Review: Avianca

The Airline

Avianca is Columbia’s flag carrier since 1919 undeFile:Avianca Logo.svgr a different name. The airline which has a fleet of 189, routes into 26 countries throughout the American and European continent.

 

Brief

I used Avianca whilst on my South America trip in a night flight from Lima to Rio de Janeiro.

20180317_115939.jpg

Aircraft and Flight

My flight from Lima to Rio De Janiero used a small Airbus A319 in a 3-3 configuration. The aircraft did incorporate a business class which was divided using a simple curtain assembly, it looked nice however I cant write about it because I flew on economy.

Firstly I’d like to start off with something I was not too keen on and that was the Cabin crew’s uniform. It had a red cloak styled jacket with a red cloche styled hat which was designed by a famous Columbian designer. The uniform has had many praise from other fellow bloggers, however for me it was too fancy for a flight (my personal opinion).

The economy seats were similar to that of any other standard airline, it had a cup holder, magazine pouch, foldable table, personal light and air. The seat was leather with adjustable headrest which I always appreciate in an aircraft. Furthermore seats had an entertainment system which for some strange reason I didn’t think they had as it was a small aircraft. Come to think of it this flight was the smallest aircraft I know with screens incorporated in it.

20180321_211103.jpg

Avianca’s entertainment system was (along with ICE of Emirates) one of the most comprehensive and pleasing I have ever experienced. Its program and controls  were very tidy and easy to navigate around in which even the freshest user wont struggle. Firstly the airline’s promotional videos upon boarding, taxiing and before each movies were amazing, short pleasing clips of tourism in South America which makes people want to travel to the destinations in the future. Secondly one thing that I quickly acknowledged that was pretty impressive was the entertainment system’s front, starting or home page whatever you call it. It was easy to use and understand  no matter where you have come from with the upfront choice of languages. Furthermore the division of the adults and children’s menu, I found very plausible. The entertainment catalogue have a comprehensive choice of the latest most notable tv shows, movies and music from Latin America, Europe and the US, so it wont be too difficult for each passengers to be entertained.

20180321_212855 (2).jpg

My service in Avianca was simple, it was a night 5 hour flight so  we only got one meal service. The meal was simple with only a few things to eat including a salad, main dish (chicken and rice), bread roll and a sweater bread I can only think is a traditional desert of some kind, obviously including the normal choice of beverages. The meals were delicious but you can taste the simplicity of the dishes, there were no elaborate ingredients and there was very little to eat so it wont fill you if you was very hungry.

20180321_222301.jpg

After the meal service, as it was a night flight the main lights were switched off or dimmed I can only guess for sleep. Before landing cabin crew gives the relevant immigration cards for ease in arrivals. 

Conclusion

Avianca to me was neutral it had its goods and it had its bad, the biggest positive for me was the entertainment system, a brilliant program with many enjoyable films from western to Latin America, the ease of use was brilliant. The meal for me was a bit of a disappointment it was very simple, small and untidy in its presentation. However ive only flown with  the airline once in a single route so I don’t know its consistency with its other routes. Its a fine airline to fly with and I would definitely try them again.

Back to airline list

Reference

https://www.avianca.com/us/en/our-company/corporate-information/corporate-profile

Photo

http://www.avianca.com (for the logo only)

 

 

Review: JetStar Japan

The Airline

JetStar Japan which started operation on 2012 is the Japanese affiliate of the JetStar group. The Low cost airline which has a fleet of 24 flies 11 Japanese domestic routes but only 4 international flights to Hong Kong, Shanghai (China), Manila (Philippines) and Taipei (Taiwan). JetStar Japan is a joint venture between the Qantas Group, JAL, Mitsubishi corporation and the Tokyo century corporation.

Image result for jetstar japan logo

Brief

I have only taken this airline once in a 3 hour one way trip from Manila to Osaka.

