One Week of Travelling – Okayama

After spending a night at Max’s dormitory room in Kyoto, I continued to the next stop on my journey, which was Okayama. Some might remember that Okayama was where I went to for my first trip to Japan in 2010 (wow, that’s already 4 years ago…). As on my earlier stops, I wanted to meet up with friends again, so I met with Saya, who was a student at Hiroshima University while I was doing my year abroad and we went walking around the city, which was a lot of fun.

But of course, I also wanted to meet up with Gen and his family again, so we went to the Shorinji during our walk, where I met him for the first time. I wasn’t able to contact him before that day, so as expected, noone was there. But I left a note and he called me in the evening, so we met up in the city and had a nice evening to catch up with the last two years :)

It was a really nice evening and I have a new contact address for next time as well, so I won’t have to wait in front of the temple in vain 😀

One Week of Travelling – Kyoto

The next stop on my journey was Kyoto, where I met with Max, who’s a fellow student at Hamburg University and also preparing his final thesis, as well as Yumiko, who was an exchange student at Hamburg University in… 2010/11, I think. Don’t quote me on the exact year 😀 We decided to walk through the city for a while and not to do all the regular sightseeing, as we’ve all been there before. But as this is Kyoto, at least one temple has to feature in this post.

Honnō-ji in the heart of Kyoto

Honnō-ji in the heart of Kyoto

A little snippet for fans of Japanese history: Oda Nobunaga committed ritual suicide in this temple, after it was set on fire and he was unable to get out.

After getting in touch with history, we decided to get in touch with the cuisine next and like last time when I was in Kyoto, it was time for macha parfait! We had to wait for about 30 minutes outside of the shop, as everyone seemed to have had the same thought as we did. However, we were finally able to enter after some time. I was in a rather experimental mood and decided to take the parfait with sakura and salt ice cream. The latter one was definitely a bit weird, but still tasty enough, but the sakura cream was amazing (as everything sakura xD).

Matcha Sakura Parfait

Matcha Sakura Parfait

When we were full and our bellies rejoicing in joy, Yumiko had to depart for Nara again and Max and I went to meet up with members of the Kengeki-kai, who are a group of Japanese actors for Samurai-esque films that we met at the Japanese Movie Festival in Hamburg last year. We met at an izakaya (Japanese style bar) and had a super cool evening and caught up with everything that had been happening so far. They’re just an awesome bunch of people – many thanks for taking the time to meet us! :)

Max and me at the izakaya with the members of Kengeki-kai.

Max and me at the izakaya with the members of Kengeki-kai.

Next up: Okayama and Hiroshima!

One week of travelling – Osaka

In the last week, I took the chance to spend some days with friends, whom I haven’t met in a long time and travelled across the country to meet them. The first stop of this journey was Osaka, where a German friend of mine, Lea, from Hamburg University is currently doing some work and travel. I went there by bus from Tokyo and while I was pleasantly surprised by the on-board entertainment system, the most peculiar fact about this bus was its cute design.

Travel BusAfter arriving in Osaka in the evening, we just spent the firstevening chatting, watching movies and doing nothing much. So we had a lot of energy saved for the second day, for which we decided to go to Osaka Castle and into the city for some window shopping. Osaka castle is located fairly in the center of the city and the old castle grounds, except for the main tower are nowadays designed as a huge park area. While we were there, the plum trees were already blossoming quite a lot and some kind of running event was taking place. As the weather was beautiful, many people chose the day to visit the area as well, so we were far from alone. We decided to visit the inner part of the castle as well to have a nice view from the top (and, beeing the stamp collector that I am in Japan, to collect some local stamps as well).

Afterwards we went to Namba, to enjoy some window-shopping and food. We just finished in time to be able to drive to Umeda and enjoy the sunset next to the Umeda Sky Building, which was really beautiful.

Umeda Sky Building SunsetTo top the evening off, we went to a not to be named coffee place, where they served the spring variants of their hot chocolates and milk coffees – with strawberry and sakura cherry blossom taste. Extremely delicious! On the next day, I would continue my journey and go to Kyoto, but that is a story for the next post :)



Some Tokyo-ing with Caro

I haven’t been able to post a lot of updates in the last days, so here’s at least a small one for now. On Thursday and Friday I met with Caroline in Tokyo, who’s a friend from Hamburg and was able to make a short stop in Japan on her way back from another journey. We had a great time exploring some of the city together and enjoyed some nice shopping (100 Yen-shops ftw.!), as well as tasty Japanese food. Thanks for meeting up! And also thanks to Haruka and Yuko for taking the time to go out with us :)

Walking around in Chiyoda, Tokyo

Nothing big today, just a few pictures from a midday walk around the National Diet Library in Tokyo’s Chiyoda area.