Easy Japanese Recipes

Japan Trip 2012 vol. 2 (Kobe & Osaka)

Japan Trip 2012 vol. 2 | JustOneCookbook.comIn my Japan Trip 2012 vol. 1 post, I mentioned that we took Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) from Yokohoama to visit Kobe and Osaka in western Japan.  My best friend was getting married in Kobe so our family trip to Japan was planned so that I could attend her big day.  Also, my maternal side grandparents and relatives live in Osaka, so we extended our trip 3 more days to spend time with them afterwards.

We stayed in Oriental Hotel in Kobe, where my friend was wedding at.  It was a nice newly remodeled hotel and we enjoyed our stay.

Japan Trip 2012 Vol 2 1Our room, Breakfast Buffet, Bar (photo credit: Oriental Hotel)

At the hotel I had the breakfast and wedding banquet course meal for lunch.  I was very pleased with the quality of food they served.  I was way too busy socializing during the wedding so I failed to take the beautiful course meal.  The only photo from the hotel was the breakfast.  For breakfast, guests can choose Western style or Japanese style, and to share pictures for my blog I picked Japanese style.  All the basic Japanese breakfast dishes were served on the tray.  Tofu, pickles, Onsen Tamago (hot spring egg), seaweed, Nimono (simmered vegetable dishes), rice, Gindara Saikyo Yaki (Miso Cod), and Miso soup (from left top to right bottom).

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No, these are not the only thing that I ate actually.  You can also go to a buffet section to get the various side dishes including two different kinds of Chinese dumplings, stir fried vegetables, sausages, eggs, and so on.  At another area, there were various kinds of bread and pastries.  They also serve fresh fruits, yogurt, cereal, and several fresh juices at another station.

The afternoon after we arrived in Kobe was free so we booked tickets to KidZania Koshien in advance.  KidZania concept was created and developed by a Mexican founder.  It’s a child-sized replica of a city, including buildings, shops, banks, theaters, and there are vehicles moving on streets.  There was one KidZania in Florida in the US but it is now closed.  The first KidZania location in Japan was in Tokyo.

When a child enters KidZania, they are free to choose from any of the 80 occupations, from an airplane pilot to photographer.  For our children, we booked EAP (English Activities Program) since they are not very fluent in Japanese so there were fewer job choices.  However, the benefit of the EAP program is that kids in EAP don’t have to wait in line to work at job they want.  The jobs in the program are already pre-arranged so the teachers will leads the students from the assigned job to the next.

For that day, our children were assigned to work as a jet pilot (ANA airways), a factory worker at Coca Cola bottling plant, a pizza maker at Pizza-La, a worker at Idemitsu gas station, and a photographer at SONY Photo Studio.

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Our kids worked really hard from 4:30 to 8:00pm.  After each job is done they get paid a salary (play money).  For kids in the local area, they can save the play money in the bank.  Since we don’t know when/if we’ll return to Kidzania, we told them that they can spend all the money they earned at the department store (inside the complex as well).  I was going to help my kids pick their gift, but adults weren’t actually allowed to go inside the store.  They were happy with small toy they could buy with the salary they had earned on their job.

While I was attending the wedding, my husband took the kids to Suma Aqualife Park Kobe (須磨海浜水族園).  It was great because children were free and they got to see a lot of creatures and a dolphin show.

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After the park, they stopped by for the traditional western Japan snack – Takoyaki (たこ焼き).  It’s a popular street vendor snack in the Osaka area.

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Takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese pancake made of batter.  It’s cooked in a special grill with rows of semi-circles (picture above) and filled with diced octopus (tako), tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, and green onion.  After it’s cooked, they brush takoyaki sauce and customers have the option of mayonnaise, topped with aonori and katsuorubshi (shaving of dried bonito).

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The wedding banquet was over by 3pm and our trip continued to Osaka that day.  Kobe, which is known for Kobe Beef, is about a 25 minute train ride from Osaka.  For the next 2 and half days, we spend most of the time with my grandparents and my relatives.