Aircraft and Flight

I believe all JetStar Japans aircraft are an Airbus A320 and its products inside are very basic and plain such as its seats, tables, lighting and even colour theme. The aircraft wasn’t the cleanest and tidiest ive flown on, I had a window seat and it was very greasy whilst the magazines and leaflets (including safety leaflet) were worn and folded. It is a budget airline so I expected the bare minimum service. Food and drinks needed to be purchased which was understandable for a low cost airlines.

jetstar

However the thing that surprised me the most and made the flight was its crew, the best ive seen from all carriers ive flown on. Their respect for the elderly was magnificent, and I consistently saw them assist the elderly from their seat and escort them to the toilet in which they would not leave the area until the person is finished which they will then escort them back to their seat. A simple act like that was brilliant and adds many admiration from me.

Conclusion

My single JetStar Japan experience was short and simple. It had what you would expect from a budget/ low cost airline. The biggest positive I witnessed in this airline, is their care and service for the elderly,, it was just really nice and uplifting to see. Other than their service there was not much to be negative or positive about, for travellers with a tight budget this airline is a good choice.

Back to Airline List

 

Reference

https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/about-us/jetstar-group
https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/about-us/jetstar-group/jetstar-japan

Photos

Asacyan
http://www.jetstar.com/au/~/_media/E6989764BB994326A7CCD30923908F69.pdf

 

Review: Emirates Flight (DXB>MNL>DXB)

DXB > MNL > DXB

I believe all of the flights flying to and from Manila uses the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. They incorporate a 2 class cabin with only economy and business classes. The flight is usually takes 7 hours without the time at the airports taxiing.

Economy Class

The economy class product is similar to that of the LHR to DXB route (A380). The product and service is thankfully the same high quality as the other sectors, the differences will probably be its food which usually contemplates the flights origin or destination. click here for the London to Dubai route

20180517_201234

Business Class

The business class in this sector a 777 is different to that of the A380 or London route. Although the tier still incorporates a convertible leather flat bed product, the cabin has a 2-3-2 configuration where all seats are in rows and parallel to each other. The business class in this flight has less privacy than that of the A380 due to the fact you sit next to another passenger rather than an amenity/ storage section like that of the A380. However it is not uncomfortable and still very spacious. The only negative is if you sit next to a window or middle isle you may have to jump over your neighbour to go to the toilets if he or she is sleeping. Your seat will have a shoe rack, your meal menu and a water bottle, you will not have a portable device like the London routes. As you arrive you will be served a beverage such as champagne, juice or soda’s. I have never received an amenity kit in this sector, so I believe its just not included with this route.

20160606_061031.jpg

The service in this specific flight is similar to that of the London flight. There is two dining service with a snack just before landing. You get a 3 course meal served one by one with an endless offering of warm bread, wine and champagne throughout. All food was delicious and you can taste that they did not go cheap on ingredients. The flight attendant will set your table for you, she will place a white table cloth and then give you a ready prepared tray with your cutlery, towel, condiments, salad and more. All tableware is of high quality and nothing was plastic.

FB_IMG_1465198665664.jpg

The 777 does not incorporate an onboard lounge as there is not enough space, instead there is a small table in which after take off, is used to put snacks for passengers to grab at their own accord should they wish to roam around. However the service is consistently the same as that of the A380 London route.

Back to Emirates Review

Review: Emirates Flight (LHR>DXB>LHR)

LON > DXB > LON

The majority of flights to and from London uses the Airbus A380. The economy class is usually at the lower level of the aircraft whilst the premium classes are at the second floor. Emirates always boasts multi national cabin crews with many different languages available which is very good for customer service.

Economy Class

The economy class product in Emirates has its characteristics which take them above its competitors. Firstly their seats which are in a 3-4-3 configuration are the same as many of their competitors with a standard recline, leg space, reading light, air and an adjustable headrest. A pillow, blanket and a headphone will already be placed on your seat.

 

The thing that stands out for me is their Entertainment system named ICE (Information, Communication and Entertainment) which is on all tiers and classes, although different sized screens for the different tiers off course.  Through ICE you can watch the largest collection of movies and shows from many different locations and many different genres. Furthermore you are also able to monitor your flight through different cameras placed on their aircraft and with a advanced flight map. ICE has the best and the most latest movies and shows than any other airlines I have ever been on. Other than ice the seats also incorporate USB chargers, a three point headphone socket and a remote even though their screens are touch screen.

