My 1-Week Solo Travel experience from Manila to Osaka and Kyoto

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Day 1: A Rainy Arrival and Local Flavors

I arrived at Kansai Airport in the evening, greeted by a soft drizzle that added a moody charm to my arrival in Osaka. Hungry and eager to taste something local, I grabbed a quick snack of Famichiki and lemon-dou, a perfect introduction to Japan’s convenience store delights. Not one to let rain dampen my spirits, I ventured out to the nearest McDonald’s at Tsujiki Market, relishing the familiar yet unique Japanese twists on classic fast food. All of this after I checked in to my home for the next 8 days, the Reborn Hotel just few minutes from the Shin-Imamiya station.

Day 2: Kyoto’s Timeless Beauty

Rising before dawn, I set off for Kyoto, aiming to catch the ethereal morning light at Fushimi Inari. The tranquility of the torii gates was a sight to behold. By 10 AM, I strolled through Gion, charmed by its traditional streets and wooden machiya houses. At lunchtime, I took a train to Kameoka for the Sagano Romantic Train. Despite a delay, I arrived in Arashiyama by 4 PM and was instantly captivated by the serene bamboo grove. Dinner was a quick yet satisfying affair at Kyoto Station’s underground food court, a bustling hub of delicious options.

Day 3: Universal Studios Japan Extravaganza

I spent the entire third day at Universal Studios Japan. Arriving before 8 AM, I immersed myself in the fantastical attraction at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Super Nintendo World (yes, I shared a tip on TikTok how to secure a timed entry ticket), and Jurassic Park. I took advantage of my RCBC JCB Platinum card by resting at the lounge at The Flying Dinosaur ride. The best part other than the free refreshments is I got to receive an instant pass for the ride. Yep, that’s two rides in a row without having to queue.

By 7 PM, exhausted yet exhilarated, I headed back to Osaka for a sumptuous dinner at Gyukatsu Motomura. The evening continued with a leisurely stroll around Dotonbori, where the neon lights and lively atmosphere made for perfect window shopping and future shopping plans.

Day 4: Tranquility in Nara and Matcha Magic in Uji

Opting for a more relaxed pace, I spent the day in Nara. I basked in the peace of Nara Deer Park, dotted with sakura blossoms and curious deer. After the feeding session with the deer and a peaceful stroll at the park, I took a bus ride to Nakatanidu Mochi Shop for a live demonstration of mochi making—an experience that was both fun and delicious.

In the afternoon, I made my way to Uji, known for its matcha. I stayed until sunset, soaking in the serene views and savoring every matcha-infused bite. Back in Osaka, an impromptu visit to BookOff+ in Dotonbori yielded fantastic deals on sneakers, pants, and coats—all for less than 3000 yen. Turns out my decision to fly out of the Philippines with an empty luggage is the right decision.

Day 5: Marine Marvels and Shopping Sprees

After my morning workout at an Anytime Fitness nearby, I spent the afternoon at Kaiyukan Aquarium. The diverse marine life and playful penguins mesmerized me. As the sun set, I enjoyed a panoramic view from the Ferris wheel outside the aquarium. Evening shopping took me to Uniqlo and GU, where the incredibly low prices on high-quality clothing thrilled me.

Day 6: Pokemon Cafe and Architectural Wonders

Determined to experience all Osaka had to offer, I started my day at the Pokemon Cafe. I was unable to secure a schedule but waiting paid off because after queueing at the waiting area for about an hour, I was able to get in and grab a table. I indulged in whimsical, Pokemon-themed dishes.

I remembered that one of my pre-flight purchases was the Osaka E-Pass from Klook. So, I then explored the Umeda Sky Building. The futuristic escalator tunnel was even more stunning in person. My day continued with a ride on the Hep Five Ferris wheel, in which I enjoyed the sunset views of the city. I ended the evening with a delicious and budget-friendly katsudon at a hidden food court gem just underneath Umeda.

Day 7: A Day of Serendipity

With no fixed plans, I embraced the freedom of exploration. Starting at Tennoji Zoo, I enjoyed a leisurely morning before heading to Denden Town, where the tech deals almost tempted me into buying a discounted MacBook.

Comic shops and adult stores showcased the district’s unique nature. Juicy strawberries from Kuromon Market were a delightful treat. With more shopping at 2nd Street and Donki in Dotonbori, I ended the day with a new luggage purchase to carry my expanding collection of finds, treats, and souvenirs.

Day 8: The Grandeur of Osaka Castle

My final full day in Osaka began with a late start, but exploring Osaka Castle was worth every minute. The vast grounds and historical exhibits fascinated me, and I was surprised by how much there was to see and do. Finishing my visit by 4 PM, I indulged in a final, delicious yakiniku dinner.

Day 9: Farewell to Osaka

Rising early, I enjoyed a last meal in Namba and indulged in some final shopping at Dotonbori. With my bags packed and heart full, I boarded the train to Kansai Airport, ready to return to Manila. This trip to Osaka had been an incredible journey filled with unforgettable experiences, culinary delights, and countless memories. I am counting the days to when I return in Japan to experience winter, probably in Sapporo and Tokyo this time around.


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