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Shopping in Insadong and Myeongdong.

Today we decided to have a more relaxing day after the tensions of our previous days DMZ tour. We pretty much just walked along the street in Insadong and Myeongdong, buying things that took our fancy.

My favourite purchases were made at the “KPop Mall” in Myeongdong. My best friend and I LOVE Super Junior so I took the opportunity to buy her some gifts. Let’s just say, I hope she has space for heaps of posters!

Shopping in Insadong and Myeongdong.

Today we decided to have a more relaxing day after the tensions of our previous days DMZ tour. We pretty much just walked along the street in Insadong and Myeongdong, buying things that took our fancy.

My favourite purchases were made at the “KPop Mall” in Myeongdong. My best friend and I LOVE Super Junior so I took the opportunity to buy her some gifts. Let’s just say, I hope she has space for heaps of posters!

In Front of Them All.

So our DMZ/JSA tour with Koridoor today was fantastic. Intimidating at times but truly informative. I really think you’re missing out on learning a little more about what makes contemporary Koreans tick if you don’t go on a DMZ tour.

They took us into the JSA (Joint Security Area), with some help from some US Army soldiers. We got to see into North Korea right across the MDL (Military Demarcation Line) and even saw a North Korean guard darting behind pillars, watching us from a distance. We even (technically) stood in the DPRK for a few minutes.

We saw North Korea’s “Propaganda Village” from a distance, drove past the famous “Bridge of No Return”, visited Dorasan Station (the “last train station in South Korea and the first station toward North Korea”), visited Dora Observatory and went into the Third Infiltration Tunnel.

It was a very surreal experience. I don’t know about anyone else but it certainly helped me appreciated and understand Koreans, Korean attitude/identity and Korean history since the Korean War just that little bit more.

And it put all of those episodes of M*A*S*H into perspective.

In Front of Them All.

So our DMZ/JSA tour with Koridoor today was fantastic. Intimidating at times but truly informative. I really think you’re missing out on learning a little more about what makes contemporary Koreans tick if you don’t go on a DMZ tour.

They took us into the JSA (Joint Security Area), with some help from some US Army soldiers. We got to see into North Korea right across the MDL (Military Demarcation Line) and even saw a North Korean guard darting behind pillars, watching us from a distance. We even (technically) stood in the DPRK for a few minutes.

We saw North Korea’s “Propaganda Village” from a distance, drove past the famous “Bridge of No Return”, visited Dorasan Station (the “last train station in South Korea and the first station toward North Korea”), visited Dora Observatory and went into the Third Infiltration Tunnel.

It was a very surreal experience. I don’t know about anyone else but it certainly helped me appreciated and understand Koreans, Korean attitude/identity and Korean history since the Korean War just that little bit more.

And it put all of those episodes of M*A*S*H into perspective.

Gwanghwamun Square.

Today we took a wander around the area near Gwanghwamun Square/Plaza. It turned out to be a pretty enjoyable day that involved us getting dressed up in traditional Korea clothing (for free) just outside the station and walking around Gyeongbukgung Palace. The National Folk Museum of Korea also had a free entry day which was a nice surprise!

We also marvelled at the statues of King Sejong the Great and Admiral Yi Sun-Shin that dominate the plaza. The Plaza is a great place to start exploring the city as it’s right outside Gwanghwamun Station, making it easy to get to.

Gwanghwamun Square.

Today we took a wander around the area near Gwanghwamun Square/Plaza. It turned out to be a pretty enjoyable day that involved us getting dressed up in traditional Korea clothing (for free) just outside the station and walking around Gyeongbukgung Palace. The National Folk Museum of Korea also had a free entry day which was a nice surprise!

We also marvelled at the statues of King Sejong the Great and Admiral Yi Sun-Shin that dominate the plaza. The Plaza is a great place to start exploring the city as it’s right outside Gwanghwamun Station, making it easy to get to.

You’ve Got Soul, Seoul.

We made our way from Kansai Airport to Incheon International Airport without many issues. Getting to our guesthouse in Hongdae didn’t take much effort, either.

