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Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Page 6

Day 16 - Sunday, 12 November 2023

Grey wedding day of not much going on

Sumiyoshi Taisha Osaka

Rest day with no plan. The 2nd of this trip, the first one was day 3 in Tokyo when I went to a park.
Are you ready for a grey day for a walk through the poor areas of Osaka? If so then buckle up.

Before all that, I went to Namba JR station to exchange my voucher for a train pass and activate it. No. You cannot do that at Namba station, why? The machines have the passport reader, there is a manned ticket counter, but no, due to some ancient belief system I must go to Osaka station. So I paid to go on the subway to get a ticket I had paid for. Some things in Japan are really quite stupid.

Next, I decided to not even go on a train today, as tomorrow I will go on a LOT of trains for many hours, if things go to plan. So instead I headed south, a journey which went through many poor areas, past many abandoned covered shopping streets, and ended up at the main Shinto Shrine in Osaka.

Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is a live music venue, but there is no show on tonight. I guess they are lining up to buy a ticket, probably for a concert in a completely differ

This is a live music venue, but there is no show on tonight. I guess they are lining up to buy a ticket, probably for a concert in a completely different city, because some archaic tradition stipulates that in order to see BIG BOY PANTS MAN in Wakayama you must buy a ticket in person from a venue in Osaka at 9:40 on a Sunday morning 17 days before the show.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - My journey south, was largely like this. There were homeless shelters and gatherings of people with various horrible disabilities.

My journey south, was largely like this. There were homeless shelters and gatherings of people with various horrible disabilities.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Graffiti too, this guy is the devil.

Graffiti too, this guy is the devil.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Strangely, the vending machines were less likely to be drinks, and more likely to be frozen food.

Strangely, the vending machines were less likely to be drinks, and more likely to be frozen food.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Each station I went past, 4 I think, had its own covered shopping street, the first 3 were almost completely abandoned.

Each station I went past, 4 I think, had its own covered shopping street, the first 3 were almost completely abandoned.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The last one very near the shrine had a bit more going on, mostly fish related.

The last one very near the shrine had a bit more going on, mostly fish related.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Over the road from the shrine is a garden of sorts. Not Japan's best effort.

Over the road from the shrine is a garden of sorts. Not Japan's best effort.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Although the trees were nice enough.

Although the trees were nice enough.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Time for some shrine, allow me to google - One of Japan's most renowned shrines, Sumiyoshi Taisha is the head of approximately 2300 Sumiyoshi shrines

Time for some shrine, allow me to google - One of Japan's most renowned shrines, Sumiyoshi Taisha is the head of approximately 2300 Sumiyoshi shrines throughout Japan. Out the front people are selling chocolate coated marshmallows and fake antiques.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - They did not trust their arch bridge architect, so it is reinforced with a lot of concrete.

They did not trust their arch bridge architect, so it is reinforced with a lot of concrete.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - There were a lot of people playing dress ups inside. Every building had a gold thing in front of it for instagram opportunities.

There were a lot of people playing dress ups inside. Every building had a gold thing in front of it for instagram opportunities.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Exactly like this. I asked to sit with them but they pretended to not understand English.

Exactly like this. I asked to sit with them but they pretended to not understand English.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Instead I crashed a wedding.

Instead I crashed a wedding.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - They fled as fast as they could.

They fled as fast as they could.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Believe it or not, these flags all around the shrine are advertising a local tyre store, buy 3 tyres get the 4th free.

Believe it or not, these flags all around the shrine are advertising a local tyre store, buy 3 tyres get the 4th free.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And for my final pic, some kind of plastic coated everything 'shop', which I think is selling political opinions. That is all for my rest day, tonight

And for my final pic, some kind of plastic coated everything 'shop', which I think is selling political opinions. That is all for my rest day, tonight I will go somewhere colourful to balance out the grey day.


Illuminated with 2 kinds of meat

Namba to Tennoji via Shinsekai

Now it is a bit cold and windy. Time for an nice evening walk then.
My route was south east, through the giant upward sloping Namba parks mall which was fully illuminated. This gave me vertigo. The little LED lights were really bright and then there are wet stairs and it is very dark. I nearly plummeted, one girl slid on a wooden deck, I thought she was hurt but she just did that nervous laughing thing while her friends fanned her madly.

