As I mentioned in Ordinary People, I once was thinking to write down my Japan vacation story in a blog. To realize that dream, today I would like to share that nostalgic story here.
I went to Japan around end of winter season, 8-15 February 2012. It was my first leaves after I joined my current company, so I took a lil’ bit long trip. I planned a backpacker trip at that time. Since no friend could match my schedule, I went there by myself. Fortunately, I have a friend stay in Tokyo whose taking post-graduate education. My friend gave a really big helps, from manage the friend visit recommendation letter for visa requisite, arranged my itinerary at Japan, gave me a tips how to buy daily pass for subway & bus, nite bus to Tokyo, and Disney Sea, let me sleptover at his place, showed me a delicious and I think many more. I think I should write another blog to give you tips how to arrange a backpacking trip. But in this time I will not talk about that, I will just show you the slideshow of places I have visited.
The first place I visited in my very 1st day in Japan, or Osaka for more precisely, is Osaka Castle. Though my journey to find this place is not quite smooth due to difficulty in language and my poor understanding of my daily pass that some-how only can be used in subway and some buses. It is quite amusing though, try to have a conversation with the local. I firstly ask him “eigo ga hana simasuka?” which mean “could you speak english?”. Then he confidently answer “hai, sukoshi.. sukoshi..” which mean “yes, a little bit..” (but why he still answering in Japanese?). Then I ask “do you know which bus I should take to go to Osaka Castle?” and then the local showed a face full of question mark. So I try another language, called figure. I show him a figure of Osaka Castle from the brochure I have and then finally he mumbling in Japanese very quickly. And now I have the face that he has before (????). Hahaha.. But they quite persistent to explain it to me, then he shows me the line where I should wait the bus. And when the bus come he helps me to explain my destination to the bus driver. Wooow.. very nice people :). I also remember when I arrived in KIX airport at around 10 PM, I try to find a help to buy my train ticket to go to the backpacker hostel I booked. However, once again the difficulty in language but with their kind-heart, generosity & eagerness, they tried to helps me by showing the train route and where I should off. Figure & map are more usefull language! Hahaha… Once I’ve tried to talk their language by using “lonely planet pocket dictionary” as my reference. I simply ask about the direction “Kono densha wa Fukuoka e ikimasuka?” which I just want to make sure that I take the right train that will take me to Fukuoka. Amazingly, it works! He answer me. Now is the problem.. how could I know what he talking about??? I only understand his first word “Hai”, so it means yes, I’m in the right train. So to appreaciate his help I just say ” Arigatou gozaimasu…” though I don’t know what he talk about. However, with this limited language ability I have, I once did goodness to a lady that bring her child in the bus. She didn’t get a sit, so I stood up and give my sit to her by saying “dozoo” means “please” which I offer my sit to her. Gladly she took my offering and have a sit by saying a bunch of Japanese words that I believe she tried to say her gratitude to me. Hahahaha…
Anyway, back to my story about Osaka Castle. When I stepped out from the bus, the crows welcoming me with their spooky voice “koaaaaak…”. I felt deserted in foreign country. (syuuuu… the cold wind blow). Brrrr.. back to my sense, I walk through the big gate made from grey solid rock. After the front gate, you will saw a big yard in left side which used for “Hanami” when cherry-blossom season. But here is what I saw in winter, only the tree branches. Finally, I saw the big awesome Osaka Castle. Inside the castle you could see the diorama and movie about the Osaka Castle history. For the story sure you could find it in google or wikipedia, so I will not discuss it again here (honestly, I already forgot about the story and kind of lazy to digged out the brocures). Inside the Osaka Castle area you could find a food shop also, and this time I bought a takoyaki. Enough to warm up my stomach in this cold winter.
After finished eat the takoyaki I went out from Osaka Castle and cross the street. You could find the Museum of History across the castle.
As the last stop in my 1st day I decided to visited Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. The concept is quite cool, the route took us to see the water wild life from surface to the deepest ocean. Unfortunately, not much good photos I get since the place is dark and I’m using pocket camera only.
To be continued…