KMU Focus

A Lovely ‘Whistle-Stop’ Tour to Japan in Freezing January

  • 15.03.18 / 박차현

On 28 to 30 January, I went on a short but eventfultrip to Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. I took a flight from Gimpo airport in the dark break of day and just over one and half hours later, I arrived at Kansai airport. The Japanese-styled beautiful flight attendants and staff at the airport welcomed visitors with a friendly smile, and they made me realize that I was in Japan!

Day 1
Kinkaku-ji → Heian Shrine → Kiyomizudera → Dotonbori

After arriving at Kansai international airport, I rode on a monorail to exit the airport and start my trip. It was really refreshing to pass the small cute stores, because unlike Korea, there were few franchised shops and English signboards. Except for the convenient stores like Family Mart, it was common to see very different and distinctive designs for each shop, and they all had a strong atmosphere of Japan which attracted the tourists’ eyes.
First of all, I went to Kinkaku-ji, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. It is famous for its exterior which is plated with gold and a picturesque lake that mirrors the golden temple. It was so thronged with foreign tourists as well as Japanese students that I had to compete to take photos of the dazzling view of the golden pavilion. In addition to the temple, there was calm and beautifully designed forest trail. I strolled down the road, and saw small ponds where visitors threw in coins to make their wishes.
After that, I went to the Heian Shrine which has a 24 meter high elaborate entrance, and it was extremely overwhelming. I was a little disappointed with the restoration of this building since the paint color was too bright and it seemed incongruous with the old heritage. Not knowing that the garden called ‘Shin-En’ at back of the shrine was well-known for its beauty; I left the place without seeing it and regret it now. To the readers, I recommend that you go and see the hidden garden! 
Next, I went to Kiyomizudera, known as the ‘Pure Water Temple’. Located on precipitous cliffs, visitors can see an extraordinary and breathtaking view of the city from the veranda of main hall. It looks out onto Otawa Waterfalls, whose waters are divided into three streams. According to legend, the water from each stream grants the drinkers’ wishes: health, academic success, love. (Note: do not drink from all three of the streams or bad luck will pursue you, as you will be considered greedy.) I was desperately hoping to drink water from the stream of love, but I had to give up due to the long queue. I was so sad that I had to leave.
In the evening, I went to Dotonbori in Osaka to have dinner. It is a bustling shop street quite similar to Seoul’s Myeong-dong. The big unique signboards had octopi, dragons, crabs, cats and so on to woo strangers to come to them. At last, I found a ramen restaurant named Kamukura and ordered ramen. As it turned out, the restaurant was one of the three most delicious ramen shops in Japan; however the taste was greasy, heavy and salty to me. An interesting thing was that people had to buy food tickets from a vending machine and all the seats were arranged in a line, so everyone had to have their meals alone.

 

 

Day 2
Osaka University → Tennoji Park & Osaka Municipal Museum of Fine Art → Dotonbori

The next day, I left for Osaka University to see campus life in Japan. Osaka University is located on a tranquil village and surrounded by tall trees. Many students were riding bicycles and there were many bicycle-only roads and parking areas. Also, I was surprised to see recycling bins and rubbish bins placed everywhere on the campus. Before heading to the next destination, I had lunch at a cafeteria. Most of the interior design and functionality of the cafeteria was similar to Kookmin, however, interestingly there was a green tea machine where you could get tea for free.
Ending the day’s tour, I returned to Dotonbori. I was nearly exhausted after walking through the long streets of Dotonbori, I reached to Ebisu Bridge unexpectedly . ‘Glico man’, the most famous billboard and an icon of Osaka, was running right before my eyes!

Day 3 & Flight Home
Osaka Castle → Nankin Machi (China Town) → Kobe Harborland → Hot Spring

After visiting the hot spring, I caught my flight to go home. In conclusion, it was too short to fully immerse myself in Japan’s attractions. Before going to Japan, I thought that travelling to nearby countries would not be exciting, and I always wanted to travel far away from Korea. However, this was my ignorance. Now I am waiting for an opportunity in the future to tour Japan again with more information and basic Japanese language skills. The trip to Japan was a fantastic getaway for me.

