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Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 1: Seoul (South Korea) - Osaka (Japan)

We started our journey very early, at 6am from our apartment. I had a deja vu, that's what we did in Paris for all our Europe trips which we woke up at 5am and started to walk to the nearest train station dragging our suitcase in a freezing temperature. So, let's do it again!

Gimpo Airport
Much smaller than Incheon airport. Handling mostly domestic and international flights to neighboring countries.

A huge traditional wooden door.

No time for breakfast, so here we are.

Asiana Lounge

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3 was on the plane. :P

We reached Kansai Airport after 1.5 hours flight.

Banner at Kansai Airport

Took the Nankai Airport Express to Namba station.

Monalisa at the train station

The picture is formed by arranging old train tickets!

Get into the train, nobody inside.

Another 40 minutes later, we reached Namba. We decided to have lunch here after reading about this conveyor belt sushi restaurant from our travel map.

Very nice decorWe were very excited to try our first sushi in Japan.

Very disappointed after the first bite, it wasn't as good as what we imagined. Tasteless!! The first timer might not think it's bad, but we had sushi almost every week when we were in Singapore and it was much much better than this. It also made us wondering, does Japanese sushi taste like this? I heard many people said the magic word "melt in your mouth" when describing Japan sushi/sashimi. Let alone melt in my mouth, as long as it tasted good I wouldn't be so disappointed.

Don't come here.

After leaving our luggage in the hotel, we started our first sightseeing with Osaka Castle.

Osaka Castle

The moat

No, that's not the castle.

Not yet, still have to walk a little bit more.

Or, you could take the train that goes around the castle area.

Chrysanthemum flower exhibition

Sitting under a gigantic ginkgo tree. Could you spot him? :)

Finally, the Osaka Castle. I took so many photos with different angles.

Summer style

Autumn style

Close up style

The city view from the castle.

Next, we went to Dotonbori, the most happening street in Osaka.

I always want to see what is inside a Pachinko shop so we went to the biggest one near Dotonbori.

Twin Dragon Pachinko

Oh my God, the noise and smoke of this place was unbelievable. I just stayed for a few minutes and felt suffocated. I guess if I stay any longer, my hearing ability will reduce to half. But I still think everyone should try to visit one while in Japan. :)

All these people were stuck to their chairs and eyes transfixed to the machine.

Pachinko steel balls


The glitzy neon billboards are the landmark of this place.

Landmark #1 Glico running man

Landmark #2 Moving crab

We had our dinner of tonkotsu ramen at Dotonbori.

Golden dragon ramen

This time my tonkotsu ramen had so much meat. I told hubby, "Wow this shop is very generous. Last time I only had two thin slices of pork but this has at least 5 thick slices and they sells at the same price." Then hubby told me he ordered with extra meat because he thought the standard one doesn't have any. No wonder!!

The ramen was good for him, but not for me. My first ramen in Fukuoka is still the best. And I felt that too much meat spoil the soup. :P

Our tonkotsu ramen

After dinner, we took the subway back to our hotel for an early night. In Japan, the trains always have women only car and we accidentally entered one.

Get out! I still know you are a guy in that mask.

Toyoko Inn Shin Osaka Chuo-guchi Honkan
Toyoko Inn room is pretty similar everywhere.

We just realized that this hotel is located next to the railway tracks! Luckily the trains stop running after midnight.


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