While we were in Osaka, Sakura (cherry blossoms) were blooming everywhere.  It was so pretty.  My family took my grandparents out for Hanami (花見; flower viewing) in the neighborhood.  We walked around a little bit and took family pictures.  It was a clear sunny afternoon with beautiful blue sky, and everyone look up to see the full bloom Sakura.

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We didn’t have much free time but whenever we had some time for ourselves, my husband and I took our kids on mini sightseeing trips in Osaka.  We went to ride Tempozan Ferris Wheel at Tempozan Harbor Village next to the famous Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (one of the largest aquariums in the world).  At the time it opened in 1997, the Tempozan Ferris Wheel was the tallest at 112 meters, roughly 35 stories tall.

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Two of the cars were completely clear including the floor so we decided to take it for fun.  Below is the famous aquarium, Kaiyukan.

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And some views of Osaka Port.

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The views toward Osaka downtown.

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Later on that day my cousin and his wife took us for a walk to check cherry blossoms along the river near the Imperial Hotel.

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During Hanami (flower viewing), a lot of people picnic under the trees and enjoy the scenery.  Friends and family bring some food and drinks to get together to relax for the day.  You have to get to the best spots very early in the day to claim them because there are literally thousands of people along the river.

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Another afternoon, we went to see Osaka Castle.  We often stop by Osaka Castle because our kids love seeing it.  Here, the entrance to the Castle.

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We started to see the castle.

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Behind them, it’s the single biggest rock that makes up the castle’s wall.  Look at how tiny our children are.

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There were lots of tourists because of the cherry blossom season.  Some people enjoy the gardens but our focus was checking the castle so we continued to walk.  Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most popular castle to visit.  If you are curious about this castle, you can continue reading about it here.

Now here we are!

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It makes a huge difference when there is cherry blossom tree in front of it.  We went up to observatory in the central tower.  Just one picture from the top.

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On the way down to the main entrance to the central tower, we also quickly went through Osaka Castle Meusum (as our kids were too young and impatient to understand the history).

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The miniature figures show the scenes from the folding screen depicting the Summer War of Osaka.

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After seeing the samurai worriers, my son wanted to take a picture with the cannon.

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Lastly I’ll just show our lunch boxes we had on Shinkansen on the way back to Yokohama from Osaka.  Anago (sea eel) Sushi on the right is very famous in Osaka.

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Next Thursday, my husband will be a doing restaurant review at Japanese Teppanyaki dinner.  We had high quality Wagyu (Japanese beef), lobster, and more!  This was an unforgettable meal, so make sure you don’t miss it!

Continue reading Vol. 3 of Japan Trip 2012.
Before you go, please click HERE to read my interview with Kim at Cravings of a Lunatic!  You will find more about me and my blog.  Thank you for your support!
Posted in: Travel

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  • Purabi Naha May 3, 2012, 1:58 am

    Hi Nami! Osaka looks wonderful! We are planning to visit Japan in the near future and thus, your post was quite useful and informative. You kids are so sweet!
    Loved the sushis!

  • Maria @ Scandifoodie May 3, 2012, 2:04 am

    Such a beautiful time of the year to visit! I loved Osaka, my fiancé’s mum is from there :-)

  • Rathai May 3, 2012, 2:11 am

    I’m on a my lunch break and can’t wait to go through this post later. Your kids are so adorable!

  • CréAriane May 3, 2012, 2:16 am

    Thank you for this nice reminding of places I enjoyed so much ! Nice memories at Osaka castle and Tempozan Harbor Village !

  • Jill Colonna May 3, 2012, 3:52 am

    Wow, Nami – what a post! I so want to go to Japan, especially after reading this. It all looks so special. That hotel looked wonderful and the children looked like they had a ball like their parents. Love that they got a “salary”. Great idea for our kids ;-)
    Beautiful photos of your trip!

  • Joanne May 3, 2012, 3:57 am

    What beautiful photos! The trees with their pink blossoms are just SO pretty! And the food…so good.

