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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Japan Day 1 – Osaka Castle Museum, Expo Park & Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

This blog post is written by my guest blogger/fellow traveller – Wong Ming Fei aka Minghui! *Clap clap!!!* Pictures are from my collection in case you’re wondering why there’s so many of me & Jared. Enjoy the post! :)

Hi everyone, I'm your guest blogger of our Japan trip. This is my first time blogging on someone’s website so I'm abit nervous. Anyway, thanks Jerb for giving me this opportunity to blog here!

We woke up early on day 1 and trust me it was a long, long, long day. Initially, Jerb and I decided that this holiday will be a slow, relaxed one. But everyday was like “chiong ah”!

In the morning, we woke up to have a nice breakfast in the hotel. In Japan, rice is a must in their breakfast. And Japanese will use a tray to contain all the items in it. And clearing your trays is also an important etiquette that we have learnt during the trip! I think it’s a good habit to have!

After breakfast, we set off to Osaka Castle Museum. To our surprise, when we reached there, we saw a garden of Cherry Blossoms! Sakura! Imagine us, or maybe me running towards the trees and asked: “Is it Sakura, is it Sakura? I wanna take pictures. Bring the cameras out!!” We didn't care if they were but we believe so as it was a pretty sight to behold. Seeing the beautiful Sakura has made my trip to Japan all worthwhile.

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And yes! We came here to see the Osaka castle. The castle is a history museum, which presents facts about Hideyoshi Toyotomi, the age of provincial wars and the history of Osaka Castle. The top level of the castle provides a panoramic view of Osaka City.

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Me posing with a CANNON! Boomz!

Weird helmets… U can actually rent them to take pictures in!

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One of the views from the Castle

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Cute Jap kids having their excursion to the castle! 

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Sakura-crazy on the way back

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Ice cream vending machine @ the Park! Yummy!

After our castle tour, we took the train to Expo Park (this park was built for the World Expo 1970 held in Osaka). As we enter into the park, we saw this big tower.

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We tried to make sense of what it looks like. A face? A bird? A cow? It's actually the Tower of the Sun. Please do not ask me why it is the tower of sun, till now, I still cannot make any sense out of it.

In the expo park, we saw many Japanese bringing their children and having a picnic on the grass. Indeed, Japanese love the nature and time with their family.

The park was very big and we saw many lovely tulips. There were red ones, pink ones, yellow ones, purple ones, white ones....

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A walk further brought us to the Japanese garden of the park and we saw maple trees...

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and supposedly a waterfall. Picturesque isn’t it?

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We also saw bamboo trees; check out Jared and the trees.

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We literally felt that we were transported to the olden times, where there were swordsmen! Don't they always portrayed them “flying” amongst bamboo trees?

We passed by the rose garden but the season for the blooming of roses has not arrived yet, so no roses! Sad! Then we saw our favourite tree again. Sakura!

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Japanese also love to paint/ draw and enjoy photography. By this time, we were famished and we decided to have our lunch at this nice and cosy restaurant. The food was expensive and we were unaware, still, we had curry rice for lunch.

Jared saw a place on the map stating “Foot bath” and we decided to hunt the place down for a good foot bath after hours of walking. Finally, we had a foot bath (soaking our tired feet in hot water) in a nice little hut! The best thing was that it was FREE! Everyone can only soak their feet for 10 minutes and there was a timer. Our feet felt so good after soaking! Now, it is a time for more walking!

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You had to wash your feet (the ancient way) before stepping into the footbath..

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“Help! We are soooo ‘tortured’!”

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Whose sexy legs?

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Shiokkkk!

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We left expo park and went to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. We saw flowers and now we were seeing all sorts of fishes! I am quite certain our trip is indeed educational. Haha. The person who enjoyed the aquarium the most, should be Ed Tan! He really likes fishes!

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Otter

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Mr. Seal sleeping… his body shivers whenever he breathes out!

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Look at the seal peeing… while he is sleeping!

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Gigantic ancient fishes

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Giant stingray

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Hammer-head shark

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The biggest mammal here – the whale shark!

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HUGE crabs! Can they be eaten?

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As the Aquarium was near to the harbour, it was really cold as there were strong gust of winds. We immediately look for buildings! We went to a shopping mall and there is a food court selling Japanese snacks. We had glutinous rice balls in teriyaki sauce, taco balls and fried potato balls.

Glutinous rice balls in teriyaki sauce

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The ambitious 4 decided to make our way to the floating garden observatory at Umeda. We could not find our way there although a kind soul who led us to somewhere near. We then gave up on this mission and went for some shopping! *the girls' eyes wide opened* However, the things in the shopping mall were rather expensive and in the end, we bought only bread to satisfy part of our hunger.

We then headed back to our hotel for Ramen Dinner! There is this good, recommended small ramen restaurant beside our hotel (Hotel Villa Fontaine Shinsaibashi). Ramen here was exceptionally good.

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Maybe due to the cold weather, we were super happy to have hot soup and noodles. The waiter was extremely kind and even kneeled down to take our orders! This is our Ramen that came with a fruit-Lychee.

Readers, this is day 1 only. So it is a “chiong” trip, I didn't lie to you. On day 1, I concluded that Japanese love flowers, animals and Ramen.

3 comments:

Edmund said...

Wa...Finally an update with the famous Japan photos.

tks to Minghui for the hard work :)

Jerb said...

HAHA! Yes.. FINALLY!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for some quality points there. I am kind of new to online , so I printed this off to put in my file, any better way to go about keeping track of it then printing?