Osaka/Nara, Japan

For our Chinese New Year holiday, my flatmate Hana and I decided to go and explore Japan for the week. I have always wanted to go and thanks to Hana’s excellent and adventurous planning and encouragement to get off my lazy bum (my Fitbit said I did approx 130,000 steps and walked over 90km throughout our stay), it was an absolutely amazing trip.

Our first stop was Osaka, to see the beautiful Osaka Castle and explore Dotonbori Street for the insane nightlife views and our first real Japanese sushi. I think I accidentally chose raw squid so it was an interesting first authentic dinner!

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On our second day, we visited the famous Nara National Park – which is now one of my favourite places ever. Apart from being probably the most beautiful national park I have yet been to- featuring the Todaiji Temple with the biggest Buddha statue I have ever seen- it is filled with hundreds of deer just casually wandering around among the visitors. It was beautifully sunny and also started snowing half way through the day, the first time I’ve seen proper snow in so long!

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During our time in Osaka, we stayed at Ark Hostel which I would definitely recommend. The staff were really sweet and friendly and it was in a great location with a lot of history.

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Next stop: Kyoto!

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