  • Belinda @zomppa May 3, 2012, 4:02 am

    Stunning photos! First, that buffet is amazing – and love that you kept going back and back and back…I would too! Second…is that place only for kids? I SOOOOOOO want to do it myself! I would totally sneak in and pretend…it just looks awesome. Why can’t they do that for kids?

  • Choc Chip Uru May 3, 2012, 4:24 am

    I can’t get enough of these posts about your experiences my friend! Soaking it all in waiting to release them when I go to Japan one day :D
    Love it!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • Hiragana Mama May 3, 2012, 4:25 am

    Oh, jealous you got to go to KidZania! When my kids are older, I’d love to take them there. We did the Suma Aquarium too… I feel like I was in Osaka/Kobe with you, I took so many similar photos! :)

  • chinmayie @ love food eat May 3, 2012, 4:36 am

    SO sweet! You children look adorable in all the photos :)

  • Vicki Bensinger May 3, 2012, 5:11 am

    Nami what a wonderful trip with so many incredible places to see. I especially love Kidzania. Such a great concept for children to learn about working and saving their money. I’m curious, what does it cost to spend time at Kidzania? When you said your children worked there for 2.5 hours I was shocked especially at their age. They must have had a wonderful time. I will have to go back to view that link.

    I’m sure it was wonderful spending time with family and having the opportunity to go to your best friends wedding.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with such beautiful photos and cherry blossom trees.

    • Nami May 3, 2012, 10:13 am

      Hi Vicki! Here’s the cost for KidZania. I thought some people might be interested, too.

      This is basic price for 6 hours at KidZania.

      Children (3-6): Y3400 ($42 at current exchange rate)
      Children (7-12): Y3800
      Children (13-15): Y3900

      Adult (16+): Y1800
      Senior (60+): Y900

      EAP (English Activities Program) : Y6800 ($84 at current exchange rate)

      *You need to make a reservation for either Morning (6hrs) or Afternoon (5hrs) Period as tickets run out.

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover May 3, 2012, 5:20 am

    The kidZania place sound so fun, my kids sure like this place but I think they are now too old to enter this place. Beautiful and awesome cherry pictures, hopefully one day I am able to visit during cherry blossom period. Can’t to find out your husband restaurant review.

  • Eri May 3, 2012, 5:33 am

    It looks like you had a lot of fun! And thanks for sharing all those places you and your family visited. I didn’t know about KidZania, my kids will love that place. I will be sure to add that on my list of places to go when we get a chance to go back. And you are making me very very hungry with all those pictures of yummy looking food…

  • Eha May 3, 2012, 5:52 am

    What a wonderful post, Nami! I don’t know whether to concentrate on the beauty of the cherry blossoms [lovely photos!] or the sumptious breakfast at the Kobe Hotel :) ! Great also that the children had so many interesting things to do: had never heard of KidZania – can’t believe they wanted to leave! And the lunch boxes really call out to me . . . specially that sea eel!

  • Shri May 3, 2012, 5:55 am

    Nami! Just beautiful! Thankyou for sharing these lovely vignettes from your visits.
    It brings so many different perspectives.
    The Bento boxes are the best!

  • Laura @ Family Spice May 3, 2012, 6:16 am

    The city of Osaka looks so very modern! I loved all the pictures you shared, but I don’t think I could bring myself to ride on that ferris wheel!!

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking May 3, 2012, 6:24 am

    Nami, I enjoyed this part 2..What a beautiful photography! You brought Japan closer to us! Thank you!
    Btw I checked your guest post and it rocks! Loved it!!!

  • Charlie May 3, 2012, 7:05 am

    Morning Nami!

    I was just over to Kim’s blog, and your Teriyaki beef looks so so good!

    How wonderful that you have been a guest there :~D

    Have a Joyful Day


  • Jenny May 3, 2012, 7:23 am

    hi Nami, really enjoyed part 2 Those pics of the children at Kidzania are just too adorable – what a charming idea. Those lunch boxes are a work of art. How your family must have enjoyed seeing the little ones. Thanks for the great post.