 

Their service in economy is also desirable, upon arrival passengers are given hot towels, landing cards and kids are given goody bags. In this specific flight passengers are usually given a full meal and a lighter snack, both of which are served at favourable times. You are also able to request  pot noodles and drinks at any time 30 minutes after take-off and 30 minutes before landing.

Emirates have no premium economy class, but is said to be planning to incorporate it in the future to compete with its competitors.

Business Class

The business class product on this flight is special and the reason for returning to this airline almost yearly. Like many modern airlines, Emirates incorporates a convertible  seat and flat-bed product in a 1-2-1 configuration. Each leather seating area is spacious with an amenity section which includes a mini bar, desk, portable device and storages right next to you. Furthermore there is shoe storage under the footrest and even more storage (good enough for laptop bags) next to the window with the standard overhead bins still  built above, making the the seating excessively rich in storage. The seats are set in an alternating configuration whereas the person ahead or behind you is never directly parallel to you. I usually sit in a window seat (me next to the window) whilst the amenities next to the isle giving me a bit more privacy.

 

Again the entertainment system was special, all of the brilliant functions that were available on economy are available in business, but can be controlled using the extra portable device which each seats have. This portable device can be used to monitor flight progress, adjust the seat, lighting and much more. Furthermore the seats have a 32 inch screen which is one of the largest in the world, you are also provided with noise cancelling headphones, but I always op to use my own.

a380 buisness

The service in business class is also remarkable right from the very start (at the airport), through entering the aircraft and for the duration of the flight. Upon entering the aircraft you are greeted by a flight attendant at the door who will guide you to your seat and along the way to your seat, attendants are cleverly placed throughout the aircraft to assist. Once settled an attendant (if not busy) will approach you and brief you on the features of the seat, service and cabin. Another attendant will go around the cabin offering a choice of welcome drinks such as juices, water or champagne with a brief description of the menu for the flight. You are also given a Bvlgari amenity kit which I believe changes design every 6 months, there is a separate for the kits for the sexes which include basic toiletries such as toothbrush, tooth paste, shave, comb, tissue, a Bvlgari cologne and many more. A great experience, and the flight hasn’t even left the ground.

 

20161221_221249

Right after take off you are given more beverages with assorted warm nuts and at this time they will also take your order for dinner service (or whatever you are served in your flight). You will then have plenty of time to relax or roam the Emirates inflight bar lounge. The bar is out of this world, you may order any drinks and nibbles. A friendly bar person is always available and they are open to conversing. The crew at the onboard lounge are very receptive and will allow you to take pictures, go behind the bar and even teach you a few recipes.

 

At the meal services you are given a fulfilling 3 course meal, the starter and main you ordered earlier and a comprehensive choice of desert. All courses are served separately and you are able to request for warm bread, wine (or other beverages) at any point of the meal although frequent rounds are made by the cabin crew anyway. Your table will be set by one of the cabin crews taking your table out, placing the table cloth and giving the ready set trays including the condiments, salad, butter, cutlery ect. One of best curries I have ever tasted was onboard, I don’t know what the dish was called but it incredible I have never since found any curry like it.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After meals its time to relax, the seats can be converted into any angle you desire. You are also offered to use duvets if you wish but I always op to just rest on the already comfortable seats.

Finally just before landing you are given towels to freshen up and a ‘Fast Track’ card in order to pass through the airport quicker whether transit or arrivals. Should your aircraft be parked on a stand rather than a gate you will be transferred to the terminal on a special business class shuttle, whereas its interior is amazing all passengers get their own leather seat nobody stands.

20161222_074039 (2).jpg

Overall using Emirates into Dubai is an experience not to be missed, it is 6 hours flight that you wish to be a little longer no matter whether travelling economy or business. The airline deserves its premium reputation and definitely has a fan in me, in my opinion a five star airline through and through.

Back to Emirates Review

Review: Emirates Business Class Lounge

Lounge

I have been to the ‘Emirates Business Lounge’ at Dubai international airport four times and twice at their Heathrow lounge. Although I paid for some of my business tickets, my ‘Skywards Silver card’ gave me free access to the lounge at its Dubai hub even though I was travelling in an economy ticket. Although the Heathrow lounge is only exclusive for those with business or first class tickets and not silver skyward holders.