Seoul is pretty cool so far. So many places to eat! I’m just a little anxious at the moment, trying to get out of the habit of speaking limited Japanese (which we’ve done for 3 weeks) and trying to be polite without knowing much Korean. I’m sure we’ll be fine.

I’m also anxious about reentering Australia. I suppose I should just wait to worry about that next week.

You’ve Got Soul, Seoul.

We made our way from Kansai Airport to Incheon International Airport without many issues. Getting to our guesthouse in Hongdae didn’t take much effort, either.

Seoul is pretty cool so far. So many places to eat! I’m just a little anxious at the moment, trying to get out of the habit of speaking limited Japanese (which we’ve done for 3 weeks) and trying to be polite without knowing much Korean. I’m sure we’ll be fine.

I’m also anxious about reentering Australia. I suppose I should just wait to worry about that next week.

Sky High.

Today we took a trip to Umeda Sky Building. I got horribly lost along the way, discovering the massive labyrinth of an underground shopping mall called Whity.

The observatory at the Sky Building itself is awesome. Great views of the city and some great architecture. Definitely a must visit if you like tall buildings, interesting architecture and city views.

Sky High.

Today we took a trip to Umeda Sky Building. I got horribly lost along the way, discovering the massive labyrinth of an underground shopping mall called Whity.

The observatory at the Sky Building itself is awesome. Great views of the city and some great architecture. Definitely a must visit if you like tall buildings, interesting architecture and city views.

Fun is Universal.

Today we spent most of the day at Universal Studios Japan. We didn’t stay until dark like we did at Disney Sea. Why? There just wasn’t any need to.

We did the smart thing. We decided to spend an extra ¥3200 or so for a four ticket Express Pass. No waiting in line for longer than 20 minutes to get on to popular rides. Money well spent!

We went on JAWS, Jurassic Park, Spider-Man and saw the Backdraft attraction. We finished the day watching other people splashdown at the Jurassic Park ride and had a go on the Hello Kitty Cupcake Dream teacup style ride.

Why Did it Take You So Long, Deer?

I finally got to go to Nara Park! There really isn’t much to say other than we explored the park for the day, fed the deer and visited a shrine. The deer food was ¥150 and the sakura were in bloom.

If you love animals, go.
If you love traditional Japan, go.

Seriously. Why did I not go to Nara last time?!

Rainy Days are Here Again.

It rained most of the day today. We decided it would be a good day to sleep in. We didn’t leave the hotel until 2pm and, even then, we just walked around Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi and elsewhere, buying food and eating it.

Gyoza. 
Cheese tart. 
Grape marshmallows. 
Ramen.

Day well spent, I think.

Rainy Days are Here Again.

It rained most of the day today. We decided it would be a good day to sleep in. We didn’t leave the hotel until 2pm and, even then, we just walked around Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi and elsewhere, buying food and eating it.

Gyoza.
Cheese tart.
Grape marshmallows.
Ramen.

Day well spent, I think.

Under the Sea.

Today we went to Osaka Aquarium. We had an amazing day, despite the massive crowds.

They’ve got everything from salamanders to seals, dolphins to rays. They’ve also got a pretty cool whale shark! They seem to have put a lot of effort into making their tanks a comfortable place for these guys to live, something I can’t say for somewhere like Himeji City Zoo.

Under the Sea.

Today we went to Osaka Aquarium. We had an amazing day, despite the massive crowds.

They’ve got everything from salamanders to seals, dolphins to rays. They’ve also got a pretty cool whale shark! They seem to have put a lot of effort into making their tanks a comfortable place for these guys to live, something I can’t say for somewhere like Himeji City Zoo.

Let’s Walk.

Today we had a rather casual day. Got up late after not getting much sleep last night (thanks to our rowdy neighbours), walked to Den Den Town and then took the train to Umeda.

Den Den Town was pretty fun. If I had more bag space I would have bought plenty of Power Rangers figurines and a model train for my Dad. Still disappointed by the lack of massive/crazy iPhone cases in Japan this time around.

