Our next big adventure was the Umeda Sky Building, a skyscraper in Osaka City from which you can see the entire city. It's like Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree, but I thought it was nicer inside. We went up a little before sunset, took our typical "look at the city photos," and found a cafe inside where we watched the sun set over the canal.
There was a shrine inside for couples, and they could buy heart locks to put around the outdoor viewing deck.
I like being up so high, and feeling like a king...or an ant. I like trying to see what I can find from that vantage point, but since I don't know Osaka very well, I couldn't find much.
But you can only do the "highest building let's look at the sunset" thing so many times before it starts to seem repetitive. Needless to say, considering the pace at which we were going with our travel/tourism, it was a good, slow, but interesting, cap for the day. We found a restaurant area downstairs for dinner and had Italian.
Two years ago: tokyo, cultural differences
Three years ago: chocolate chip cookies experiment
We finally found a day of good weather, and an early start, to go to Arashiyama, in Kyoto. We visited years ago, when we first came to Kyoto, but I hardly remember it. I remember being impressed. And when professional photos of Arashiyama started popping up all over my Pinterest and Tumblr, I realized I had already been and wanted to go back.
I didn't quite manage any photos of the quality seen in travel magazines, but Arashiyama is probably the most beautiful town I've ever seen, regardless.
The name means "storm mountain," and I'm not sure where that came from. It's known for the bamboo trail that we visited, and rightly so. The forest is one of the most peaceful places I've ever been, but it was somewhat crowded while we were there. It'd be nice to take a random weekend and go back by myself, just for some solitude and exploring time.
We made our way back down the road slowly, exploring the town on our way to the station, and also searching for lunch, and some ice cream (mom couldn't get enough of the various flavors of soft-serve that Japan loves so much. She didn't enjoy the cherry blossom or green tea flavors very much, though.)
As usual, I passed out on the train on the way back to Osaka, and got a good nap in. Our days may be slow, but they were eventful enough. We may have missed a few big Osaka things (the aquarium...the largest in the world :c), but for our first time in the city, it was plenty memorable. Osaka's been one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen, and I'll be sure to go back often, especially because it relatively cheap to get there, and quick by bus.