After spending time in Hiroshima – I then head to Osaka to revisit places where I used to eat – like Kuromon Market. One of the main thing that I wanted to do in Osaka is to take a day trip to Nara, which is not so far from Osaka. Apart from looking at deers (yes there were a lot of deers), and there were instances in which the deers were harassing me because I was holding some food. They were very smart I must say!
But the cool part about Nara in which I have seen many videos were the mochi making. I am definitely fascinated and I must say taking the photo below really made my trip to Nara worth it!
Timing for this was extremely perfect! The action, the faces – its just amazing. I love it. In fact to add to that, here is the video!
I must say – I did hogged the whole show, because I was sitting and observing the guys inside the window, and suddenly they decided to open the sliding door and start their show!
This was the result. It was warm and soft. Really awesome. Note that the warmness is due to the massive pounding. The taste was really brought up by the … sweat? no? who cares. It was damn good. One of the best mochi I ever had. Honestly 🙂
I also took the opportunity to eat some local Nara food in this quaint restaurant. Not sure the name, but the food was good.
The restaurant and its owner/chef
The awesome meal
I would totally recommend people to go to Nara. But to choose the right time because there were so many of Chinese tourist at that time. Note that when I was in Nara, it was a week leading to Chinese New Year, thus mainland China was about to start their long holiday! No choice “lah”, had to face the crowd. But honestly, they were so much more behaved compared to previous years.
This is my fourth city after Nagano, Kyoto, Kagoshima and Nagasaki of my jobless south tour of Japan. The way the route was designed is to go as far as I can first (long train journeys) and then move to shorter ones. In fact – after looking at the last 4 cities. It may not be a bad idea to have long travels on the train as long as those are Shinkansen.
According to Wiki – Japanese: çiɾoɕima) is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu – the largest island of Japan. Hiroshima, a name meaning “Broad Island”, gained city status on April 1, 1889. On April 1, 1980, Hiroshima became a designated city. As of August 2016, the city has an estimated population of 1,196,274. The gross domestic product (GDP) in Greater Hiroshima, Hiroshima Urban Employment Area, is US$61.3 billion as of 2010. This is 1/5 of Malaysia with 1/30 of the population!!!
Today is day 8-9 and I have surpassed a third of my jobless holiday. It has been great to be honest. Despite having withdrawal symptoms – I am feeling better now. To have time to think about life. Two things in my mind for sure – I wish I had travelled more when I was younger and I am wish I am much fitter. Not that current fitness level is stopping me for doing anything, but being fitter will allow me to do more!
Back to My holiday. Nagasaki is a port town. Back during the Shogunate era, Nagasaki is the only port that was opened to foreigners. In fact only to the Dutch. That’s why when you walk around Nagasaki – you do see a lot of Dutch influences. This is way before the English and American started coming.
Observing how the population works, I think the town is more of a trading town. There are not much of professionals around (like bankers and such). Well this could be because I am not staying at the posh area.
During my visit here, there were two major things that I visited and learnt. Gunkanjima(or Hashima) and Atomic Bomb.
Kagoshima is the furthest point that I am going in this trip. The strategy that I am employing is to go to the furthest point during the initial part of the trip (i.e. 3-4 hours train rides) and then followed by shorter train ride as I move back to Tokyo. Though this is the furthest point, it is not halfway point. Halfway point is planned to be in Osaka which is towards the end of next week, where I will spend approximately 2 days – just enough for two rounds of Endo Sushi (yes – it is a reason to go to Osaka) and scallops at Kuromon Market!
Kagoshima is a a port city, it is nearer to South Korea than to Tokyo. In fact, the weather in Kagoshima is an opposite reflection of the weather in Nagano. Few days ago – I was trekking in cold winter and now – it felt like I am in spring. The weather is approximately about 12-15 degrees Celsius. Pretty nice if you ask me.
The train ride here from Kyoto is quite long. It took more than 4 hours and required a switch of train in Shin-Kobe. As it is still a Sakura Shinkansen – there was no need to switch platform. Just need to change train. The following map shows the route that I took from Kyoto to Kagoshima:
This is Day 5 of my jobless trip to Japan. I have been bumming around for 1 week and the withdrawal syndrome is really catching up on me. The typical me will be trying to check on my email every 2.5 seconds or so, but given that I have quit from my current job, I don’t really have an email to check. In reality, I do have my previous work email but as I am on a long leave before my last official day, I should not be checking on my email as I do not want to do any work outside of my jurisdiction 🙂
Today – is about taking it easy. Rather than going round and round, today is about chilling, finding local food and wasting time. In fact – I think I only got out of the hotel about 10+ (excluding my usual morning walk). The objective today is head to the market and makan!