20151229_023042 (2)

London Heathrow Lounge

Emirates lounge in Heathrow terminal 3 is situated between departure gates 5 and 7. It is directly connected to the departure gates that the airline departs from so you can board the aircraft straight from the comfort of the lounge.

20161221_182827

The facility was incredible, it had everything you would expect from a business class lounge but to the highest standard even though this is an outstation. First thing you notice once entering is the view of the runway and aircraft (one of which is your flight). Moreover quality leather seats complete with tea tables are appropriately placed facing the view, giving a private peaceful, relaxing ambience to start your journey. On either side of the lounge there will be dining areas whereas the left side is notable for light snacks whilst the right side having a buffet for heavier meals. These sections will also include the beverage areas, in which you will be spoilt with a comprehensive selection of the most notable brands of champagne, beers, wines, coffee, tea, juices and even the water which is Voss.

20161221_170454.jpg

A good selection of magazines and newspapers from local and foreign publishers are also available. However I do not think that you are allowed to take them to the aircraft with you.

There are also quiet business areas hidden at the back but I believe the essence of this lounge was to relax and not to work. Attendants at all corners of the lounge was ever present whether cleaning, refilling or taking care of passengers which was really good to see. The whole ambience of this lounge is plush although you feel comfortable enough to make yourself feel at home.

Dubai Lounge

The Emirates business class lounge which is separate from their first class is something out of the ordinary. Each concourse of the Dubai International Airport (DXB) A, B and C has separate lounge. All the lounges has its own floor above the common area and spans each end of the terminal.

20170312_211634.jpg

Firstly all I can say is that the lounge is a world of its own. What isn’t there?

As you reach the reception to the lounge you are surrounded by pure extravagance. You are firstly checked in by one of their receptionist and upon entry they remind you of your flight and gate, they also warn you that there is no flight calls and that each individual is to watch their own time.

20160606_034809 (2).jpg

Once going through the reception you can roam anywhere you want, but you are always directed to the area nearest to your gate. You will be spoilt for tables, seats and sofas to relax all of which are high quality. Every single detail is top notch from plants to the lighting all gave the classy ambience of this place and as the lounge is so large you will never need to sit next to another passenger if you don’t want to.

Numerous snacks and dining areas are available, there is a help yourself buffet with huge selection for all types of diets. Only problem I found as a lone traveller is that I had to leave my bag unaccompanied whilst getting my food, a bag drop would’ve been nice but I guess I cant ask too much. A smoking section is also available openly connected in one of the furthest point of the lounge and quiet surprisingly not in a confined room but just like the rest of the lounge plenty of seats, tables, sofas and its own dining facility.

20160317_091110.jpg

Dining in any lounge is not the best, and you should never expect restaurant quality. The food (buffet) are laid out in a beautiful way, it is frequently cleaned, refilled and topped-up by the very consistent staff. There is plenty of food and drinks from around the world from rice dishes, salads, curries but for me although very delicious some food can be cold, hard, wet or oily (not all the time) but don’t be put off as dining here is still superb. The Emirates lounge also offers Haagen Daz ice cream, Costa coffee and many of the best alcoholic brands from around the world so if you want a cheeky drink before your flight just know your going to get the best. If you think something you want is unavailable, just ask the staff because they might just have it.

 

Other facilities in the lounge include business and children areas. The business area had booths some with computers and some empty which I can only imagine it to be for personal laptops, there was a meeting room but I cant remember if there was printing and scanning devices. I didn’t go inside the childrens area but from the outside you can see computers, gaming consoles and small play areas, so if you manage to go with your family you can leave the kids there ad enjoy your own time.

There are also places to fre20151229_023225.jpgshen up apart from the toilets there is also a showering facility for use. Toilets are also above average, the cubicle are separated floor to sealing meaning optimum privacy whilst the washing area have free disposable toothbrush, combs, shave and towels nicely arranged. An attendant is also always present in the toilets keeping them clean and tidy. There is also shoe shining stands if you are someone who needs to look the part. Finally if you have a long wait till your next flight there are also very private napping areas, little booths which include blankets pillows and blindfold packets.

