November 23, 2007

I woke up since 4am and couldn’t go back to sleep so I decided to take a long hot bath instead. Don’t worry, I cleaned the bathtub 3 times before I got in LOL

A-san called me around 7am when she arrived at the bus station nearby Osaka station. We set up a meeting time at 8am in front of the giant clock in front of Daimaru Department Store in Osaka station. I-san and T-chan should arrive around that time too.

I left my hotel around 7:30, saw this sign on the elevator door and couldn’t help smiling. Japanese and their cute Eng-rish~ ^^

I got to the meeting spot first, and A-san arrived shortly after that. We sat and waited there for a while before we could get a hold of I-san and T-chan, they were still on an express train from KIX to Osaka station, so A-san and I went to have breakfast first. We walked over to the coffee shop inside the station. A-san left her luggage at a table outside the shop and just walked in to get in the line. I was like.. eehhhhh, is this really okay? … but ended up doing the same thing. I have to say that Japan is probably one of the safest places on earth! If I did this at a train station in Thailand, it’d disappear after blinking my eyes! And if I did this in the US, I’d probably find a bunch of bomb squad surrounding my luggage when I come back! XDD Had I mentioned before that Japanese pastries are super yummy? ^^

After breakfast, we moved back to the meeting spot, still no sign of I-san and T-chan. We tried to call them but didn’t get any answer. About 30 minutes later, we got a call from T-chan, they were walking outside the station, getting farther away from the station and trying to find Daimaru (T-chan was so blurred when she was talking to A-san earlier, so she didn’t catch the part that the mall was actually inside the station xD). A-san was like, get back inside the station and find Sakurabashi gate ASAP! LOL A few minutes later, I-san and T-chan scrambled their way to the meeting spot, oh boy, they looked seriously exhausted! *pets*

Our hotel is about 10-15 minutes away from the station, so we decided to go drop off our stuff first. It wasn’t a really long walk, but not a short one either. Hail to A-san for forbidding us to bring a bigger luggage, this carry-on one was painful enough! After that, we came back to the station and caught a train to NARA! ^^

We walked from JR station to Nara Park. There’s a lot of cute shops along the way. We also walked passed Kofukuji Temple and its Five-storied Pagoda but decided not to go in though LOL

Each of us started trying to familiar ourselves with heavy photo taking again LOL I-san’s photos came out either blurry, too bright, or too sharp, so she blamed it on Takki since she’s using Olympus (that she bought from Japan last year because of Takki’s Olympus flyer) XD I also tested out my Fuji against sunlight since I’ve read a lot of reviews about the purple fringe issue. Kinda visible, but not too bad IMO.

Eventually, we reached Nara Park.

Of course, Nara was all about deers. LOL

I-san told us about her trip to Japan when she was really young. The only thing she could remember about Nara was deers. Cute deers. So basically she had an image of cute little Bambi attached to Nara.

HAHA! Bambi was too cute to be true yo! It’s more like a deer army! Sooooo many of them. This represented probably only 0.1% of deer population in that park! They wouldn’t actually attack you, but they’d follow you everywhere if you have food. Probably would eat your hands if you refuse to give away whatever food you’re holding. (ok, a bit over-exaggerated, but you get the picture LOL)

We walked and walked and walked and walked…. lol

Next stop was Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine, which is Nara’s most celebrated shrine. Very orange. Lots of visitors there, quite a bunch of kids dressed up in full set kimono, super cute. I-san ran over to their parents and asked to take pictures with these kids too, quite stalker-like if you ask me LOL

Introducing the gang ;) At this point, we walked about 2 miles already, good exercise indeed xD

We took a short lunch break, then started walking again LOL (yes, today was all about walking!) This time, we’re heading to Todaiji!

Todaiji was famous for its Daibutsu, a Great Buddha statue made of bronze and gold. The Great Buddha Hall was burned twice during the wars and the current building was about 33% smaller than the original structure, but it still ranks as the largest wooden structure in the world.

Here in this park, more deers were trying to attack us! ><

After what seemed to be 10 miles of walking, we finally headed back to Osaka to check into our hotel rooms. No, I should say our tiny ovens. The room was damn HOT! I know it’s November and it’s cold, but this overly heated centralized heating system was pure HELL! I rushed to the window, tried to open it, no luck. It took 2 PhDs and 2 master degrees to realized it 10 minutes later that, no, the window was bolted shut T__T The hotel clerk told us to turn on the bathroom light so the fan in the bathroom would help.. HOW? That fan didn’t produce any cold air yo!

Anyway, we decided to go out for dinner so we left the oven and walked to Osaka station. While waiting for the elevator to go down to underground level, A-san grabbed my face, jerked it upward and yelled: LOOK!

I screamed.

LOL No no, not something scary, but something unexpected! Come on, it’s late November already, I totally didn’t expect to see this giant billboard for Best Album which released since 10/17! Weeehheeee! T&T fangirl’s destiny~ ^___^

I kept grinning all night, though we had to walk about 2 more miles around Shinsaibashi area before our yummy udon dinner~

We got back to our hotel room(s), took a shower, and sweated. It’s too hot, I couldn’t breathe! >”< I-san and I even debated whether or not we should open the door LOL I ended up filling a garbage can with ice and put it right next to our bed. It helped a bit. turned out to be a bad decision since the floor was soaking wet in the morning, Oops! xD


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