letters to my younger self

Wandering in the Streets of Osaka

Thinking about our last day in Osaka makes me wish I was still back there. The surroundings were still so vivid in my memory – when will I got to come back? I am proud for this day because we’ve gone to five places in a day – sure sign that the trip is ending because we are squeezing too many places in a day.

Walking in Osaka
Not a fan of temples but we did see temples in all the places we’ve been in Japan – Kyoto, Nara and now, Osaka. Since we are staying in Osaka, we had only a short ride to Tennoji station where we ate breakfast. Osaka streets were not too cold unlike Kyoto or Nara so we didn’t wear thick coats. 🙂 Tennoji station is near Harukas 300 and Abeno Q’s Mall, the home to Mugiwara store in Osaka. You can visit Harukas 300 if you have time – I want to go there next time.

I thought we needed to ride a bus going to Shitennoji temple but they said it’s walkable so we just walked. The streets in Osaka were also quiet like Kyoto streets but from the establishments you can see the difference. It’s easier to walk here maybe because the weather is warmer unlike the previous days?

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We walked for about 10 to 15 minutes or more. They even bought apples while walking. It was quiet inside the temple area and there were only a few people. We took pictures in this yellowing tree and then set forth when there was not much to see.

We walked again along the streets going to Keitakuen Garden. I guess, the destination is not what matters but the journey. Because all our walks were coupled with a few laughs here, more bullying there, IG stories every now and then, funny stories and whatnots and our trip would never be so satisfying if they weren’t there. Or maybe because I expected less – I mean before the trip I was a bit worried that I won’t get to enjoy because I am not with my usual travel buddies, except one – but when we got there the worries dissipated because even from the start like being last called on the airport or mistaking which subway train to ride – it was all funny and amusing.

Which is why I am so inspired to take pictures on this day. Or maybe because it is our last wandering day here?

There is an entrance fee to Keitakuen Garden. And if you have time to spare, visit here for the amazing autumn trees and surroundings. Even if the autumn trees were everywhere, you’ll never get tired of it. It was fantastic and wonderful and amazing. We noticed that there are so many people painting in this place and I kinda wish I brought my watercolor – but who am I kidding – I don’t have time to sit and paint anyway. 🙂

When we thought we’re finished we headed to the exit but no, we saw a place overlooking a river with the red bridge and the view was so satisfying. Another place to bottle up in my memory. We also walked up to the bridge because fan of crossing bridges here.

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We were headed back to Tennoji station and passed the Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts, by this time the sun were almost on top of our heads and we passed across this park or food park, I don’t know but we ate on one of the Italian restaurants there. I think it was Tenshiba Park but I can’t be sure. Anyway, going to places is so much better when you don’t know where you’re going.

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After having lunch, we ate ice cream in the ubiquitous Tully’s Coffee. 🙂 It is everywhere in Japan. And then we continued on our way to Tennoji station. We also passed quickly in Abeno Q’s mall for the Mugiwara store.

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And there in the waiting area – it feels good to sleep because our stomach is full and the weather is warm and it is siesta time.

Which is why when we rode the train I fell asleep. And we missed our stop. Haha. Not the first time though. So we just rode back again and walked up to Osaka Castle Park.

Osaka Castle Park at Dusk
Whenever it gets 4pm in Japan, it’s like a closing day because the sun will soon set and it will already be night time. So when we got to the Osaka Castle Park – I know we have to hurry to the Osaka castle because it will soon be night time. The park is huge and walking up to the Osaka Castle takes about 20 minutes? Or the route we walked on is the longer one? I don’t know – but I only remember there are so many picture-worthy spots in Osaka Castle park and I wished we spent more time there.

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The Osaka Castle is amazing and you can ride all the way to the top if you got there earlier.

After that we take pictures on this autumn trees on the side of the streets but the trees were converging at the top making it an arc and it was wonderful and we have the place all to ourselves. The street were going down and there were a father and two little kids biking there and the smallest kid doesn’t even get scared even if he falls on his bike. I guess I have to admire that little kid’s bravery. Darn I wish I can ride a bike. A tourist train also passed in this area.

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Here also is where we planned and regroup on what we were going to do on that night and tomorrow which is our flight back to Manila.

Atop the Umeda Sky Building
We walked back to the subway station and you’d think it was already 8pm but no, it was only 6pm. We rode the train and got off at JR Osaka station (if I remember correctly) – and here we asked how to go to Umeda Sky Building and we found out that it is still a long walk to go but it feels like our energies weren’t drained and we’re up for the walk.

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Or maybe because we have no choice because we’re already there and we just go for it. But thinking back it was actually tiring – we have to cross two stoplights and walk on the underground pass and walk again to the building – where the view is amazing at the top.

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This is where I got a bit melancholic because it is our last night in Japan and you can see its city lights from atop the Umeda Sky building and the trip is ending but I don’t want it to end yet. It was so wonderful that its ending is not wanted. Lels.

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You can also go to the roof deck which is more amazing because it’s open air and the cold breeze. And our shoes were lighted up by LED. I don’t know why. But it feels good to be on top literally and figuratively.

We initially planned to have dinner in Dotonbori but we were so hungry that time. Also there is again a Christmas tree near Umeda Sky Building and its background music is O Holy Night and I feel so sad that time I don’t know why. Or not really sad but bursting with emotions – or what am I saying? It feels Christmas with your friends outside the country and it feels nice and a bit sad but nice.

Back to Dotonbori to Close the Night
I know, or I deduced that by the time we got to Dotonbori it will be their closing time but we still hoped it won’t and we still go there anyway. But I am right. Haha. Good thing there are still a few shops left open so we can buy pasalubong and souvenir shopping.

So I guess that’s it for the last night in Osaka. We had a lot of fun but as they say in every travel we all must come back.

Travelling to other places resets how we see normal things and people. Travelling can be an escape to ordinary and mundane day to day happenings at work – when sometimes everything is in monotone and you just want to escape it. But travelling can also be a mirror to yourself – one you don’t see if you’re in your comfortable zone, when you’re so used to your surroundings – it makes you look inside and rediscover what really makes something worthwhile. And lastly, travel makes you view the world differently, as if it opens up a layer you didn’t know the world has, the world shedding another layer for you so that you can keep it – so that when you come back the normal place becomes better and brighter than before.

And I think, the trip to Japan is short but sweet. This goes on top of my travel list, for now. I had high expectations for this trip and it still managed to exceed that. If I could then I wish I could still relive our trip but all I’ve got are memories and pictures and it makes me think that I can do better. We can do better.

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