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen May 3, 2012, 8:07 am

    Wonderful experience and great photos! I’ll keep this as reference for our next family trip to Japan. Kobe and Osaka are beautiful! Thanks for sharing, Nami! Glad to have you back.

  • Lori Lynn May 3, 2012, 8:47 am

    Hi Nami – I thoroughly enjoyed the visit to Kobe and Osaka.
    Would have definitely picked the Japanese breakfast too.
    Love the photo of the kids at the castle wall.
    Looking forward to your husband’s restaurant review.

  • donna mikasa May 3, 2012, 8:55 am

    Such a wonderful post! So lucky you saw the sakura in bloom, and your children had a marvelous time at KidZania! What a fun concept! The food looks fabulous–especially the anago sushi! I’m drooling…..Thank you for sharing your trip photos with us!

  • Susan Wenzel May 3, 2012, 9:05 am

    Thank you for sharing more pictures. It only makes me want to go back to Japan even more. We didn’t get to Osaka when we lived there but visited Matsumoto Castle when we were on a trip to Kyoto – it was quite amazing! I’m so gald you had a good time!!


  • Sanjeeta kk May 3, 2012, 9:46 am

    What a memorable trip, Nami..love those cheery blossoms..glad that you enjoyed your time!

  • nipponnin May 3, 2012, 10:10 am

    なみちゃんのお子さんたちって、すごいかわいいね。こんな写真を見てると、すっごく日本に帰りたくなるのよねえ。 この間、なみちゃんの肉じゃがを作ってみました。 私のよりも、上品な味で、美味しかったです。次回は2倍作って、残り物ご飯で、簡単な夕食を次の日にしようと思いました(すぐ食べきれたのでした)。 いつもブログにコメントありがとうございます。ココナッツカレーも美味しそう!

  • Kim Bee May 3, 2012, 10:10 am

    Nami the photos are incredible. I was just loving all the pics of the cherry blossom trees. We actually put in two Kwanzan trees a couple of years ago because I love them so much. We have apple blossoms in the back yard too that are about 40 years old. They bloom white so they look great with the pink from the Kwanzans. Your kids are so adorable. Love the place for them to play. We don’t have anything quite like that here in Canada. Love seeing photos of your trip.

    And a huge thank you for doing the interview for me. I am very honored and touched. xx

  • Juliana May 3, 2012, 10:13 am

    Beautiful pictures Nami…you brought so many memories of my visit to Japan a while ago…love the sakura blossoms…thank you so much for sharing all these precious pictures.
    Hope you are having a great week :)

  • Javelin Warrior May 3, 2012, 10:25 am

    Wow Nami – more stunning pictures and the hotel looks incredible. And not just the food either, but the decor as well… I’ve never heard of Kidzania before, but that’s such a cool concept and it looks like the kids had a great time (which learning)… I think my favorite photo is of the Tempozan Ferris Wheel all-glass car – that is so cool.

  • Sandy @ tinytinyfork May 3, 2012, 11:20 am

    These photos look beautiful and it makes me want to go to Japan even more! I’ve never been (even though I’m Japanese American) but the cherry blossoms and that ferris wheel look simply amazing! Great post :)

  • Sissi May 3, 2012, 11:30 am

    This second part of your trip looks even more extraordinary! You know I have once seen a tv program about Kidzania and thought it was so wise, educative and useful! I love the idea. The hotel breakfast looks so gorgeous! I am sure I would always choose the Japanese option (I hate sweet breakfasts and even more the müsli or cornflakes…). Oh, and takoyaki… My dream dish!
    The hotel room is so big and beautiful! I have heard so many times that Japanese hotel rooms are tiny, but maybe only in Tokio.
    I think I will take trains in Japan only to be able to eat gorgeous ekiben ;-)

  • Mika May 3, 2012, 11:33 am

    お花見に間に合って良かったね。うちもそろそろ日本に遊びに行こうかな〜 子供達が新幹線に乗りたがっているからね。私もたこ焼きとかお好み焼き食べたい!

