Blog This

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


About a week ago I took another day trip to Takayama which is located in the mountains of Gifu prefecture. This time I went with my friend, Etsuko, whom I met through a friend from work. Gifu is next to my prefecture (like a province or state) Aichi. It should have taken us 2.5 - 3 hours on the bus, however we encountered traffic and it took about 4 hours. Once we arrived we had ramen for lunch, which apparently Takayama is known for. After that we wondered the streets on what was a beautiful fall day. We walked through some shrines and were able to see all the beautiful colours of the fall leaves. We actually didn't do much there expect explore the shrines and local shops, but it was a really nice trip. At one shrine we went to I was able to get my fourtune because this time I had someone to translate for me. I was quite pleased with what's apprently in store for me. After reading your fourtune you are supposed to tie it to a string which is usually tied between two posts or in our case, two trees.
Unfortunately there isn't much else to tell, but it was a really beautiful little place to see. Really neat shops and we went at the right time because the leaves were so beautiful. Hopefully you can see in the picture with the big tree, there are about 3 different colours on that tree alone.
The ride back was nice and it went by fairly quickly because there was no traffic which was surprising being that it was a Sunday evening.


A few weeks ago I took a one day trip to Osaka. I think I spent more time on the bus than I did in Osaka, but it was still nice to see a different city. Osaka doesn't have many cultural spots like Kyoto does, so instead I checked places that I was interested in seeing. I started with the Osaka Aquarium which is famous for it's whale shark. It looks more like a shark, but it was neat to see. The aquarium had a neat set up. The main tank was in the middle and then you start at the top and walk around, slowly going down to the bottom of the tank. While walking around the main tank you I was able to check out other smaller tanks on the opposite side. The aquarium featured creatures that live in "the ring of fire"; basically from the southern tip of west side of south america, up to Alaska, around Japan and then down to Australia.
After the aquarium I walked to the Suntory Museum, which is right next door. I viewed a Toulouse Lautrec exhibit. I remember seeing his exhibit a few years ago in Vancouver (remember Dad?) but I thought it would be nice to see again.
After the exhibit I went to see the castle. The castle was quite beautiful. Mostly I was taken by how shiny the gold was on the sides. It looks as if someone comes and shines it everyday. There were many tourists there and school kids aswell. It was a beautiful day, so lots of group pictures being taken. I didn't go inside because I was more interested in just sitting and enjoying the scenery and after being in few already, they are starting to look alike. Also the view from the top would just be city skyline.
After the castle, I headed to a temple but got lost in all the traffic and at that point I was tired of wandering, so I headed back to Osaka train station and then got lost there. I some how managed to find the spot where the bus was going to pick me up and I still had some time to kill. After having a juice and cookie at starbucks (i know I'm the only person who doesn't order a coffee when they go to starbucks, I go for the cookies) I headed back to the bus and back to Nagoya.
It was a nice to spend the day in a different city, but i've heard that Osaka is known for it's nightlife so I will have to head back sometime to check that out. I will be heading back there in December because my flight to Bali is leaving from Kansai Airport in Osaka, maybe I can check it out then.

Note: The strange looking building with the christmas tree on it is the aquarium.