While in Osaka, the one thing everyone kept telling me to go see was the Osaka Aquarium. I am a bit of a pessimist because the Atlanta Aquarium where I hail from is the BEST in the world and I was skeptic to think that any aquarium could be as awesome as mine. But, I decided the best thing I could do for research's sake is compare and contrast them!
Me and my new Whale Shark boyfriend!
The Osaka Aquarium is the only aquarium in the world (other than Atlanta) to host Whale Sharks. The largest shark in the world, it is a vegetarian and super cute because it is covered in polka dots. And any respectable girl loves a pattern on an animal!
After my second day in Kyoto our entire hostel went off to the firework festival. When asking why this festival was happening the answer our host was, "It's summer and fireworks are fun." Reasonable answer, silly me for thinking all festivals have to have a deeper meaning. I must have been living in China for far too long.
We get to the metro to take the train to the festival and the train is SUPER crowded! We are so packed in there that is getting to point of ridiculous. There are many girls in beautiful kimonos and wooden shoes and I couldn't help but feel bad for them. I had a great conversation with a hot guy in a yukata and his very nice girl friend. Here's how it went.
First a little background info, before we started talking he got a text message and read it out loud to his girlfriend. What I heard : "Japanese, Japanese.... I want you, I need you." Girlfriend giggles and hits him.
I have to stand very close to him and say, "Gomen, nasai."
He says. "okay."
"My japanese is terrible."- me
"I speak no English."- him
"I want you, I need you."- me
On day two of my Japan journey I had to hit most of Kyoto in one day. Kyoto is a pretty easy city to walk. Since, I went to bed pretty early the night before I got up at 6 am on my own accord and took off on foot to find Sanjusanjendo Temple in Kyoto. This is the most famous temple in Kyoto for several reasons.
1) It is one of the oldest and most holy places in the city.
2) It is the site of the Toshiya archery contest (where the Japanese version of the Robin Hood legend was born.)
3) It is the temple in "Big Bird goes to Japan" where Barkley was scared of the statues and ran away.
For my birthday this year I gave myself a trip to Japan. I have always wanted to go since I was five years old and saw the PBS special "Big Bird goes to Japan". In this special he started out in Tokyo and got lost from his tour, then he meets a beautiful woman whom helps him get to Kyoto and then to Osaka to take his flight home on the 15th. So for my trip the number one priority was to go to Kyoto. The easiest way to get there is from Osaka airport. From there you take the JR line to Osaka and then switch to the Kyoto line. This will take you about an hour and a half to do. Thankfully, Air India fed me on the plane and was able to make this journey without my stomach falling out. I have a feeling that a lot of people would be dying of hunger by the time they got to Kyoto.