Tuesday, July 02, 2013

15 Days Central Japan Spring Trip 2013 Day1-3 (Nagoya, Osaka)

This trip was all about Spring Festivals and chasing cherry blossom (sakura). 
Unlike previous years, this year's sakura bloomed much earlier than expected. Before the trip, we were quite worried that we might not see much of the sakura this year.

Day 1:
Took a midnight flight to Nagoya (transit at Shanghai) ✈

Shanghai Airport

Lesson of the day: if you are transiting, remember to bring that country's currency in case you want to buy some food. Because some money changers will charge you a high service charge for using their service.. 

Bought a yummy cream puff while waiting for transit

Chez Choux Cream Puff 10-15 renminbi 

Yes~! I have finally arrived :)

It was drizzling today @ Nagoya Airport
So we set off to checked in @ hotel to collect B Mobile SIM card, before rushing to Inuyama Festival.
Train from Nagoya to Inuyama takes around 30mins
Waiting for train at Airport

Reached Inuyama
Argh.. It was still raining and didn't see any sign of it stopping

Unfortunately the feastival was cancelled.
Leaving the street pretty empty today. 

Exploring the old street of Inuyama

Took a train back to Kanayama station and had Udon to comfort our tired soul.

Sanukiyasubee Kanayamaten Udon - 1190Yen (Everything you see on the tray)

The weather was clear.
After much contemplation, we decided to forgo Iga-ueno (famous ninja village), and tried our luck at Inuyama 

We were greeted by grey sky, as we have reached Inuyama .. 
Luckily there was only slight drizzle every now and then, hence the festival was not cancelled.

Inuyama festival is an annual festival of the HARITSUNA shrine, and it is held every year on the first weekend of April. The highlight of this festival is the parade by 13 three-layered floats 25 feet in height, with the sound of Japanese flutes and drums.

Floats in "raincoat" 

 One by one, the floats were pushed to the front of the shrine to showcase puppet performance as an offering to the god. 

Each float requires around 15-20 people to push. Kids performers are stationed at the first layer of the float taking charge of the music during parade and puppet performance
Second layer are the puppet performer. And lastly, the top layer houses the puppet

As the rain stopped, the plastic cover were removed from the float to reveal its true beauty

Group shots were taken with each float after the performance.

After taken some photos, we decided to head up to the Inuyama castle to take a look.

 Inuyama Castle


  Castle's View

The sun is finally out.
The parade is about to start.


Time to head back to Nagoya, and move to our next destination - Osaka
As we were about to leave, we were greeted by this beautiful rainbow. Maybe this the start of our great trip :)

 Of course, we did not forgot to grab some food before heading back

We have finally arrived at Osaka after 1.5hr of Shinkansen ride. After checking in at hotel, we made our way to Dotonbori (a few stops away from Osaka station).

Streets of Dotonbori are awashed with colour, light, crazy looking signs such as some of most famous landmarks in Osaka; the "Running Man" and the "Giant Crab". 
Come to think of it, Dotonbori somewhat reminded me of those futuristic movies, and I was thinking to myself that it would be normal even if a space vehicle was to fly passed 
*・゜゚・*:.。..。.:*・'(*゚▽゚*)'・*:.。. .。.:*・゜゚・*
P.S: Don't be surprise to see more than one "Giant Crab", as it has several chain stores line up along the streets of Dotonbori.

Greeted by "Running man"

 The famous Giant Crab

 Had ramen at Kinryu - Love their peppery pork broth taste *slurp* (around 500yen)
Something special about Kinryu Ramen:
It only has 2 options: pork ramen or pork ramen with extra pork 
Well, I guess if your food is really that good. You don't really need to provide choices ;)

Day 3:
Went to Instant Ramen Museum at Osaka!!
Was really looking forward to it, as I did not manage to go the last time.
The exhibits include the history of the development of chicken ramen, the world’s first instant ramen, and products that were introduced through out the years.

My Cup Noodle Factor: create their own original instant ramen - 300yen per cup
Hands-on Chicken Ramen Kitchen (reservations and admission fee required) - 300yen for primary school student, 500yen for adult

As Hands-on Chicken Ramen Kitchen are all time favorite among schools, please remember to book in advance if you wish to go.

 Creator of Nissin :D

 Showcasing all the Nissin instant noodles

 My Cup Noodle Factory - 300yen per cup

 You get to even mix and match your own flavors. Do try out their tomato cream broth flavor :D

Had Japanese food at one of the restaurant nearby
My friend ordered Ton Katsu set and was given a some sauces, a bowl of sesame and a small wooden handle. We were quite puzzled as to what sauce to use until a lady customer came along and sat beside us.
Monkey see monkey do: Grinding the sesame seeds before pouring the black sauce 

Ton Katsu and Katsudon (near Instant noodle museum) - 1800 (2pax)

Drop by one of the Osaka's famous cherry blossom viewing spot for locals: Kema Sakuranomiya Park.

The season of Ohanami (cherry blossom viewing)

Spotted: Suntanning lovers (tortoises)

As the sun was setting, we quickily made out away to the Osaka Castle.

Spotted: Ninjas at work~!!
For highlights of this evening, we made a special reservation for dinner, to visit the creator of 3D latte art.

  If I am correct, Kazuki Yamamoto is the person who introduced the first 3D latte art :)
Hur hur hur... I was so excited to meet up with him, I ended up ordering 3 cups of cappuccinos for the 2 of us~!! 

One of the few design that I have requested: 500yen per cup

If you are interested in getting him to make a cup of cappuccino, please remember to call to make a reservation with him 

After our wonderful dinner, we made our way back to the hotel. Unfortunately, it took us quite some time before we are able to fall a sleep !(◎_◎;)

That's all for Day 1-3
☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆

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