  • Candice May 3, 2012, 11:46 am

    Hi Nami, Thanks again for sharing such beautiful photos and an informative post. My FI and I are thinking about going to Japan next year so this is all very useful information. I was especially intrigued with Kidzania as I’ve never heard of it and didn’t even know Florida had one at one point. I think it’s a great concept where kids can learn to work and save money at such a young age. =) I have put Kidzania on my list of activities to do in Japan (even though I don’t have kids).

    My favorite photo is the Tempozan Ferris Wheel. It looks so cool! I would love to ride on that.

    I just read your guest post/interview with “Cravings of a Lunatic”. Great job!

    Btw, I’m jealous your kids ate takoyaki. I love that stuff!!

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce May 3, 2012, 11:55 am

    I can’t believe how beautiful the tress look with all that blossoms and flowers, it’s like magic and so inspiring.
    Hey, here we have a kind of KidZania, it’s called Divercity, kids have to work in different places so they can earn money and spend it.

  • Katherine Martinelli May 3, 2012, 12:53 pm

    I love reading about your time in Japan! And your kids are just the cutest!! KidZania and everything looks like fun and the cherry blossoms are just beautiful. Have you read about all the controversy surrounding kobe beef in the US recently?

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts May 3, 2012, 1:08 pm

    Looks like an amazing trip. The Kidzania place looks like so much fun for kids. Great that you got to go to your friends wedding and see family while you were there.

  • A_Boleyn May 3, 2012, 1:38 pm

    What a wonderful post of another part of your trip. I’m really enjoying the stories of your experiences and all the lovely pictures.

  • Susie May 3, 2012, 1:45 pm

    Wonderful photos of the second part of your trip. Everything looks so pretty and the hotel looks amazing. It’s nice to see pictures of our family your children are beautiful. :)

  • Liz May 3, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Those cherry blossoms are magnificent, Nami!!! So many fun photos from your trip…you made it so enjoyable for your children! I’m sure they has a wonderful time.

    PS…I loved Kim’s feature on you!

  • Roxana Greengirl {A little bit of everything} May 3, 2012, 2:29 pm

    Hi Nami,
    what a beautiful post. I got a light home sick from your photos but I’m OK now :)
    I wonder why they closed the KidZania here in US. Looks and sounds like lots of fun for the kiddos.
    Going to check your guest post now

  • Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers May 3, 2012, 3:32 pm

    I looooove this second part (also the first part!). Your kids are so adorable Nami. You made me want to jump on a plane and go to Japan. I wish! Thanks for sharing your holiday photos!

  • Shirley May 3, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Wow! Love all the photos, and your kids are so cute. Looks like you had a lot of fun, though it may have been exhausting to do so much too. Looking forward to your husband’s review! I love teppanyaki, but I’m pretty sure the restaurants in the US aren’t very authentic, especially since the staff are usually Chinese. :)

  • Rebecca May 3, 2012, 5:26 pm

    So enjoyed your photos and reading about your trip. So glad it all went well and that you had cherry blossoms while you were here. (They were unusually late!) You certainly managed to get a lot in for the short time you were here!

    (What fun to read a blog about a visit to my stomping grounds – been an Osaka girl for over 25 years! 大阪ほっまに好きやねん!)

  • kat May 3, 2012, 5:27 pm

    looks like you had lots of fun!

  • Tiffany May 3, 2012, 5:36 pm

    Dolphins and cherry blossoms! I LOVED reading through your post and seeing all of your photos!

  • Ramona May 3, 2012, 5:41 pm

    Nami… Japan is sooooo beautiful!! I love that the kids got to “work” and make play money!! What a cool experience. I was just amazed by all the pictures. I can certainly see that you and your family had a wonderful time… what a great trip!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) May 3, 2012, 6:17 pm

    I love your cherry blossom photos, Nami. So pretty!

