Dotonbori… a place to feast

In my recent trip to Osaka, Japan (last week to be exact) is one of the happiest trip I’ve experienced because I’m with my family. Nothing beats a family trip especially if your visiting a country as amazing and beautiful as Japan. It’s my second time to visit Japan particularly Osaka and i will never get tired or hesitate to come back because there’s a lot to do and discover everytime. Dotonbori is one of the famous or known place to visit when you come to Osaka because it will not just satisfy your eyes with bright lights of billboards and shopping stores with the adjacent Shinsaibashi area, but also feed your hungry tummy with sumptuous food finds along the Dotonbori stretch and its inner streets. One of the famous dishes in Dotonbori area that you can easily find is there Takoyaki, which is filled with chopped vegetables and squid or octopus tentacles inside it topped with a special sauce and ingredients. You can easily buy one at any kiosk but to get the best one be sure to find the long queues of locals and even foreigners to have the best Takoyaki in the area. Another dish you should try is Okonomiyaki, a Japanese savoury pancake, to satisfy your hunger after strolling and shopping and the famous one which I’ve tried is Mizuno Okonomiyaki. And of course never remove from your list of food must try when visiting Dotonbori is of course their ramen noodles which i love the most is from Ichiran because it’s just so delicious, the line outside says it all but of course there’s a lot of restaurants which offers the savoury ramen as well. So if your a foodie just like me and your visiting Osaka anytime soon be sure to drop by Dotonbori area to feast your mind, eyes and stomach, until next time! Pictures can be seen below and i hope to be of help to anyone who would come to Osaka, Japan 😊🇯🇵

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JaPan JaFun

Japan, known as the Land of the Rising Sun, which i consider as one of the most or should i say the most beautiful country in Asia. It’s in the topmost list of country to visit when you think of where you should go in Asia, aside from the Philippines of course. As far as my memory can remember i couldn’t think of anything negative or bad with my first visit to Japan, oh there’s one my friends didn’t join me on this trip which made me travel alone for the first time in my life on this new territory for me, but aside from that everything was just perfect. From Manila, Philippines i traveled alone to Osaka, Japan which is around 3 hours and 45 minutes long, and i have mixed emotions during those time which is a mixture excitement and fear, because it’s my first time to travel alone and it’s my first time to go to Japan and i don’t know how to speak Nihonggo and it was Winter during my visit. But the fear was all gone when i courageously approached this 3 ladies who is also travelling to Osaka and i asked them if i can join them and without hesitations and apprehensions they said YES, and all of a sudden i felt relieved and the excitement was just so high inside me to discover the beautiful city of Osaka and Kyoto for the next 4 days. When the plane finally landed in Osaka, Japan all i’m thinking was… “where is my hotel located?” “how can i get there in this freezing weather?” “where can i eat because i am just starving?” all of those questions and a lot more just keep popping in my mind, but with my new found friends all of those were answered and i am feeling more confident and excited for this trip. Since we are all hungry we’ve decided to eat already at the airport before heading to our respective hotels and all i can say was the food are just delicious, all of it! And after a sumptuous meal they helped me purchase my train ticket towards Namba Station and it was just freezing cold outside and i was thankful to have my jacket ready. Before we board the train, i was stunned! why? the train seats suddenly moved 360 degrees yes you read it right it just turned all of a sudden and all i said was “AMAZING” and as we sat on our respective seats the excitement just got into me and even it was already past midnight and i can’t see much view yet, i was just looking forward to the next day and see the beautiful city of Osaka, as it was our itinerary for that day with my new friends. As i wake up, the beautiful sunrise just flashed out my room window and see the beautiful surrounding outside my hotel and i just rush to prepare myself for my first day and have a city tour with the ladies. I will be sharing to you our itinerary which was prepared by Mye, one of my new friends.

DAY 1: Osaka Tour

Osaka Castle Park
Osaka Castle is the symbol & one of main Osaka attractions. The castle began construction in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi at the former site of Honganji Temple.
The magnificent castle was modelled after Azuchi Castle & was reputed as being unparalleled in the country.
Umeda Sky Building
The Umeda Sky Building is a spectacular high rise building in the Kita district of Osaka, near Osaka and Umeda Stations. It is also known as the “New Umeda City”.
The 173 meter tall building consists of two main towers which are connected with each other by the “Floating Garden Observatory” on the 39th floor. The observatory offers a great view of the city for a 700 yen admission fee.
The Takimi-koji restaurant mall, a replica of a Japanese street of the early Showa Period, can be found on the first basement floor. Offices occupy most of the building’s other floors.
Go to the basement and find KIJI SKY for Okonomiyaki
Sumiyoshi Taisha
Sumiyoshi Taisha also known as Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine, is one of Japan oldest Shinto shrine. It enshrines three gods that have long been worshipped for protecting the nation, sea voyages and for promoting waka (31-syllable) poetry.
Minami (Namba) area at night for dinner (Dotonbori area)
KUROMON ICHIBA MARKET (Good eats here!)

Dotonbori is a large scale downtown with the entire area of Dotonbori is filled with an unbelievable number of shopping arcades, restaurants and amusement facilities. It is often selected as a scene in movies as the symbol of Osaka.

