letters to my younger self

From Feeding Deers in Nara Park to Searching for Glico Man in Dotonbori

Because we slept early the night before, we woke up early today. πŸ™‚ And it is the middle of our trip and we need to replenish our energies. We were destined to go to Nara Park today and we only need to ride two subway trains. It is also a bit nearer than in Kyoto so this day was more relaxed. And I slept on the way to Nara. Nothing really beats sleeping in trains, in buses, in any form of public transportation.

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We left Osaka at 8am and arrived in Nara at 9am and of course the first thing we did is to eat breakfast. The bloody orange juice on that restaurant is very fresh and I still remember the taste.

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Going to Nara Park from Nara station requires about fifteen minutes walk. Though you won’t feel it is a fifteen-minute-walk because you enjoy the surroundings. There are already deers along the sidewalks and some people were feeding them and taking pictures. Nara is still cold, though a bit tolerable from Kyoto or maybe because we were already used to the cold by now?

In the Middle of Nara Park
We bought the crackers upon the entrance to Nara Park. And yes, deers roam free everywhere. You can find them near food stalls, near temples, river, along the street and in the middle of Nara Park. What I liked about this day is that there was no plans to be followed. We just went there and just do what we wanted to at the moment.

Which is to feed biscuits to the deers. Grateful that I overcome my fear of dogs earlier this year, I am now no longer afraid to be near animals. (wow, arte lang!)

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And yes there is an abundance of deers and autumn trees again.

After a lot of feeding so many deers we noticed that we stepped on too many poops. Darn. Thankfully, they were easy to remove and they were not very icky. But still, the feeling of poops on your shoes feels dirty. But at least I didn’t wear my white shoes today.

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And then we come to this magnificent field of grass with autumn trees on the side and I just ran towards it. I ran until I am in this clear field surrounded by nothing but grass and cold air. And it felt so bright. Honestly, it was an amazing place to me and it was like normal to Japanese. πŸ™‚ They are so used to this kind of surroundings.

Another favorite place but in Nara. πŸ™‚ (Picture on top)

Nara Park is a good place when you just want to be in a nice place with nothing to do. It makes you connect with nature even if you are in the middle of the city with all the autumn trees, leaves, fields and deers. And the food stalls are only outside of the park. How cool is that? You can just reconnect with nature here. And nothing will bother you. It is not very chaotic or busy or suffocating here – but I guess neither do all the places we’ve been in in Japan. I doubt if there was a suffocating place in there.

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If we had more time and if we brought a blanket here – we would have stayed more to do nothing.

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And because we still had time to spare we tried getting inside one of the temples which is Todaiji temple but thinking back we just went and not went because deep inside we don’t want to pay the entrance fee because if we availed it we will be required to explore inside just to get the value of the amount of what we paid for and in this case, since we are not a fan of temples, we opted not to go. We just glimpsed inside and I guess that’s that.

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So hurray for more time and money for food!

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Bucket-list checked: Traditional Restaurant
So another one of my bucket list is to eat in a tatami mat dining restaurant. πŸ™‚ This will be one of those few moments where we did not take an hour in looking for food. It was stationed in front of the Nara Park and I cannot remember its name. Who does anyway? But yes, we ate in the second floor in tatami mat. πŸ™‚ Another dream come true.

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I ordered this beef on top of rice something set (that I don’t remember the name) and it includes this soup base where you need to pour it on the beef or enjoy on its own. But what I did is to put all the beef in the hot soup (so that it will be cooked since it was only half cooked) and it tastes good. I still remember the taste. And the Japanese rice which you can eat on its own. πŸ™‚

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Library-type Starbucks
That concludes our short visit to Nara. We rode the train back to Osaka and this time I fall asleep with dreams! And darn that captured photo while we were sleeping. >.<

We walked up to Dotonbori – this time it is still day when we were in Dotonbori. Because for two days we only see Dotonbori at night so today, finally, daylight in Dotonbori! πŸ™‚ Thinking we still had time to spare we initially planned to have coffee at Tully’s coffeeΒ  (which is everywhere in Osaka and Kyoto) however the place is packed so we went instead to Starbucks in this Tsutaya Building.

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Just when you thought you have your normal Starbucks – it’s not! Because on the second floor is this seemingly library and tables almost like a high-end library except you can have Starbucks – it’s amazing.

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And the CR has a password. Haha. Fortunately we were able to find seats because the place is also filled with people. And Christmas feels. I didn’t order at first but I got jealous of the strawberry cheese cake so I ordered one with Caramel Macchiato.

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And the amazing thing again is that they still have the “short” size. Nowadays the smallest size in Starbucks is “tall”. But in Japan they still have the “short” which is very nice for not-so-much-coffee-lover like yours truly. It makes me drink a cup of coffee in small packages – because I like the smell of coffee – I just don’t take it often because (1) my body doesn’t want it and (2) I don’t want to be immune to the effects of coffee if I take it too often.

So there. One of us went to H&M and so there we are just hanging out and doing nothing. Because apparently the motto of the day is to do nothing. Haha. πŸ™‚ But yes, stories are the highlight of every conversation. And if you found travel buddies which has funny stories to tell always – then you have found the perfect travel buddy. (I’m joking, there are a lot of things that you need to be to become the perfect travel buddy but this one’s important – who wants to travel with someone without a sense of humor?) But I guess even if they only have a slight sense of humor if your personalities mesh well together then you’re good to go! πŸ™‚

Glico Man in all its Running Man Glory
I was not a fan of Glico Man. And what I know of Glico Man is that it is just a sign of Dotonbori, a landmark I guess. But the people I’m with made so much fun of Glico Man that it feels actually really exciting to see Glico Man. And also the inside joke. =)

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So after hanging out at the coffee shop we finally decided to take a tour of Osaka’s famous shopping district. If you have a lot of money – this place is for you. If only I have a lot of money I would gladly spend it shopping but I don’t so that’s that. The place is filled with lots of shops and a lot of people but it is still good. After window shopping and not because we finally found the 48 sheet masks we wanted – we bought it and then proceeded to the path going to Glico Man.

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It was slightly raining when we got there and a lot of people taking pictures but we still saw our spot and took pictures. The place was a sight to behold because the city lights were so nice and the music emanating from somewhere and the crowds moving left and right – this is one of the things that makes a city wonderful.

I just took notice of the fact that Glico Man’s background moves from dawn to dusk and it was amazing unearthing little details like that.

After Glico Man – we proceeded to Midosuji street to see christmas lights decoration much like Ayala streets except we’re in Osaka. Christmassy feels.

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We didn’t have much to do in Dotonbori and we planned to have a takeout but the restaurants do not offer it so hello again to convenience store food for dinner. πŸ™‚ Budget-friendly, easy-to-prepare and enjoy it in the comfort of your home! Haha.

This day I was a little bit sad but more than happy because we got to go to Nara and enjoy a whole day. But the days are ticking and before we know it – it is already half of the Osaka trip. 😦

Writing so much about Japan makes me wish I was back there. Darn. I miss beautiful Japan. This day was not so jam-packed but which day is anyway?

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And at this I realised we can only go to two places per day – considering our relaxed pace and eating choices. πŸ™‚

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