Friday, April 21, 2017

Japan Travelogue: #buddingyeastinJP Day Two - Waterfalls of Mino, Umeda Sky Building

Ohayo gozaimasu!
Yoghurt drink and Onigri to start the morning.. which is ridiculously early at 8.30 am.
That's because we're going to the Waterfalls of Minoh!
Also known as Mino, Mino-o HAHAH #whysomanyvariations

Hotel lighting is awesome. hahahah

From Umeda Station, you have to walk out to get to the Hankyu Umeda Station.
Follow the signs and it's this building linked by the external walkway.

Topping up our Suica Cards! 
One ride is approximately 200 plus yen, so I'd recommend adding a 2000 yen value each time.

Busy busy station.

We are taking the Hankyu Takarazuka Line to Ishibashi!
This is how the local trains look like - they stop at every station along the way.

Interior! This is really old school feel, and they dont even have LED screens to tell you which station.

The Japanese take their jobs really seriously - 
the conductors will bow to the passengers before entering or after leaving the cabin.

At Ishibashi, alight and use the underpass to get to Platform 5.
This transfers you to the Minoh Line.
At Minoh station, go out via Exit 1 and head north to start the trail!

The train journey takes around 30 min, while the trail is 3 km from the entrance to the waterfalls.
Wear comfortable shoes for this! 
We saw someone wearing heeled boots like omg no way, cause you'll be climbing slopes.

One of the many souvenir shops along the way!
Tip: Buy from shops which are deeper inside for cheaper prices. :D

This obāsan is deep frying Momiji - Fried Japanese Maple Leaf Sweets, which are a specialty of Mino-o.

Of course I can't resist buying one packet to try! Maple leh hahahah.
It tastes like the beehive cookies we eat during CNY 

Er disclaimer here.. Bimb took one small piece and she had an allergic reaction - her legs were super itchy without any mosquito bites. :x
Nothing happened to me though.

Day Two #buddinginOsaka!

Not sure if these are actual houses here, but it must be super inconvenient to climb up and down such a trail everyday.

This is the elevator to Minoh Kanko Hotel.. but seriously, it is in such an ulu place!
Oh ya we saw some people carrying small luggages up. Like whut.
Probably catering more for Japanese who visit Mino Koen for a short getaway?

Yuzuru no Ashiyu Footbath in front of the elevator.
There's no entrance fee, so you can go ahead and soak your tired feet after the climb.

Torii Gate - marking the entrance to Saikouji Temple.

Imagine having a meal here, surrounded by the calming sounds of the running streams.
Shiok or what.

Ryuanji Temple's iconic bridge.
Ryuanji Temple is also the birthplace of Japanese lottery.. feeling lucky? ;p

Maple leaf on the trails.
It'll be a damn pretty sight during autumn!

Taadaaaa. Finally reached our destination! So tranquil.

Waterfalls of Minoh

Nearest train station:
Minoh Station on the Minoh Line

Opening hours: 
9 am to 5 pm
No entrance fee

Super lucky to have been one of the first few to reach the falls, look at the swarm of people behind me!

And.. can i just point out how awesome the weather is? 
My hair looks damn glossy here #OnlyInJapan hahahahaha

#ootd with the only autumnish tree we could find hahahah.


Next stop, Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum!
There are actually two instant noodles museum by Nissin in Japan - this one in Osaka, and another in Yokohama.

Chose this one because admission is free, HAHAH. And it's actually near Minoh, so even better!

From Minoh, we took the train back to Ishibashi.
Board the local train on the Takarakuza Line to Ikeda
Go out from Exit 2 (Masumi-cho Homen Exit) and turn towards the back of the station.
Walk down this alley; around 2 junctions later, you'll see the museum.

Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum (Osaka)
8-25 Masumi-cho, Ikeda-shi, 
Osaka 563-0041

Nearest train station:
Ikeda on the Takarakuza Line

Opening hours:
9.30 am to 4 pm, Closed on Tues
No entrance fee required

Look at all the instant noodles on the wall !
Enough for 10 years of night shifts probably hahahahah.

Sneak peek of what goes inside!
Seriously though, I swear they are magical ingredients.. cause the textures and tastes are so reeeeal.
Don't know what kind of sorcery it is.

Timeline of the development of instant ramen!
Damn cool they even have instant ramen for space - wah like that astronaut also no need scared will crave for it hahaha.

Eat until you drop hair sia.

Cup Noodles Factory! Basically the highlight of the place hahahah.
One costs 300 yen to make - and these are the ingredients you can pick.
People recommend Chili Tomato, or Curry flavour as soup base.

As for me, it'll be Chili Tomato with Cheddar cheese topping :D
Unexpectedly I love the minced pork and shrimp toppings too ! Really like fresh minced pork and chewy prawns.

Our own designs :B

You turn this winch to drop the noodles into the cup.. and that's basically all you do hahaha.
Ingredients are added in by the staff themselves.

