Monday started of with a real nasty typhoon. With no concrete plans for the day I thought it best to just stay indoors and have a rest day with a weather like that. Also having been awake half the night because of my new neighbours, I really had no energy to go anywhere to begin with. Luckily by Tuesday the weather had calmed down considerably and I was ready to venture out. Read more
The week started with Sumiyoshi Matsuri. The last of the season in Osaka and my (final) chance to wear my yukata. I was honestly quite nervous about it. Putting it on by myself with no proper mirror to work with and going out attracting even more attention that I normally would. But my mind was made up, this was my only chance. And I did it! I put on my yukata, double checking to do it the right way, tied my obi, added the obijime and put up my hair. I opted to leave with my flip-flops instead of my geta to make sure I could actually walk. I met up with a fellow Couchsurfer and we went to the matsuri together. We participated in the ritual of walking through the circle of straw and had some shaved ice. Read more
The city mainly known for its massive deer population and as the home of Japans largest bronze Buddha. Nara is conveniently located about an hour’s train ride away from Osaka. And as the city is quite compact and small it makes for the perfect destination for a day trip from Osaka.
The second week in Japan was filled with unexpected last-minute plans that I would usually just turn down or postpone, but this time I decided to just accept them and see how it goes. Well, I can’t complain too much. This ‘why the hell not’ attitude does tend to lead to more surprises but also very memorable experiences. Read more
Kobe, a city less than an hour away from Osaka by train, tucked away between a mountain range and the sea with lots of former foreign settlements. It really reminded me of Qingdao with its European influenced architecture and seaside parks and boulevards. It makes for a perfect day trip from Osaka.
Travelling in Japan during the summer might not be the best and brightest idea one could have, especially for someone coming from a colder and much drier climate like myself. The heat and humidity are truly on a scale of their own. Not even a week had passed since my arrival and I had already encountered someone passing out on the street due to the weather.
But luckily summer in Japan does also come with its perks, one being the summer festivals, also known as Matsuri. A great opportunity to enjoy and experience life like a local.
After an eventful journey from Qingdao to Osaka, I was finally in Japan. I had quite high expectations and I can’t say I’ve been disappointed so far. Everyone is super nice and polite, the streets are clean and safe, and the food! The food is just simply delicious, no matter what and where I eat. And yes, there are vending machines absolutely everywhere… But what’s up with the lack of free WiFi at restaurants or even et McDonald’s and Starbucks?