Thank God for Uniqlo, we got most of our stuff from there.
I insisted on taking my maid along with us as we needed extra help. So we had to shop for her too. New shoes, jackets, sweaters etc. That's why I hate winter holidays. Too much stuff to buy before the holiday itself!
We took Malaysia Airlines as usual. We collect Enrich points. Flight to Osaka was full and because we bought at the last minute, it was pretty expensive too. Economy ticket for my maid cost us almost RM2700 alone. Our business class ticket was double that. We took the same flight as the others on that trip. They booked a lot earlier and got really cheap tickets. Almost RM1000 less for economy class. Bummer.
We also booked the same hotel as the rest. They decided on Swissotel Osaka. Turns out the hotel is perfect. Especially the location as it is connected to Takashimaya and another big mall called Namba. Because it was a last minute booking, the only rooms available was the Executive Rooms on level 33 of the executive floor. We had access to the lounge too, which was pretty good. The view from our room was amazing.
The room itself was alright. Nothing to shout about.
The tour that they took is the Muslim tour. I must say it was pretty good.
Arrive Osaka at about 7am. Then we went to this fruit orchard to experience orange picking. Who would have thought we'd be picking oranges in Japan. Never in a million years.
The oranges were quite yummy too. We bought some and ate at the hotel. Yum.
After that they took us to Rinku Premium Outlet. It's exactly like Johor Premium Outlet but this is bigger. We had packed lunch there too. They gave us some halal Indian food and it was super delicious. We had to eat it outdoors and it was freezing cold!
After a few hours there, we visited a Masjid (I can't remember the name) and solat there.
Next destination was the Kaiyukan Aquarium. Spent quite a few hours there. Kids loved it.
Finally it was dinner time and we had dinner at a nearby restaurant at Tempozan called Babul Hayat
It is sort of connected to the Kaiyukan Aquarium. Food was quite good and the best was the Turkish ice cream!
We had breakfast at the hotel and tour bus picked us up at about 8.30am. We spent the whole day in the historical city of Kyoto. Kyoto is about 1 1/2 hours away or so from Osaka.
On the way to the first destination in Kyoto. We had a game of Bingo on the bus. It was quite fun! Everyone won something. Kids got excited playing too although they don't really understand the concept!
It was my first bingo experience! Haha
First destination in Kyoto was to visit the Kiyomizu Waterfall & Sannenzaka Street.
It is actually a temple up the hill and all the way up to the temple, you'll find all these amazing little shops selling all sorts of souvenirs.
We didn't bother going inside the temple but we did walk all the way up.
On the way up and on the way down, we stopped by some shops to get some gifts for family and friends at home.
We also found this little shop selling this yummy snack. It's halal too!
Next we visited the Kyoto Islamic centre and solat. This centre is a few minutes walk from Rose Cafe. A Turkish cafe we went for lunch.
Food was ok. Simple and nice.
After lunch, they took us to the Arashiyama Japanese Garden & Bamboo Grove. It's really pretty and cute. I love the walk. But it was freezing cold!
Amazing Japanese architecture and I love how pretty everything is. I also love the colours.
We spent quite a few hours there just walking around exploring the garden. Nothing much for the kids to do so they were quite bored!
The bamboo looked so clean and nice. I love it.
Next was lunch at the Matsuya Japanese restaurant. It was a traditional Japanese bento and it was quite tasty.
It was a long walk there! My mil almost couldn't make it! Poor thing. Luckily we brought strollers with us and the kids were sitting quietly in their strollers without much fuss. They were freezing cold too.
We didn't have to order anything as everything was pre ordered for us. It was a traditional Japanese Bento.
We were also given a piece of sashimi and tempura.
I was hoping we'd get to try all sorts of sushi but didn't get to. But nonetheless, I enjoyed my bento. It was my first time eating bento as normally I would just order sushi and sashimi and whatnot so this was surely a good experience. I didn't eat everything from the bento obviously but most of it I had was quite tasty!
That was the end of our 2 days tour. The 3rd and 4th day was free & easy.
We opted for universal studios for the 3rd day. The tour company arranged our transportation to and from universal studios and also took us for dinner on the third day.
Universal studio Japan was quite fun. It is a lot bigger than Singapore and lots more fun things to do especially for the younger kids. We enjoyed ourselves a lot in USJ.
Lunch was not provided and we had to walk out to find food. Food inside USJ aren't halal and not easy to find something you can eat. I mean, we were hungry and wanted a big meal and every big meal inside USJ weren't suitable for us. We were told even before we went inside that the only thing we can eat was popcorn! LOL.
We don't mind fish & chips or things like that but we didn't find any.
Since we only wanted to go for half day and didn't want to stay all day in USJ (unlike all the other tour group members)we decided to go out and have a meal at the Indian restaurant. Once you go out, you can't come back inside so we left USJ by 2pm. Our transport was supposed to pick us up to bring us back to the hotel at 3pm.
Food was alright but it's just weird how every briani rice is made from sticky rice.
After lunch, we took a stroll to HRC and got some souvenirs there. Then off to the hotel. We slept and rested for a bit. We didn't go anywhere after that but did walk around Takashimaya shopping mall before dinner. Takashimaya is a big mall and they sell quite high end products. Pretty expensive and high quality stuff.
The kids had fun at the Takashimaya kids club. It's a small play area but for some reason they love this magnet board!
My daughter loved it too! While they were occupied at the play club, I took a walk downstairs at their food hall! Omg I was in love! Didn't help that I was also hungry!
All their fruits look so nice and pretty! I love it and we ended up buying some fruits to eat in the hotel later.
Then we took a taxi to the halal restaurant nearby to meet up with the rest of the group. We were supposed to walk to the restaurant but mil couldn't walk anymore and so we decided to take the taxi.
The halal restaurant was alright. Mil was excited when she saw this egg thing to put toothpicks. She loved it so much she wanted to buy it.
After dinner, we went back to the hotel to sleep!
We went shopping all day at Takashimaya. A lot of damage done!
Woke up early to get ready to go home! We had breakfast at the Lounge and then waited for our transport to come and get us.
Their airport is pretty boring. Nothing great and nothing much compared to our KLIA. Not many shops.
Flight back to KL was ok. Food was crazy that I couldn't finish any.
In fact, the only thing I ate was the satay and appetizer!
Home sweet home!
I love this short trip. We did so much and saw so many things! I wish we could stay longer. I hope to come back and visit Osaka again someday!