Next up, Denden town, which is the Osaka version of Akihabara. Much like Akihabara, the streets in some areas of Denden town appear closed off on Sunday, although I do not think they are closed due to a massacre as is the case in Akihabara where I guy drove a truck into a crowd, leapt out and stabbed a heap of people in 2008. Despite the streets being closed I did nearly get run over by idiots dressed as Nintendo characters in go karts. These tours are everywhere now. I hate them.

After Denden it was time to go take a photo at Osaka photo spot #2, the Hitatchi tower in Shinsekai. I have probably taken the same photo on 2 previous trips, along with billions of other people. I see that the tower is called Tsutenkaku but since it says Hitatchi all over it, I will just call it the Hitatchi tower. There were hundreds of tourists doing the same photo which was really annoying, because I wanted to do the same thing, so they should all get lost and leave me alone with the tower. Tourists should be banned.
Nearby there are a lot of covered shopping streets featuring almost exclusively karaoke bars. Very strange, very seedy, very old and dirty, I do not think I had walked through this area before. It all went for a few miles and then it got darker and darker until I ended up in Tennoji at a megamall, where the food court was just too packed with screaming kids, which forced me to spend a few extra dollars and go up a level to the restaurant floor.

Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - First some illuminations from the 12 level Namba parks. You can walk all the way to the top up a series of stairs through a lot of roof gardens. In fa

First some illuminations from the 12 level Namba parks. You can walk all the way to the top up a series of stairs through a lot of roof gardens. In fact this may be the greatest roof garden.... in the world.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - LED lights are one of the 9 wonders of the modern world, without which none of this shrine for enticing people to the mall to purchase more stuff woul

LED lights are one of the 9 wonders of the modern world, without which none of this shrine for enticing people to the mall to purchase more stuff would be possible.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Last illumination, featuring a waterfall of LED's.

Last illumination, featuring a waterfall of LED's.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Here are the back streets of Denden town. It is like Akihabara used to be, a lot more maid cafe's and porn.

Here are the back streets of Denden town. It is like Akihabara used to be, a lot more maid cafe's and porn.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - There are some cool shops down each side, headphone shops, cables etc. There are also many shops selling vintage game cartridges for people that prete

There are some cool shops down each side, headphone shops, cables etc. There are also many shops selling vintage game cartridges for people that pretend to like playing video games made in 1984 to impress people on Omegle (RIP).


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I think this might be the most popular place, based on signage up and down the street, the rather unfortunately named kids land.

I think this might be the most popular place, based on signage up and down the street, the rather unfortunately named kids land.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Shinsekai, last time I was here I think I had okonomiyaki in a place full of people smoking. You cannot smoke anymore in restaurants in Japan.

Shinsekai, last time I was here I think I had okonomiyaki in a place full of people smoking. You cannot smoke anymore in restaurants in Japan.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Some of the places here are shut, but authentically old looking.

Some of the places here are shut, but authentically old looking.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The restaurants here are known for their subtlety.

The restaurants here are known for their subtlety.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The shot. My effort was not great.

The shot. My effort was not great.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - One more photo of the amusement area of Shinsekai, there are shooting galleries and similar things between the restaurants. One restaurant has an actu

One more photo of the amusement area of Shinsekai, there are shooting galleries and similar things between the restaurants. One restaurant has an actual full size fishing boat in it floating in a pool with fish in the pool.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - You can do some target shooting with a real long bow. What could go wrong?

You can do some target shooting with a real long bow. What could go wrong?


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Now for the weird karaoke alleys, lots of them! The sound was truly horrific. My heart will go on, coming from 9 places simultaneously, in broken Engl

Now for the weird karaoke alleys, lots of them! The sound was truly horrific. My heart will go on, coming from 9 places simultaneously, in broken English.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Last stop of the tour, megamall, here is the food court. Some good options but too many screaming kids even for me.

Last stop of the tour, megamall, here is the food court. Some good options but too many screaming kids even for me.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I ascended up a level. Tennoji is a modern place, lots of train lines, I think there is a zoo nearby.

I ascended up a level. Tennoji is a modern place, lots of train lines, I think there is a zoo nearby.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The rooftop restaurant area had a few places without lines, many places inside the mall had long lines.

