Night bus to Osaka – slept but didn’t sleep
26.01.2010 - 26.01.2010 9 °C
That unusual experience with at the hot spring bath concluded our stay in Tokyo. We were due to board a night bus (Willer Express) to Osaka, which was the cheapest option we could find. It was a pretty standard coach, as we chose the cheapest seating option as well. This made for a very uncomfortable nights sleep. I say sleep, when really we slept on and off for a few hours at a time so it didn’t really feel like it. We must have slept pretty well though, as the 9 hours journey didn’t seem to take long at all, and before we knew it we were departing at Osaka station at 7am!
After the earlier mistake on the first day of the trip we didn’t plan a repeat, so we’d already booked a hostel to stay at. We negotiated the trains relatively easily, and found the hostel (which was more like a hotel) with ease. Our accommodation is amazing. It is almost like a luxury hotel, complete with soft towels, bath robes, wired internet and even complimentary slippers! The whole place is immaculate as well. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the location. Shin-imamiya is a shithole. The people are pretty odd it’s safe to say, and everywhere seems dirty and run down. A stark contrast to everything we’ve seen so far in Tokyo.
The state of the surrounding area hasn’t been a major issue though, as there is not really anything to see there, so all that matters is that we are close to the station, and can travel to the sights of Osaka with relative ease. First stop for us was the Umega Floating Garden Observatory – a massive building that has a garden suspended between two very large towers and is supposed to offer stunning views of the landscape. Unfortunately that was also closed for the day when we arrived (an reoccurring theme!) so we decided to try out the Hep 5 ferris wheel instead. The Hep 5 ferris wheel is on top of a huge 8 storey department store, and also was an incredible experience. It felt like the London Eye, only 8 storeys up!
After the Hep 5 we headed for Osaka Castle. The surrounding parks were beautiful, and the plum/peach groves surrounding the outer moat looked amazing as they started to blossom. The scale of the castle grounds was incredible, and it was well worth the trek to reach its gates!