The trip we have all been waiting for. We head to Japan and will be at Osaka and Kyoto. There will be lots of sightseeing, shopping, food and cultural immersion.
Rather than doing a big blog post, I’ve been journalling our journey in Instagram instead and here is the full collection of our best photos.
Osaka Castle done! Really nice walk around the park and taking pictures. Explained to kids how the castle have been sieged and How many lives have been lost on these grounds, how moats are Defence mechanisms, how bottlenecks are for slaughtering the enemy and the irony that it’s for tourism now. Also explained what warlords are how clans fight with each other just like how kids fight with each other and just can’t get along. #ThepansJP2017 #Osaka #Japan #cliepan #cleopan #clarapan
The kids made some fake food today at Design Pocket. #clarapan totally enjoyed herself making a full bento box, but the older girls felt meh as they are advanced fake food makers already. Walked around the Namba area, Kitchen Wholesale area and did some random #DonQuixote shopping. Tried to have Ichiran Ramen for late lunch at 4pm, but kids didn’t want to Queue in the rain without umbrella for at least an hour. We ended up going to a simple Vending Machine Ramen place nearby and it was good too. #ThepansJP2017 #Osaka #Japan #cliepan #cleopan #clarapan
I’ve always wanted to stay in a proper legit Ryokan and this trip to Kyoto, our stay is the highlight. To book for our family of 5 is not so easy and Ryokan is also charged per head, it all adds up to quite a bit. I took too long to choose, then there are only a few left I could book and I’m glad my top shortlist Yachiyo was still available. Our room is called “Honkan” (yes it’s true) I remember when I was young, my parents would bring us on trips and create wonderful memories and knowing that they managed to provide that to my siblings and I, I’ve always told myself I must also be able to provide my kids such trips to and to create good memories when they are young. So my kids have their grandparents to thank. We arrived today and was not disappointed. Very nice and how I’ve imagined a Ryokan should be, the staff were also very professional and friendly. Past few nights I’ve been telling the girls about what Onsen is and how they need to keep know the etiquette of a public bath in Japan and they freaked out. Their dad made them travel all the way to Japan to be naked in front of strangers was unfathomable. lol. I had my fun for a while as they were glad to realize it was a private bath. I’m really looking forward to the authentic Kyo-Kaiseki 12 course Japanese dinner tmr in our Ryokan in our Yukata. But first, let’s sleep. The kids all KO after their dip. Arashiyama tmr. #ThepansJP2017 #Kyoto #Japan #cliepan #clarapan #cleopan
Breakfast at Yachiyo was nothing short of epic. Our first proper breakfast in Japan and it’s a proper traditional one. Was down early with Clara to make sure we were not late. The food was already prepared and we ate and ate. Even rice for breakfast. The garden just outside the banquet hall was magnificent. We went back to our room and it had transformed. All the futtons were kept and the balcony like area was simply beautiful. Much recommended Ryokan. #ThepansJP2017 #Kyoto #Japan
After breakfast, we took a cab to one of the most scenic places in the whole of Kyoto #Arashiyama Went into the Tenryu-Ji Temple gardens and experienced a UNESCO heritage site which encapsulates the beauty of nature. Also the very picturesque Bamboo Grove which is a magical and mysterious place together with a horde of tourists. Lol. Was telling my kids maybe we should get everyone into a big group photo. #ThepansJP2017 #Kyoto #Japan #cliepan #cleopan #clarapan
We spent the whole afternoon at Nishiki Market. Lots to see and eat. We lunched thru our journey in the Market. One thing to note is that in Japan, always eat at the stall and get rid of your trash at the same stall, else it’s kinda rude to walk around with your food and there are no bins so always bring small plastic bags. Ice cream with mini rice crackers is the bomb. It adds that much needed texture kick to an ice cream. Kids found Daiso branded clay and they went crazy and almost emptied the shelves. Apparently it is a much sought after ingredient to make slime with the perfect viscosity and the slime won’t turn to muck or harden. The whole Singapore no more stock already since Jan 2017. #ThepansJP2017 #Kyoto #Japan #cliepan #cleopan #clarapan