The rooftop restaurant area had a few places without lines, many places inside the mall had long lines.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And so I ended up at a steak restaurant, and got the steak and chicken combo. The thing under the tricolore is a chicken thigh fillet. The steak was o

And so I ended up at a steak restaurant, and got the steak and chicken combo. The thing under the tricolore is a chicken thigh fillet. The steak was of a good quality, more vegetables would have been appreciated. Also this was served flaming, along with a suitable exclamation from the guy that set it on fire to frighten the hell out of me.
Tomorrow I am going most of the way to Tottori, I know how I am getting there, but am yet to figure out how best to get back because I do not know how long I shall be!


There are currently 5 comments - click to add

David on 2023-11-13 said:

1. I am very special
2. I am surprised you can still smoke in restaurants in Kyoto, I wonder if they were doing it illegally. And yes, my hotel has a smoking room near my room, and I can smell it periodically.


Brian on 2023-11-13 said:

How did you manage to get 5 chips with your steak? We usually only manage 3 chips. You must be special.


traveller5 on 2023-11-12 said:

I saw people smoking in restaurants in Kyoto recently.Plus there seem to be smoking rooms everywhere. The smell(and most probably toxins) still pervade the nearby areas.


jenny on 2023-11-12 said:

Namba Parks looks good as usual


mother on 2023-11-12 said:

It's the 7 5 3 festival shichigosan


Day 17 - Monday, 13 November 2023

Ruined sea of cloud

Takeda castle ruins day trip

It took 2 trains to get there and 4 trains to get back. 2 hours there 3.5 hours back. It was raining but not enough for me to get wet. There was a chance to run up a hill and back down in time to get a train so that I did not have to wait 2 hours for the next one that resulted in me being sweat soaked. There was a sideways train. And there were some great photos of clouds from the castle ruins at Takeda, but not the sea of clouds for which it is famous for.

Takeda is north of Himeji about 2/3 of the way to Tottori. I was fortunate in that a fairly early train departure goes direct to Takeda from Osaka station, the only such service each day (I think, it is very confusing!). So getting to the ruins was easy, take the subway to Osaka station and board my train, and sit on it for 2 hours and 5 minutes and remember to get off at Takeda. The train was quite empty as you shall see.

The weather was looking bad, but I hate umbrellas so I set off to climb the hill in the light rain. It is a loop, you can take one trail up the small hill (30 minutes) and a different one down (probably 20 minutes, I went slow as it was slippery).
There are signs everywhere saying no toilets at the castle, but there kind of are at the toll booth where you pay $5 to get in, regardless, I made sure to enjoy a forest urination a number of times on my ascent. When I arrived at the toll booth, the other people from the train were arriving on the mini bus, pfft, weak.

The actual ruins are great, and the view is fantastic, you shall see many photos of the view below. Too many perhaps. It fully stopped raining while I was inside the pay area of the ruins.
After my descent down I had some choices to make. Hang around the station, walk to the next station along the road where trains come more often, or run up the hill on the other side of the valley to appreciate the view of the station from afar, and race the clock back to the station to get the only train coming for 2 hours. Obviously I chose to run up the hill and tear ass back down at dangerous speeds, and I made it to the station with 12 minutes to spare.
Now for the pics.

Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is my direct to Takeda from Osaka station Hamakaze limited express super rapid special #1. I am reliably informed Hamakaze means divine wind from

This is my direct to Takeda from Osaka station Hamakaze limited express super rapid special #1. I am reliably informed Hamakaze means divine wind from the beach, which is reference to the fact that most kamakaze pilots come from the famous sand hill area of Tottori.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The inside of this train was plain, but wait for the return train to see something unusual.

The inside of this train was plain, but wait for the return train to see something unusual.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Here is the station at Takeda. Fairly plain, fairly damp.

Here is the station at Takeda. Fairly plain, fairly damp.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Castle ruins information centre, it said something about making movies and a recording studio, I have no idea why. The small town has embraced the cas

Castle ruins information centre, it said something about making movies and a recording studio, I have no idea why. The small town has embraced the castle ruins, well some people have, and turned their old houses into little cafes (closed when I got there). But there is some drama, it seems photos of the ruins were used in an ad for a google pixel phone and after that too many people came and some towns people wanted to make it harder to visit.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I had to cross the track (single train track along this train line) to start my ascent.

I had to cross the track (single train track along this train line) to start my ascent.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The streets on this side of the tracks were very nice, lots of historic buildings, more on that later.

The streets on this side of the tracks were very nice, lots of historic buildings, more on that later.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This shrine starts the path up the left side of the castle, I did it the wrong way which required some doubling back at the top to the ticket area, yo

This shrine starts the path up the left side of the castle, I did it the wrong way which required some doubling back at the top to the ticket area, you should go up the right side and down the left side.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The path up the left side was damp, but fine. Going up never seems slippery.

