We left Tokyo on a Sunday morning and began making our way to Osaka. We did a mad dash to Shinagawa Station where we caught the Shinkansen bullet train towards Osaka. We had a choice to pay for our bullet train (pay as we go), or in our case, we opted to go with getting 7-day Japan Rail Pass. While we planned 11-12 days in Japan, 7 of those days were to be spent outside of Tokyo, and that’s when we’d be using the bullet train.
Since we had already taken care of business at the JR office in Shinagawa the day before, all we had to do was to make our 10:45am train departure to catch our train. We all just made it in time get to our platform. It’s a good thing that we reserved our seats. All 17 of us were in the same car. Two more travelers from our party were set to arrive from Los Angeles later that evening.
First impressions of the Shinkansen
Well, they don’t call it a bullet train for nothing. It’s sleek with fine sexy curves. Reminds me of my first time seeing and riding Space Mountain in Disneyland. The Shinkansen was just gorgeous. Upon entering the train, we headed to our reserved seats for all 17 of us.
We easily stored our luggage in the overhead space. For a train that ran 200 mph (320 km/h), the ride was so comfortable. The seats were roomy. We were able to recline the seats. I happily obliged and slept most of our ride towards Osaka. The ride was nearly 3 hours long.
After riding the bullet train, we made it to Shin-Osaka station. What a stunning station. Since we had a crazy morning rush to Shinagawa Station, none of us were able to grab anything to eat during our ride. Upon arriving at the station in Osaka, we decided to take a little break and eat at the station. We had bento boxes, and I opted to go to a food court and ordered Oyakodon (chicken, egg, rice bowl).
We then took a local train to Nishijuko to make our way our to our AirBNB for our two-night stay in Osaka.
Our Osaka AirBNB
Unlike our Tokyo AirBNB (one 3-bedroom house), for our Osaka AirBNB, we were given two separate apartments in the 5th and 6th floors. Each apartment had a kitchen living room area, and three bedrooms, bathrooms, washing machine (with dryer downstairs).
During the day
We also headed towards Umeda Sky, walked under a tunnel with wall art work in progress. That in itself was a site to see. I decided to put a slideshow about this artwork. Here you go.
The foodie quest
Nancy and I went on a lunch date with two of our kids. We went to Matsusaka Yakiniku M. That in itself was a religious experience that I had to write a separate blog entry about it. Here’s what I wrote (click here).
If there was one thing I looked forward to in Osaka, it was the food. It’s known to be a mecca of anything foodie-related. And Osaka did not fail. We headed to Dotonburi, it’s packed with street vendors, and foodie restaurants.
The best thing to do is get lost and just let your feet take you places. Actually, let your palate dictate what you want to eat. From ramen to takoyaki to sushi – Dotonburi did not skip a beat. With all it’s flashy Times Square-like buildings and signs, it’s guaranteed to be a festive visit.
Osaka was pure of colors and flavor. To capture its essence, I put together another slideshow of pictures about our adventures in Osaka. Enjoy!
Ok, this is all for now….next up, Kyoto!