Last week on Thursday Things I started sharing about our trip to Japan. Everyone seemed to love it, so I will share more with you today! Today will be what we did outside of Tokyo, next week I will share the last portion of our trip, and then finally I will share the food! We took lots of pictures of food we ordered as well as snacks we purchased. I am looking forward to sharing it all with you.
We took the Shinkensan (bullet train) from Tokyo to Osaka. It was just over a 3 hour ride, and it was a rainy and cloudy day. Luckily we had indoor stuff planned in Osaka, so the weather wasn’t a problem. The Osaka Aquarium is one of the largest in the world, and it was pretty cool. In the center of the aquarium they had a large multi-story tank. It was filled with all kinds of fish, hammerhead sharks, sting rays, and a whale shark. The floors wrapped around the tank spiraling downward, so you got to see if from all angles.
These giant spider crabs were pretty fun to watch. You don’t get the sense for how big they are here, but one of the legs was easily 3 feel long, and the size of my forearm.
A couple days before we arrived, they opened a new exhibit. A tank to pet sharks and sting rays. I was surprised, but my 7 year old loved this part!
The next day the weather cleared up, and we spent the day outside. We visited Osaka Castle first. The grounds to the castle are immense. We walked through a garden, that would have been gorgeous a little later in the year. And then climbed the stairs to the top of the castle.
Our hotel was very close to an area of Osaka called Dontombori. This area goes along the river, and is filled with tons of shops and restaurants. At night is lit up with lots of neon lights. We took the Dontombori River Cruise, which was all in Japanese, so we didn’t understand anything. But it was nice to relax and enjoy the sites.
From Osaka you can take the train to Kyoto. Kyoto is known for their temples and shrines. We went to a few of them during our few days there. One of the days though we visited this bamboo grove. None of us had ever seen bamboo growing in a forest before, so it was a very unique experience.
Fushimi Inari might have been my favorite temple to visit. They have thousands of these orange Torii gates climbing up the mountain. The path started out rather busy, but most people turned off at one point, so it became quite peaceful. We wound our way around to the top, and were rewarded with a great view of Kyoto.
We spent an afternoon in Nara. Nara was the original capital of Japan. While in Nara, we visited the Todaji temple. The building is unbelievably big and inside is this enormous Buddha statue. It is just impossible to capture the actual size of this with a camera. Todaji temple was a favorite for all 3 of us on the trip.
The area around Todaji temple is a large park. In the park are hundreds of deer. You can buy food from stands all over the place, and the deer know where to camp out so they get fed. On the way to the temple plenty came up to us, we would pet them, and they would be on their way. When leaving we decided to buy food. They surrounded us, and were pretty aggressive at getting the food!
One of the days in Osaka we took a day trip to Hiroshima. It was just over an hour by Shinkensan. The first thing we did there was take a tour of the Mazda factory. They have a museum with lots of their old cars, some future concept cars, and then of course their Le Manz race car. Can you tell what his favorite was?
Of course while in Hiroshima you have to visit the A-bomb Dome. We walked around Peace Park a little, visited the memorial, but that was about it. We did not go inside the museum, because we had our 7 year old with us. After a lot of research it seemed the museum graphically displayed the aftermath of the bombing. That was not something we wanted him to see.
From Hiroshima we took a ferry to Miyajima. Miyajima is known for the floating torii gate. Unfortunately the tide was not ideal for our plans, so the tide was just starting to come in while we were there.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the pictures! We loved Japan, and I hope that I can show you what a great place it is!