The path up the left side was damp, but fine. Going up never seems slippery.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - A view opened up half way up, but this view becomes completely redundant soon.

A view opened up half way up, but this view becomes completely redundant soon.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The ticket office. There are toilets down there on the right. I am sure I read and saw signs saying there are no toilets.

The ticket office. There are toilets down there on the right. I am sure I read and saw signs saying there are no toilets.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Time to go explore the ruins. It stopped raining completely.

Time to go explore the ruins. It stopped raining completely.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Now we start the views from the top. Still a bit foggy for the first few shots.

Now we start the views from the top. Still a bit foggy for the first few shots.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Camera struggling with yellow grass again.

Camera struggling with yellow grass again.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Make that bit of blue sky come over here.

Make that bit of blue sky come over here.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Probably shot of the day due to the sun making an appearance.

Probably shot of the day due to the sun making an appearance.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The town of Takeda and a bit of wall.

The town of Takeda and a bit of wall.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Very nice bits of wall. The guy that sold me my ticket ($5 cash only) probably spoke no English he understood, but he did say something like 'no castl

Very nice bits of wall. The guy that sold me my ticket ($5 cash only) probably spoke no English he understood, but he did say something like 'no castle at top, only castle ruins, no refund because you no see castle!'. So obviously people have come here expecting to see a castle and were disappointed to see piles of rocks.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This was a surprise. I am standing on the top, following the route signs. You can see a group of people below, who are yelling at me in Japanese, they

This was a surprise. I am standing on the top, following the route signs. You can see a group of people below, who are yelling at me in Japanese, they were really mad. So when I moved they all clapped because now they could take a photo. Rude.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Here I am where people were hurling abuse at me. Note you can see 2 people on the top. I did not feel as though I needed to yell at them. If you want

Here I am where people were hurling abuse at me. Note you can see 2 people on the top. I did not feel as though I needed to yell at them. If you want a photo with no people in it, wait for there to be no people.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Time for a bit more view. Kind of looks like water is on my lense, but it is cloud and fog.

Time for a bit more view. Kind of looks like water is on my lense, but it is cloud and fog.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Excessive sharing of piles of rocks in photographic form.

Excessive sharing of piles of rocks in photographic form.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The descent down was rather slippery.

The descent down was rather slippery.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - It got slipperier, and it started raining a bit again, but I stayed upright.

It got slipperier, and it started raining a bit again, but I stayed upright.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Takeda low shot.

Takeda low shot.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Here is a shrine and a graveyard at the bottom.

Here is a shrine and a graveyard at the bottom.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Actually a whole street full of shrines, most had info signs explaining who was buried there and how they were related to whoever built the castle. It

Actually a whole street full of shrines, most had info signs explaining who was buried there and how they were related to whoever built the castle. It was at this point I decided if I ran as hard as I could, I could just make a 6km round trip to the view point up the other side of the valley. GO!


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I stopped up the steep road when I noticed a rainbow.

I stopped up the steep road when I noticed a rainbow.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - View from the top. Apparently this is a great spot for cherry blossoms and there seemed to be camping areas. I had to pay $2 to get into this viewing

View from the top. Apparently this is a great spot for cherry blossoms and there seemed to be camping areas. I had to pay $2 to get into this viewing area even though I only had a couple of minutes before I had to run down again. The old lady that sold me my ticket was very confused when I came running back out the gate 2 minutes after she sold the ticket to a bright red sweaty maniac. Anyway, that is the castle across the valley there.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Let me zoom in as far as I can. Now you can see the ruins.

Let me zoom in as far as I can. Now you can see the ruins.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I made it back down with time to spare. Light was good for this shot crossing the river along the valley.

I made it back down with time to spare. Light was good for this shot crossing the river along the valley.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And here comes my one carriage train, all painted up in ridiculous colours. Obviously now that I am boarding a train back to Osaka, full sunshine!

And here comes my one carriage train, all painted up in ridiculous colours. Obviously now that I am boarding a train back to Osaka, full sunshine!


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And what a train it was. Let me explain its features. First of all there is a display of handbags for sale in a glass cabinet. Seriously! But also, si

And what a train it was. Let me explain its features. First of all there is a display of handbags for sale in a glass cabinet. Seriously! But also, sideways seats for the view. I was not able to get a sideways seat for myself unfortunately.
So that was a long day of train journeying to see a busted old castle in the rain before running like a maniac up a hill.