Our very own Momofuku Designer Bag! BWAHAHAHA 
Functional (because it protects the cup noodles) and edible, my criteria for a perfect bag.

#buddingyeast model until v stylo hor. :D

There is another area next to the cup noodles factory - vending machines which sells unique flavors not available out of the factory.
But I didn't spot the area cause its inside, then by the time we went out, the queue was too long to go in liao :x

Bought this from the souvenir shop too! My night shift buddy.
Pearlyn (ahahahaha) keeps niam-ing me about my over-consumption of instant noodles.
But having hot soup in the middle of the night when it's cold is so shiokkk.

Went back to our hotel to rest abit before heading out again!

Tenjinbashi-suji is the longest shopping street in Japan.
I was pretty excited.. cause we figured it would be like the super happening Shinsaibashi-suji.

But what the shit it was more like some local market with more than half of the shops still closed at 2 pm >:/
Such a waste of our time, which we should have used to explore more of Shinsaibashi-suji.

3-5-15 Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, 
Osaka 532-0011

Nearest JR station:
JR Temma on Osaka Loop Line
Osakatemangu Station on JR Touzai-Gakkentoshi Line

Nearest Subway Station:
Tenjimbashisuji 6-chome Station on Hankyu-Senri, Sakaisuji or Tanimachi Line
Minami-Morimachi on Sakaisuji or Tanimachi Line

Tried out this takoyaki place which was nearby - that kind of made up for it. #foodalwaysheals ;p

Umai-ya Takoyaki
4-21 Naniwacho, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi

Traditional Takoyaki - which tasted really different from the usual crispy-on-the-outside kind.
It's more chewy and omg the octopus was shiok.

Think Bimb still loves Gindaco more though hahaha.

Umeda Sky Building next !
It's one of the tallest buildings in Osaka - the 19th, actually.

The Floating Garden Observatory sounds pretty interesting,
so with my sunset obsession I wanted to go up and take a look!

To get there, exit via North Central Exit of JR Osaka Station.
You'll see the building in the distance - but honestly, most of the surrounding buildings look the same hahah.

Walk towards Grand Front Osaka and cross the road 

Use this underpass to get to Umeda Sky Building!

Umeda Sky Building
1-1-88 Oyodonaka, Kita-ku, 
Osaka 532-6023

Nearest JR station:
JR Osaka on Osaka Loop Line

Opening hours: 
10 am to 10.30 pm
Last admission at10 pm
Entrance fee: 1000 yen for adults
*free admission for Osaka Amazing Pass Holders

This pass is recommended if you intend to visit a number of tourist sites - admission is either free, or discounted.
It costs 2500 yen for 1 day, and 3300 yen for 2 days.
Similar to the JR Pass, the Osaka Amazing Pass can be activated on the date of your choice.
Just make sure you plan your trip to maximize the pass!

And dont be like me, blur blur activate on the wrong day wtf.
Heng bimb was super nice and she didn't get pissed that we had to buy another day's pass T.T *guilty*

Take the elevator, then escalator to the 39th floor to access the 360 degree Lumi Sky Walk
Just don't look down if you have a fear of heights. hahahha.

View from above!

Hello from above!

Cloudy until we cannot see any sunset HAHAH 
With the twinkly lights set into the pathway, its quite romantic at night too ! 


Other than the awesome view, Umeda Sky Building also houses the Takimi-Koji Gourmet Street in its Basement
It's modeled after the old school 1940s style; but don't be deceived! I saw a western restaurant selling raclette cheese dishes :D

Our target is Kiji Sky - well recommended for their Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba

Kiji Sky

Opening hours:
11.30 am to 9 pm
Closed on Thursdays

Expect a long wait, approximately 20-30 min.
Trust me, it is super worth it!


There's no English menu, but the staff made the effort to recommend us items in English 
We ordered a Mix Okonomiyaki ミックス焼き -  870 yen, and Yaki-Soba やきそば - 680 yen.

Image credits: Yelp

Got front row seats to watch the skilled ojisan at work !

When I saw them layering the bacon on the okonomiyaki I was so damn excited :D

Droolicious Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba ~
Even bimb who isn't a fan of Okonomiyaki agreed that this is super good :D

How to go back to eating Singapore's Jap food, really..

Look at the talented ojisan's calligraphy!

Had time for shopping at Daimaru Umeda!
Its 13F is the Osaka Pokemon Center - huge range of products, including limited edition Pokemon plushies.
I didn't see any Vaporeon or Arcanine which I wanted, so no buys.

10 to 12 F is Tokyu Hands!
They sell EVERYTHING. literally anything you can think of, it's there.
We only wish Singapore's Tokyu Hands could be this big and interesting. :x

Snapped this one for Taupok :D

Super tired after a full day in Osaka!
The next day will be our last day in Osaka - and packed full of tourist spots to go hehehe.

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