In conclusion the Emirates lounge in DXB airport is like being in a whole new airport specially for premium customers. The layout and design is carefully thought out and you can see they have invested highly for such an astonishing facility with great furniture artwork and services. Staff are ever present even at midnight which is reassuring for passengers. Heathrow’s lounge is also amazing, its strategic location and views are remarkable and again the furniture and decoration give a very luxurious feel. Overall the Emirates lounge gives their passengers the smooth and comforting journey ahead or in transit, business passengers are able to work conveniently whilst holiday makers can start to enjoy their holiday at the airport. Everything in the premises have utmost quality and character consistent with the overall airline.

 

Back to Emirates Review

 

Reference:

https://www.emirates.com/uk/english/experience/cabin-features/business-class/

Review: Emirates Airlines

The Airline

Emirates airline is the flag carrier of the middle east nation of the ‘United Arab Emirates’ and is known to be one of the most prestigious airlines in the world with numerous awards most recently being trip advisors ‘Best Airline of 2017’.

Brief

I am most passionate about this airline (I don’t work for this company) due to the many different services I have received throughout many years of flying with the airline. I usually fly Emirates when I to go to the Philippines (usually yearly) and although I could get cheaper flights elsewhere and use staff travel through the airline I work with, I always opt to fly with Emirates.

Please click on each chapter:

  1. Emirates at the Airport.
  2. Emirates Business Class Lounge
  3. Emirates Flight London > Dubai
  4. Emirates Flight Dubai > Manila

Conclusion

In overall conclusion Emirates deserves their prestigious reputation. Whether economy or business they have opted to compete at the highest level and resist the changing market to go cheap on their service and products. All my flights throughout the years have been consistent with very few to little flaws.

Back to Airline List

Reference

Emirates.com

Photos

Buisness class (https://www.flickr.com/photos/45236612@N00/3867029487/)

 

 

 

Tokyo

Type : City
Best Date : 
Sep-Nov, Mar-May
Expense :
Expensive
Things to do : Sightseeing, Dining, Shopping, kart tours, ect
Points of Interest: Meiji Shrine, Tokyo Imperial Palace, Senso-Ji, Ueno Park, Ginza District, ect
The Good: Friendly and respectful people
The Bad: Very complex and busy public transport, Expensive

Brief

Tokyo (formerly known as Edo) is the capital and the largest city of Japan. However the city or prefecture was not always the country’s capital, as this always moved around depending on where Japan’s emperors wanted them. Furthermore greater Tokyo is said to be the most populated city (according to worldatlas) and known to be an alpha world city the largest modern metropolis in the world.

20180531_205021

The Place

Tokyo was the third and last city I visited during my tour of Japan. My expectations before I visited was a bustling metropolis full of the most modern technologies and infrastructure. Researching before my travels I found the city to be very reputable, which has more acclaimed restaurants than anywhere in the world, even more than Paris. Furthermore it is said to be one of the most safest capitals in the world with the lowest crime rates  than any around the world especially against tourists.

Firstly one of the must do activity in Tokyo is shop, as the city known as the best tax free shopping around the world. Ginza is an upmarket district in central Tokyo which has the most famous brands such as Gucci, Armani, Chanel and many alike. Furthermore many nightclubs, hotels, cafes and restaurants are also around here.

20180601_100706

Another shopping area in Tokyo that centre around the younger audience is Harajuku and Aoyama. This is a small narrow street bustling with affordable garments, accessories, toys and adventurous deserts , souvenirs are also found here and I believe the best place to buy them.

20180601_114543

Shinjuku is also another place for shopping, and centred around the middle working class community. Here there are the  more affordable brands such as Uniqlo, Lumine, Muji and others alike. 20180601_013022

However probably one of the most famous shopping district around the world, due to its bustling atmosphere is Shibuya. Most notable for the ‘Shibuya Crossing’ which has featured in many movies such as ‘Lost in translation’, ‘Fast and the furious’ and ‘Resident Evil’. The crossing is said to be the busiest intersection worldwide and is beautiful moreover at night when all the lights make for a great picture phot opportunity. Restaurants fill the streets in this area and there are a lot more amusements such as arcades, karaoke and clubs.

