Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Here is the account of our very much anticipated trip to Japan which was cancelled since September.
The night flight was uneventful and we managed to sleep on and off, waking up for our meals.  We passed the Immigration upon arrival at Osaka with no problems at all except the long wait for the luggage.  The pickup driver was waiting for us and thus the beginning of our sign language and much bowing gestures.  We have booked a ground package from Wendy Tours and I really appreciate their help and arrangements.

Osaka airport is more than  an hour from the city centre and again during the long drive to the hotel, we again drowsed on and off.  Upon arrival at the hotel,  the tour officer and the guide were waiting for us.  We were indeed very pleased to meet guide- a local boy from KL  living and studying Japanese in Osaka.  We left the luggage with hotel as check in was only after 4pm and proceeded to take train to Nara.

Following the leader to the subway.  

our fascination with the vending machines - reading what's available.

clean and punctual trains...

seems we were the only noisy ones in the train...most of them keep to themselves and mainly concentrating on their mobile phones and definitely no eating and drinking! The Japanese deserve the highest praise for following their laws! The train journey took an hour.

Decorative manhole covers of Nara Temple Park.....

The peaceful surroundings and the antics of the deers at Nara park  liven us up instantly!  

zen surroundings... 

Deers aplenty around here and most of them are over-friendly because of they are after the  snacks being offered by the tourists. 

He is waiting for his snacks... beware! 

Of course, must buy... matcha ice cream 

numerous street vendors along the road leading to the temple and this one sells varieties of pickles..and its free tasting and I must say they are very tasty  

Heritage sign

We strolled along  towards .....
the heritage Nandaimon Gate and flanking both sides are..

the fierce looking Guardian kings 

Kofukuji  temple- a family temple belonging to the most powerful Fujiwara family established around 710.   

Kofukuji 5 storey pagoda.

Todaiji Temple.. constructed in 752 as the head temple of all Buddhist temples of Japan

Todaiji - the largest wooden building and inside is the largest bronze Buddha statue (Daibutsu)

our very first encounter with the cleansing rituals before entering the temple....

paying close attention ..........

and doing it right..before entering to the temple.
awesome architecture... all wood..

the replica of the Lotus petals 

scale model of the temple.  

here's the fun part.... to queue up to pass through this pillar purported the hole is size the nostril of the Daibutsu

The Asoka pagoda and this family is spreading out their picnic blanket... 

There are numerous hiking trails around this Nara Park area 

so we take our time to slowly walk up this path

the many stone "lanterns' leading to Kasuga Shrine

Red Maple tree.. I can imagine the beautiful autumn scenery around here.  The guide was indeed curious that we choose this time, the cherry blossom is over and autumn is still months away, so we have to explain the reason of our delayed trip. But we still love Japan :D
In Japan, must eat Japanese sweet potato.. what do you think? 

Enjoying authentic Japanese Sweet Potato... expensive lor!

One of the many shopping alleys nearby Nara Park 

"white Chicken soup" ramen...

While we were waiting for our seats (its rather difficult to seat all of us together, so we have to split up the tables) we met a food blogger (must be one because she was very knowledgeable on the food offer here!)  She explained to us the special ramen and porridge set - you first eat the ramen, after you finished the waiter will bring a portable stove and you  then cook the porridge with the extra soup! 
One thing I noticed though the price for such set may be a bit expensive but it will really fill you up... ramen and porridge together!

pretty deco inside the shop 

The white chicken soup Ramen ... clear tasty soup indeed

Yuzu powder... very nice addition to the ramen... adds a citrusy flavour.

one of the shop at the subway selling this "Buddha" pudding in a jar... really its just egg custard. 

We decided to finish off with an early night and took the train back to Osaka and checked in our hotel.   

Dinner at a restaurant recommended by the guide nearby the hotel.   All that walking made us hungry and time to replenish our carbo... another long day tomorrow.

They have some really good value set meals. And of course, we had to buy the meal tickets from the vending machine (yes inside the restaurant itself). Rice is refillable and cold water is served FOC.  I noticed that all the Japanese restaurants served free cold water instead  and not free green tea! 

That's end our first day in Japan.  


  1. I really enjoyed looking at your happy photos. I am glad you all enjoyed Japan as much as I do. You could see how crazy I have been for visiting Japan once or twice a year. Time to visit Melbourne, maybe.

  2. Good morning TM,
    Thanks for reading. Yes, like you, I think we would love to visit this beautiful country again. Go, go go Melbourne!

  3. Hi Elaine, thanks for sharing your Japan tour. Wonderful trip with excellent scenery. The expensive sweet potato sure taste good. :))

    Have a nice week ahead,regards. God bless.