On the 18th, we went to Nagoya – my dad asked me if I’ve been before and I said no, other than for transfers and stuff. But then as we walked I realised the streets looked familiar, and near Osu Kannon I remembered that not only I’ve been there before, I actually stayed about 2 minutes away from the temple grounds during my last stay. It had been for an Arashi concert, and so I had forgotten most of the non-Arashi related details. I think Salwa (who had gone to the concert with me) and I didn’t even go to the temple, despite it being one of the main tourist attractions there, which is a shame since on the other side is a shopping street that includes a halal stall, where my family ate in this trip. One of the staff was a Malaysian student doing part-time work.
On every 18th and 28th of the month there’s a flea market at the temple grounds, selling antiques and secondhand goods. Since we chose to go on the 18th, we spent some time browsing through the stalls – I ended up buying a cute wooden antique broach for myself, and a Wedgwood jewelry box for my mother. I was tempted by all the laquerware being sold, and the antique cameras, but those would have been difficult to bring back.
We also went to the Tokugawa Art Museum and its adjoining garden, because Neville wanted to see weapons and armour, and my mother likes gardens. I loved the textiles and the laquerware on display. We got back to Osaka pretty early, though, and went out to Dotonbori for dinner.
The 19th and 20th were our last two days in Japan, during which we stayed in Osaka. We went to Kaiyukan (the aquarium) on the 19th and spent half a day there, before shopping a little and heading to Shinsaibashi for food and, er – more shopping (in my sister and Neville’s case, that is.)
Our last day was spent at Universal Studios, because of one reason only: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I don’t know why, I’m not that big a fan of the books (not compared to some of the other children’s fantasies I love) but they still have a strong hold over me. Both my sister and I got Ravenclaw scarves, and I got a Ravenclaw pass case while she got a lanyard to use at work. We were at the gates of USJ about thirty minutes before they open (being kiasu) and left about half an hour before closing. I think we were all giddy and moody at the end of the day, because we had a lot of fun – despite the fact that it rained heavily most of the day! – but we were also going back the next morning.
I don’t really do a lot of touristing in Japan (may I remind everyone that I stayed near Osu Kannon without ever going there), mostly spending my time at concerts, shopping (most of my stationery are from there, and my manga, and CDs, of course – and then there are all those used bookstores!) or hanging out with friends instead. This last trip was fun because of that, and it made me want to travel out of Tokyo more, even as I miss Tokyo a lot, because in my last couple of trips I never spent more than two days there.