After an easy two and a half hour trip on the bullet train from Tokyo, we were in Osaka and ready for a longer stay of six nights and more yummy sushi…
From the high-speed train station we had to take some local trains to get to our apartment. Most were included on our JR (Japan Rail) passes except for the last one that we had to pay for which was only three stops and the station was right by our apartment (read our review here).
The first thing we did in Osaka was visit the grounds of Osaka Castle 🏯, but on the way Mum wanted to try a camembert burger she had heard about from a Japanese burger shop called Dom Dom Burger. Only her and Dad had some, they said it was strange with the cold cheese and warm patties but was pretty tasty anyway.We took the light rail to the castle and near one of the entrances there was a playground, so Braxton and I played here for a bit before we walked to the actual castle. There were two different moats around the castle and the castle has gold tigers near the top. We didn’t go inside but we walked around the outside before getting a cold ice block from a vending machine. Vending machines are everywhere in Japan.After we finished looking at the castle we walked to another rail station and Braxton and I got some lunch from a 7 Eleven because we were really hungry, we were going to a different playground which had an outoor pool. After the train ride we stopped at a sushi train place so Mum and Dad could have some lunch, it was amazing and Braxton and I got to try some too.We went to the playground, it was quite big but at the pool we found out that Mum or Dad needed their togs too as they needed to swim with us. We were a bit sad as we wanted to cool off after running around in the hot sun, so we just got back on the train and went back to our apartment.
Another day we took the high-speed train to Hiroshima, Mum and Dad called it a school field trip. If we had gone in a car it would be a 330km trip but it only took 90 minutes on this train. From the train station we took the tram to Hiroshima Peace Memorial. We saw lots of sculptures and memorials to the dropping of the first ever atomic bomb that happened at 8.15am on the 6th August 1945. There was a large building that is now called the A-Bomb Dome and it was almost exactly above this building where the bomb exploded. It has been left and preserved as a reminder and memorial to the people who died.After walking around the different areas we went into the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and Braxton and I watched some short videos about that day as well as some stories from victims and eyewitnesses.
Next we walked to the grounds of the Hiroshima Castle 🏯; it was built in 1591 but destroyed by the A-Bomb so another one was built in 1958. After awhile it suddenly started to pour down with rain so we tried to hide under some trees but then the rain got too heavy and we found some bathrooms to shelter in until we could make it back to a tram stop and then the train station. At the station we had to quickly get to the platform for the next train that was leaving in about five minutes, otherwise we would have had to wait a couple of hours as the next trains were all full. On board with a few minutes to spare Braxton and I were allowed to watch some Netflix while Mum and Dad had some Friday afternoon drinks.
Another day we went back to Ogimachi Pool to go swimming and also have some more of that really good sushi. We also went up the Umeda Sky Building as it is free to go up, almost to the top, and we got some nice views of the city at the end of the day.For our last day we took a train to Kyoto and met up with an American family who we met at our hotel on our last day in South Korea. It was a Mum and Dad and their two kids, Anika is 12 and Nick is 10. We met at the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, which is just a five-minute train ride from the Kyoto Train Station. This is the head shrine of the god Inari and Inari is the god of rice. There are around 10,000 torii gates ⛩ and lots of fox 🦊 statues as they are believed to be Inari’s messengers.After looking around the shrine for a couple of hours we took the local train back to Kyoto city and as the Turcotte family had only just arrived in Japan and they wanted to try a sushi train. We found one not far from the railway station and had more delicious sushi 🍣🥢 but not as good as the one in Tokyo.
After lunch we were going to go to the Kyoto Railway Museum, but on the way we walked through a big park and the kids got distracted by the great playground. So the adults sat at the café next to it and had some drinks while we played. We were having lots of fun and in no time it was 5pm and we hadn’t made it to the museum, but it didn’t matter because we had all had an amazing, super galactic day 😁We said goodbye and headed back to the railway station, on the way we stopped at a Family Mart to get some dinner to have on the train ride back to Osaka.
We all had a great time in Japan and the days went way too fast but we did get two more nights there that we weren’t expecting. That was because a huge typhoon was heading right for Osaka the day we were meant to fly to Canada. You can read what happened by clicking here to read Mum’s blog post on us being stuck in the typhoon and having to sleep on the floor at the airport.
Average Daily Spend for 12 nights spent in Japan – $280.57 NZD ($108.07 over budget per day)