Korea practice

Bibimbap in Osaka

Currently I plan to go back to Korea for the 6th time next April. I have been going there a lot since COVID because Japan kept me locked out. So what better way to look forward to my next trip with still 11 days of my current trip to go than to go eat some Korean food?
Actually it was not my first choice but the Coco curry place I went to had sold out of nearly everything, so I still have not been to Coco on this trip.

Before going for my Korean food court treat I wandered along the canal at canal level for a while, headed underground and went the wrong way, crossed the road to America-mura, lined up for a handbag... all the things you might do.
Actually the central area of Osaka is surely the busiest retail area of all of Japan, surpassing Shinjuku and Shibuya and Ikebukuro and Ueno and every other city within Tokyo, where as Osaka is mainly the strip between Umeda and Namba.
I guess it is a bit like Sydney and Melbourne, Sydney has lots of satellite city areas so people spread out, where as Melbourne focuses everything at the one central location so the middle of the city is significantly busier than the middle of Sydney.
That's my theory anyway. It's probably wrong.

Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - A rare sign indeed in Japan, lot's of places are still militant about NO PHOTO.

A rare sign indeed in Japan, lot's of places are still militant about NO PHOTO.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Because of the sign, I obliged. This is in the Edion. So many out of stock cameras still. Fujifilm has banned people in Japan from even ordering their

Because of the sign, I obliged. This is in the Edion. So many out of stock cameras still. Fujifilm has banned people in Japan from even ordering their cameras due to the backlog.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I headed underground and thought I was going north but was really going east. That was really confusing actually.

I headed underground and thought I was going north but was really going east. That was really confusing actually.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - So I had to double back to Dotonbori. Not so busy at this point, but when I returned to my hotel later on it was so busy I detoured around the main pa

So I had to double back to Dotonbori. Not so busy at this point, but when I returned to my hotel later on it was so busy I detoured around the main part.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Down at the water level there was almost no one. Kind of strange that people avoid going 10 steps down to check out the view at sewer level.

Down at the water level there was almost no one. Kind of strange that people avoid going 10 steps down to check out the view at sewer level.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is actually a ferris wheel of sorts, going around the Donki. I assume I have noticed it before but I could not recall, I will check my previous v

This is actually a ferris wheel of sorts, going around the Donki. I assume I have noticed it before but I could not recall, I will check my previous visits to see if I am losing my mind.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This area of the canal is very busy early on, all those people are lined up for the octopus testicle shop.

This area of the canal is very busy early on, all those people are lined up for the octopus testicle shop.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Osaka takes the Chinese favourite brand for money laundering very seriously.

Osaka takes the Chinese favourite brand for money laundering very seriously.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is now the start of America-mura. A lot of sports stores and gyms in this building which is bigger than it looks here.

This is now the start of America-mura. A lot of sports stores and gyms in this building which is bigger than it looks here.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - America-mura is the place to go to buy blue jeans, hats with logos you do not recognise and other marijuana related clothing, all while listening to m

America-mura is the place to go to buy blue jeans, hats with logos you do not recognise and other marijuana related clothing, all while listening to music with no actual music in the music. I stayed in a hotel on the next corner from here once, I remember it was pretty good.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - After the Coco failure, I headed downstairs to go find a train station ramen option but instead found a food court. And it has protectice plastic shee

After the Coco failure, I headed downstairs to go find a train station ramen option but instead found a food court. And it has protectice plastic sheeting between every chair and was not very busy at all, I was sold! And yes, I did get my meal from the pictured bibini, which is Japanese for bibim (presumably).


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And here it is, all the best meals come on brown trays. Tomorrow I go to Kyoto where I shall also stay for 4 nights. Will it be as busy as Osaka? Prob

And here it is, all the best meals come on brown trays.
Tomorrow I go to Kyoto where I shall also stay for 4 nights. Will it be as busy as Osaka? Probably.


There are currently 2 comments - click to add

母亲 on 2023-11-13 said:

京都会很热闹,因为秋天的落叶很多。


adriana on 2023-11-13 said:

great cloud shots on the hills - very atmospheric. pity the castle no longer exists would have looked fantastic dominating the valley.


