The final day of my second trip to Japan. I was sad to be leaving having felt like I had only scraped the surface of things to see and photograph in this amazing country. But I was more glad that I would soon be back with my kids and my pets. I was not looking forward to the flight home. Especially because it was not leaving Osaka until late at night. I had a long day ahead but I was going to make the most of it.
I started my day by packing all my belongings into my suitcase. I had made a trip into a store the night before to buy a second bag to carry on the place with me. My camera bag was full and my suitcase was overflowing and some of the gifts I had bought the kids were in boxes. So I sorted my things between the three bags whilst trying to ensure that I only packed into my camera bag the things I needed for my last day. Actually when I first travelled to Tokyo in 2015 I had to buy a second suitcase? Because I had gone nuts on Japanese trinkets and gifts for the kids, the family and of course myself, I had no choice.
I made my way to a site I had visited earlier in the week. Except then it had been raining very heavily. Today however was sunny with blue skies. A beautiful day in Kyoto. I made my way on foot to Higashi Hongan-Ji – the Buddhist temple within site of Kyoto Railway Station. There is also a great view of this temple, and most of Kyoto, from up in Kyoto tower. It puts just how impressive this site is into context. That morning, I had lovely golden light and shadows from the rising sun. And just the right mix of clouds for added drama.
I returned to my hotel to do one last round of my room and, as crazy as it sounds, repack everything again. I had way too much stuff. I took a train back to Osaka as my flight was leaving from Osaka International Airport. Upon arriving at Osaka Station I was amazing at just how massive this station was. With my luggage As with every day on my journey, I wrote home to my family:
24 September 2016
Last update for the trip. Wow it has been a freaking long long day. Even after a marathon day yesterday, on foot seeing me the world, I did not sleep more than a couple of hours last night. Go figure.
So yet another early start with a walk back to the Buddhist temple I visited on my first day in Kyoto. The difference being then it was raining. Today it was sunny with some awesome clouds. See below. So after paying my respects to Buddha it was back to the hotel for final pack and check out.
One the train to Osaka – again the Thunderbird.
Put my luggage into a locker at Osaka station and took three trains to reach the Osaka aquarium. Amazing place but did not live up to the hype. I think the dolphins in captivity lost it for me. Something sad about that. The big ocean tank was huge. Two whale sharks! Whale! Sharks!
Whilst there in checked out the Osaka Port area. Very much like our dock lands with a shopping complex and big Ferris wheel. I mean BIG! Probably twice as tall as our wheel but with these flimsy looking carriages! Not for me.
Also found the Osaka Legoland! What a shame that was let me tell you.
Then three trains back to Osaka Station. I know I went on a bit about the size of Kyoto Station. But Osaka is immense! It has 4 separate department stores attached to it. One of them was good old Daimaru which we used to have in Melbourne. So some last minute browsing.
Now sitting in a trendy cafe near the station. My feet are rooted so I cannot do anymore than hobble to my train to the airport and then onto the plane later tonight. I have taken close to 7,000 photos and seen some of the most amazing sites on earth. So I feel like I met my travel goals. Time to unwind and wait for my feet to stop bleeding. I HATE my shoes!
But I love you all. See you in 29 hours!
I had made the tragic mistake of changing from my heavy walking shoes to a pair of thongs. I was so foot sore and felt that my shoes must have been contributing to that. And all I had as an alternative were a pair of thongs. So I spent the second half of the day in those. They kind of made things worse. So I hobbled through the aquarium and the Lego Discovery Centre and around the shops and restaurants at the Osaka port district. I think that is part of the reason why I did not take many photos of that afternoon. I was tired and in a bit of pain.
Also, I had taken a lot of photos over my week and felt like I had captured all the things I had hoped to and much more. So missing the opportunity to take some shots in the afternoon was not a great loss. I did however manage to find a restaurant and had an incredible meal complete with an ice cold Asahi. Never miss an opportunity for lunch. So I sat and people-watched for a little bit. Checked out the store in the Lego Discovery Centre again, before making my way back to Osaka Station. I strolled in short bursts and hung out in a couple of cafes before boarding my train back to Osaka airport.
My journey had come to an end. It was such a remarkable experience and I am so glad that I opted for writing to my family at least once a day with the intention to later use those messages in such a way as this. You may have noticed in one of my recent blogs that I am trying out vlogging for the first time. Also, that I have made travel arrangements to return to Tokyo in August of this year. I hope to be able to make some videos whilst in Tokyo. It seems that I am hooked. I could be hooked on worse things. Happy shooting.