Took the Shinkansen to himeji castle today. Beautiful unesco world heritage site built in 1333 with a long history of restoration. Story of princess Sen was sad but my fave and it was incredible to see the sold construction of the building. The Ko-koen garden beside it was also beautiful and peaceful. Not much else to do in himeji though.
Bumped my head twice today. :( once at the castle and once at the new hostel, even dented the beds curtain slider.
Bird Hostel in Kyoto. Just south of the national garden. Not a busy neighbourhood.
Went to an all you can eat vegetarian buffet for breakfast. Was pretty underwhelming but great cucumbers, salad dressing and corn flake cereal. Maybe homesick but the cereal was so good.
Back to Osaka after himeji for the pane porcini bakery. Still the most amazing almond croissants, super flaky and warm and filled with custard. Also had their chocolate custard bun fresh out of the oven. Better than molten lava cake. I tried some of their savoury stuff, their bread is great all around.
Udon for dinner, good broth and veggies, texture of noodles was good and restaurant was fancy. Too expensive for what it was.
McD's fries, apple pie and some Chinese stir fry fast food for nighttime snack.
23 June 2017
Khao san Kyoto guesthouse
Private double bed room is small and kind of sad looking with thin walls but the rest of the hostel is nice and quaint. Huge common room area and decent sized kitchen. May try to cook a meal here.
Breakfast at a random soba shop with great tempura rice. Took the Hikari super express train to Kyoto except we accidentally got on the Nozomi line (not included in our JRpass, also the fastest train) so we probably cheated the system a bit and got there faster. Checked into our new hostel where we have a private room and explored the area. Also went Pokémon hunting and ended up at some temple.
22 June 2017
Went to roppongi after omakase dinner and got drunk on wine. Played a game where you buy a drink every time you pass a family mart or 7 eleven. Then we stumbled upon a random batting cage. $300yen for 26 balls. Super fast but exhilarating, was horrible at it. Went for Chinese fast food ramen as drunk food and I really enjoyed the veggie ramen. Fun night!
Sunset at the imperial palace
Omakase at Manten sushi
Went to sunshine city 60 building to see the Pokémon centre. Turned out it was just a big gift shop and some games. Got a small eevee gift for court. Then we found out the sky circus was here so we decided to do it and got to try a VR game and ride cool Honda Segway things (sitting, moves by shifting centre of gravity)
Weird chocolate cake frapp w matcha shot at starbs. It was very rich and didn't seem to have a specific flavour but I didn't hate it
Tsukiji fish market
Pretty touristy but lots of fresh fish to see. Didn't try most of the street food because it actually didn't look very appetizing. We did try three tuna sashimi pieces, not cut well but good quality fish. Lines for the restaurants were too long for our liking but they're probably better for trying the fish. The fruits here are perfect and insanely expensive.
21 June 2017
Ghibli museum - couldn't take pics inside, but amazing exhibits showing how ghibli films were produced. Some extremely detailed paintings and overall a cool museum to explore. Too bad it was kind of rainy but they also had a cafe and rooftop garden.
Had the best onigiri so far at the station closest to ghibli. Tempura shrimp and unagi flavoured
20 June 2017
Quick cheap dinner at sukiya (fast food chain) and 500yen pizza at Shibuya
Grids nihombashi hostel
Pods very nice and great towel service
19 June 2017
18 June 2017
17 June 2017
16 June 2017
Night on dotonbori street
Had Ichiran ramen - order by vending machine and it comes from a mysterious window where you cant see the servers face.
Ramen broth was rich and fatty with a very complex flavour. Noodles were thinner than normal ramen but still delicious. Best part was the half boiled dated egg, too salty on its own but very good in the noodles, perfectly cooked too. The broth also wasn't too salty which was nice and made it very drinkable.
Tskoyaki was fun to watch them make but not my fave. We also got ripped off
Shopping in the street was expensive, too touristy but worth taking a walk through.
Our hostel in Osaka: Guesthouse U-En
3 June 2017
2500¥ ($30) pretty expensive for a piece of eel but delish. Very rich, not too salty and had a really good ground yuzu pepper spice you could add to it.
2 June 2017
Had dinner at this ramen shop known for attracting airline crew.
Met a cool ex-marine/fedex worker from Alaska who talked a lot about his travels, getting arrested in Libya, and his daughter trying to pursue medicine.
I had the pork ramen with veggies and a hot green tea (came in a pop can which was kinda weird.... wonder if that's safe to heat up pop cans like that)
Ramen broth was very rich and salty, texture of the noodles was great. I was just starving so I think everything tasted good. Also very generous portions for the meat which I appreciated. Whole meal was 1410¥ which was respectable (around $18).
Checked into my hotel and having dinner at Ramen Bayashi
Landing in Japan soon! So excited! Only have 24 hours here so I'm prioritizing booking restos and eating noodles of course. Also going to try keeping up with journaling through this trip for the memories.