Day 18 - Tuesday, 14 November 2023

Long waste of a day

Osaka to Kyoto by local train

I could have walked here. Maybe that is a plan for another trip? Anyway, today I set out and succeeded in wasting the whole day getting from Osaka to Kyoto.

First I wandered around Osaka in glorious sunshine, early, before the crowds, and examined the leftover detritus from the night before. There was a lot of vomit, just like at home!
Eventually it was time to check out of my hotel and lug my case up and down some stairs for fear of sharing a lift and board the subway to Osaka station, then the slow local train to Kyoto (I was in no hurry). Most of my visits to Kyoto I have stayed very close to the station, but this time I am very close to the corner of Shijo dori and the road from the station, which meant that since I was lugging my bag I decided to take the subway 2 stops in Kyoto as well. See how boring all that was? Long day doing nothing was long.

Next up, it was of course too early to check in, so I set off north with no plan, stopped for a sandwich in the seating area of a supermarket (fantastic concept), and took a lap of the gravel at the Imperial palace. So that is how you waste a full day.

Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The morning light in Osaka was great, so one more photo of Dotonbori.

The morning light in Osaka was great, so one more photo of Dotonbori.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Hours later, and it was time to take a great loop of the gravel path around the imperial palace. So much gravel.

Hours later, and it was time to take a great loop of the gravel path around the imperial palace. So much gravel.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - A rather underwhelming pond. I have never been inside the palace walls, you can apply to go in, but you cannot just turn up and go in. I think there i

A rather underwhelming pond. I have never been inside the palace walls, you can apply to go in, but you cannot just turn up and go in. I think there is a passport requirement, guided tour only arrangement, which I am sure would result in me being rejected and deported.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - A gate.

A gate.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And a lot more gravel, and a lot of wall.

And a lot more gravel, and a lot of wall.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The grounds are large but not very garden-y, this is probably the nicest bit due to the light.

The grounds are large but not very garden-y, this is probably the nicest bit due to the light.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - But now, what you have all been waiting for, my hotel room! Sotetsu Fresa again, as will be the next one in Tokyo. This one is a bit bigger, you can w

But now, what you have all been waiting for, my hotel room! Sotetsu Fresa again, as will be the next one in Tokyo. This one is a bit bigger, you can walk down both sides of the bed! A rarity in Japan. Also a strange card table setup, I am sitting there now as I type this. Finding electricity was a challenge.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And of course, the toilet! Look at it. A porcelain marvel. actually it is probably plastic. Probably the largest bathroom of this trip so far. The che

And of course, the toilet! Look at it. A porcelain marvel. actually it is probably plastic. Probably the largest bathroom of this trip so far. The check in was people not a machine, I have booked a double room but I am only one person, they did not really understand this. I got the whole NO PARTY IN ROOM speech that I sometimes get. So now I am planning a sad party for one, with a diet 7-eleven lemon drink and a cut up orange sealed in plastic.


Most of the main drag

Kyoto shopping area

Everyone who has been to Japan has been to Kyoto and walked up and down the main shopping street to the shrine at the end, past the 2 x covered shopping streets, and tripped over the other tourists. For me I think it is my fourth time here, so in the interests of not confusing myself or others with something they have not seen before, here it is.

Surprisingly, not that busy. I had heard many horror stories. Discussions of limiting the number of people allowed to visit Kyoto, discussions of new visa's for entering Kyoto city limits, discussions of a foreigner tax, discussions of $100 a night hotel taxes, you name it. But it was half as busy as Osaka as far as people per square metre in the busy areas.

I am sure before I leave I will go up the street again, probably on Friday, and it will be really busy, but now I need to do some research for tomorrow. I am going on a hike I have done before, it is far away, over a half marathon distance, and requires a really early start.

Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Across the road from my hotel, the start of the shopping street. Not a lot of people.

Across the road from my hotel, the start of the shopping street. Not a lot of people.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - It does not seem to matter which country I go to, there is some idiot driving around with loud speakers going on about something. Probably the Korean

It does not seem to matter which country I go to, there is some idiot driving around with loud speakers going on about something. Probably the Korean unification church that is now understood to run all of Japan.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Here is a view back down the main street from the temple / shrine steps.

Here is a view back down the main street from the temple / shrine steps.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - My 4th time taking this photo.

My 4th time taking this photo.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Inside the complex, there is a night market. Night markets are a bit of a rare thing in Japan compared to the rest of Asia.

