Japan – Nagoya

27/04/16

We were given another interesting breakfast at our ryokan in Hakone, this time we had mackeral, egg with ham, vegetables, miso soup and rice. I think it was less wierd as we didn’t eat much of it the day before.. I thought it was really good and appreciated the healthy meal.

After breakfast we checked out and took the train back to Odawara, we had quick pit stop at Hakone Yamoto where there’s plenty of opportunity to purchase food gifts and a pleasant man made river.

At Odewara, we received our JR rail passes and got on our first bullet train! They are so fast and extremely comfortable, there’s so much leg space. The journey from Odewara to Osaka took only 69mins and we arrived around 1.30pm. To get to our hotel in Nagoya we had to get the subway which was 4 stops and then walk for 5 mins.

Our first stop for the day was Nagoya castle which was originally finished in the 1600s but unfortunately it was destroyed in WW2 so they are restoring it back to how it was. For me I find restored and new buildings a bit of a shame, I don’t see as much of the charm as there would have been in it’s original state as it lacks the history. They are doing a really good job of matching it almost exactly to how it was, and when it is complete it will look very impressive.

We were able to look inside the tower which had exhibitions inside so we could learn more about the castle and what life was like, at the top there was a nice view point of Nagoya. Unfortunately as we arrived quite late into Nagoya we only had one hour to look around the area before it closed at 4.30pm. I’m glad I saw it and part of the key history of this area.

As it was raining quite heavily we decided to check out a department store over in Osu, to get there we took the subway and it only took around 20mins. In Osu there were covered streets so we had a nice walk around the area. Here there are a lot of cowboy clothing, manga and anime shops, and lots of arcades very similar to Akihabara in Tokyo. We found a cool doughnut shop, and some fried chicken so of course we got some!

We took a proper look into the arcade and everyone was really going for it, they had all obviously been practising as everyone was playing so fast. The best we saw was this boy who was dancing a similar game to just dance, and it was really feminine so it was highly entertaining for us.

In another part of the arcade I found a load of purikura booths, which was something I really wanted to do over here. The machines are so much more complex than the ones in the UK, first you have to pay on the outside and select how many people are going into the machine and write out your names. Then you are directed into the photograph section where you are against a green screen and they are able to take full length pictures. Here they automatically made our eyes so large and made our lips pink and our faces white, we looked like aliens! Once your photos have been taken (and you are unable to retake any) you are directed to another booth where you can decorate your photos. Each person can decorate so you have two pens and two screens to work on. Once we were happy with the decoration we had to choose the layout of the photos, and then finally wait for the images to be printed. I couldn’t stop laughing as we both looked so freaky and unreal. For 400Y it was good fun!

We finally went into the Osu department but there wasn’t really anything there, and we took a quick look inside the maid cafe and all the girls were squealing because we were English and they couldn’t speak it. They google translated to us that it cost 900Y minimum to stay there for 1 hour, so we didn’t stay. They were pretty funny, and definitely played up to the cutesy Japanese girl.

To see a bit more of Nagoya we walked back to our hotel along a main strip of all the fancy high end shops and restaurants. For dinner we found a ramen place and then headed to bed.

 

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