Yay! This will be about the rest of our Japan trip – Osaka Castle, Fushimi-inari Shrine, Kiyomizudera.
As you can see from the calendar (how handy), we arrived May 15th, around 6pm. We got to our hostel in America-mura around 8pm, just in time to check in.
The lobby, looking back, wasn’t that big, but it was cozy, and had all these knick-knacks and posters on the wall that made it feel welcoming. The kitchen/dining/sitting room, which was big, overlooks the street our hostel is in, making eating breakfast there (although we only ate it once there, hah) quite fun.
America-mura basically means American Village (or something along those lines), so there were a lot of American shops, and some vintage America-themed establishments (there was a huge bowling pin jutting out into the sky, we used that as a landmark to know where we were lol), but even so, there are uniquely Japanese shops. Like Lawson, Family Mart, Village Vanguard…. and that Lolita dress shop. There are actually quite a few of these in the area, just a few streets away from each other. Each a one-stop shop for everything you need if you want something in Lolita fashion. Wigs, dresses, shoes… THE SHOES TBH. I’ve always wanted a decent pair of sky-high, platform sneaker shoes, and the shops here had tons of them.
We were heading back to the hostel after our brief walk around the neighborhood when we stopped by this takoyaki shop that is apparently frequented by local celebrities, as evidenced by the wall of signatures. So we bought some, lol. When in Japan, get takoyaki. As much as possible.
On Sunday we headed to Kyoto, which is a short JR railway ride away. I love transportation in South Korea and Japan. Cheap, but efficient. And gets you everywhere really quick. This photo of friends in kimonos is from the Fushimi-inari shrine.
On the way down the mountain (no, really, it was a trek, and I was not informed it was going to be uphill, haha), we stopped by a small souvenir shop run by a couple, and when they rang up our purchases, they clicked two stones together over it before they were handed to us. Very cool.
And since we were getting hungry, it was fate that there were food stalls selling Japanese street food on the way out. These takoyaki were huge, btw. One order for 500Y for 10pcs of takoyaki that size?! What a time to be alive. The oppa was efficient as well, the line went fast, and he was the only one in the stall. He handled everything.
One thing I always like about going to other cities or places is trying out local menu items in fast food restaurants. Here is a blueberry McFlurry.
Our last stop in Japan (history-wise) is Osaka Castle. Gorgeous, I say. Green, gold, and gray was a color combination I never thought could look stunning, but Osaka Castle works it (I am so sorry, lol). It’s also nice connecting bits of history you’ve read about to tangible, actual places – one thing I like about history.
Actually our last stop was DonKi, or Don Quixote, and Starbucks. Don Quixote is a one-stop shop for everything you need for presents once you get back – chocolate, make-up, other foodstuffs, and Starbucks for the requisite destination mugs.
(After this it’ll be our Korea trip. Yay!)