This was already my second time in Kansai region, so I’ve decided to have my own detour at Kobe for this travel since I haven’t visited that city yet. Kyoto is a must-visit when you are in Japan’s Kansai region but since I’ve already been there last autumn, I decided to forgo even though there is still so much to explore.
May 13 – Arrival
We arrived at KIX almost 12 noon (left Manila around 7am). Then after our usual business at the airport (picking up of wifi, re-charging of our transit cards, etc.) we headed straight to the place where we are staying for the next couple of days, meeting with our friends from Singapore, Vietnam and USA whom we will share the entire space, as well. My friend from Singapore was actually the one we met years ago in a SHINee concert in Jakarta. Since then, we were pretty much in contact with one another. But it was actually our first time meeting these shawols from Vietnam and USA… yep, first time meeting the other two personally but we were already living under the same roof… we were very trusting in our co-shawols like that XD
After resting, I separated from my friends and followed my own itinerary. I’ve been to most of the places they wanted to visit so I decided to be on my own.
I went to Kobe…
My first destination was Ikuta Shrine, which is only a few blocks away from Kobe-Sannomiya Station. They have a huge shrine which is common to Japanese temples, and some uniquely designed barrels.
There is also a short pathway of Torii, a Japanese traditional gate usually leading to a sacred shrine. If you are familiar with those orange gates/ pillars in Fushimi Inari in Kyoto, Ikuta also has those, but only shorter.
And since I am already in Kobe, I cannot let this visit pass without trying their ever famous Kobe beef, right? So I went to Moriya Restaurant, one of the most famous Kobe beef resto in Kobe… I really enjoyed the ambiance of the place… one of the most sumptuous fine dining I have ever had..
Few minutes of strolling has passed, I decided to go back to Osaka to meet a friend. We met at Namba station and decided to eat at Kushikatsu Daruma (yes, eat again xD)…
Kushikatsu Daruma is famous in Osaka for its deep fried skewers dipped in a tonkatsu-ish sauce… They have varieties of filling from potatoes to leeks, chicken to pork loins, meat balls to prawns…! But take note, ‘no double dipping’ should be strictly followed… They also have desserts for you to choose from especially after eating those deeply fried stuff… Me and my friend ordered a crispy wafer with chocolate ice cream filling…
Since it’s just along the area, we also decided to visit (again) the famous Glico Man in Dohtonbori~
May 14 – First Day of SHINee’s Kyocera Dome Concert
We arrived a bit past 6am at Kyocera Dome… We were expecting not much queue then, since it’s still very early but to our surprise, we were probably around 50 meters away from the start of the line.. T.T we waited until 10am for the stalls to be opened and buy their concert goods. Thank god there were no sold out items yet by the time it’s our turn.
Since we finished early, we decided to have our lunch at Dohtonbori. We still have lots of hours to spare anyway before the opening of gates inside the dome. I decided to have omurice and mapo tofu for lunch~
What I really love about Osaka is that you can find so many restaurants that serves great food without even spending much… especially if you are just around Namba or Dohtonbori where restaurants are almost everywhere~
And so it’s time for the concert~!
May 15 – Second Day of SHINee’s Kyocera Dome Concert
Since we are not buying goods any longer, we decided to tour around Osaka on the second day of the concert. Again, I decided to follow my own itinerary and go to the places I haven’t been to.
I strolled along Kujo Station before going to my first destination. The shops near the station remind me so much of Susukino in Sapporo.
I went to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, one of Japan’s greatest aquariums, where you can even have a virtual tour of the Pacific Ocean. Going around will probably take you around two to two and a half hours. Entrance fee per one adult costs 2,300jpy. You can also avail several packages (e.g., with unlimited bus and train rides for a day; group package) at a discount.
Next destination: National Museum of Art – Osaka and Osaka Science Museum which is just located beside one another. I was amazed at the museum’s fancy 2D arts that looks like 3D in the naked eye. There were also the usual planetarium in their science museum but one thing that amazed me was their advance robotics. One can even solve the Rubik’s cube in around 2 minutes!
And here comes the second day of SHINee’s concert~
Since the last day ended pretty early, we decided to go to Don Quijote to buy omiyage (gifts) to our friends in the Philippines. I always recommend DonKi because their prices are always cheaper than any other stores/ supermarket in Japan… it is the usual place where we hoard our green tea flavored snacks and chocolates! ^^ plus they have an easy tax refund counter where you can get the sales tax charged to you in minutes! You just have to have your passport with you~ 🙂
May 16 – Departure
Yeah, yeah… good things come and go and we are off to our country again *sigh* how I wish I could stay in Japan forever…
‘til next time!