We’ve come to the very last post on my Japan trip series! On this post, we leave Kyoto and head for Nagoya. But before that, we visit one of Kyoto’s popular market places, the Nishiki Market.
The Nishiki Market is a shopping street lined by more than a hundred shops and restaurants! The market specializes in everything ‘food’. From fresh, raw ingredients to take-away food like onigiri and yakitori, you’ll definitely experience Kyoto’s food scene all in one glorious location.
After a very quick stop at the market (we were lost most of the time), we boarded our bus and headed for Nagoya!
Our first stop in Nagoya was a theme park dedicated to flowers, Nabana no Sato.
Nabana no Sato is most famous for its Winter Illumination and is claimed to be the best one in Japan. Don’t know what Winter Illumination means? Check out the photos below! Although it wasn’t the winter season when we visited, they still turned on the light spectacle for us at night.
But before that, we got to walk around the park while the sun was still setting and the air was freezing.
I had to quickly ditch the outdoors and seek refuge in the warmth of their indoor garden. The place was magical, though! It had tons more flowers than the outside!
I exited the toasty garden and was met with the chilly breeze of a Nagoya evening. The sun had set and the garden was ablaze with lights!
And when it was time for us to leave, that was when we found the tunnel. Thousands of fairy lights formed the tunnel that seemed to go on and on and on! Sadly, we didn’t get to walk all the way through. I managed one good photo though!
After a good night’s sleep, we all awoke for our last day out in Japan! Nagoya was ripe for the taking and our very first stop was, of course, Nagoya Castle.
Most of the castle buildings were destroyed in air raids of 1945 so the current structure is a reconstruction. It now contains a modern museum with exhibits of the castle’s history.
The items that are most well known to be associated with Nagoya Castle are the Golden Dolphins, or kinshachi.
These dolphins have had quite a history. They were consumed by flames during the Second World War. Their golden scales were stolen by a thief who climbed the scaffold. In total, these dolphins were stolen three times since the Meiji era. (How do you steal a 1,200 KG gold-plated dolphin statue!?)
After a quick tour of the castle, the next itinerary was shopping! We had two options: shop at Sakae or shop at Osu. I chose to go meet friend, Yuu, instead! She basically indulged all the things I wanted to do that I still didn’t get to do in Japan.
Number one: Visit a Pokemon Center.
Because, come on, guys, it’s Japan! Words cannot describe how I felt when I was standing there. I geeked out too much. I wanted to buy everything! But money! D:
Why did I have to visit this place on the last day of our trip, when funds are low! I mean, there’s an Arcanine there waiting for me! And that Raichu! And those Eevee-lutions! Writing about this is making my heart ache!
I got to take home one Pokemon with me though. Since I can’t buy every single Pokemon plushie there, I bought one Pokemon that is also every other Pokemon. A ditto! It’s so fluffy!!!
Second: Visit a Cat Cafe!
We went to Osu looking for one and we chose the first one that we saw. This was hidden away on the top floor of a building. It was tiny and the “cat cafe” shared the floor with a rather shady maid cafe. I say shady because we saw a flashing red light that hinted other stuff might be happening in there, and I say “cat cafe” because, well… it wasn’t what we both had in mind. We were ushered into a very tiny room that had its air-conditioner set to warm. The cats were there but there were no chairs or tables like a normal cafe. It was just a room with one low table… and a man who was asleep on the floor.
The cats were awesome, though. They barely did anything but they were pretty.
Lastly, spend all my extra coins on gachapons.
Gachapons (or gashapons) are those vending machines that spit out capsules with toys inside them. There are TONS of these machines and each one has a different set of toys that you can collect. Like, there would be one that’s solely Pokemon keychains or one that’s all Neko Atsume figures. What’s so great about these machines and these toys are that they’re not low quality at all! Every toy or item is well made and you’re guaranteed to love whatever it is you’re going to get.
Yuu brought me to this one hole-in-the-wall gachapon paradise that literally had every inch of their walls fitted with a gachapon machine. Let’s just say my wallet was considerably lighter and my luggage considerably bulkier.
And there we have it. The end, officially, of my sojourn in Japan. We left the next day and my heart is forever looking forward to going back! Someday soon, I hope!
Check out the rest of my trip with the links below!