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Day 9: Kyoto > Osaka

05.12.2016

Another relatively late morning as we checked out of our hotel in Kyoto and began our journey to Osaka. We had to wait a little while for the Shinkansen to arrive, and spent most of that time window shopping within the stores at Kyoto station. By the time we got to Osaka, we were still a few hours early with some time to use up before check-in. The hotel we were staying at in Osaka had shops, restaurants and a 7-Eleven inside the hotel, so we managed to keep ourselves busy exploring. We even managed to find a robot that actually interacted with you (though he spoke only Japanese so while we couldn’t understand him, it was pretty entertaining to watch it dance around).

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When it was time for check-in, we were fortunate enough to have our rooms upgraded. What I loved about this hotel was that the rooms were relatively unique, with the design of each room being inspired by the name the room was given (for example, we were in the Peony Room, and we were surprised with this amazing set up):

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Another perk of having our rooms upgraded is that we had special access to a cafe of sorts with unlimited coffee, tea, hot chocolate and soft drinks along with Japanese cookies that we could access for most of the day and night. I would love a machine that could make me a hot chocolate like that for myself, but if I went ahead and bought one, I’d probably take more sugar than what is healthy. Thanks to this perk, we spent the next few hours sipping warm drinks and enjoying each other’s company while trying to decide on what to have for dinner. Earlier in the trip, we had made a collective decision to aim to try as much Japanese cuisine as we could to try and tick off each type of food before we had to return home. The objective for that night was to have a Teppanyaki dinner and so when we found a restaurant, we were extremely excited and headed out towards Osaka Station and the restaurant. We found out later on that it was a grill restaurant but not the kind of Teppanyaki restaurant where they cooked the food in front of you. Nevertheless, we decided to stay and the food was absolutely mouthwatering. (The Cosmopolitan Grill Bar & Terrace – quite pricey but highly recommend). By some stroke of luck (or maybe not) we also happened to arrive during happy hour, which meant yummy cocktails to go with dinner.

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We were absolutely stuffed by the end of the night, and we headed back to the hotel for some karaoke (because while in Japan, right?). We were a little worried that it would be a tragic mess because the machine seemed to only operate in Japanese, but thankfully after some button-pressing, we were able to change it to English. Karaoke in Japan is just one of those things – you have to do it even if its just for the sake of being able to say that you did. Once our time had run out, we had a 7-Eleven pit stop for some snacks and breakfast for the next day, with plans for a day trip to Hiroshima.

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I must say that the bed in this hotel was huge, and the blankets were incredibly fluffy and comfortable. I slept like a baby, wishing I had the same kind of comfort back home.

-SKC.

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