We also had a look around Osaka Station City before heading to the Pokemon Centre. Still couldn’t find a Darkrai figure for my brother. Oh well. Them’s the breaks, I suppose.

What we do tomorrow depends on the weather. I’d like to get to Nara and see Osaka Castle some time this week, as well as hitting up Universal Studios and the aquarium.

Let’s Walk.

Today we had a rather casual day. Got up late after not getting much sleep last night (thanks to our rowdy neighbours), walked to Den Den Town and then took the train to Umeda.

Den Den Town was pretty fun. If I had more bag space I would have bought plenty of Power Rangers figurines and a model train for my Dad. Still disappointed by the lack of massive/crazy iPhone cases in Japan this time around.

We also had a look around Osaka Station City before heading to the Pokemon Centre. Still couldn’t find a Darkrai figure for my brother. Oh well. Them’s the breaks, I suppose.

What we do tomorrow depends on the weather. I’d like to get to Nara and see Osaka Castle some time this week, as well as hitting up Universal Studios and the aquarium.

Onward to Osaka.

Today we travelled from Kyoto to Osaka. It was sad to have to leave our cupboard behind but our new digs in Osaka are pretty roomy. We’re also right near Dotombori giving us a massive range of options for dinner at night. It may have taken us three or four trains to get here but at least we’re in a good spot. Hopefully it won’t be too hard to get to the airport in a weeks time.

We had a good look around during the day and night, had some fantastic ramen for dinner and even bought some bits and pieces. Hopefully my stay in Osaka will be more enjoyable this time around.

Under the Weather

Today was another “rest day”, giving us time to prepare before we head to Osaka tomorrow. We did our laundry and rested, which was lucky given the fact that it rained all day.

I also appear to have gotten a flu bug. A combination of air conditioning, the weather and an errant sneeze from someone on a train have resulted in me feeling sick.

Ah well. I’ll just cruise on some Bufferin and vitamin C drinks and hope it doesn’t last long. We’ve got places to go and things to see.

Shopping in Insadong and Myeongdong.

Today we decided to have a more relaxing day after the tensions of our previous days DMZ tour. We pretty much just walked along the street in Insadong and Myeongdong, buying things that took our fancy.

My favourite purchases were made at the “KPop Mall” in Myeongdong. My best friend and I LOVE Super Junior so I took the opportunity to buy her some gifts. Let’s just say, I hope she has space for heaps of posters!

Shopping in Insadong and Myeongdong.

Today we decided to have a more relaxing day after the tensions of our previous days DMZ tour. We pretty much just walked along the street in Insadong and Myeongdong, buying things that took our fancy.

My favourite purchases were made at the “KPop Mall” in Myeongdong. My best friend and I LOVE Super Junior so I took the opportunity to buy her some gifts. Let’s just say, I hope she has space for heaps of posters!

In Front of Them All.

So our DMZ/JSA tour with Koridoor today was fantastic. Intimidating at times but truly informative. I really think you’re missing out on learning a little more about what makes contemporary Koreans tick if you don’t go on a DMZ tour.

They took us into the JSA (Joint Security Area), with some help from some US Army soldiers. We got to see into North Korea right across the MDL (Military Demarcation Line) and even saw a North Korean guard darting behind pillars, watching us from a distance. We even (technically) stood in the DPRK for a few minutes.

We saw North Korea’s “Propaganda Village” from a distance, drove past the famous “Bridge of No Return”, visited Dorasan Station (the “last train station in South Korea and the first station toward North Korea”), visited Dora Observatory and went into the Third Infiltration Tunnel.

It was a very surreal experience. I don’t know about anyone else but it certainly helped me appreciated and understand Koreans, Korean attitude/identity and Korean history since the Korean War just that little bit more.

And it put all of those episodes of M*A*S*H into perspective.

In Front of Them All.

So our DMZ/JSA tour with Koridoor today was fantastic. Intimidating at times but truly informative. I really think you’re missing out on learning a little more about what makes contemporary Koreans tick if you don’t go on a DMZ tour.