The epic 12 course Kyoto-Kaiseki dinner at our Ryokan. It’s a real gastronomical symphony. Presentation, texture, temperature, viscosity, flavor, ingredients, effort, combinations and complementary dishes that was perfect Japanese cuisine. The old Japanese lady who served us was all smiles and pure joy, she made the night so enjoyable and we could sense her sincerity throughout. Before dinner, she even came to our room to check if we wore the Yukata correctly and in the right sizes. 5 stars. (Not sponsored and I paid an arm and leg) #ThepansJP2017 #Kyoto #Japan #KyotoKaiseki
Simple day today. We left Kyoto via Shinkansen for Osaka and everyone was amazed at how fast it was as the normal train to Kyoto took quite some time. Dropped off our luggage at the Hotel and headed for Kuromon Market to have lunch and check out the giant crab legs and seafood. We then walked to Denden Town to checkout the toys. Clara bought a bunch of cute Japanese figurines. Cleo got a few too and as a bonus I found a Star Wars Scout Trooper which I’ve always wanted but too lazy to order. Went to Gram with the hopes to try they super fluffy pancakes but they only sell 20 sets every 2 hours and we were there at the wrong time. Anyway, headed back to the hotel and had a simple non Japanese Dinner. Pizza! Ok, time to do laundry and get ready for USJ tmr. #ThepansJP2017 #cleopan #clarapan #cliepan #Osaka #Japan
USJ day in Osaka. Cleo and Clara wore their onesie for the whole day and felt totally comfortable in it. It looks fun and was also functional in the cold. We eventually did not get the express pass as no one really take rides in the family. Let’s just say all the rides we took had < 5mins queue. Think Tea Cup / Merry Go Round. The most exciting one would be the one Cleo and Clara *yawn* took *yawn* have you seen the angle of the steep slope!! Harry Potter world was quite amazing. The whole place felt out of this world. Jaws was meh. Felt like lots of seafood. Jurassic World had a super scary ride and we were so entertained just looking at people screaming. Jaws felt like a big seafood area and Backdraft section knew their swing music. :) Minion world was colorful but not really our thing. We walked pass the rest briefly. Tiring day but we felt like Good parents. #ThepansJP2017 #cliepan #cleopan #clarapan #japan #osaka #UniversalStudios #USJ
We trained to Ikeda to visit the Cup Noodle Museum. Super fun. We added designs to our own cups, selected our own ingredients and it’s well sealed and everything for only ¥300 per cup and no entry fee. Also sat thru a video presentation on how cup noodles came to be, how the inventor got inspiration and how the product evolved. Kids will love it. Strongly recommended. #ThepansJP2017 #Osaka #Japan #cliepan #cleopan #clarapan
Started the day with waffles for brunch at Namba Wall then took a train to Shinsaibashi to Shop. Daimaru, 7 floors of Tokyu Hands where we went crazy only to be followed by 3 floors of Daiso. Walked a lot more and slowly walked back to Namba where our hotel is. Kids at the Cup Noodles they made at the Cup Noodle Museum and we parents went out to eat random local food. I had raw sea urchin for the first time and it was in a bowl of low grade raw stuff and rice. Ewww… lol. Had to get back to hotel to have MY Cup Noodle which my eldest Clié caringly made for me complete with chopsticks, wet wipes and a bottle of water. ?????? Ok now to shower and sleep. Tmr we gonna split up and me and the kiddy girls will go Denden Town again and the big girls will do their girly shopping. #ThepansJP2017 #Osaka #Japan
Last minute shopping day started with Ice Cream for breakfast. We spent most of the day at Bic Camera knowing that our luggages are bursting at he seams. Cleo and Clara really like their Gachapon (that put money in then turn turn to get a capsule ball surprise). Clara was amused to see an adult also so excited about it. I bought a smartphone gimbal (stupid me, should have bought it at the start of the trip). That is the final thing I bought for myself on this trip which totals at 2 items lol. The other was a Star Wars Scout Trooper figurine which I’ve been looking for ages. Last bite at Namba with Osaka’s famous octopus balls and we are off to the Airport heading for home on a red eye flight. #ThepansJP2017 #cliepan #cleopan #clarapan #Osaka #Japan #Namba #BicCamera #travel #holiday
Till the next trip.