Apart from shopping there are also various attractions you could visit in Tokyo, its newest attraction which opened in 2012 is the ‘Tokyo Sky Tree’, this is a broadcast centre which is fast becoming the city’s cover attraction. Including restaurants and a observation deck this building is inspired by traditional Japanese architecture and is a great place to go if you are looking to see the city from a different view.

A much older point of interest in Tokyo is the ‘Meji Shrine’ which is not too far from the world famous ‘Shibuya’. This shrine is located in a calm tranquil area in the middle of the beautiful ‘Yoyogi  park’, which is again a sight to see in the cherry blossom season. Completed in 1920 the shrine which is dedicated to the Emperor ‘Meji’ and Empress ‘Shoken’ is surrounded by ‘Meji Shingu’s Forest’ which is entered through 2 large ‘Torii Gates’ one in the northside and the other southside. Pass these gates there is still a serene 10 minute walk to the shrines complex and upon arriving there is plenty exhibitions such as banzai trees, artwork, rituals and many others. The complex itself had various traditional architecture which is an excellent place for photographer type tourists and is a definite must whilst visiting Tokyo. There is a lot to see in the vicinity of the forest and you may stumble upon the ‘Kiyomasa Wells’ and the ‘Sake Barrels‘. Overall I believe that this was the best place to visit in Tokyo.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

‘Tsukiji Hongwanji’ is an operating Buddhist temple with free admission for tourists. It is a landmark for the Tsukuji area. Built on 1657 this temple has had huge historic significance. For me it was just a simple touch and go visit, so I am unable to give more information.

20180601_083429

Next to the temple is ‘Tsukiji Fish market’ a haven for fish or sushi lovers, a place where wholesale fish occurs, viewers are able to observe tuna auctions. Moreover there are plenty sushi restaurants where you are able dine and also learn the trade. Other produce are also sold here so for any food lovers this market is worth visiting.

20180601_084329

Lastly the ‘Imperial Palace’ which is the current residence of Japans Imperial family. It is actually the location of where Edo castle used to be. An interesting fact was that the palace was destroyed during the world war but then rebuilt in the same way afterwards. Similar to that of Osaka castle the imperial palace is bordered by huge stone walls and bridges which are appealing but does get in the way of a good picture. Take note no visitors are allowed inside the complex nor the buildings, however guided tours are available for the palace grounds.

Other places to visit are the ‘Senso-Ji Temple’, ‘Mount Fuji’ and various other museums and parks but I didn’t have time to visit them so I wont write about them.

Conclusion

All in all Tokyo was an interesting metropolis, it was definitely the busiest place ive been, a working city just like London. However unlike Kyoto and its magnificent shrines, in my opinion Tokyo’s main appeal for tourism is its shopping and dining as it doesn’t have many historic buildings. In my opinion a 3 or 4 days visit is enough in the city, stay very close to central of Japan and most places should be walking distance.

Back to my Japan Trip
Reference:

According to worldatlas.com  (Population)
https://www.factinate.com/places/30-interesting-facts-tokyo/
http://www.globalblue.com/destinations/japan/tokyo/top-ten-most-interesting-facts-on-tokyo

Osaka

Type : City
Best Date : 
Don’t Know
Expense :
Expensive
Things to do : Eat, Theme Parks,
Points of Interest: Osaka castle, Universal Studio, Dotonbori, Osaka Aquarium, Umeda Sky Building
The Good: Excellent food, Very nice people
The Bad: Most confusing train system (Japan in general), Expensive

Brief

Osaka (formerly known as Naniwa) was the first known capital of Japan. Today it is the second largest metropolis in the country behind the country’s current capital ‘Tokyo’. Osaka was destined to be the political centre of Japan as the then general ‘Toyotomi Hideyoshi’ chose this city to build his castle only for his successor to shift the power to Tokyo.

Osaka is known for its food, nightlife and architecture especially in the Dotonbori.