  • elisabeth@foodandthrift May 3, 2012, 6:41 pm

    I’m in awe of all the beautiful cherry blossom trees that they have in Japan. Not just any old cherry blossoms trees, but enormous ones, that I’ve never seen anywhere else.
    So cute with the kids making pizzas and getting paid with play money!
    Love all the beautiful photos and educational post you shared with us, Nami!
    Thanks so much for sharing your vacation stories and photos:DDD

  • Jen Laceda @ Tartine and Apron Strings May 3, 2012, 6:48 pm

    Nami, thanks for sharing this! Next time we are in Japan with our kids, for sure, we want to take them to KidZania! That’s such a brilliant idea!!! And those cherry blossoms!!!! So bee-yoo-tiful! I missed our cherry blossom season here in Toronto :( Now, I’m kicking myself!

  • balvinder ( Neetu) May 3, 2012, 7:06 pm

    Stunning Pictures!! Seems Like you all had wonderful time in Japan. The cherry blossoms trees look too good. In Vancouver also the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and look very pretty.
    Both your kids look so cute:)

  • Jennifer B May 3, 2012, 7:28 pm

    What a beautiful photo story of your trip! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading some of your recipes.

  • Lisa (AuthenticSuburbanGourmet) May 3, 2012, 7:29 pm

    Nami – what a beautiful post. I have never been to Japan yet I felt like I traveld there from your lovely post. Your kids are adorable. I absolutely love the concept of KidZania – what a fun things for your kids to be a part of. I need to put Japan on my bucket list – it is beautiful and full of magical culture.

  • Kristy May 3, 2012, 8:13 pm

    These are just fantastic pictures Nami! What a treat to get a glimpse of Japan. And those lunch boxes – yum! I probably could have eaten all of them. :) I think the thing that is most surprising to me is all the cherry blossoms. I had no idea they were so prevalent and they are just gorgeous!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious May 3, 2012, 8:39 pm

    Yay! More pictures. That hotel is absolutely gorgeous. And that takoyaki looks incredibly scrumptious!

  • Fern @ To Food with Love May 3, 2012, 11:54 pm

    Hi Nami…I enjoyed reading your post and all the beautiful shots of the places you visited. Makes me wish I could go there too, but it’s so far away….both in space and time! Wow, that’s a lot of takoyaki…I suddenly miss eating them! Love the bento boxes too….and the sakura…and your adorable kids enjoying the holiday that mummy and daddy brought them on!

  • Blackswan May 4, 2012, 12:33 am

    Gosh, those Cherry Blossoms shots are gorgeous! After seeing them, I’m too shy to post pix from my shopping trip in Seoul. Hahaha!

    I’ve been to all the places you’ve mentioned but not KidZania Koshien, tho’ I’ve heard so much about it. My kid is already 17, so I won’t have any chance to go unless I’ve a 2nd one. But, my factory has already stopped manufacturing. Lol!

    Did I hear Wagyu?? I’m a huge fan!!!

  • Steph May 4, 2012, 1:50 am

    Not gonna lie, KidZania looks like so much fun! I love that your kids got to pick their own purchases.

  • CC May 4, 2012, 3:38 am

    Thanks for sharing your adventures, Nami! It was such a pleasure reading it..it makes me want to go to Japan even more!! Especially for the sakura! Have a nice weekend!

  • Claudia May 4, 2012, 6:01 am

    What a scrumptiously edible and gorgeous posting. I love the opportunity for the kids “to work!” The castle, the cherry blossoms, the lunch boxes! All so welcoming!

