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Osaka

Capsule hotels - an affordable alternative to traditional hotels in Japan

Encapsuled

The experiment of a night in a Japanese capsule hotel

 Usually, it is close to impossible to find affordable accommodation in Japan, especially if you want to book rather spontaneously. A promising alternative – at least from the cost perspective – are the widely distributed capsule hotels. But how do those places work, actually? What about service and comfort? And who else stays there? I decided to find out for myself.Continue reading

Osaka Castle during Cherry blossom, Osaka-jo

Osaka – Japan’s number two

Five tourist hotspots under close scrutiny

Every year around the time of the cherry blossom there is only one destination: Japan calling! This year I wanted to see the castles of Himeji and Osaka amidst the blossom panorama. In order to prepare for the trip, I asked friends and colleagues for further recommendations on Osaka and got the same answers all the time: “One and a half days in Osaka are more than enough” or “Rather go to Kyoto instead”. Been there, done that, this time Osaka it should be. However, these comments basically made me even more curious about what Osaka would have to offer. Waste of time or underestimated destination? To assess this, I took a look at five different spots across the city.Continue reading

Daikodo, the main building of the Mitsonudo complex at Engyoji temple on Mount Shosha

Tracing the Last Samurai

Engyoji Temple on Mount Shosha – A peaceful refuge in the Himeji area

Originally, I had planned to head straight back to Osaka from Himeji on the morning of my second out of three days in Japan. Then, however, I coincidentally came across a brochure about the Himeji area and I read about one temple in the mountains close by which also served as location for the Hollywood movie “Last Samurai” some years ago. This attracted my attention and as Hikaru also recommended that site during our okonomiyaki dinner the evening before, I decided to postpone the trip to Osaka and went to Mount Shosha instead. This, in the end, turned out to be the best decision of the whole trip!Continue reading

Himeji castle in cherry blossom scenery - Burg Himeji in Kirschblüten-Panorama

Enjoying cherry blossoms in Japan

Travel report Himeji/Osaka (Part 1)

Japan for cherry blossom season – I think everybody has seen these magnificent pictures of heavenly landscapes or stunning buildings, framed into a mesmerizing dream of pink and white. Luckily, the Chinese lunar calendar offers the holiday of Ching Ming Festival during that period which allowed me to travel to the Land of the Rising Sun once again over a long weekend this April.

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