octopus)! We were told this is a must-try in Dotonbori

pretty tasty

We ended our final night with wine and ice cream back at the apartment

a savory end to our trip



Our adventures continued with a bit of a misstep this morning. As we checked out of the ryokan, we took off our slippers and went to grab our shoes… Only to see Brian’s were gone. It turns out the guy who put his shoes above ours had the exact same New Balance pair, but with green lining instead of orange. The inn keeper felt horrible and was super accommodating until he came back with Brian’s shoes. 

After heading back to Kyoto station, it only took about 10 minutes to get to Osaka. The station was located very close to a lot of must-see spots, including the Umeda Sky Building and HEP Five shopping mall.

the train

lunch at grand front osaka


umeda sky building



HEP shopping mall


we couldn’t resist



a glass slipper full of ice cream and sweets… kawaii


riding the ferris wheel


those guys photo bombing us make me laugh every time




there was a sweet arcade at the top of the mall


purikura photobooths everywhere! this was the high school hangout



Tenjimbashisuji shopping street


Imperial Palace, Gion “geisha district”

Happy Easter from Japan. It rained all day and after many miles, my boots started falling apart. Even still, we made the most of our last day in Kyoto.

We are staying in a traditional Japanese inn and hot springs. It’s a little intimidating at first because of all the rules. Certain shoes can only be worn inside, in the bathrooms, and walking out to the onsen. The onsen is separated by gender. You must strip down and shower around everyone else before getting into the hot springs to soak.

Luckily, there were some friendly people who make small talk to make the experience a little less awkward! And the hot pools feel amazing after a long day of walking in the cold rain.

yukata provided for lounging after a bath


The inn keeper said it was fine to wear the yukata around the ryokan, but we were the only dorks wearing ours to breakfast… That guy in the background is definitely judging us.

Brian was thrilled to use my girly umbrella… either that or leopard print


imperial palace






Then, on to the Kyoto International Manga Museum. They were really strict about where pictures could be taken, so I only have a few. It was a fascinating place with manga dating back from the 40s. It also serves as a library with hundreds of volumes of manga and cozy places to sit and read.



We trenched on to Gion, home of the geisha, or geiko to be more precise. So many people were wearing kimonos, but I was pretty sad when I found out they were mostly tourists!





Saturday we boarded the train to Kyoto! We lucked out with some gorgeous weather.

Fushimi Inari Taisha


To-ji Temple






outside the train station


view from Kyoto Tower



lunch at the most amazing ramen shop!



our room at the ryokan onsen, a traditional Japanese inn and hot spring



trying on the yukata



breakfast on Sunday morning

Yakitori, Asakusa, Cat Cafe, Tokyo Skytree

To say we were exhausted yesterday is an understatement. Walking 12 hours a day hit us hard in the evening, so we ended up calling it a day around 7. Even still, we made it to some fascinating places…

This was from our dinner and night out in Ginza that I didn’t get to post:

Dinner at Bird Land, which was right next to Sukiyabashi Jiro, the famous sushi spot featured in a documentary


Yakitori is chicken on a stick–gizzard, liver, breast, etc.



so delicious


we definitely lucked out getting into Bar High Five–we did not realize you needed a reservation


he made the prettiest, tastiest drinks


Ginza was our latest night out–we didn’t make it back to the loft until midnight.

Friday was our Asakusa area day…



shops on the way to the shrine


Senso-ji temple









 Then we headed to a Cat Cafe! There wasn’t actually any drinks at this place. I guess most cat cafes in the area are just a place you can play with kitties since many people in Tokyo can’t own pets due to apartment restrictions.




this one sat on my lap ^.^


Next on the list was Tokyo Skytree. It was too windy to go to the top so we ate some lunch and explored the stores inside.






some sort of banana chocolate dessert… looked like a Twinkie


bento for lunch




 We went back to Harajuku hoping to find some fashionable people hanging out on the bridge, but it seems it was too windy for them. We hung out in a taproom near Takeshita Dori and then headed back for a long sleep.

Today we are heading to Kyoto–more on that later!

Ginza: fish market, the best sushi, toys

Today is our Ginza day. It never fails to amaze me how clean this city is, despite the fact that there are no trash cans anywhere! 



starbucks was pretty much the only place open for breakfast


tsukiji fish market


I don’t know what I’m eating but it’s delicious

sweet bread with red bean paste


squid for Brian



4 floor toy store of magic


We ate lunch at a high-end sushi restaurant, Sushi Kanesaka. To die for…. 




Walked off our lunch at the Imperial Garden


Then off to Tokyo Station to see the character stores…



More Shibuya, Sushi Yasuda

More photos from Shibuya…    


disney store


cool Tokyo toilets, taken for Shar. I was afraid to push the buttons…


what does the girl’s head mean?I should’ve pushed it


purikura photobooth!


cherry blossoms


Yasuda-san had a sushi restaurant in NYC for years before returning to Japan


where there’s an Apple Store, Brian will find it









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