3-bed apartment? Don't mind if I do!

Trip Start Aug 07, 2011
1
87
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Trip End Jul 14, 2012


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Where I stayed
Awaza House

Flag of Japan  , Kinki,
Monday, April 16, 2012

Hiya, Fran here!

So on Friday night we'd had enough of the fish stench and decided to leave for Osaka a couple of days early. We went online and managed to find a place. It sounded a bit different, but it was super cheap (for Japanese prices!) so we thought we'd give it a go. It had to be better than the fishy ryokan....

So, we left on Saturday morning and I hadn't slept well for the past few days and was tired, a bit grumpy because I smelled like fish and feeling sorry for myself. It was the first time that I had felt that I was, in fact, a turtle - carrying my home on my back with my huge and heavy backpack, as I very slowly trudged along to the train station. It's was quite funny actually looking back - Andy has the patience of a saint!

Anyway, we rocked up to Osaka and a guy came to meet us at the Awaza tube station exit as per his emailed instructions. It all sounded a little bit dodgy but we went along with it. We followed him up to a block of apartments and he showed us in... It was a fully fledged 3-bedroom apartment which we had all to ourselves! Happy days! It felt like such a luxury to have so much space and an actual KITCHEN! Woohoo!

Anyway, after a shower (to wash off the fish smell) we both felt much better and we went out to explore the city.

First stop was to check out Osaka Castle. We had a nice walk around the grounds taking in the chilled vibe and the last part of the cherry blossom season. It's crazy to think that we've seen cherry blossom from start to finish!

Next stop was Ebisubashi to the famous 'Glico Man', in the 'Piccadilly Circus' area of Osaka. It was CRAZY busy here so we made a quick getaway. We decided to make the most of our new 'home' so headed back to get a take away and Skype the families. The take-away felt like such a treat! 

The next day on Sunday we had a totally lazy day as we didn't feel up for doing much. We decided to go out for an all-you-can-eat-and-drink special we found in a tourist booklet, but first we wanted to find an Irish pub to watch the Formula 1. 

After failing to find any Irish pubs which were open (we later found out they all open at 5pm!) we came across Brian, an Irish guy who dragged us into the bar he was in. Brian was a 'character', and by that I mean he hadn't gone to bed the previous night and had been awake for 36 hours and drunk for at least 24 of them! We had a giggle with him (mostly at him if I'm honest) and then headed to another Irish pub for some dinner. Brian, who lives in Osaka, assured us that this all-you-can-eat place would mean an appointment with our toilet for the next 2 days so we decided not to risk it. 

Anyway, Brian soon left us after his girlfriend called him. He was late for a dinner with his prospective Japanese in-laws... I honestly can't imagine what state he turned up in! Man, he was in Trou-Ble!

The next day, Monday, we were off to Nara for a day trip. We grabbed some sushi and sat for a quick picnic lunch by the pond before we started our walking tour. Nara was the Imperial capital city before Kyoto and Tokyo, so it's steeped in a lot of history and luckily it hasn't been spoilt too much since then!

The first thing we noticed was how chilled out and peaceful Nara seemed compared to Kyoto. It made us realise why some people prefer it! On our walking tour of Nara we started with the three-story pagoda, then onto the five-story pagoda next to the Tokon-Do hall. We had a lovely tour around the Kofukuji Museum where we saw some very impressive artifacts before we headed over to the park to see our first deer. Deer are protected in Nara and anyone who killed them had to pay for it with their own lives back in the day! It was lovely to see them wondering around. I don't think I've ever been so close to these semi-wild creatures before!

Next stop was the Yoshikien Zen Garden, and we were pleasantly surprised to find that this was the one place in Japan where foreigners get in for free! It was lovely!

After that we headed to the famous Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden temple in the world. It houses a humongous Buddha so we had a walk around there and jostled with the groups of school children on tour. 

The weather turned and it's started raining so we had one final stop at Nigatsu-do hall, which gave us a nice but grey view over Nara. The skies then REALLY opened and we still had a 2km walk back to the station, so soggy but happy, we headed back to Osaka. 

It was our final night in the apartment, so we decided to make the most of it by cooking our own dinner! I know this sounds crazy to you guys who cook at home all the time but after 4 months of eating out it was sooooooo nice to have a home cooked meal - it was spag bol. Standard!

So, that pretty much sums up Osaka for us. We didn't have a mad one, just took it easy and enjoyed our temporary new apartment!

Next stop... Hiroshima!

Later peeps,
Mrs. M xx
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