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A lifestyle blog by a London gal who loves plants, metal, bleaching my hair and Osaka

Thursday 29 October 2015

I'm going to Tokyo!

Hey guys!
I think you can tell by the title what this post is gonna be about, but I've finally booked a time when I'm going to Tokyo! And it's coming up pretty soon actually. (next week, scary) 

My boyfriend will be my tour guide, and hopefully I can see as much of Tokyo as is possible in 2 days ^^;; I think it's gonna be really fun! 

I've heard a lot about Tokyo, and most of it is actually not that good? I'm happy to be living here in Kansai because it's amazing! I'm sure Tokyo is great too but a lot of people have told me it's really busy and difficult to get around. We'll see I guess?

The places I really wanna go this weekend are: 

  • Shibuya/ harajuku obviously
  • Meiji jingu
  • Ueno koen and the imperial palace gardens
  • Shinjuku 
  • Asakusa
  • I also really wanna go up the metropolitan building and see the view~ 
  • I think Odaiba would be awesome to visit, but I don't know if there will be enough time.
There's so much to do! I guess I'll have to come back for round two!

Thanks for reading! I'll be sure to post about my Tokyo adventure soon <3
-Amy xoxo

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Katsuoji visit part three

This post is the last of my Katsuoji pictures. It is such a stunning temple! These pictures are mostly of the area around the main hall. We were so lucky because while we were there, we could hear the priests chanting and performing a ceremony inside the main hall. It was such a serene experience. I felt pretty irreverent taking pictures, so I waited until it was over. 

 More of the ubiquitous Daruma:
 The view was pretty amazing.

 We had to catch the last bus, but before that we found a quiet place in front of one of the buildings to sit and read/study for a while.

 The weather was in between sun and drizzly showers, which made a pretty beautiful background.

 We caught the last bus into Minoh, and had a cheeky curry at the Indian restaurant.
That's all from Katsuoji, I hope you thought it was as beautiful as I did!
Thanks for reading~
-Amy xoxo

Monday 26 October 2015

Katsuoji visit part two: Katsuoji

After the hike, we finally reached Katsuoji in the late afternoon. It is so beautiful there! Katsuoji means "temple of winners' luck". And there are a lot of Daruma dolls (pictured above) everywhere. I mean everywhere. You'll see what I mean. 
 First of all we decided to have a coffee and sit down, after having walked for a good few hours.
 The entry gate is so beautiful!
 They had a smoke machine going, which made it seem somewhat reminiscent of a theme park to me... But it still really pretty.
 They had a small shrine on an island in the middle of the pond:
 The Gate from behind:
 There were so many stone lanterns!

 The leaves were starting to change colour here too, I bet it is totally beautiful during Kouyou! (when the leaves are all colourful).

 There was a small building full to bursting with Daruma dolls!
If you didn't already know, when you buy a daruma, the eyes aren't coloured in. You colour in one eye, and then make a wish. When the wish comes true, you colour in the other one.

 There were also lots of mini daruma everywhere:
 They look almost creepy, right?

Next time will be even more Katsuoji pictures, stay tuned~
Thanks for reading (^O^)/
-Amy xoxo


Sunday 25 October 2015

Katsuoji visit part one: Hiking in Japanese forest and Minoh waterfall

Today's post is about a trip to Katsuoji Temple I took with my friends about two weeks ago. (see, I told you I'm behind on blogging about stuff...)
It was national sports day, so I had a day off class! Lucky~
There is a bus that runs to Katsuoji, but being the genki and adventurous types we are, my friends and I decided to hike there. It wasn't too tough, and the forest we walked through is completely beautiful!
In Japan, autumn, and the leaves of the trees changing colour, is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful times of the year. I can see the leaves are starting to turn red, and I'm so excited. 
Minoh, where I'm living, and Minoh waterfall in particular, are pretty famous for how beautiful the Momiji (red maple leaves) are. We have actually already visited Minoh Waterfall a few weeks ago, but it is so pretty and on the way to Katsuoji anyway so we stopped off there.

On the way to Katsuoji, we passed Ryuanji temple:

The waterfall area was so much more crowded than last time we went, but it's still pretty. If you want to avoid the crowds, I'd recommend going either in the morning or late afternoon though, not on a national holiday like we did.

If you visit Japan, please try and visit one of the beautiful forests!
I found some love graffiti! In Japan, instead of writing "Amy <3 xxx" people write both their names under an umbrella, because supposedly only lovers share an umbrella. I thought it was so cute! Japan doesn't seem to do PDA as much as in the UK, although I have seen people hold hands, and if people are drunk and its late they might kiss. Still, I think it's a lot more reserved than the UK. Maybe I'll write a whole post on PDA in Japan, or something. Anyone interested? :)
We found this really high ledge to climb out to and look down onto the valley. It was scary but such a beautiful view! 
We also found a viewpoint where you could see Osaka city:
The trees in the forest were so tall!

A lot of the trail had a disused feeling, because there weren't many people hiking there. Nature had overtaken a lot of the paths.
There are always a lot of signs saying "let's take our rubbish home". Translated into English it sounds horrendously patronising, but it's just a nicer way of saying "no littering".

There was a random pond in the middle of the trail. So beautiful, and the whole area was so still and peaceful.

There were a lot of fallen trees around too. I wonder if it was from storm damage? But a lot of them look like they were neatly cut down by people.

That's it for now, next post will be about Katsuoji itself. 
Thanks for reading! 
-Amy xoxo

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