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[Trip Report] Awaji Island and Kansai (20 July- 29 July 2019)

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Old 03-06-2020, 02:17 PM   #1
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[Trip Report] Awaji Island and Kansai (20 July- 29 July 2019)

it was a last minute trip as we needed a break, and we booked only around end May for the Jul trip.

we started with USJ in mind as they have the Cool Summer special rides. and since it was summer, we started searching for summer festivals to attend, and just nice Gion and Tenjin Matsuri were during the period we were going.

summer in Japan is associated with sunflower, so we tried to find sunflower fields in Kansai region. the first one we came across is Nanko Sunflower museum at the far end of Hyogo, but it was too out of the way. then we found England Hill in Awaji island and realised there are actually lots of things to see in Awaji. so we started planning our itinerary around Awaji island

Itinerary
20 Jul (Osaka) - SIN -> KIX
21 Jul (Osaka) - Osaka Castle, Kaiyukan
22 Jul (Osaka) - USJ
23 Jul (Osaka) - Himeji, Shimogamo-jinja
24 Jul (Osaka) - Gion Matsuri, Dotonbori
25 Jul (Osaka) - Tennoji, Tenjin Matsuri
26 Jul (Awaji) - Awaji - Hello Kitty Smile, Hanasajiki
27 Jul (Awaji) - Awaji - Izanagi Temple, Parchez, England Hill
28 Jul (Osaka) - Awaji - Sumoto Castle, Water Temple, Yumebutai
29 Jul (Nil) - KIX-> SIN

(xxxx) refers to my accommodation for that night

Accommodation
Osaka: Super Hotel Tennoji (9600 yen per night double room, free breakfast)
Awaji: Awaji International Hotel The Sunplaza (41381 yen per room per night, include breakfast and dinner)
Osaka: HOTEL UNIZO Osaka Umeda (9111y yen per night double room)

Transport
SQ: $631.70
1-day Osaka Kaiyu Ticket: 2600yen (21 Jul)
2-day JR West Kansai area pass: $52 (22-23 Jul)
Car rental in Kawaguchiko: 17712yen (26-28 Jul)
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:40 PM   #2
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i usually stay in Umeda area when i go Osaka, due to the ease of traveling within and out of Osaka, as well as malls and eateries in the area,

but this time round because it is a last min trip, could find any affordable hotel in Umeda, so decided to go with Super Hotel Tennoji. Super Hotel is one of my favorite business hotel chains because of the huge selection of food for the free breakfast. Tennoji branch even have an onsen.


some pics of my breakfast:
Tennoji branch serves Takoyaki every morning!




some branches have vending machines for drinks which becomes free during breakfast hours. for the Tennoji branch, they have drinks dispensers with various hot drinks and soft drinks




Natto... since it is free, i decided to give it a try. didnt like it

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Old 03-06-2020, 04:42 PM   #3
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Abeno Harukas 300 building
didnt have time to go up the observatory this trip even though we stayed in Tennoji




Osaka Castle




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Old 03-06-2020, 04:47 PM   #4
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we didnt bother going inside the castle. Osaka castle not really that interesting, and is rebuilt from scratch. so inside is actually quite modern, with proper staircase







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Old 03-06-2020, 04:50 PM   #5
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Itís OK to admire from the distance.
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Old 03-06-2020, 04:59 PM   #6
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after Osaka castle, we went for a grueling hike to the summit of Mount Tenpo
signage at Mount Tenpo summit:



the sign says Japan no. 1 lowest mountain
for those who still dunno Mount Tenpo is more commonly know as Tempozan, and this is just a small park behind the Tempozan Ferris wheel







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Old 03-06-2020, 05:06 PM   #7
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Itís OK to admire from the distance.

yah.. unless u are keen on the history, then maybe can go in. i been inside years ago when i first went Osaka. but after visiting many other castles, i realise Osaka castle really nothing much
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:40 PM   #8
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i've grown to like natto. you should try the smaller beans natto first, i think more easy on first timer

how you reach & get around Awaji island, ferry or bus?
attempt Awaji day trip on my last kansai trip, gave up as cost & time required not worthwhile unless I stay for at least 1 night
Natto... since it is free, i decided to give it a try. didnt like it

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Old 04-06-2020, 02:13 PM   #9
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i've grown to like natto. you should try the smaller beans natto first, i think more easy on first timer

how you reach & get around Awaji island, ferry or bus?
attempt Awaji day trip on my last kansai trip, gave up as cost & time required not worthwhile unless I stay for at least 1 night

oh.. didnt know got different type of beans for natto. all looks the same


i rented car at Nishi-Akashi station and drove in.
u can take a bus in, but getting around will be challenging. need to stay a few days at least, coz there are many things to see in Awaji.
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Old 04-06-2020, 02:20 PM   #10
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we visited a Doraemon exhibition at Osaka Culturarium, just beside Kaiyukan









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Old 04-06-2020, 02:21 PM   #11
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Old 04-06-2020, 02:26 PM   #12
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Osaka aquarium, or Kaiyukan is a must-view for those who like aquariums. it is so much better than the SEA Aquarium in Sentosa








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Old 04-06-2020, 02:28 PM   #13
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what camera u use
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Old 04-06-2020, 02:28 PM   #14
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the highlight of Kaiyukan is the whale shark in their main tank






other occupants in the main tank




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Old 04-06-2020, 02:30 PM   #15
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what camera u use

Panasonic LX3
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