This lunar new year period saw my family and I in Japan for a holiday. There’s always something about family trips being less exciting and adventurous – as much as I would like to disagree, I think it’s quite true having traveled more with friends these few years.
Nonetheless, Japan itself was welcoming! It’s our third time back in the country and nothing has changed except for one – huge influx of PRCs. They are pretty crazy when it comes to shopping.
My mum booked us on a tour so we had minimal flexibility and a tight schedule unfortunately. But the plus point of it would perhaps be having the comfort of the bus transporting us everywhere.
So in a nutshell, here’s what I did in Japan. P.S massive visual post ahead.
Walked amongst the huge crowd and shiny lights at Shinsaibaishi, Osaka
Shinsaibashi is very famous for the Pocky Man billboard (not photographed, but you can see it in the video) and lots of shopping. There are tons of drugstores with massive range of Japanese products at attractive prices. And food – get grilled seafood and/or Takoyaki balls!
Had matcha green tea ice cream in front of the Osaka Castle
The Osaka castle was, to me, nothing spectacular, maybe because I didn’t head in and up to look at the panoramic view of the city. I think my family and I were busy eating cause we are always hungry lol.
Took a total of 2 rides in Universal Studios Japan
USJ was alright because… queues, queues everywhere! We only took a disappointing 2 rides in the themed park. And Japanese are super for queuing.. wonder where they get all their patience from. I also tried butter beer and turkey leg for the first time – nothing to rave about, I’m not sure why everyone is so excited about them.
Took a 14min ride from Osaka to Kyoto
Just for the thrill of taking a bullet train lol.
Drank holy water, ate lots of mochi at Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto
I love Kyoto! It’s an old town so everywhere was pretty much picturesque. The shops along the street towards Kiyomizudera temple sell mochi in the shape of a triangle, which is apparently famous in Kyoto. Pretty yummy!
Met up with the rocks and sea at Tojinbo
Tojinbo should be famous for seafood but I think we went there a little too late so many of the shops were already closed. The rocks looked so amazing by the way but the weather was quite cold. Funny story – one of the tourist bought a stick of squid to eat and an eagle actually attacked her squid from on top, snatched it away and flew off. The tourist stood there in shock and everyone around her was laughing like mad.
Strolled around an old, private garden at Kanazawa
Visited Kenroku-en – one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. I love this batch of photos because I’ve never really tried working on nature shots. And the first photo actually got featured on VSCO.co woohoo!
Built snowman and fought with snowballs at a quaint village amongst the mountains.
Shirakawa-gō is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and it’s this small little village in the middle of mountains (or nowhere lol) with cute houses. Everything was made x times nicer because of the snow too. Definitely very winter-y!
Ate the best grilled beef ever at Takayama
Takayama is another old town that has less crowd compared to Kyoto. The grilled beef we ate was heavenly.. my goodness. And we also ate savoury mochi, which I prefer much over the sweet ones.
En route to Tokyo, we had an overnight at Fuji and the hotel was nicely located right in front of Mt Fuji, it was quite cool. The breakfast area gave you a right-smack-into-your-face kind of view.
Had so much fun at Disneysea!!!
Obviously preferred Disneysea more than Universal Studios Japan. We took a total of THREE rides at Disneysea, bought cutesy headgears on impulse (now chugged under our beds) and be magical. Disney cannot go wrong.
Had onsen bath with a limitless view
We literally had onsen baths every single morning and night (except for when we were in Osaka). This particular accommodation had the most epic view in our tatami rooms and outdoor onsen too! Ah I wanna go back now.
Ate merrily throughout
Of course, food has not been compromised.