Just got off of the night bus from Osaka this morning and although I’m bummed out that this concludes the Christmas travels for now, I couldn’t be more excited to finally start up Lightroom and edit the shots from the past week. For practicality and versatility reasons, I only carried my (digitial) Nikon this time.
Japan’s second biggest metropolis turned out to be a really pretty place, with a more open and spacious feeling to it in comparison to Tokyo. Only having been there for a day I didn’t get the chance to explore a lot, hence the most obvious sites were on the agenda – Osaka Castle, Dotonbori, Naniwa Ward – all of which were enjoyable in their own regard. Definitely planning to come back here to stay for a bit longer.
Nara was somewhat of the hidden gem on this trip – if Japan’s first permanent capital can be considered ‘hidden’ at all. It may be just due to me not knowing a lot about the city other than its numerous wild dear roaming the large park and surrounding temple areas. Well, the dear were great and made for some neat photographs, but there was much more to enjoy around town, such as delicious locally brewed Nihonshu (a.k.a sake) and an inspiring photography museum dedicated to a famous son of the city. Last but not least, the most popular tourist attractions were also less busy than their counterparts in Kyoto, but your mileage may vary.
I had already briefly written about Kyoto before. The sheer number of its historic sites is overwhelming and it’s well worth seeing, but looking back at it a few days later I gotta say everything felt a tad bit too touristy that I’m glad I didn’t visit during peak season. Having said that though, the tourist density sharply declines once you’re a little off the beaten path. So much so that I was almost on my own on top of Mt. Inari, while many called it a day after reaching the main viewing spot.