Early Saturday morning bus ride to Japan's craziest city. The much-anticipated stop at Family Mart to stock up on sweets (hello, MUJI marshmallows) and cold green tea. We spent a completely girlie day in Osaka, having iced coffee and raiding H&M, then going back to our hostel to try everything on and have a little fashion show. We met the Mikes for dinner in Shinsaibashi, where we indulged on Mexican food and margaritas, before taking Osaka by storm.
I finally met the lovely (and tall!!) Michelle, and her friend Lindsay. It was great- it felt like we already knew each other (well, I've been reading her blog for two years), and I was so excited to welcome them to Japan. I had no doubts we'd get along and have a fantastic time, and we definitely did. We had a typical Osaka night: drinking and dancing at a club in Namba, then on to karaoke for god knows how many hours. After some hilarious nineties renditions and countless sodas (don't ask), we exited the karaoke room at sunrise. The early morning was spent at the Osaka Zoo (don't ask), listening to a distressed seal and wanting to run away as fast as I could.
Isabel and I headed to our dingy hostel, which was the worst accommodation I've ever stayed at. Our favourite hostel was already booked up, and so were most places since a big festival was taking place. We barely closed our eyes for an hour before getting told we had to check out by 9am. Ugh. That Osaka morning was one of the roughest we've ever had, just roaming around the city, exhausted and dirty. Seriously... mixed bathrooms?! NO.
Thankfully, the trip wasn't over, and we hopped on the train to Kyoto. I cannot believe it costs the exact same amount to get from Osaka to Kyoto than it costs for me to get to Takamatsu from Marugame. Sigh.
Michelle, I hope you and Lindsay loved Japan, and thank you so much for meeting me and coming out for a night in Osaka with my friends!! I'm so happy we got to meet, and have such a fabulous time together in Japan.
Kyoto, my love. This place is soothing and magical as ever. I cannot explain why, but Kyoto makes me so happy, and I can't ever feel bad there. Our first few hours in Kyoto were spent sipping green tea frappucinos at Starbucks, and lugging our heavy bags around in the heat to the hostel. Our charming youth hostel felt so luxurious after staying in that Osaka nightmare! After some much-needed showers, naps, and ice cones, we got dressed up and headed to the Gion district. It was a beautiful and peaceful Sunday night, spent walking around the wonderful streets of traditional Kyoto, taking pictures and remembering our best moments in Japan, feeling so exhilarated but nostalgic at the same time.
Isabel, you were the best travel partner, and I don't want you to leave. Thanks for all the amazing memories, they will always be so special to me. Japan won't be the same without you.
Thanks for being such an amazing friend.