One of the must-go to places in Osaka for a theme park lover such as myself is definitely the Universal Studios located in Osaka bay, Japan. USJ was the first theme park under the Universal Studios brand built in Asia. It also houses the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the first in Asia and is probably the main attraction in USJ. It was raining on the day that we went there but it didn’t stop us from having the best time in USJ.
Nara is a spectacularly picturesque city which is second only to Kyoto for the richness and beauty of its temples, shrines and gardens. It is located less than one hour from Kyoto and Osaka. Due to its past as the first permanent capital, it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan’s oldest and largest temples.
From our hotel, we took the JR Train (Osaka Loop first, then continued on the same train to Nara station via Yamatoji Line). Once we reached the station, we went around, bought some snacks at the local supermarket, asked the tourist information center for some directions on where we can eat and off we went. Everything is just walking distance from the train station although there is a Nara Sightseeing Bus that stops at all the tourist spots within Nara. We opted to just walk since it was a nice day to stroll around anyways. 🙂
Osaka was the first and final stop of our Japan trip. After another shinkansen ride from Nagoya to Shin-Osaka, we took the Midosuji subway Line to Dobutsuenmae Station, which is the nearest station to our hotel, Hotel Chuo. A glitch on this subway station is that there was no elevator! In short, 3 flights of stairs with heavy luggage. Anyways, after leaving our bags in the hotel for storage, we were starving and upon one of the guests recommendation, we made our way to Osaka’s food haven, Dotonburi.
Read more on our Japan Adventures through my Japan Diaries series. ❤
Dotonburi is definitely one of the must-go places in Osaka. Once well-known as a theater district, it is now a popular nightlife and entertainment area characterized by its eccentric atmosphere and large illuminated billboards.
Nagoya is the 4th most populated city in Japan and our 3rd stop for this Japan Diaries. Early morning we said our goodbyes to Tokyo and took another bullet train ride to Nagoya. By this time the temperature continued to drop and having 5 layers of clothing was still not enough for me. Nevertheless, we still had the best of times in Nagoya.
After riding a subway and walking for 10 minutes we found our hostel, our favorite of all, left our bags and made our way to Nagoya Castle on foot. Nagoya Castle is among the top castles to visit in Japan and one of the biggest in the country. (Admission fee: 500 JPY)
I love theme parks! And I love Disney. I have been to DisneyLand HK for 3 times, and I would still go again if given the chance. Now there are several Disney Land theme park around the world, but there is only one DisneySea existing at the moment, and it’s found in Japan. Among our group, only XP was the one who hasn’t been to any DisneyLand and so in the end we decided to go for DisneySea.
DisneySea is part of the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Chiba, Japan, just outside Tokyo. It is situated near Tokyo Bay and is accessible by the JR Keiyo Line from Tokyo station. We took the JR Keiyo Line towards Nishi-Funabasi and alighted at Maihama Station. Then we walked towards the Tokyo Disney Resort Welcome Center and took the Disney train to DisneySea (260 JPY).
We were day 2 in our Tokyo tour and our gang is finally complete! Babe flew to Osaka the previous day and took the early shinkansen from Osaka to Tokyo, reached the train station by 10am, kept her luggage in one of the station lockers and we were finally good to go for another day of Tokyo fun.
Read more: Japan Diaries: Autumn in Tokyo Part 1
Our first stop is a look at the old facade of the Tokyo train station. The iconic European-style red-brick building was originally constructed in 1914. After surviving the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, it was later burned and gutted in 1945 firebombings. Post-war reconstruction resulted in several modifications to the building until in 2006 a reconstruction project began to restore Tokyo Station to its former 1914 charm. This facade is accessible by the Marunouchi Exit of the Tokyo train station, which is also the exit nearest to our next stop, the Imperial Gardens and Palace.
Oh Tokyo, where do I begin.
The next day after our Kyoto trip, we packed our bags and went to the train station and took the bullet train to Tokyo. After almost 3 hours we reached the bustling city of Tokyo. We went to our hotel in Akihabara and left our bags and we were off for a day of adventure.
Ueno Park is a public park near the Ueno station of JR Keihintohoku Line. I love, love, loved the yellow leaved trees. I already fell in love with the Kyoto. But it doesn’t stop there. It keeps getting better and better. 🙂
After walking around the park we saw a crowded alleyway from a distance that turned out to be the Ameyayokocho market. After looking around we decided to move on to our next destination.