Japan – The Hunt Begins

So getting to Osaka quite late, I didn’t spend any of the night exploring the city. The only form of exploring was finding the capsule hotel with the minimal direction that I had. So capsule hotels was something that I wanted to try, even though it was more expensive than hostels ($25 vs $15), but I just wanted that experience of sleeping in a confined area where it was completely silent. When I finally got to the capsule hotel, I was surprised that it was more than just the pods. It reminded me of jimjilbangs in Korea, where they had saunas and a common area. Moreover, they had a manga room! (but it was all in Japanese) and they had preset tv’s and lots of chairs where you can choose which channel to listen to. It’s cool because the speakers are built into the chair so you won’t hear it unless you lean back. Maybe it was only that capsule hotel, but that was where the impressed me ended. When I got to the capsule, it was not to my expectations. The capsule was quite roomy. The space was probably larger than bunk beds at hostels and the “door” in and out of the capsule was just a bamboo curtain so sound easily travelled from one capsule to another. After the night, I got ready to head to my next hostel to drop off my bag. So check out times are 10am in Japan and while I was checking out, a person who just checked out needed to use the bathroom. However, when he was about to go down the stairs (as there were no bathrooms on the main floor), the receptionist stopped him saying that he can’t go because he already checked out and would have to pay again to go in. That was definitely not very impressive. All in all, I wouldn’t be able to recommend the capsule hotel in Osaka in Shinsaibashi.

The Capsule Hotel in Osaka
Osaka Capsule Hotel

Getting to the hostel also took longer than what I was hoping for. Their directions weren’t the best but besides that, the hostel was pretty cool. The hostel has a discount for students and they also have a choice between Western style room and Japanese style room. Never sleeping in a Japanese futon before, I instantly chose that (which was also the cheaper of the two options) and so I dumped my stuff in the room and started doing some research as to where to go in Osaka. That also reminds me, from my two experiences of hostels in Japan, they both had computers with internet free to use which was pretty awesome. Anyway, after getting some suggestions from the staff, I was ready to start my journey. Another awesome thing about this hostel was that they had bikes that were free to use and so my journey in Osaka was also by bike.

The two statues at Isshinji Temple are made out of human bones!
Japan Temple

They have such cool arcade game prizes.
Japan Arcade

Did not know Square Enix made arcade games.
Japan Square Enix

Osaka Castle.
Osaka Castle

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a good map of Osaka and so it was kind of difficult to find all the places, however, there weren’t many places that I wanted to see in Osaka and so my main goal in Osaka was to really start hunting for my other sister’s “souvenir”. So when I first announced that I was going to Japan, she told me to get her all these different kit kat flavours. From green tea to strawberry to weird flavours like melon. After looking at the blog that she showed me, it sounded like fun and reasonable. However, the hunt didn’t really begin until Osaka. I thought it’d be easy as there seemed to be over 30 different flavours, but after asking the staff at the hostel, I found out that most flavours only come out on certain months to celebrate certain events or seasons. Thus the only ones that are currently circulating were regular, green tea kit kat balls and dark chocolate. After walking into a couple of convience stores, I began to be convinced, however, getting to dokomuri street, I started to find strawberry kitkat bars and pomegranate kit kats. The hunt wasn’t dead yet and thus I started going into all the convience stores that I saw along my bike ride.

So when I first got to Japan, I asked E what I should eat in Japan besides those typical things and she responded with anything green tea. Keeping that in mind, these were some of the green tea things that I ended up having. Note I dont know what some of these are:

Green Tea!
Green Tea

Pocky
Green Tea Pocky

Chocolate
Green Tea Chocolate

CakeGreen Tea Cake

No idea
Green Tea

Icecream
Green Tea Icecream

All in all, Japan was the most expensive trip that I took. With the total cost close to $550 not including the plane. Was it worth it? It’s worth the fact that it was my first time in Japan, but I don’t think I’m up for doing this trip again anytime soon. Maybe if I left the 3 biggest cities and did more trekking like activities, but transportation makes it very hard to travel inside this country.

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