Osaka ~ I’m coming ~ 31 Oct 2008 ~ 1 Nov 2008

~ Route of the day ~

KL ~ Kansai Airport ~ Tennoji ~ Dobutsuen Mae ~ Hotel Raizan South ~ Shin-Imamiya ~ Namba ~ Imamiya ~ Shin-Imamiya ~ Osaka ~ Himeji [Himeji Castle] ~ Kobe [Kobe Port] ~ Osaka ~ Shinsaibashi [Shinsaibashi Street & Dotonbori Street] ~ Hotel Raizan South

My flight is 11:55 @ night, therefore I just put my luggage @ Storage center @ KL Sentral which only cost me RM6 as I still working today. In fact, I was quite rush after work because I’m not able to finish my job. I met up with my sis @ KL Sentral for dinner @ Secret Recipe ~ Chocolate Cheese Cake + 1 cup of Ice Latte ~. At the same time, I continue my job there before departure to Airport (sound pity right?). I took 9:30pm KLIA transit to airport. since there is still 3 hours to go, so I decided to transit @ Cyberjaya, means KL Sentral -> Cyberjaya -> KLIA. which cost me total RM15.7 only (normal fare is RM35 per trip). I arrived @ KLIA around 10:40pm.

The flight departure on time @ 11:55pm 31 Oct. I manage to rest well on the flight as the stewardess offered a row of empty seat for me where I can lie down & sleep. nice right?

I arrived @ Kansai airport 6 hours later ~ around 7am (M’sia time 6am). Go through custom & took my luggage. Of course, they did check my luggage & ask me some question. Anyway, everything goes smoothly. I came out from airport around 8am & is still early as my friend will only reach @ 9am. So I just walk around in the airport while waiting for Woon. The weather here is slightly cold, around 16 degrees. Is just a nice weather for travel I think.

I met up with Woon around 9am & we bought JR 2 days pass @ airport with cost ¥4000.

This pass is only for a foreign tourist visiting Japan from abroad under “temporary visitor” entry status. We took JR train from Airport to Tennoji station & transit to Subway to Dobutsuen Mae station (Subway : ¥200). Our hotel is just 1 min walk from Dobutsuen Mae station. But, we lost our way when we came out from the station. haha, so 1 min became 10 mins. We arrived @ Hotel Raizan South around 11am.

Since this is a budget hotel, thus, we were provided with 24-hours capable individual shower. Japanese public shower is provided in this hotel as well.

Here is some tips about how to take bath in Japanese Public Bath.

  1. Take off your clothes in the changing room.
  2. Put clothes in the shelf.
  3. Enter the bathroom with a small towel and your amenities.
  4. There will be a bucket beside the tub, scoop out some water and pour it over yourself to rinse your body before getting in the bathtub.
  5. Soak in the bathtub. Remember not to bring anything into the tub, not even a towel.
  6. Get out of the tub and wash your body or hair in front of the faucet. (It should be done outside of the tub.)
  7. Rinse off soap and shampoo well.
  8. Get in the bathtub again if you want.
  9. Rinse your body with clean warm water in front of faucet.
  10. Dry your body with your small towel before you go to the changing room.
  11. Dry your body with your bath towel and dress in the changing room.

We start our journey after short break in the hotel.Our journey start from Shin-Imamiya station which is around 2 mins from our hotel (around 1pm). We took subway from Shin-Imamiya to go to Osaka which cost us ¥170 each (in fact, JR train is available for this route but we doesn’t know. :)).

This signboard seems complicated right? because the track is shared by different destination. (Tips : rectangle symbol means that you can enter the train @ the entrance with rectangle symbol). haha~ eventhough we know we should wait for the 13:15 train, but we still took the wrong train and go to Namba (actually is only 1 station away from Shin-Imamiya), therefore we try to get another train to back to Shin-Imamiya, but, in fact the train we took from Namba did not stop @ Shin-Imamiya but stop @ Imamiya. So, we have to take another train to back to Shin-Imamiya in order to catch the train to go to Osaka. BLUR~~ Our first stop of the day ~ Himeji ~ Himeji Castle

Some histories about the castle ~ Himeji Castle is widely considered Japan’s most spectacular castle. Unlike many other Japanese castles, Himeji Castle was never destroyed in wars, earthquakes or fires and survives in its original form. In the 14th century, a fort was first built on the current castle site. Over the centuries, the various clans, who ruled over the region, gradually enlarged it. The castle complex, as it survives today, was completed in 1609. The well defended castle and its wooden interior are fascinating, and the castle’s sight is spectacular, especially during the short and crowded cherry blossom season, that usually takes place in the first half of April. We took around 3 hours to explore the Himeji Castle (including photo shooting). Entrance fee ~ ¥600.

This castle gives people an illusion that there is only 5 levels from the exterior but in fact there are 6 floors & there is an indoor shrine on the top floor of the castle. There is some story behind as why the shrine has been shifted into the castle.

After that we continue our trip to the next stop ~ Kobe ~ which is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture and one of Japan’s ten largest cities. Located between the sea and the Rokko mountain range, Kobe is also considered one of Japan’s most attractive cities. Kobe was almost destroyed during the earthquake on year 1995but it was rebuilt rapidly. Thus, most of the buildings we see now is actually less than 13 years old.

Kobe Port was one of the first Japanese ports to be opened to foreign trade in the late Edo Period, and the city remains one of Japan’s more cosmopolitan cities. Actually Kobe is very popular with beef, but I’m not a beef lover, therefore I didn’t try the beef there. After leaving Kobe, now is the best time of the day after whole day walking around ~ My first dinner @ Japan ~ 串烧.

This shop is located @ Shinsaibashi which is about 7-8 mins walk from Shinsaibashi station. We ordered Grilled chicken set ,1 NANIWA set & Grill Atka Mackerel. Of course, we ordered beer as well. This meal cost us ¥3087.

This Grilled Chicken set cost ~ ¥577

This NANIWA Set is basically a value set of skewer which include beef, chicken, octopus, egg, white leek, lotus root & octopus ball ~ ¥766

Here is the Grill Atka Mackerel which is actually a grilled fish which cost ¥714

After dinner, we tried to walk from Shinsaibashi to our hotel which took us around 40 minutes (Quite long distance right? In fact we thought our hotel is somewhere near. :P). You never know it is far if you never try. We went through den den town, sinseikai…. & we got back to hotel around 10pm. ~ Long day ~