Autumn in Japan Day 3

Autumn in Japan Day 3

“I have fallen in love with fall!”, I can’t believe I’m really here – surrounded by different fall colors. Fall or Autumn is indeed magnificent. Leaves changing hues from green to yellow, orange and red or almost crimson. Autumn means change is taking place. One of my childhood dreams is now fulfilled – I’ve seen and experienced autumn personally 🙂

Our third day in Osaka means saying goodbye to our friendly receptionist at Guesthouse U-en. Again, we need to buy tickets so we can see tourist spots we chose from the brochure and travel through the Osaka Municipal Subway. Osaka’s WiFi service is indeed great – for almost all commuters are always busy tapping their cellphones surfing the net, using social media, playing games or just listening to music.

I enjoyed the walk from the subway to Nagai Park – the air is cool and there’s a breeze. And as we tread on the pathway going to the museum, little by little, we were introduced to the warm colors of fall 🙂

 

To pack more energy because we know that more strenuous walking is needed so we can explore the museum and the vast area of the botanical garden, we stopped at a nearby food stall and ate our brunch 🙂

Osaka Museum of Natural History

Here we saw a lot of animal skeletons, preserved insects, aquatic animals and plants. It’s always good to see the wonders of nature according to history. Most of the animals and plants on display are already extinct, so we can really appreciate the effort of those who are manning the museum for they made a way for us to see those life forms which are already non-existent .

Within this facility, we have seen old ladies sketching the bones of animals 🙂 and they were really friendly enough to oblige us as we take their pictures while drawing.

Nagai Botanical Garden – another home to Osaka’s fall colors 🙂 …

If only I can stay and live here 🙂 – that would be perfect! But since that’s not possible I asked my relatives if they’ll allow me to explore the whole garden on my own as they also go to spots they want to see. The long, solo walk around the garden gave me time to take a lot of photos, relax, and then meditate on how wonderful Jehovah God’s creations are. I was really thankful because He created Fall/Autumn as a season – if only we have the same in the Philippines – that would be nice. 🙂

Nagai Rose Garden – another beauty inside this tourist spot. Different variety of roses in different colors – what a sight to behold! 🙂

 

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pre-schoolers with their teachers
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pre-schoolers leaving the garden

On our way out, a bunch of pre-schoolers are also leaving the place after their tour. These Japanese kids are really cute -all of them are wearing the same clothes (their uniform), same caps and even same backpacks :). At a very young age, discipline is indeed inculcated in their young minds.

Journey to Kyoto

After exploring the garden, it’s now time to go back to the subway and travel to another tourist destination – Kyoto! Again we went back to the Nagai Train station and boarded another train along the JR Line to the Kyoto station. Upon reaching Kyoto, again we’re really famished, and since a Mc Donalds fastfood chain is just nearby, we went there to eat our early dinner.

While eating, we saw an old lady with a bag of bread and she started tearing the bread into small pieces. She signaled and then scattered the bread, afterwards a lot of pigeons started eating the bread crumbs. It was nice to see an old soul, doing what she can to feed the wild pigeons 🙂 – an act of kindness I will never forget.

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An old lady feeding the pigeons 🙂

Then, it’s time to search for the location of our accommodation. It was a few blocks away from the Kyoto Tower, so we decided to board a taxi to the Kyoto tower then walk to Shimogyo-ku Higashi-Nakasuji Shoman-Kudaru, Momiji-cho 362, Shimogyo Ward. There we found Backpacker’s Hostel Tour Club where we are booked for 2 nights. A Japanese-style quadruple room was reserved for us and this time, a small toilet/bath is inside the room – it was worth Php10,228, so roughly each of us spent Php 1,278.50 per night.

We were really tired so we decided to just watch TV until we fall asleep.

Autumn in Japan Day 2

Autumn in Japan Day 2

From Kansai International Airport, we had to take the bus and travel to Fukushima, Osaka and reached Guesthouse U-en. It was a cheaper accommodation compared to a hotel but we enjoyed a traditional Japanese tatami room, with common pantry, but with separate toilet and bath for female and male guests. We also found out that other guests accommodated are Koreans, Americans, Brits and Japanese. It was also near the train station and other tourist spots in Osaka.

The next day we went to Universal Studios in Osaka. There were very long queues in each of the rides so we decided to experience a few rides since we still want to explore other places in Osaka. We enjoyed the highly immersive high-speed roller coaster ride with Spiderman, the boat ride that encountered the fierce teeth of Jaws, and lastly, watched the 4D presentation of Sesame Street (though we thought it was Shrek’s Adventures but we were an hour early so we had to enjoy what’s currently showing). Then the parade of the stars came next.

The Jurassic Park attraction of the park is still in construction so we had to leave that part of the theme park and just enjoyed watching the shows on the street, rummaging through the toys and gift items in the gift shops and of course trying cute and uniquely-packaged food available in the food stalls and restaurants all-over the place.

Since I was able to tour and visit Universal Studios Singapore – where I loved seeing the set of The Mummy in Egypt, I can say that Japan’s Universal Studios has fewer attractions and it’s smaller. But it’s also nice that I was able to see what it has to offer. By the way, one of its most visited parts is the set of Harry Potter, but we chose not to visit that place.

Afterwards, we went back to the guest house to rest for a bit and got ready to visit another tourist spot. But before that, we went to a nearby food house to have dinner. I enjoyed the alfa-alfa and the vegetable salad as well as the miso soup. The fried chicken nuggets and the tenderloin plus the cups of rice and tea quenched my hunger. 🙂

Since we’re already full, we can now walk to our last destination for the day – the Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden Observatory. It was really fascinating to see Osaka at night on top of the Observatory. Although I’m also afraid of heights – that fear dissipated as I looked at the sparkling lights of Osaka Prefecture.

After feasting our eyes, it’s now time to go back to the guest house on foot. Yep, since it’s only a few blocks from the guest house we were able to save on taxi fare. I enjoyed the walk since that side of Osaka is really peaceful at night. I loved seeing commuter bicycles properly arranged and parked at designated places, vending machines conveniently placed for the thirsty or hungry pedestrian, tidy streets with properly placed signs, the peaceful surroundings, and of course, well-disciplined Japanese men and women on their bicycles or walking fast-paced but diligently following traffic signs to reach home.

Because of the long walk, I had a long and dreamless sleep.

The next part of this post is about: the Osaka Museum of Natural History, Nagai Botanical Garden and our Trip to Kyoto