osaka sky building

anonymous asked:

Hi Niu~ I wanted some advice when it came to traveling to Osaka, Japan. Out of all cities and towns, Osaka is a favorite of mine and I am going to be taking my best friend to see what I consider to be my second home. Any advice you have when it comes to saving money (whether it be in food, transportation, souvenirs), especially because we are both food fanatics and anime geeks <3 Thank you in advance <3

Here’s a little list I wrote for two of my friends. This is overall info of Osaka for traveling with some extra I added here, so that’s why the text is a bit jumpy. This is also written in a way that someone who knows nothing of Osaka can read it and get some help, so ignore the spots which you are already familiar with. 

- Buy souvenirs and basically anything you need from 100 yen shops. Biggest brands are Daiso and Seria but individual 100 yen shops exist, too. For example in Dotonbori road there’s big Daiso as well as in Tenmabashi mall. You can get anything you can imagine from 100 yen shops, however, only Daiso has food, drinks, snacks and other edible items.

- For cheap manga, DVDs, CDs, art books, magazines and such go to BOOK-OFF. One is also located in Dotonbori road. Prices start from 100 yen, but usually one manga book costs around 300-400 yens. 

- For new manga books, magazines, art books and such, go to Kinokuniya. There are many in Osaka so check your closest one.

- You can often find cute famous series fan stuff from LOFT department stores. There are two big ones in Umeda and one smaller one in Namba (at Namba,  take metro exit 5 and turn right towards OiOi store, cross the street and turn again to right from in front of OiOi.)

- You can buy a day metro pass from any station. From Monday-Friday it’s 600 yens and on the weekends 800 yens per day. With that you can travel as much as you can with metro for one day (24 hours). 

- If you don’t want metro day pass, at least buy yourself Icoca card from the airport (from train ticket machines) and load money on it. If you already have some Japanese travel card, you don’t need to buy Icoca. Nowadays all Japanese cities’ travel cards are valid in whole Japan. Just load money on it.

- For manga, anime, doujinshi and such you need to head to DenDen Town. Go to Nippombashi station and take exit 5 and head away from the big bridge before you toward Ebisucho metro station. K-Books is something you two should see (2 floors fan items, 1 for cosplay and 2 for doujinshi!), and just nearby it there’s also Animage store. Note that fan stuff in Japan is expensive! Some stores in DenDen Town sell used fan items, kinda like collector items and such. 

- Namba walk. It has one floor (basement floor) nothing but food, and rest of the floors are full of anything you can imagine. Get off from subway at Namba station and take exit 35 if I don’t remember wrong (don’t worry; at the subway platform there’s a yellow exit map which shows in English which exit you need to take to get to Namba Walk).

- Tenmabashi (Keihan) City Mall. This has multiple floors and there’s lovely Daiso and absolutely gorgeous small shop, which sells anything traditional in there. It’s a bit pricey but perfect if you want traditional items. The mall is next to a river so you should have nice views from it, too. There’s an entry to the mall directly at Tenmabashi subway station. Purple Tanimachi Line goes to Tenmabashi (station T22)

- If you like things like Rilakkuma, Gudetama, Miffy, Sanrio ect. there’s Kiddy Land in Umeda. 

- Shitennoji temple flea market is open every month on 21st and 22nd day. People go there to sell their old items, and there’s plenty of antique, kimonos, ceramics and food. It’s beautiful place and worth of taking a stroll there. Visiting the temple itself cost a few hundred yens, but you can bid your offering, go to pray and buy omikujis outside (note that omikujis here are in Japanese only; in Fushimi Inari you should be able to get translated omikujis). Entry to the flea market is free.
It’s a short walk distance from Shitennoji-mae Yuhigoaka station, on the purple Tanimachi subway line (station T26)

- Uneda Sky Building has a cafe at 44th floor and I think you should be able to go there for free if you want to take a look at Osaka. Seeing the Sky Building itself costs. It’s located in Umeda, near the central railway station. There’s an underway passage outside which goes in front of the Umeda Sky Building.

- Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is the 2nd biggest aquarium in Japan. The entry fee is 2 300 yens. It’s located in Osaka-ko harbor area. Take a green Chuo Line (subway) to Osaka-ko (station  C11)

- There’s Gudetama cafe in Umeda 😃

- There’s a very long shopping street going through Dotombori road (with the famous crab statue and the runner picture). Get off at Namba subway station and walk north to Shinsaibashi subway station. This street has high class department stores and shops but also Daiso, Book Off, Disney Store and Sanrio Store. You can get some high quality Japanese candies and snacks, also fresh taiyakis here, from the basement food floor of Daimaru department store (also big department store Takashiyama has wonderful selection of everything you can possibly need, especially for food! You’ll find Takashiyama at Namba subway station; there’s direct entrance to the department store from the station)

I hope this helps! Ask if you need any more info!

Trip to Japan recap! (Part 3 - Himeji, Hakone and Tokyo)

Hello all,

Here’s part 1 in case you missed it:

http://utsukushiishoujomangas.tumblr.com/post/164067970528/trip-to-japan-recap-part-1

Aaand Part 2:

http://utsukushiishoujomangas.tumblr.com/post/164134921428/trip-to-japan-recap-part-2-kyoto-and-nara

Our primary method of long-distance transportation: Shinkansen (Bullet train)!

We dropped off our luggage in Osaka and left to visit Himeji Castle, widely regarded as the best intact Japanese castle (survived 400 years through WW2 and the 1995 earthquake!), its original construction dating back to 1333 (rebuilt in the 1600s).