  • Hotly Spiced May 4, 2012, 6:06 am

    Wow! What a great post Nami and so many images there. And I can’t believe I saw takoyaki! It must be a very popular dish in Japan. What a wonderful time you must have had in Japan, not only you but your whole family xx

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 4, 2012, 6:38 am

    Oh Nami! What a great post! And I had never heard of Kidzania before but it sounds brilliant. Oh to be a kid in Japan! :D Oh and psst I can eat so many takoyaki it’s scary! ;)

  • mjskit May 4, 2012, 6:45 am

    Nami – Another wonderfully enjoyable post about your trip! The pictures are gorgeous and the tale is very interesting and absorbing. I found the part about KidZania extremely interesting. Being a long time educator that concept should be adopted everywhere! It’s said that the only one we’ve had in the U.S. is closed. I guess Disney World is better than real life. UGH! Lots of interesting things in this great post! Love the hippy daughter’s T-shirt. :)

  • Arudhi@Aboxofkitchen May 4, 2012, 6:55 am

    Welcome home, Nami-san! It looks like you`re having a blast with your family!The photos really make me want to visit the Kansai area and The Kidzania sounds terrific! Looking forward to seeing the photos from your next post on the the trip :))

  • Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb May 4, 2012, 8:01 am

    AHHH Nami! I envy you, surely u ll be smiling reading that.

    I heard but hadnt seen the kids city before. Do some people come everyday there to train their kids or something? they get payed right, isnt that child labouring? just curious u know. ^.^

    AMAZING view and omg the castle. as u know I am fascinated by japanese history. The last samurai wars etc.

    Stupid question but… are there any geishas in this city?

    I was wondering that day what u guys eat for breakfast, I grew up with croissant and jam on the bread so its interessting and sometimes shocking to know that others eat differently. lol I always make fun of my husband who loves curry for breakfast (they all do).

    great impressions, thank you nami!

  • wok with ray May 4, 2012, 9:04 am

    Wow, Nami these photos are amazing, and it looks as you guys had a fabulous-fabulous time. See, we adults should learn good lessons from the kids. They work very hard but yet they don’t complain if they get paid real money or not for as long as they had fun! LOL! Oh my goodness your kids are adorable, Nami!

    ~ ray ~

  • Eva May 4, 2012, 10:28 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your vacation photos with us, Nami, they are indeed beautiful. It would be lovely to see photos of the wedding, if you could share them. The food looks amazing (I’ve never had Kobe Beef and would love to try some). I am looking forward to the restaurant review. I am not sure I will ever get over to Japan, but your photos certainly make it very intriguing. Thanks again for sharing.

  • Jeannie May 4, 2012, 10:35 am

    I dream of visiting Osaka one day, your photos are so inviting! loved every single one of it! I would love to witness the blooms with my very own eyes!

  • Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) May 4, 2012, 10:36 am

    Japan was already high on my list of places to visit (we were supposed to go last year) but you’ve just made me want to go even more. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures with us, Nami. Love seeing the sites, food and your kids. :)

    One of the things I look forward to when in Hawaii is the Japanese breakfast I get to enjoy at one of the hotels in Maui. I will shoot for that part of the breakfast buffet over bacon and eggs any day! :)

  • Jill | Dulce Dough May 4, 2012, 11:51 am

    Thank you for sharing your trip Nami! It is so much fun to read about your adventures and look at your pictures!

  • PolaM May 4, 2012, 2:46 pm

    This must have been a great family trip!

  • Valerie Brunmeier May 4, 2012, 3:46 pm

    I felt transported to Japan while reading this! Fantastic job Nami!!! Kidzania is such a great concept. They should definitely be doing that in the U.S. – I think it would really catch on. The flowering trees are just gorgeous. It will be easy to take hundreds of pictures of them. I’m glad you are back home and thank you so much for sharing your family vacation and the pictures of your adorable children with us!

  • Jay May 4, 2012, 5:34 pm

    Hy Nami,
    love osaka..your beautiful cliks tempts us to make our plan
    to visit there sooner..:)

  • Reese@SeasonwithSpice May 4, 2012, 7:07 pm

    The breakfast at the hotels in Japan always look so lovely! Every single detail just makes your stay enjoyable. So fun to visit Japan through your pictures, Nami. I specially love the picture of your son & daughter in front of the cannon. They look like they are such great siblings!

  • Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef May 4, 2012, 10:03 pm

    Nami, you couldn’t possibly have chosen a better time to be in Japan. Those photos are just magic! You must look at them again and again and have terrific memories. I’m so glad you got to be there for your best friend’s wedding.

