Osaka is only a short 1-hour ride away from Kyoto. For the average backpacker there isn’t that much of value here. The most famous attraction is the Osaka aquiarium and I haven’t even visited it myself. But next in line (and free) is the Dotombori. This is a huge plaza/shopping area with tons of shops and restaurants. There is tons of different thing to try and eat in only a few blocks. A dear friend of mine gave me a fair warning before I came here.
Giant LED-billboards on Dotonbori
The good thing about the huge commercial places is that each and one of the stores are fighting for publicity with the crowd. This shows in their storefront designs and there are quite a few that are worth checking around.
BIG ANGRY JAPANESE CHEF FACE!
Giant crab vs angry chef
No idea what this store is all about. Your guess?
Just some of the choices of food available at the Dotonbori:
Takoyaki at a streetfood stall
Okonomiyaki at one of the many restaurants in Dotonbori
Onigiri lunch at restaurant specialised in onigiris
Huge todai-ji housing the Daibatsu
I haven’t heard of Nara until my new travelpartner suggested in going there. She wanted to see the Daibatsu or Giant Buddha, which is one of the main attractions in Nara. The Daibatsu is housed in the humungous Todai-ji temple. Truth to be told, I’ve seen my fair share of temples and buddhas and also a couple of big ones. But everytime I just get amazed by the size of the statue and the amount of detail it has.
Giant buddha – small worshippers
Guardian statue in Todai-ji main hall
Obligatory poser picture in front of Todai-ji
Deers are the “pigeons” of Nara
Eventhough the Daibatsu, Giant Buddha, is the pearl of Nara, there a lot of other attractions worth visiting in the surrounding area. Most of these attractions are located in the wonderful Nara-koen, a park home to about 1200 deers. The deers are accustomed to having people around them and just co-live in peace with the residents there. Quite an interesting sight with a bunch of deers just sitting near the side and standing in packs in the middle of the pedestrian road. Maybe it’s just me, but I wish we had wild deers running around with us in the city
Alex Yip is a web enthusiast who put his online marketing career on hold to travel around the world for a year. This blog is his virtual journal and logbook to keep people updated on his backpacking adventures on the road.