Christmas Holiday Part 2- Japan!

…We arrived in Japan, Osaka on Thursday 20th December. This flight was also extremely pleasant as it was only one hour in length. When we arrived at the airport we took a bus as soon as possible to Kyoto and checked into our hostel. Here we stayed for four days. Kyoto is such a beautiful city. There are many tourist attractions. We were very excited to explore such an interesting place.

We explored the Gion area. Here there were traditional buildings. Some were restaurants, shops and some were still houses.  The architecture was beautiful. We really liked the Gion area because this is where traditional Geisha’s roam the alley ways. Another nice area was Pontocho. This area is also known for traditional and pretty restaurants, shops and Geisha’s. This area was really striking because it consisted of narrow lanes that emphasized its traditional pretty character.

Kyoto has a variety of stunning landmarks. David and I had the opportunity to visit To-ji Temple, To-ji Pagoda, The Golden Pavilion and Ni-jo Castle  My favourite was To-ji Temple and To-ji Pagoda because on the day we visited there was a flea market. It was a very interesting atmosphere and there were many delicious foods. David and I also bought some antique junk.

Another area in Kyoto that is beautiful was Kiyomizu. In this area there are stunning temples and more amazing traditional buildings that housed shops, restaurants and homes. I really enjoyed just walking around the lanes admiring the wonderful architecture. I especially enjoyed this area because this is where I participated in a Geisha experience. This involved dressing in a kimono, putting on ‘Geisha’ make-up and wearing a very large wig! I really enjoyed wearing the Geisha costume. It was so much fun!

On one day David and I took a very short train ride to Fushiminari. Fushiminari is home to many torri. I really enjoyed sightseeing around this area as there were so many extravagant torri structures. They were all a spectacular sight.

We ate many delicious foods in Kyoto but my favorite would have to be takoyaki at the Nishi food market. This is a famous Japanese snack, it is a savory ball shaped pancake with an octopus in the middle. It was absolutely delightful.

On Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December David and I transferred to Osaka. We loved Osaka. It was such a contrast to Kyoto. Everything was a lot faster, louder, bigger and crazier! After checking in to our hotel we headed straight to the main district which is Shinsaibashi and Dotombori. It was incredible. There were many crowds of people and neon lights everywhere you looked. It was truly a photographer’s paradise!

Other districts and sights we really enjoyed in Osaka included, America Mura shopping district, Hozenji Temple, Osaka Castle, Sky Building in Umeda and Shinseki district.

David and I took a day trip out of Osaka to Nara. In Nara there was a humongous deer park. The park is dotted with historic temples and shrines. This created a beautiful landscape thus making this day a magnificent one.

David and really enjoyed Japan, it was such a marvellous vacation. The food and sights are truly unforgettable. But we returned to Korea with great anticipation for the New Year.

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