Japan Japan Japan, and more Japan! I don’t love this destination. haha! (insert sarcastic emoji) Isn’t it obvious? I really adore Japan and what the country offers. This time from December 21 to 29, 2016, my family and I was able to experience Winter in Japan. Not only that, our family had a fruitful Christmas vacation that’s out of the country.
We had the whole gang on this family trip to Osaka Prefecture, Nara Prefecture, and of course Tokyo. My dad, stepmother, younger brother, my older sister, and my nephew who flew all the way from the United States to be with us on the eve of Christmas.
If you have been reading my previous blog articles, you are already aware that it’s my third time visiting Tokyo but it was my first time to see the streets of Osaka. For my older sister, Rachel, it’s her first time to breath the air in Japan.
On our Osaka destination, Universal Studios Japan was first on the checklist. It’s been my go-to feeling that every new experience is always very exciting for me. That’s why when I first visited Osaka, the feeling of seeing something new was a blast. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in USJ was one of the most fun adventure I took. The kid inside me was very happy on that happening. Plus, I get to spend quality time with my loved ones.
It wouldn’t be an Osaka trip without seeing and walking around the Osaka Castle. The green theme of the castle was so perfect for eyes and so relaxing for me. My family and I enjoyed strolling around and inside the castle.
Most of all, like any other tourists, we didn’t miss Dotonbori and the Takoyaki food stands. I’m just glad that finally, I got to see the very famous Glico Man.
Dec 21 OSAKA PREFECTURE
- Checked in at an Airbnb place
- Dotonbori on the first night,
- First meal in Osaka, ICHIRAN RAMEN
- Tip: There are 2 branches just really close to each other, if the main branch is full go to the next one which is 3-minute walk.
- Universal Studios Japan
My girlfriend, Ynne was a die-hard fan of the Harry Potter series so being a great boyfriend that I am, I accompanied her and experienced what USJ can offer. haha! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just like how it is in the movie adaption, it’s as if you are really in the Diagon Alley and you are one of the Gryffindors or the Slytherins.
I don’t want to be the typical blogger who enumerates the rides and tells you the experience one after the other, but I’d just like you guys to picture what it feels like to be Harry Potter, Ron Weasley or Hermione Granger. Here on our travel blog, our goal is to share our trips and adventures in small and quick itineraries.
- Umeda Sky Building
My dad was afraid of heights that’s why we decided to just stay on the floor prior to the roof deck. What I liked about the building was their escalators, while riding the escalators, you can already see the magnificent view of Osaka. By the way, if you’re a nature lover, you would want to see the quaint garden beneath the building. There’s small stream and cute bridges filled with leaves of orange.
Shin Sai Bashi
Known for its superb long street for shopping including international brands and local Japanese-made clothes and shoes.
Back to Dotonbori for Japanese BBQ dinner at Gyukaku
- Fetched my sister, Rachel at Osaka Airport
- She and her son, Sky came all the way from Los Angeles, California
- Osaka Castle
One of the highlights of our trip, was seeing the huge and majestic Osaka Castle. When you go inside, you’ll see different galleries of the history of Osaka. On the top floor, is a deck for you to see the wonderful view of Osaka in a different perspective than Umeda.
Ynne went home in the afternoon to greet her family going back to Singapore where they will spend the holidays.
Dec 25 NARA PREFECTURE
- Went to Nara for the whole day
- You would see a lot of deer roaming around freely.
- You can ever feed them with crackers that can be bought all around the sellers in the area.
- Todai-ji Temple
- One of the biggest temples of Japan
- The Largest Golden Buddha resides here
- Back to Dotonbori again, for my sister to experience her first Japanese Barbeque at Gyukaku
Dec 26 TOKYO CITY
- Bullet train ride to Tokyo from Osaka
- Approximately 4 hours of travel time
- Reached Roppongi Area around 3pm where we checked in at our Airbnb
- In the evening me and my sister met my old Professor, Sir Ahj, and my friend, MaJ in Shibuya to grab drinks
- Took pictures at Hachiko Shrine and Shibuya Crossing
- Drank at British pub
- Later that night went to a local IZAKAYA
- We had the most fun night during our bonding.
- Japanese are known for being super nice, quiet, and proper culture but inside an Izakaya, you’ll see their true colors.
- Senso-ji Asakusa Temple
- Colorful temple with lots of activities in the middle of a concrete jungle that is Tokyo
- Tokyo Skytree
- Highest tower in Japan
- Very high viewing point of Tokyo City
- Ginza Area
- Had dinner with Ynne’s family living in Japan at Ginza Lion
- Meiji Jingu Shrine
- A delightful forest that you would want to go back to.
- Love this place because of the forest feels and the temple is full of cultural Japan ambiance
- Harajuku Street
- Went shopping
- Ichiran Ramen for the last time
- The business center of Tokyo. T
- The most modern part of Tokyo with lots of hotels, malls, and restaurants.
- Disney Sea
- Bad day for a theme park
- Very long queues and too crowded
- Only managed to ride 3 rides
- Strolled 40% of the park and watched the afternoon parade at the Caribbean Sea
- Packed our bags for the flight back home
- Bye Japan!