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Countdown to Osaka

Christmas is coming a little early to our house this year.
My request for vacation was approved last week and today I bought our tickets to Osaka, Japan. We leave on the 17th of December and will be in Osaka for six days. After poring over online travel reviews and recommendations, we found a nice little hotel for about $40 a night. I’m so excited I wish we were leaving tomorrow instead of four long weeks from now!
At least we have some time to map out our adventure (and learn a little more conversational Japanese).
Addison definitely wants to hit Universal Studios.
Other than exploring the city of Osaka itself, I definitely want to visit Kyoto and Mount Fuji.
I am really anticipating riding the Shinkasen (Japanese bullet train).
I’ve never ridden a proper train before. (Do I sound like a tourist or what?)
Anyway, the floor is open to suggestions on things to do in Osaka and Kyoto. We decided to save Tokyo for another trip.
Hey, remember Kyoto Song by The Cure?

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8 Responses

  1. ang says:

    wow.. so you are really going.. i am so happy for you.. the mount fuji climb isn’t too bad.. that is according to my other half.. there are laid out trails so it isn’t a hike like we know it here.. but prepared for the change of temperature when you hike up the mountain.. i am soo happy for you..
    Ang…

  2. Josie says:

    Domo arigato, baby.

  3. Rich Terlaje says:

    Oooh… you’re going to love it. My company is based out of Osaka and I’ve had the good fortune to stop in a couple of times.
    Bus ride to Osaka from the airport is about an hour – hopefully you won’t have much traffic to deal with.
    When you get to the city, look up Yodobashi Camera. The Osaka branch is 8 stories tall… but the name is misleading. They sell everything from Photo gear to Computers to TVs to Home appliances… and clothing. The top floor is for restaurants. You’ll even find a Cappriciosa (but the portions are smaller than on Guam).
    Universal can be a little tough – try and go during the weekdays. Weekends can get a bit crowded.
    Kyoto is gorgeous! There are a couple of temples you can visit. Most famous is the gold-leaf temple. There’s also another one that was in a movie I saw recently.
    You’ve got great timing to leave. I was there in August and the weather was hellishly hot. Higher humidity than Guam plus temperatures closer to 100 degrees.
    There’s also an electronics district you can visit, but all of the warez are in Japanese… nice to visit.
    Prices might be a little high if you’re looking for photo/electronics.
    I think Apple recently opened a Osaka branch… not sure of that though.
    Anyway… hope you and hubby have an awesome trip!!! Looking forward to the pictures you share.
    🙂

  4. Rich Terlaje says:

    As for climbing Mt. Fuji, it’s fun… well more like trudging along for a while. The climb isn’t very difficult. When I went, we started our trek at midnight so we could catch the sunrise.
    Even during summer, it gets cold! Use the restroom before heading there, as the ones at rest stops have a stench that you’ll remember.
    Are you heading to Fuji from Osaka. I think that’s quite a bit away and might cost lotsa !
    🙂
    Have yourself a blast!

  5. Josie says:

    There’s an Apple store in Osaka? I’m in trouble.
    Rich, thanks for all the great info on Japan! It would be really great to visit Fuji, but if it turns out to be too much this first trip (we’ll gauge when we get there) there’s always next time. I read it’s about 2 hours by shinkasen (one way) and about $60.

  6. inna says:

    josie san
    have a great trip- never been there…i’m jealous, but then, we just had a wonderful summer in hawaii. maybe next time.
    be a traveler, not a tourist…
    ?????
    (i don’t speak or write jap, i used sherlock 🙂

  7. Rich Terlaje says:

    Also…
    Be sure to try out some Ton Kotsu ramen. It’s from the Kyushu area (Osaka). Pork bone broth… probably my favorite ramen.
    Pictures of the area:
    http://www.pbase.com/nsuro/japan&page=all
    If you make it to Yodobashi, across the street is New Hankyu Hotel. At night if you go a block or so back, the place is an arcade of stores, bars, game rooms, dance clubs… but Japanese style.
    For some reason, all the dudes seem to sport hairstyles from the 80s – Adam Ant, Flock of Seagulls, Daryll Hall-doos! Anyway… hope this helps.

  8. Josie says:

    The pictures are awesome, Rich. Thanks so much for the link!

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