Despite the delay, I'm going to finish with part 2 of my Japan trip. Every time I think back to my experiences in Tokyo and Osaka, food and shopping pops to mind. On many occasions I would get so distracted by the shopping that I completely forget about taking photos. This post is extremely image heavy nonetheless - and haul photos are included at the end!
I'm sure when people visually picture Osaka (for those that have been there), this structure is somewhere in the background. Osaka Castle is a very impressive, and culturally significant, piece of architecture. If you get to the very top (lots of stairs involved) you also take in an all round view of the beautiful city.
I had high hopes for this place (I LOVE going to aquariums), but was a little disappointed by how small all the exhibits were. The whale shark however - which is the main draw card - had me in awe!
Instant ramen (or cup noodle) is an absolute food necessity to me. So naturally, I had to pay homage to the man who invented it all - Momofuku Ando. You also get to customize your very own cup noodle at the museum so it's all very cool.
I LOVE Takoyaki, and Osaka is the place to go to stuff yourself full of this yummy goodness. At this particular joint (I believe it's call 'Pizza Ball House'), you get to make your own Takoyaki from scratch, which proved to be MUCH harder than it looks. The waiter had to come around so many times to help and ensure the takoyaki was cooking properly - it was quite embarrassing.
Dotonbori is a must for food and shopping in Osaka. It's where the famous running man (or glico man) lives, and is a definite tourist hotspot. I highly recommend hitting up 'Kani Doraku Honten' if you go pass it, I know it's a chain restaurant, but their all-crab courses are AMAZING! Surprisingly affordable too.
Just like Osaka castle, Tokyo Tower is bound to be one of those things that jumps to mind when you think of Tokyo. I honestly didn't snap too many photos (I was so worn out by shopping that day lol), but it looks spectacular all lit up!
Is the nerd central of Tokyo! The district is famous for all things anime and electronic related, and also maid cafes! I have to admit I was keen to try out a maid cafe at first but chickened out last minute because it was just cuteness overload!
If you want to find the best tasting sushi, Tsukiji Fish market is the place to hit up. I ate at Sushi Dai (apparently number 1 in popularity) - I'm usually not one to line up for hours to eat at a restaurant, but those 3.5 hours I spent waiting outside, was totally worth it. The grueling wait is pretty much mandatory, so be warned if you wish to visit!
Shimokitazawa is one of those super cool, laid back neighbourhoods where supposedly all the 'hipsters' hang. It's filled with really cute boutiques and eateries, and check out all the street art!
My theory has always been that if you haven't been at the Shibuya crossing, you haven't truly experienced Japan. It's Tokyo madness at it's best! Going on the crossing has been on my bucket list for a while now, so I'm glad to finally tick it off!
Ebisu Garden Place has been the backdrop of many Japanese dramas and films, the area almost looks surreal in it's commercial surroundings. Random, but if you were ever into the drama 'Hana Yori Dango', you will know the significance of the structure below! ;)
I've been watching animated films produced by Studio Ghibli from ever since I can remember. The whole experience of the visit was like a dream (unfortunately, no photos are allowed inside), you get a true glimpse into the mind Hayao Miyazaki and all the other geniuses behind their many famous animations. And there's nothing like a Ghibli production to make me want to be a kid all over again!
I was a little all-shrined-out after Kyoto, so I wasn't too ethusiastic about visiting Asakusa in Tokyo. It's a interesting place to see nonetheless, also a great place to pick up souvenirs!