 

- The Kookmin Review

Kookmin Review Yeo-Jung Kwon(Guest Reporter) 이메일

A Lovely ‘Whistle-Stop’ Tour to Japan in Freezing January

On 28 to 30 January, I went on a short but eventfultrip to Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. I took a flight from Gimpo airport in the dark break of day and just over one and half hours later, I arrived at Kansai airport. The Japanese-styled beautiful flight attendants and staff at the airport welcomed visitors with a friendly smile, and they made me realize that I was in Japan!

Day 1
Kinkaku-ji → Heian Shrine → Kiyomizudera → Dotonbori

After arriving at Kansai international airport, I rode on a monorail to exit the airport and start my trip. It was really refreshing to pass the small cute stores, because unlike Korea, there were few franchised shops and English signboards. Except for the convenient stores like Family Mart, it was common to see very different and distinctive designs for each shop, and they all had a strong atmosphere of Japan which attracted the tourists’ eyes.
First of all, I went to Kinkaku-ji, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. It is famous for its exterior which is plated with gold and a picturesque lake that mirrors the golden temple. It was so thronged with foreign tourists as well as Japanese students that I had to compete to take photos of the dazzling view of the golden pavilion. In addition to the temple, there was calm and beautifully designed forest trail. I strolled down the road, and saw small ponds where visitors threw in coins to make their wishes.
After that, I went to the Heian Shrine which has a 24 meter high elaborate entrance, and it was extremely overwhelming. I was a little disappointed with the restoration of this building since the paint color was too bright and it seemed incongruous with the old heritage. Not knowing that the garden called ‘Shin-En’ at back of the shrine was well-known for its beauty; I left the place without seeing it and regret it now. To the readers, I recommend that you go and see the hidden garden! 
Next, I went to Kiyomizudera, known as the ‘Pure Water Temple’. Located on precipitous cliffs, visitors can see an extraordinary and breathtaking view of the city from the veranda of main hall. It looks out onto Otawa Waterfalls, whose waters are divided into three streams. According to legend, the water from each stream grants the drinkers’ wishes: health, academic success, love. (Note: do not drink from all three of the streams or bad luck will pursue you, as you will be considered greedy.) I was desperately hoping to drink water from the stream of love, but I had to give up due to the long queue. I was so sad that I had to leave.
In the evening, I went to Dotonbori in Osaka to have dinner. It is a bustling shop street quite similar to Seoul’s Myeong-dong. The big unique signboards had octopi, dragons, crabs, cats and so on to woo strangers to come to them. At last, I found a ramen restaurant named Kamukura and ordered ramen. As it turned out, the restaurant was one of the three most delicious ramen shops in Japan; however the taste was greasy, heavy and salty to me. An interesting thing was that people had to buy food tickets from a vending machine and all the seats were arranged in a line, so everyone had to have their meals alone.

 

 

Day 2
Osaka University → Tennoji Park & Osaka Municipal Museum of Fine Art → Dotonbori

The next day, I left for Osaka University to see campus life in Japan. Osaka University is located on a tranquil village and surrounded by tall trees. Many students were riding bicycles and there were many bicycle-only roads and parking areas. Also, I was surprised to see recycling bins and rubbish bins placed everywhere on the campus. Before heading to the next destination, I had lunch at a cafeteria. Most of the interior design and functionality of the cafeteria was similar to Kookmin, however, interestingly there was a green tea machine where you could get tea for free.
Ending the day’s tour, I returned to Dotonbori. I was nearly exhausted after walking through the long streets of Dotonbori, I reached to Ebisu Bridge unexpectedly . ‘Glico man’, the most famous billboard and an icon of Osaka, was running right before my eyes!

Day 3 & Flight Home
Osaka Castle → Nankin Machi (China Town) → Kobe Harborland → Hot Spring

After visiting the hot spring, I caught my flight to go home. In conclusion, it was too short to fully immerse myself in Japan’s attractions. Before going to Japan, I thought that travelling to nearby countries would not be exciting, and I always wanted to travel far away from Korea. However, this was my ignorance. Now I am waiting for an opportunity in the future to tour Japan again with more information and basic Japanese language skills. The trip to Japan was a fantastic getaway for me.

 

- The Kookmin Review

Kookmin Review Yeo-Jung Kwon(Guest Reporter) 이메일
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