Nara, Osaka City & Visa Things

11th May 2016

This week has been a chilled out week. I’ve eaten lots of good Japanese food, seen some deer and applied for a visa for where I am going next.

So far it’s rained most days so i’ve not been out as much as I would like. Luckily all weekend it was nice and hot so I decided to head out to Nara, a small city about an hour away from Osaka.

Japanese Memorial Sign - Nara, Japan
Japanese Memorial Sign – Nara, Japan

Nara

Getting to Nara from my apartment is so easy. I walked 100m down the road and got on a train from Shin-Imamiya station to Nara for about 500JPY.

I got into Nara, ate some nice Katsudon and then headed straight to the park on the edge of the town. Walking up the hill to the park was funny, there were deer everywhere following people about. People with biscuits getting harassed by animals is funny in any language.

Deer in Nara Park, Japan
Deer in Nara Park, Japan

Nara park is full of deer and tourists. I decided to go off in the other direction that everyone else was and walked through some woods up the hill. At the top of the hill past Nara park there is a temple with an amazing lookout point. I just sat up on the top of there with an iced coffee, it was amazing. My camera battery died almost as soon as I got to Nara because im an idiot and forgot to charge it the night before.

From the top of Nara park you can see the abanodend theme park; Nara Dreamland. It’s a Japanese clone of Disneyland that shut down and it’s all overgrown now. It would be amazing to go in for a wonder about, but theres websites say people get arrested in there. It’s a shame because the place looks amazing.

Nara Park, Japan
Nara Park, Japan

It’s nice to get a restbite from a really busy city like Osaka. Walking round some park and some woods is nice, i’m getting bored of really busy cities. I’m going to Shanghai soon, one of the biggest cities in the world but after that I want to stay somewhere quiet.

Shrine in Nara, Japan
Shrine in Nara, Japan
Shinto Shrine - Nara, Japan
Shinto Shrine – Nara, Japan

Osaka City

Osaka city center is confusing and I always just get lost and end up getting the train back out of frustration.

Saurday night I went to Dotonburi, it’s got loads of lit up buildings, bars and food. I didn’t want any beer but I was on the look for some good food. There is a lot of Waygu beef restaurants and some Fugu restaurants but I prefer simple food. I found a vending machine ramen restaurant and went inside for some ramen and gyoza. Tonkotsu ramen is almost like gravy, it’s amazing.

Osaka Castle

Osaka castle is a big landmark here. Typing Osaka in on Google either shows images of Dotonburi or Osaka castle. Getting to there is easy, it’s in the city, like 4 stops away from my apartment.

Osaka castle is really underwealming, what was impressive is the whole castle grounds. Everything around the castle is massive and then there is a little castle plonked ontop. I didn’t go in the castle and instead just sat outside and on top of the giant walls. As usual it was a sea of selfie sticks waving in the air so I found a quiet spot and sat in the sun.

Osaka Castle - Osaka, Japan
Osaka Castle – Osaka, Japan

Getting a Chinese Visa

I’m going to Shanghai at the end of the month so it’s best to get the visa early ready to avoid any issues. I got myself some passport photos at Namba station. For some reason there was no setting for just a normal photo, it only had settings to “improve” your skin. The photos looked no different to me.

So I turned up to the Chinese embassy with my improved passport photos, flights and airbnb information all printed. I had expected just some place to hand over the information and get your stuff processed, I was wrong. There was about 80 people in there all shouting really loud. It was annoying so I got my stuff sorted, pushed in the queue and left.

Whats Next?

I’m already getting bored with Osaka. I’m not sure if it’s the city or the country. This week the weather here has been awful, it’s just raining all day every day. Hopefully this weekend will be a bit brighter and I can go to Kobe for the day. We will see.

I need to go back to the Chinese embassy to pick up my passport. It’s on Friday the 13th so i’m not sure if it will be unlucky to go.

Thankyou for reading, have a good week.

Lanterns in a Shrine - Nara, Japan
Lanterns in a Shrine – Nara, Japan