Day 2 in Osaka (Osaka Part 1) was a curious case of Nava K and her other half-half. First thing first in the morning, after showering and getting ready for breakfast, we couldn’t find our room key. Hell hack! I clearly, if I am not mistaken, I remember leaving it on the table, but somehow we really didn't have any clue what was going on. Maybe, could it be the visit of the Japanese ghost while we were sound asleep? Sounds eerie right? I know. I swear I really thought because how can the key go missing just like that. Despite spending almost half an hour, searching high and low, until to the of extent looking under the bed, inside the toilet bowl and digging the waste paper basket, full of food rubbish, cigarette buds and what not, key still ended up as a mystery. Mind you, this is the heavy metal key and not the card. By then, time was already running short for breakfast, thus, we had no choice but give up and face the consequences.
Nevertheless, still feeling rather wary, we left it as it is, and hurriedly came down to the dining area (Kobe Japan). While tucking into our meal, we checked with our tour guide on what could possibly be the implication and just then, one of our tour buddies who was in our room gambling last night handed over the key. Guess what’s the story? He actually took back our key, thinking it’s his. Oh-my-goodness. I literally fumed. Imagine how it must have been for us, especially digging the waste paper basket and almost until putting my hands into the toilet bowl? I think the gulps of whiskey must have got to him. Whatever, glad we were key was back at our safe keeping. Phew! Key puzzled solved, next came the one after other question why we disappeared from the supposedly fancy frilly and only in Osaka shopping the previous afternoon (Kyoto Day 2, Kyoto Part 2 & Kyoto Arashiyama). Patiently I replied, even to our Singaporean tour guide who has based in Osaka for the last 20 years, that shopping is never the highlight for me travelling, Point noted I reckon, by 9.00am, we departed to Nara.
Approximately within the next an hour, we were already in Todaiji Temple/Great Eastern Temple. Crowded like nobody's business. Hundreds and hundreds of tourists, as well as big groups and groups of Japanese students, until it took us almost half an hour for getting in and out of the toilet. Thankfully, I didn’t have to hold my breath or close my eyes because unlike some of our Malaysian smelly, filthy and stinking toilets, I must say that toilets in Japan on the whole are clean and well-maintained, even when its full house full to the rim. Nevertheless, I suppose you can’t avoid the long queues especially at world famed, top rated attractions like Todaiji Temple/Great Eastern Temple, also, when winter in Japan Japan draws thousands of tourists. If you are asking me if winter is an absolute Japan travel lust, beats me. Not for me please. Its just a hype for whatever reason others perceive. In fact, I have already made it clear to my other half-half that winter holiday should be permanently ditched aside no matter where it is. I mean, what is the point of winter travelling when I am literally shivering, until I have to take warmth shelter, literally all the time. Moreover, I had enough of carrying big suitcases stuffed with winter clothes and seriously, once I removed my clothes, I am practically itching crazily despite applying loads of lotion.
Sightseeing in Todaiji Temple/Great Eastern Temple, located in a huge area started the moment we walked the long walk towards the temple itself, while on the way, like the rest of the tourists, I excitedly bought packets of shika senbei/special deer crackers for love feeding the whole lot of deer. These buggers, trust me, as small or as big as they are, they are somewhat of bullies. They even had the cheek to hard pushing and knocking, literally butting my ass, as many times for indicating I should feed them. Real rascals! Luckily my ass didn't rip fall apart. I then told myself. Enough of feeding these hungry forever buggers, I continued walking and entered the compound of the temple.
Constructed in 752 as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples in Japan, besides the world’s largest wooden building of Daibutsuden/Big Buddha in the main hall, there are statues of other gods and goddesses. Saying a prayer is a must for me regardless of whichever religion, subsequently, ending the next half an hour in Todaiji Temple/Great Eastern Temple by admiring its stunning structure and surrounding, off we left for lunch.
Lunch was akin a special treat for we learned to make sushi. As easy as it looked and as easy-preasy it sounded, believe me, not as simple as I expected. My sushi rolls I think were facing Malaysia instead of looking up at Japan, the land of the rising sun. Food on the other hand, point blank said, was another boring Japanese set meal for me. I don’t even want to speak about it.
After lunch, we had half an hour in hand for idling our time or grabbing some snacks from the shops at the main road, and this was followed by journeying back to Osaka for the must do, must see and must visit, taking highest stage, atop Sky Building, Floating Garden Observatory. Aw breathtaking! Sincerely. My-my! What a perfect timing. Big ball of glowing, simultaneously slowly drifting away sun, and me standing and allowing my mind to wonder far and beyond. Utterly sensational view which I am still holding close to my travelling heart. What a pleasure of yours and mine. A pair of skyscrapers connected in midair, Umeda Sky Building built in an unusual architectural form is said to be seldom encountered anywhere in the world. It has an open roof and 360-degree design, affording panoramic views of the city, and is known as a romantic and most scenic sunset viewing spot. Absolutely worthy.
Up next, our last dinner in Osaka, in I-Ro-Ha-Annex Restaurant. Tiny, cramped and one floor below, as if in a hidden underground, frankly speaking, I couldn’t wait to get out. I ate so little of this another boring seafood Japanese set meal. Seriously, I couldn’t take it anymore. Whoever the person who was in charge of our tour should be spanked. Ridiculous. Every other meal is Japanese meal. Like there’s no Chinese restaurants in Osaka? I actually took note of some. You know what I did? I excused myself and stood outside the restaurant for viewing the whole street lined with rows and rows of shop on both sides. Trust me, a better option for calming my anger and hunger down.
Next day being our last day before we permanently bid bye-bye to Osaka, at the request of the hard core shoppers, we spend a few hours in Rinku Premium Outlet. Okay. Alright. I take back my words. I did shop. Are you curious to find out what I bought? Neh! Not for you to know neither am I one of those who must showcase my stuffs. Que Sera Sera!
Lunch thereafter called for at the food court at the expense of own money. Didn’t matter to me since I have stuffed myself to the maximum during buffet breakfast for making up on last night’s dinner. Still, out of curiosity, I tried the waffle wrapped ice cream. Creamy, luscious vanilla ice cream filled in crispy waffle skin sincerely was a fab. Tour buddies who tucked into the spicy noodle too sang praises. Finally, to the airport for home bound.
Will Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka go down in my travelling book as the number one major pride and joy? Credit due must be credit given. I must admit I had a great time, though Japanese food for every other meal almost stocked me up and down. As if we are deprived of the best Japanese restaurants in Malaysia, additionally, where else food can be proud for this typical made in Malaysia lady? Nothing like my home land Malaysia without a doubt.