Train Musings : I’m on Yelp

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I’m writing in English for fellow foreigners like me :)

Train Musings: Why Japan?

I can’t count how many times I’ve been ask this question and I noticed that my answers changed as times goes by. 

My usual answer was either language, culture and work. I wanted to improve my Japanese, I want to experience Japanese culture and I found an oppurtunity to work here. 

A friend asked this question again a few weeks ago, but he quickly rephrase it “What made you decide to stay this long in Japan?”.  Why indeed? 

I was about to give him the same answer and I paused, Why indeed? 

Safety. I think you can disagree that Japan is probably on of the safest country in the world. Here I can travel alone without worries. I can sleep on the train and not be concerned that somebody will pick my bags. I guess I can go on and on. 

I only gave this one word answer and he understood. 

Ramen : Fusuma ni Kakeru (フスマにかける)


Miss S, suggested this Ramen located in Nakazaki-cho. It was really good, very light for a ramen but still very tasty. Miss K and I basically finished everything even the soup.

According to Miss S, there is always a long line here specially during weekends so if you have time on weekday it might be better. We went Wednesday, we got a table for 3 and did not need to wait. Although as soon as we got there, the whole place was occupied.

It’s less than a minute away from Nakazakicho Station Exit 1 or probably about 15 -20  minutes Osaka/Umeda Station.

Oyamazaki Villa

One good thing about working far from home is the free train pass and unlimited train ride between home and work.

So one fine spring day, I took the train to Yamazaki and check out the much talked about Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Arts.

The main building was built by a wealthy businessman, Shotaro Kaga, and was considered for demolition decades after his death. Fortunately, with the help of local people, the Kyoto government and Asahi Breweries, the Villa was preserved and was opened to the public as Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum in 1996.

Let’s start the tour.

Yamazaki Villa
The tunnel going to the Villa.

Yamazaki Villa
I thought I’ve already reached the Villa, but this turn out to a small resting place and locker to store big backpacks or big luggage since it’s not allowed inside the Museum.

Yamazaki Villa
Beautiful, Sakura tree.

Yamazaki Villa
I’m finally here.

Yamazaki Villa

The Museum houses Monet’s Waterlily collection. Just like any other museum taking pictures inside is prohibited but taking pictures of the outside garden from the inside is not and thus:

Yamazaki Villa
Japanese garden , from one of the glass doors.

On the top floor of the museum is a cafe with a veranda and a view of Yawata city
Yamazaki Villa

I wanted to stay here , relax and enjoy the view unfortunately a group old folks where occupying the whole place and chatting their hearts away.
So on I go with my tour.
I decided to enjoy the view of the garden, and it was a better decision.

Yamazaki Villa
The garden and the pond from another angle.

Yamazaki Villa
A rabbit sculpture. I think its really out of place in a very zen garden and it’s huge too.

Yamazaki Villa
The view of the Villa’s veranda cafe from the garden.

Yamazaki Villa
The green Sakura and the Museum.

You can reach the museum by taking JR or Hankyu Line and stop at Yamazak Station or Oyamazaki station respectively. Free shuttle bus is also available for guest from both station, check the schedule here.

I hope you enjoy the tour and please give it a quick visit when you visit Kyoto.

Ramen : Muteppou (無鉄砲)

Muteppou (無鉄砲)

This ramen is simply amazing. The soup is so thick and the noodles just perfect. I can’t imagine the calorie per bowl, but it’s heavenly. I tried the regular Tonkatsu and it was more than enough for me.

If you are in Osaka, just head out to Daikukocho Station ( Yostubashi/Midosuji) Line and get out in Exit 3. Turn to your right and just walk straight. It’s about 3 minutes walk from the exit. They also have branches in Nara, Kyoto, Tokyo and Sydney.


8 years with WP

8 years ago, I signed up with wordpress for the sake of recording my adventure here in Japan.

Thank you all for reading and for all the nice comments even though my blog is far from perfect ( grammar and all).

I promise there will more adventure to come.


Myanmar Adventure : Touring Yangon ( Botataung Paya)

Yangon, the former capital , is the largest city in Burma or Myanmar .

After our long trip from Osaka and restless night in the guesthouse, it was time to explore the city.

The weather in Yangon in December is just perfect. Warm but not humid. We decided to walk around the city instead of hiring a cab or trike. We got a map from our guesthouse and found out that Botataung Paya is just about 30 minutes walk away.

Walking around the streets of Yangon is like walking around Cebu. The crowded buses and streets, the street dogs just lazing around and the local street vendors, uncovered hole in the street, uncovered construction site  just reminds me of home :).

When we got to Botataung Paya(Pagoda), I found out that ( for the first time) that entering a Buddhist Temple in Myanmar requires you to not only remove your shoes but your socks as well. Foreigners are required to pay $3 each which allows them to take pictures, and use the toilet facilities.

Botataung Paya is located at a spacious river front location. It’s most original feature is a dazzling zigzag corridor, gilded floor to ceiling that snakes its way around to the hollow interior of the 131ft golden zedi(stupa). This is the second one after the original was directly hit during an air raid in November 1943. Unlike any other zedi, which are solid, Botataung is hollow and you walk through it.

Let’s start the tour.

Buddha, sitting underneath a Cobra? This is the first time I’ve seen a Buddha is this way.

A small shrine(?) at the side, where people bring their gifts to Buddha.

The Buddha inside the small shrine.

Botataung Paya.

The gilded corridors.

Another corner.

The nearby Port.