It hasn’t even been a year and I’m back in Japan again.
Since the last time I was here, my good friend @nunosans moved to Tokyo. So I stayed a week in his little flat, in Takadanobaba.
I feel very lucky that the Sakura (cherry blossom trees) were blooming when I arrived. It has been something that I’ve been wanting to see for a long time. This post will be very pink.
I mainly shot film during this trip, but the few selected photos in this post are shot with my Canon 60D, Sigma 30mm/f1.4.
I was told I cannot miss out on Nara when hanging out in the Kansai region (Where Kyoto and Osaka is). And they were right.
I got the local train and about 40 minutes later I was there. And then a short walk from the station to Nara Park.
Funny thing happened. When I was looking at the map over Nara I recognised the girl next to me. I had a brief chat with her and her friend who stayed in the same dorm as me in Kyoto a couple of days ago! She was planning on walking up the mountain/hill to get a better view of the city, so I joined her.
And then we reached the top.
And then we headed back down again.
The deer are usually polite, they even bow to you when you walk by (trying to get food). But sometimes they get a bit rude.
And that was it. We got some snacks from 7-Eleven and then I got the train back to Osaka and Julia was going to stay a couple of days in Nara.
Back in Osaka I had a shower and then went out again to get something to eat. Arisa had recommended a good place for Okonomiyaki so that’s where I went.
It’s been a long day so I was happy to get back to my small room where I fell asleep straight away.
My main reason I wanted to go to Osaka was this. The Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Japan.
Trying to get a ticket online was a nightmare, so I ended up going to USJ early in the morning to queue instead. Apparently you could be standing there for hours but it turned out fine. I wasn’t very bothered about the rest of the world, but for the Harry Potter World you need to reserve a time slot to gain entry which my was my top priority.
I had about 30 min to check out the rest of USJ until I could visit HPW.
And then it was time. I rarely get visibly excited about things but for this I couldn’t stop smiling.
A couple of minutes walk through a “forest” before reaching Hogsmead.
29°C warm and the “snow covered” roofs didn’t really match. But that didn’t matter, there was so much to look at. And compared to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio in London you could actually enter all the shops.
You could buy Chocolate frogs, Every-flavour beans, Pumpin juice, Jumping Snakes, Chocolate Wands, Fudge Flies, Fizzing Whizzbees, Peppermint Toads, Candy Floss, Exploding Bonbons, and more. It was extremely busy in there though.
You could go on the “Flight of the Hippogriff” ride too, but I’m not a big fan of rides.
Instead I went for a walk inside Hogwarts. And of course there was a queue for that too. I had plenty of time though.
It’s weird to see and hear Salazar’s and Helga’s portraits having a conversation in Japanese.
When I got back out the queue to the Butterbeer shop was shorter, so I got myself a Iced Butterbeer. Better than the normal (that’s also served in London)
While I was having a break, trying to take it all in, a couple of kids came up to me and wanted a picture (weirdly enough this kept on happening and it’s confusing every time)
Way pass lunchtime I got hungry and decided to eat at The Three Broomsticks (It wasn’t a hard decision)
I was amazed by this building. Felt like an old english pub but with the quirkiness of the magical world. I’m surprised it was so cosy even though it was so busy.
I ordered “The Hogwarts feast for one”, tasty. Although the roasted potatoes weren’t that great.
You could access the Hog’s Head from here. They even had Fire Whiskey at the back (not sure if you could buy that though…). But they had their own beer called the Hog’s Head Brew. While enjoying my lunch I thought that it would be cool to open a pub like this in Stockholm. Sweden need to take more from the English culture. And especially when it’s Harry Potter inspired. I reckon this would work in Stockholm.
After a couple of hours at the Harry Potter World it was still hard to leave, it felt like home, but I decided to head back.
When I arrived in Osaka I got the tube to Shinimamiya to check in at my hostel. I was only planning on staying in Osaka for three nights so I got a cheap hostel. I didn’t know anything about Osaka but when I got to the hostel that area felt a bit… rough.
I spent most of the day at the hostel, doing my laundry, planning my trip and updating the blog.
But when I got bored of that I went into Namba to check out the more buzzing areas.
My last day in Kyoto. And I felt sad about leaving this city. There was still plenty things to see, but I’ll do that another time. Today I was heading to the Golden Pavilion Temple, Kinkaku-ji.
Instead of a noise they play different kinds of bird sounds when there’s green light at the crossings. (cuckoo-cuckoo)
I was passing by a lot of temples and shrines on my way there since Kyoto is full of them.
There are so many temples and shrines in Kyoto, all very beautiful. This one definitely stands out though. I remember me as a 17 year old kid looking at pictures the Golden Pavilion, and how much I wanted to go there. Now when I’m here it didn’t feel that special. Of course the building is spectacular. But it just felt like another tourist attraction.
I found a restaurant nearby to for a late lunch and a sit down.
I walked back to the central Kyoto when I found this really cute postcard/print shop. I rarely buy postcards, but this time I couldn’t resist.
I found a café nearby called Cafe Bibliotic Hello!
I’m sitting by the window which is covered by big plants. In the background tacky Hawaiian music is playing on low volume and the girl next to me is knitting something. The man opposite me is really enjoying his cigarette, and I’m thinking that it feels so cinematic and old fashioned to smoke indoors. Two girls a couple of years older than me keeps coming by the large bookshelf where I’m sitting to replace their magazines they’ve finished reading.
I like this café, I feel calm to be here and in Japan. It’s a new environment where everything feels exciting.
On my way back to the hostel I walked by a small market where they were selling a lot of weird stuff. And a lot of fish that almost made me throw up because of the smell.
Back at the hostel I sat down in the back of the bar to enjoy a draft beer and to rest me feet, before I needed to back my bags to be ready to leave Kyoto early tomorrow morning.