DAY 2: Kyoto Tour

Arashiyama (Tenryu-ji Temple, Bamboo forest & Iwatayama Monkey Park)
Arashiyama is a pleasant, touristy district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period (794-1185), when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. Arashiyama is particularly popular during the cherry blossom and fall color seasons.
The Togetsukyo Bridge is Arashiyama’s well known, central landmark. Many small shops, restaurants and other attractions are found nearby, including Tenryuji Temple, Arashiyama’s famous bamboo groves and pleasure boats that are available for rent on the river.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Shrine is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds.

Higashimaya District

The Higashiyama District along the lower slopes of Kyoto’s eastern mountains is one of the city’s best preserved historic districts. It is a great place to experience traditional old Kyoto, especially between Kiyomizudera and Yasaka Shrine, where the narrow lanes, wooden buildings and traditional merchant shops invoke a feeling of the old capital city.

Gion District (Geisha)

Gion is Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, located around Shijo Avenue between Yasaka Shrine in the east and the Kamo River in the west. It is filled with shops, restaurants and ochaya (teahouses), where geiko (Kyoto dialect for geisha) and maiko (geiko apprentices) entertain.
DAY 3: Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi and time to go back homeMy Osaka trip was indeed one for the books and the most memorable travel i had in my life. Getting around Osaka and Kyoto was just surreal for me and every tourist spot we visited i was teary-eyed because i can’t believe that i am actually seeing this beautiful place/s righ before my eyes and i made the right choice of going on this trip despite the fact that i am alone. Another reason why you should come to visit Japan, well its people the Japanese they are just hospitable and they will help you the best way the can and they will assist you even if there’s a language barrier since i don’t know how to speak Nihonnggo, it’s not a problem with them and they just help me out especially as i locate my hotel. Now more Filipinos are visiting to Japan and it has been the newest/latest travel destination for my kababayans and indeed its a #travelgoal as of the moment. And as for me, i am excited to visit it again soon with my family this time around, because JaPan is JaFun!

why Hong Kong? well why not!

Hong Kong is just a 2 hours plane ride away from my home country, the Philippines, which i consider as my second home. Since the first time i set my foot on this beautiful country in the year 2007, which happens to be my first trip outside the Philippines, i just can’t help myself but to keep coming back for more. I have traveled to Hong Kong with my family, friends, and even my church mates, but every time i am there it’s as if it’s my first time there. Why? well here some of my reasons why keep coming back to Hong Kong:


1. Hong Kong Disneyland, who wouldn’t want to see the happiest place on earth right? Since i was a kid until now, i have been a fan of Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters and movies, So when i had a chance to come and see it for myself, i was just amazed of how beautiful this theme park is and i get to see my favorite cartoon character and had a picture with Mickey and Minnie! I was able to watch the Lion King show LIVE and reminisce the first movie i ever watched in a cinema and be able to watch it in a different way with a LIVE performance, and of course sing-along with the songs from the movie most especially Circle of Life. Aside from that, i was able to ride an indoor roller-coaster which i am NOT a fan ever since, but Space Mountain made me conquer my fear! Of course there’s the Disney Parade and see different characters in their float just in front of you, with a very lively music and vibrant colors to make it more appealing to all the visitors, and there’s a lot more other activities, shows and rides for you to enjoy. And of course, the much awaited event during your visit at every Disneyland Park is the fireworks display that happens before the theme park closes at night which i can only describe as… MAGICAL! 


2. Cafe De Coral. This very famous restaurant/fast-food chain in Hong Kong is a must-try for every traveler. Cafe De Coral offers a wide-range menu which are all DELICIOUS and yet AFFORDABLE! You can enjoy a different menu from breakfast, lunch and dinner which will surely make you to keep coming back throughout the day. But what is my personal favorite? Well but of course the roast duck and roast pork combo on-top of a steaming rice with a Chinese lettuce on the side, it makes me hungry now as a write this blog, then you can add a cold drink to your meal or even a hot tea if you prefer that as well. But if your not a fan of the food i mentioned you can simply choose from their menu which offers,chicken and pork dishes, and a lot more so don’t miss out Cafe De Coral and let me know what you think about it, okay?


3. Mongkok and other shopping destinations. Yes i am a self-confessed shopaholic! who doesn’t enjoy shopping right? hehe. Well for me personally it’s really one way for me to release stress and i just love visting all the shops/stores particularly in  Mongkok area. I haven’t miss a time goint to Mongkok every time i’m in Hong Kong especially when i am searching for a new rubber shoes or sneakers. It feels like heaven when you’re in the area because everywhere you look shoes are displayed and i wish i can bring home 5 pairs or even more to bring home. I also make sure to buy somethin for my loved ones and friends that’s why they are happy every time i travel. You should make sure to visit also CityGate outlet to get yourself the trendiest branded items for a very good price, it’s where i buy Coach bags and Tumi bags and a lot more!


4. MTR. Thinking of how you can get around Hong Kong where convenience and affordability meets? well the answer is there very efficient and beautiful and affordable transport system which is the MTR. You don’t have to worry on how you can take your luggage from the airport to the city and to your hotel because some of their MTR are even connected to some of the hotels in the city. It’s very accessible, very easy to use and it’s very convenient all in all it’s VERY GOOD.

 

Well those are just  my personal reasons why i keep coming back to Hong Kong and i will be coming back again soon later this year with my whole family. I hope somehow i have help you decide why you should visit Hong Kong either with your family or friends or maybe by yourself, which i would love to try soon and do some soul searching. But one thins is for sure there are a lot more reason to visit and see this wonderful city so what are you waiting for, discover it for yourself and Discover Hong Kong, MARKE My Word.

 

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