Japan Honeymoon - on Our Way to Osaka!

by - 11/09/2013

It's not a secret that I am obsessed with Japan and all things Japanese. Ever since I was introduced to Sailor Moon when I was 11 years old, I've developed a fascination with drawing and watching anime and learning the Japanese language. As I got older, I became obsessed with the fashion (specifically lolita fashion) and the culture. The only thing left for me to do was to actually visit the Land of the Rising Sun. 

Kevin and I originally wanted to go to Europe for our honeymoon, but it turned to be extremely expensive. Luckily for me, he also had always wanted to visit Japan (what a coincidence!), so that's where we decided to spend our first trip as husband and wife. Our trip lasted from November 10 until November 25, 2013. I specifically wanted to visit at this time of year because I was determined to take really beautiful pictures of the maple leaves at old temples. Also, I like cold weather and I wanted to wear a peacoat for the first time (I am very simple-minded). We decided to visit Osaka, as we had a friend there, and then Tokyo. The flight to KIX (Osaka-Kansai) would take 10 hours from HNL (Honolulu). 

Breakfast of champions.

YOU get a TV Screen, and YOU get a TV screen! Everyone gets a TV screen!

How cute is this?
This was a snack
I was pleasantly surprised by the food that we got on the flight, and was glad that we all had our own TV screens. There were many free TV shows to watch, as well as free music and games that you could play with other passengers (Battleship FTW). Overall, the flight was alright. You really can't expect much from economy class on a 10-hour flight. The seats were uncomfortable on my back, but hey, what can you do when you have a bad back? What fascinated me about this flight is that all the Japanese people on it almost immediately went to sleep. They just popped on their eye masks or put a pillow behind their head and were out cold by the time we were in the air. I was filled with jealousy. 

I was excited to be in cold weather, so I dressed in a red sweater dress with leggings and comfortable shoes (Sketcher's Go-Walk 2, highly recommended!), and I brought a sweater just in case I needed to layer. When we got outside of the airport, it was just about 7:00 pm and it was quite cold! I was glad I had my sweater. We hopped on the rapid express train after getting our JR Passes that took us straight to Osaka Namba Station. The people who worked on the trained bowed every time the entered a car, and bowed every time they left it. I was easily amused by this. 

We picked a hotel that was literally on top of the train station, and we were glad we did! The Swissotel Nankai Osaka Hotel is right above Osaka Namba Station. SO convenient. When we arrived, we were greeted by English speaking staff, and we were showed to our room by an American employee who was extremely nice and answered all the questions I had for him (where was the nearest combini, etc.)

This is a "menu" where you could choose different types of pillows. I've never seen anything like this before!

By the time we got to the hotel, we were starving, but too lazy to go out and eat anywhere. So where did we go, the combini of course!

Melon pan, yakisoba pan, Kirin Lemon

My dinner looked like something a high school student would get at the school store, but I have always wanted to try these things. BTW, melon pan does not taste like melon, just wanted to let you all know that so you weren't disappointed. But either way, it's a tasty bread. 

Our room overlooked Namba Parks, a really beautifully designed shopping center, designed to look like a canyon.

The jet lag was strong with this one, so I was up the next morning at 6:00 a.m. But it allowed me to get some really pretty shots of the city in the morning. 

I loved the smoke coming out of the buildings, and I was giddy like a school girl when I spotted some red leaves in Namba Parks! I was even more giddy when we returned one night and saw Namba Parks like this:

Namba Parks lit up for Christmas
Tips for Traveling to Osaka: 
  • Your hotel may have a hotel limo service (which is really a bus) available for a small fee around $10.00. Utilize this, it's great. If there is no hotel limo, use the train. There are rapid trains that go to the major train stations, also quite cheap, and they have room for your suitcases.
  • If you have a JR pass, get it "activated" right at the airport. At KIX, the JR office is located right by the ticket purchase counter. I believe they open till around 11:00 p.m.. Make sure you have what date to what date you want to be able to use the pass. Another tip, the JR pass isn't going to be entirely useful in Osaka. It is more useful for the shinkansen and in Tokyo. 

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