. (so that users on mobile can see the second picture)

.

The castle itself sits on a hill, making the views from inside spectacular!

The breeze through the windows is also very refreshing~

It’s a bit hard to get good pictures inside due to the sun’s glare.

The castle itself has 7 floors, all of which are accessible through very steep wooden stairs.

.

Sign at the entrance of the castle complex.

Back in Osaka!

We were too tired to go out explore Osaka, so we just grabbed takoyaki at Shin-Osaka Station (Osaka being known for street food style food; eg: takoyaki, okonomiyaki, etc). So no Dotonbori/Glico Man, Denden Town, Abeno Harukas, Umeda Sky Building, Osaka Aquarium, Osaka Castle, Hep Five Ferris Wheel pictures to show here… >.<

The next day we went to Hakone, a region known for its picturesque views (with Mount Fuji in the background if weather cooperates) and onsen (hot springs) within reasonable distance from Tokyo (1h30 from Shinjuku station) making it the perfect weekend getaway for Tokyoites. The bus ride winding through the valleys isn’t really a pleasant one (tight roads, many abrupt turns) but from what I understand, we passed through the old Tokaido road linking Tokyo and Kyoto. The road was once made for foot travel, not cars so that makes sense.

The view over Lake Ashi was worth it though.

.

Our hotel was in Ryokan style of traditional Japanese inns.

The price was indeed expensive, but it included a hearty Japanese-style dinner served in our room and a breakfast.

It was hard to take good pictures of the lake view owing to the sunlight glare, but it looked much brighter IRL.

We visited Hakone Shrine next.

.

.

.

.

Two of Lake Ashi’s famous sights, the floating Torii gate, along with…

The pirate ship! xD

The sight just outside our hotel.

No pictures of the onsen (for obvious reasons) but I can say that anime/manga portrays it accurately (other than the usual tropes surrounding it).

The next day we took a cruise on the aforementioned pirate ship, and managed to get a glimpse of Mount Fuji (the tall faded mountain in the distance). 8D

Odawara Station, where we changed to the Shinkansen.

Back in Tokyo Station, we passed by the Suica store. Suica is an IC card, essentially a rechargeable card with electronic money used mainly to pay for train/metro fares (transport fares are mostly based on distance traveled in Japan, so buying a ticket every time you go out is a huge hassle), but it can also be used in many stores. 

The penguin mascot is so cute. ^^

How Tokyo Station looks like from the outside.

We went out in Shibuya for supper. Here’s the famous Shibuya 109, that probably appears in every manga where the protagonists go to Shibuya for shopping. xD

The famous Shibuya Scramble about to unfold.

Mario-like go kart rides. Not sure if legal (foreigners driving vehicles on your streets without permits) but looks cool. :D

We then went to karaoke. Sooo cheap (360 yen per hour if I remember correctly; ~3.25 USD) and even the English song selection is better than those where I’m from, which is kind sad in a way. o.O

The next day we wanted to go to Mashiko, a little town known for its pottery, but got a bit confused on how to take the very local train there. Two young JR staff at Shimodate Station helped us out but after much lost time we decided to go back to Tokyo anyway. Here’s some pictures from your typical countryside Japanese train station.

.

.

Next up is Ueno Park. This is Saigo Takamori’s statue, a tragic figure in Japanese history. A samurai from Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu, he helped the Imperial faction win against Shogunate forces during the Boshin War (civil war between modernist forces advocating the restoration of power from the Shogun to the Emperor and the Tokugawa Shogunate). Thereafter, disgruntled samurai in his home province rebelled because their samurai privileges were being stripped. Takamori was personally against the rebellion, but eventually agreed to lead it and died in battle against the very forces he helped establish. He is the inspiration for Hollywood’s 2003 film The Last Samurai.

Ueno Park also has many museums, like the National Museum of Nature and Science, which has a nice whale statue in front. :D

We didn’t go there though, instead opting for the Tokyo National Museum, Japan’s largest art museum. The pavilion buildings are nice-looking.

No pictures from inside as that would drag this post on even more. :P

Back in Ueno Park.

The top of Ueno Station.

Views on the Shohei bridge, near Akihabara where we went shopping after.

.

I went to Yokosuka alone the next day, a city with a strong naval heritage (hosts a major Japanese and American naval base).

.

I went there for the Mikasa, a preserved pre-dreadnaught battleship from 1902. What can I say, I like naval stuff. I won’t post the other 1.1 GB pics of it I took. >:D

Night shopping at Akihabara again.

.

Next up is Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest temple.

Tourist-filled, but Nakamise Shopping Street in front of it is a great spot for souvenir-shopping.

Our final day was spent mostly in and around Harajuku. First stop is Meiji-jingu, dedicated to the first modern (post 1868) Japanese emperor, Emperor Meiji.

There was a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony when we were there:

.

Many foreign tourists here, so you won’t be the only one if you hang your Ema wishing plaque here for all to see. ^^

No visit to Harajuku would be complete without a stroll through Takeshita Street. Very touristy. Pretty sure it’s no longer the “central point of Tokyo teenage culture” anymore like it’s advertised in all tourist brochures.

View on Shibuya Station from our airbnb apartment on the last day. Needless to say, I was very sad that day.

 Shibuya Station.

Hachiko and the Green Car in front of Shibuya Station.

I reached the maximum photo limit (30) while drafting this post, so I’ll make a final post with miscellaneous stuff about my trip (food, drinks, non-shoujo otaku stuff). So keep watching out for that one. Hope it was entertaining ^^