The Place

Osaka was the first city I visited in Japan and my first impressions was that it was an industrial city as I saw plenty factories whilst travelling from the airport to my hotel.

20180528_181704.jpg

 

We stayed at the ‘Keihan Universal Tower Hotel’ near the ‘Universal Studios’ theme park.  Although far and complicated to travel to ‘central Osaka’ and other significant attractions in the city, it was a good clean area with its own characteristics. The area which is just outside the theme park is known as Universal citywalks it was a very lively place from early morning till about 11pm in the night full of performers, restaurants and other amusements. Food is plentiful and although expensive there are various local and western cuisine to choose from, whether a quick snack or finer dining ‘citywalks ‘ caters to all.  The nearest station ‘Universal city’ can get very busy at peak hours in the morning and evening from tourists entering and exiting the theme park, so if staying in the area it is would be good to plan timings of when to roam.

Universal studios was a great outing, but you will have to leave a whole day.

20180528_155916

Another Place we visited in Osaka is Dotonbori a very famous place for nightlife and dining, one of Osaka’s principal tourist destinations. Best visited at night the street which runs along the Dotonbori canal is lit by many luminous flashing lights full of different colours and shapes which equates to stunning photographic opportunities. Here we found a brilliant Japanese restaurant (forgot the name) where we tried the famous Wagyu beef.

Shinsabashi which is the next road parallel to Dotonbori is also a booming place at night, full of restaurants , bars, clubs and a traditional market.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Probably the cover attraction of the city is ‘Osaka castle’ which centres ‘Osaka castle Park’. The park in itself is beautiful and around the ‘cherry blossom’ season  it is said to be a sight to see. In the middle of the park is two large ring lakes surrounded by amazing thick steep stone walls which were built to protect the castle in the early years as this was a frequent battle ground. These walls are impressive and there are boat tours to see these walls closer. Furthermore around the park there are many attractions such as shrines, various gardens, an American world war factory, baseball field and an outdoor events stage. Various restaurants, cafes and food stalls are inside the park which is very convenient as the park is huge and can take a whole day to roam. However the main attraction of the park is the ‘Osaka castle’ and its ‘Museum’, in my opinion the outside (of the castle) is impressive but  inside not too much, although it has plenty of historic artefacts.

Central Osaka (Umada district) is not much of a haven for tourist but a nice place to visit anyway. Here you can go shopping with many different modern outlets and dine at some of the city’s finest restaurants. ‘Osaka Station’ in itself is a nice place and aight to see, although very busy with workers there are many places to unwind.

Just outside Osaka station you will see the famous and spectacular ‘Umada sky building’ with the ‘Kuchu Teien Observation deck’ which is a floating garden above the two towers. Here you can see the whole of Osaka.

Osaka_Umeda_Sky_Building_1

Lastly another place that must be visited whilst in the city is ‘Kaiyukan Osaka Aquarium’, which is one of the largest in the world. A popular amusement and one in a few which houses the enormous  whale shark which they also use as their mascot. This aquarium has been the best so far with a diverse collection of creatures from mammals such as sealions and seals, birds such as penguins and the many fishes from around the world. The ‘Tempozan Ferris wheel’ and ‘Legoland’ are also based within the area, however I didn’t bother going to them as I believe they are more for the younger audiences.

20180529_144538

There are other places to see in the Osaka prefecture (city) that I didn’t or couldn’t visit due to the time I had. I decided to leave shrines and temples for my next city (prefecture) Kyoto as that was the place for it. Otherwise the only places I missed out were other districts and amusements such as Tennoji zoo.

Conclusion

My visit to Osaka City (Osaka prefecture)was interesting and a good place to start my whole Japan experience. The best way I could describe it was a smaller more conservative Tokyo (in my opinion). The city was busy and full of people with the train systems (like many in Japan) were a bit more complicated than other countries. There was plenty to do and visit in Osaka but the majority are modern amusements like the Universal studios, Lego land or Osaka aquarium. Osaka is not a place if you want to see shrines and temples as there is little to none, with the only significant historic structure is the castle.

Back to my Japan Trip

 

Reference:

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2157.html

Photo:

Brücke-Osteuropa (UmedaSky Building)