Here’s the second part of my Kyoto Excursion!
On Day 2 we were given a free day and the choice of getting a local bus pass or a shinkansen pass for Kyoto, Osaka, and other nearby areas. I chose the Shinkansen pass because I had plans to travel to Osaka.
It was a really nice mall and area so my 2 hours of free time flew by and soon it was time to meet my friends. After we finally met up then we took the train to go and visit the Osaka Aquarium, Osaka Kaiyuukan. This location was the focus of my free day as I love aquariums and especially wanted to go to this one.
The layout of this aquarium is that you basically enter and then walk in circles spiraling downwards. You end up kind of looking at the same tank only the entire time but I still thought it was nice. My favorite part was being able to see their two whale sharks or as they are called in Japanese, jinbeizame.
My second favorite part was seeing the sea lion exhibit. I guess if you hold the white side of your pamphlet against the glass sometimes you can catch the attention of the sea lion and kind of play with it. We got to see another man who was successful at this but unfortunately my own friend was not. I have no idea why they do that.
The aquarium was fun but it only took a little over 2 hours to explore. I don’t have much to say about the other exhibits but I’ll throw in a few pictures because it looks better than it could probably sound if I wrote about it.
Once we were done at the aquarium we headed back towards Osaka Station to go and find dinner. Everyone was pretty hungry so we ended up going to an all-you-can-eat yakiniku place. It was only like $12-$15.
On our final day of the trip we ate our breakfast, checked out, dropped our suitcases off, and then headed out to go to Kiyomizu-dera. Kiyomizu-dera is actually one of my favorite places in Japan. I went there for the first time last December when I came to Japan with the Kakehashi Project for Young Japanese-Americans. If you are interested, you can read my short program report: here.
It was too bad bag the autumn leaves had still not changed by the time we went, but nonetheless it was still beautiful!
Once again I drank again from one of these three streams of water at the Otowa waterfall. These 3 streams are said to have wish-granting powers for academic achievement, success in love, and longevity. However, there are 2 guidelines that one should follow. The first is that if you drink from all three streams (being greedy), then none of your wishes will be granted so it is best to just choose one. Second is that you should try your best to drink it all in one gulp if you can. If you take two sips then you receive half of the benefits and if you take three gulps then it is only one third.
I don’t think that this background information is common knowledge though so it is probably fine to just do it however as long as you do it. As you can see in the above picture the line does get pretty long but I think it’s worth it.
We were actually give a lot of time here so I ended up sitting down for most of it. It was a really crowded day and I was tired of pushing through crowds of other tourists. Once it was finally time to regather we all went and got lunch.
With our stomachs filled we left Kiyomizu-dera and returned to our hotel to grab our luggage. After heading to the train station and boarding the train our Kansai Excursion was over and we were back to Tokyo and reality.
It was definitely a fun trip that I don’t regret attending and I am a little sad that I won’t be participating again next semester. But it is okay because I will just plan my own trip to somewhere else!
Thanks for reading 🙂 Next post will be a short one about how I spent my 20th birthday in Japan.