Inside the complex, there is a night market. Night markets are a bit of a rare thing in Japan compared to the rest of Asia.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I had my camera set with a higher aperture than I should have for hand held low light pics, but this one came out ok.

I had my camera set with a higher aperture than I should have for hand held low light pics, but this one came out ok.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I remembered this place is always popular with foreigners.

I remembered this place is always popular with foreigners.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The local kabuki theatre.

The local kabuki theatre.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Another edion, the store that encourages taking photos.

Another edion, the store that encourages taking photos.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I rewareded them again by ascending to their food levels and treating myself to omurice AND a side salad. So extravagant.

I rewareded them again by ascending to their food levels and treating myself to omurice AND a side salad. So extravagant.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I walked past but not up and down the covered shopping streets, I will save that for another night. For example, it might be raining on Friday night.

I walked past but not up and down the covered shopping streets, I will save that for another night. For example, it might be raining on Friday night.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Although from the entrance I did spot this place. And there is no other way to end the photos for tonight than with the micro pig house.

Although from the entrance I did spot this place. And there is no other way to end the photos for tonight than with the micro pig house.


There are currently 4 comments - click to add

David on 2023-11-15 said:

you play with the pigs until they grow to a certain size, then you eat them


Phil on 2023-11-14 said:

DO you eat the pigs or play with them?


jenny on 2023-11-14 said:

Cat cafes are obviously too old hat now. It's micro pigs. yuk!


mother on 2023-11-14 said:

Dotonbori photo definitely the one today.


Page 7 is more Kyoto plus more castles CLICK NEXT NOW

Contents

Day 1 - Saturday, 28 October 2023
  Stage one of two on a tiny jet
  New airport briefly
  Maxing out
Day 2 - Sunday, 29 October 2023
  Shrunken horse bear bell symphony
  I now feel as though I arrived
Day 3 - Monday, 30 October 2023
  Pray for the repose of the souls of the ducks
  Fake tomato
Day 4 - Tuesday, 31 October 2023
  Once more between the tracks
  Geeks and Gorillas
Day 5 - Wednesday, 1 November 2023
  Bird cock golf
  The aftermath
Day 6 - Thursday, 2 November 2023
  Delayed and confused
  Double curry
Day 7 - Friday, 3 November 2023
  Travelling on a national holiday
  Much of it is new
Day 8 - Saturday, 4 November 2023
  Mystery hike to abandoned park
  Double food court mall repeat
Day 9 - Sunday, 5 November 2023
  Double loop pollution view
  Pancake night
Day 10 - Monday, 6 November 2023
  Old temples and closed castles
  The outer loop
Day 11 - Tuesday, 7 November 2023
  A whole ferry load of my laundry
  No view roof garden
Day 12 - Wednesday, 8 November 2023
  Highest around
  Emergency hot chocolate
Day 13 - Thursday, 9 November 2023
  Dogo is Japanese for dog
  Three nights is probably enough
Day 14 - Friday, 10 November 2019
  Fights, floods and arguments
  Damp rissoles
Day 15 - Saturday, 11 November 2023
  Primeval not primordial
  One street to the right
Day 16 - Sunday, 12 November 2023
  Grey wedding day of not much going on
  Illuminated with 2 kinds of meat
Day 17 - Monday, 13 November 2023
  Ruined sea of cloud
  Korea practice
Day 18 - Tuesday, 14 November 2023
  Long waste of a day
  Most of the main drag
Day 19 - Wednesday, 15 November 2023
  Castle of failure
  Behind the station
Day 20 - Thursday, 16 November 2023
  Over castled
  Night of the long corridors
Day 21 - Friday, 17 November 2023
  Not a failure
  Buddha loves Amex
Day 22 - Saturday, 18 November 2023
  Back to the start
  Okonobukuro
Day 23 - Sunday, 19 November 2023
  Not as long as I hoped for
  Salty and hydrated
Day 24 - Monday, 20 November 2023
  Sky shrine
  Back to back Asakusa attack
Day 25 - Tuesday, 21 November 2023
  Nice and easy
  Nerd reduction
Day 26 - Wednesday, 22 November 2023
  Dayjuku
  Half a pig
Day 27 - Thursday, 23 November 2023
  Power hike
  Yokowherenow
Day 28 - Friday, 24 November 2023
  Slow mode engaged
  Departure zone
Day 29 - Saturday, 25 November 2023
  5 hours between flights
  The end