They took us into the JSA (Joint Security Area), with some help from some US Army soldiers. We got to see into North Korea right across the MDL (Military Demarcation Line) and even saw a North Korean guard darting behind pillars, watching us from a distance. We even (technically) stood in the DPRK for a few minutes.

We saw North Korea’s “Propaganda Village” from a distance, drove past the famous “Bridge of No Return”, visited Dorasan Station (the “last train station in South Korea and the first station toward North Korea”), visited Dora Observatory and went into the Third Infiltration Tunnel.

It was a very surreal experience. I don’t know about anyone else but it certainly helped me appreciated and understand Koreans, Korean attitude/identity and Korean history since the Korean War just that little bit more.

And it put all of those episodes of M*A*S*H into perspective.

Gwanghwamun Square.

Today we took a wander around the area near Gwanghwamun Square/Plaza. It turned out to be a pretty enjoyable day that involved us getting dressed up in traditional Korea clothing (for free) just outside the station and walking around Gyeongbukgung Palace. The National Folk Museum of Korea also had a free entry day which was a nice surprise!

We also marvelled at the statues of King Sejong the Great and Admiral Yi Sun-Shin that dominate the plaza. The Plaza is a great place to start exploring the city as it’s right outside Gwanghwamun Station, making it easy to get to.

Gwanghwamun Square.

Today we took a wander around the area near Gwanghwamun Square/Plaza. It turned out to be a pretty enjoyable day that involved us getting dressed up in traditional Korea clothing (for free) just outside the station and walking around Gyeongbukgung Palace. The National Folk Museum of Korea also had a free entry day which was a nice surprise!

We also marvelled at the statues of King Sejong the Great and Admiral Yi Sun-Shin that dominate the plaza. The Plaza is a great place to start exploring the city as it’s right outside Gwanghwamun Station, making it easy to get to.

You’ve Got Soul, Seoul.

We made our way from Kansai Airport to Incheon International Airport without many issues. Getting to our guesthouse in Hongdae didn’t take much effort, either.

Seoul is pretty cool so far. So many places to eat! I’m just a little anxious at the moment, trying to get out of the habit of speaking limited Japanese (which we’ve done for 3 weeks) and trying to be polite without knowing much Korean. I’m sure we’ll be fine.

I’m also anxious about reentering Australia. I suppose I should just wait to worry about that next week.

You’ve Got Soul, Seoul.

We made our way from Kansai Airport to Incheon International Airport without many issues. Getting to our guesthouse in Hongdae didn’t take much effort, either.

Seoul is pretty cool so far. So many places to eat! I’m just a little anxious at the moment, trying to get out of the habit of speaking limited Japanese (which we’ve done for 3 weeks) and trying to be polite without knowing much Korean. I’m sure we’ll be fine.

I’m also anxious about reentering Australia. I suppose I should just wait to worry about that next week.

Sky High.

Today we took a trip to Umeda Sky Building. I got horribly lost along the way, discovering the massive labyrinth of an underground shopping mall called Whity.

The observatory at the Sky Building itself is awesome. Great views of the city and some great architecture. Definitely a must visit if you like tall buildings, interesting architecture and city views.

Sky High.

Today we took a trip to Umeda Sky Building. I got horribly lost along the way, discovering the massive labyrinth of an underground shopping mall called Whity.

The observatory at the Sky Building itself is awesome. Great views of the city and some great architecture. Definitely a must visit if you like tall buildings, interesting architecture and city views.

Fun is Universal.

Today we spent most of the day at Universal Studios Japan. We didn’t stay until dark like we did at Disney Sea. Why? There just wasn’t any need to.

We did the smart thing. We decided to spend an extra ¥3200 or so for a four ticket Express Pass. No waiting in line for longer than 20 minutes to get on to popular rides. Money well spent!

We went on JAWS, Jurassic Park, Spider-Man and saw the Backdraft attraction. We finished the day watching other people splashdown at the Jurassic Park ride and had a go on the Hello Kitty Cupcake Dream teacup style ride.

Why Did it Take You So Long, Deer?

