The end of April and first week of May is aptly named ‘Golden Week’ (ゴールデンウイーク) as it coincides with 4 public holidays in one week – Saturday being Showa Day (昭和の日), Wednesday – Constitution Day (憲法記念日), Thursday – Greenery Day (緑の日) and Friday – Children’s Day (子供の日). While I would have loved to have gone travelling for the whole week, my bank account was not in agreement! Luckily, with my lovely partners in crime Hana and Justine, we decided to get away for a long weekend (which also happened to be my birthday weekend!) to Osaka. This was partly because our lovely friend Tomoko-san had invited us to stay at her place any time we were in that part of the country.
So with our accommodation sorted, we jumped on a quick flight down to Osaka and decided to hit up the shops after lunch. Granted, Osaka is just another big city, but it definitely has a different feel to Tokyo. It seemed a little more relaxed and less fast paced, but as it was in the middle of the biggest travelling seasons of the year, who knows if this is what it is normally like!
A spectacular view of 富士山 from above!
We capped off our first day in Osaka with some traditional Kansai (関西) food – Kushikatsu (串カツ – one of the few vegetarian friendly foods!) before heading off to meet Tomoko-san. She kindly let us stay in her apartment for the entirety of our stay, and what a comfortable and convenient place it was!
Tomoko-san’s adorable welcome note!
The next day was my birthday and I could not have asked for a better way to spend the day than with these two lovely ladies! They made me feel so special and basically spent the whole day spoiling me! I’m so luckily to have met them all those months ago during our orientation last summer. They certainly keep me sane when things get a little crazy here.
We started off the day with a fabulous breakfast at Westwood Bakers and then headed to the National Museum of Art as it looked as though it was going to rain for most of the afternoon.
What a delicious birthday breakfast!
One of the weird and wacky exhibitions at the museum. Another was a crumpled up piece of paper strewn on the ground that the museum worker had to keep putting back in place as passers-by walked on top of it!
We then headed to an area of the city called Shinseikai (新世界) renowned for it’s tacky architecture and old school feel. Justine and Hana also had some takoyaki (たこ焼き) from a famous shop in the area, once visited by a popular pop idol group – Kanjani 8 (関ジャニー８)!
For dinner we went to a fantastic Mexican place in the city – everything about it was amazing: the food, the drinks, the live music and the ambiance. We finished off the night with the typical Japanese experience: Karaoke and Purikura (sticker photos!)
Our last day we started off the day with a lovely brunch of burgers and milkshakes (how Japanese can you get!) and then made our way to Osaka Castle (大阪城) for a final spot of sightseeing. The weather was beautiful and warm, the perfect spring weather, and we raced our way to the top of the castle to catch a glimpse of the city from above.
The burger joint certainly oozed ‘Good Vibes’
Having fun at the castle!
And then it was about time to head to the airport and come home. This trip was some much needed time away with the greatest company! We didn’t really have much planned before hand and just took everyday as it came which made for a relaxing few days.