I finally got to go to Nara Park! There really isn’t much to say other than we explored the park for the day, fed the deer and visited a shrine. The deer food was ¥150 and the sakura were in bloom.

If you love animals, go.
If you love traditional Japan, go.

Seriously. Why did I not go to Nara last time?!

Rainy Days are Here Again.

It rained most of the day today. We decided it would be a good day to sleep in. We didn’t leave the hotel until 2pm and, even then, we just walked around Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi and elsewhere, buying food and eating it.

Gyoza. 
Cheese tart. 
Grape marshmallows. 
Ramen.

Day well spent, I think.

Rainy Days are Here Again.

It rained most of the day today. We decided it would be a good day to sleep in. We didn’t leave the hotel until 2pm and, even then, we just walked around Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi and elsewhere, buying food and eating it.

Gyoza.
Cheese tart.
Grape marshmallows.
Ramen.

Day well spent, I think.

Under the Sea.

Today we went to Osaka Aquarium. We had an amazing day, despite the massive crowds.

They’ve got everything from salamanders to seals, dolphins to rays. They’ve also got a pretty cool whale shark! They seem to have put a lot of effort into making their tanks a comfortable place for these guys to live, something I can’t say for somewhere like Himeji City Zoo.

Under the Sea.

Today we went to Osaka Aquarium. We had an amazing day, despite the massive crowds.

They’ve got everything from salamanders to seals, dolphins to rays. They’ve also got a pretty cool whale shark! They seem to have put a lot of effort into making their tanks a comfortable place for these guys to live, something I can’t say for somewhere like Himeji City Zoo.

Let’s Walk.

Today we had a rather casual day. Got up late after not getting much sleep last night (thanks to our rowdy neighbours), walked to Den Den Town and then took the train to Umeda.

Den Den Town was pretty fun. If I had more bag space I would have bought plenty of Power Rangers figurines and a model train for my Dad. Still disappointed by the lack of massive/crazy iPhone cases in Japan this time around.

We also had a look around Osaka Station City before heading to the Pokemon Centre. Still couldn’t find a Darkrai figure for my brother. Oh well. Them’s the breaks, I suppose.

What we do tomorrow depends on the weather. I’d like to get to Nara and see Osaka Castle some time this week, as well as hitting up Universal Studios and the aquarium.

Let’s Walk.

Today we had a rather casual day. Got up late after not getting much sleep last night (thanks to our rowdy neighbours), walked to Den Den Town and then took the train to Umeda.

Den Den Town was pretty fun. If I had more bag space I would have bought plenty of Power Rangers figurines and a model train for my Dad. Still disappointed by the lack of massive/crazy iPhone cases in Japan this time around.

We also had a look around Osaka Station City before heading to the Pokemon Centre. Still couldn’t find a Darkrai figure for my brother. Oh well. Them’s the breaks, I suppose.

What we do tomorrow depends on the weather. I’d like to get to Nara and see Osaka Castle some time this week, as well as hitting up Universal Studios and the aquarium.

Onward to Osaka.

Today we travelled from Kyoto to Osaka. It was sad to have to leave our cupboard behind but our new digs in Osaka are pretty roomy. We’re also right near Dotombori giving us a massive range of options for dinner at night. It may have taken us three or four trains to get here but at least we’re in a good spot. Hopefully it won’t be too hard to get to the airport in a weeks time.

We had a good look around during the day and night, had some fantastic ramen for dinner and even bought some bits and pieces. Hopefully my stay in Osaka will be more enjoyable this time around.

Under the Weather

Today was another “rest day”, giving us time to prepare before we head to Osaka tomorrow. We did our laundry and rested, which was lucky given the fact that it rained all day.

I also appear to have gotten a flu bug. A combination of air conditioning, the weather and an errant sneeze from someone on a train have resulted in me feeling sick.

Ah well. I’ll just cruise on some Bufferin and vitamin C drinks and hope it doesn’t last long. We’ve got places to go and things to see.

Under the Weather

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I'm in love with a land full of sakura, hot springs and amazing places.

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