  • love2dine May 4, 2012, 11:52 pm

    fantastic place to visit.

  • OishiiTreats May 5, 2012, 2:46 am

    Gorgeous pictures, I still haven’t traveled past Sendai yet but Osaka is diffidently on the list of must see places for me and hubby before we leave.

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) May 5, 2012, 4:38 am

    Oh wow, thank you so much for sharing these with us! It’s almost feels like being there as well. :)

  • Sawsan (chef in disguise) May 5, 2012, 5:33 am

    Thank you for taking us along this amazing trip Nami.
    When I was a kid we used to watch many Japanese animation mini series and I always loved the cherry blossoms! A walk down a street lined with cherry trees in bloom must be a very special experience.
    Thank you for taking pictures of the real thing :)

  • Parsley Sage May 5, 2012, 6:49 am

    Great post! The kidzania thing sounds SO amazing! I can’t believe the one in the US closed down…maybe kids there don’t wanna work ;)

    The cherry blossoms are spectacular. Like something out of a fairytale. How lucky you got to see them!

    And the FOOD! Loving those lunchboxes. Want!

  • Yi @ Yi Resevation May 5, 2012, 6:55 am

    Hey Nami thanks for sharing all these gorgeous pictures from Japan. I am a big fan of cherry blossom and the cherry blossom in Osaka is absolutely beautiful. I’ll travel to Japan just for that let alone all the delicious food and wonderful cultures. I can’t wait to make my way to Japan soon. Thanks for sharing!

  • Soni May 5, 2012, 7:45 am

    Oh Nami, every time you post your food pics, it makes me want to hop on a plane straight to Japan!!They look so delicious!!I just love the idea of the kids getting to work and getting paid!So cool..love the cherry blossoms and all the other lovely pics!You guys sure had a great time :)

  • nammi May 5, 2012, 9:16 am

    Hi, Need a huge favour, my son is celebrating children’s day at school and I offered to prepare some japanese dishes for the kids to see and savour, so could you please please mail me or direct me to wards some easy but authentic ones :) thanks

  • Food Jaunts May 5, 2012, 1:36 pm

    Oh I am in love with all of the food options! I really should take a vacation to Japan but when I fly that far around the world I always end up heading to the Philippines to visit my relatives. Maybe next time I can set aside a week in Japan first :)

  • Charles May 5, 2012, 2:56 pm

    Lovely photos Nami – that rock in the wall is HUGE… does it say how it was transported there?

  • Asmita May 5, 2012, 3:17 pm

    I would love to visit japan. What an awesome place and glad you had so much fun.

  • Medeja May 5, 2012, 5:20 pm

    It is so beautiful! I hope to go to Japan one day.. :)

  • Ryan May 5, 2012, 6:26 pm

    Hi! so enjoyed reading about your trip and seeing the beautiful pictures! It looks like you all had a great time with friends and family and saw so many beautiful sites! KidZania looks like the most amazing place ever! What a great idea for kids!! Also, I loved reading about the hotel breakfasts– I’ve only been to Japan once and it was for about 24 hours on my way back from China (so I’ve said since I must go back!) but we had the most delicious and beautiful breakfast served in the hotel– such a wonderful treat!

  • Reem | Simply Reem May 5, 2012, 9:43 pm

    my husband was telling me about the awesome cherry blossom , I can see some in ur pics… Gorgeous Nami!!!
    talk to you soon.

  • Jeff May 5, 2012, 10:04 pm

    Japan is definitely on my list of places I’d like to visit! Osaka castle looks amazing! Makes me think of reading Shogun again… Have you ever read that book?

  • Yuri May 6, 2012, 1:55 am

    Nami san,

    Ohanami was just on time! What beautiful photos you have taken and thank you so much for showing us here!

    I have been to Kobe once although I used to live in Osaka for few years. The hotel you stayed looks gorgeous and I would love to stay such a nice quality hotel someday:-) Takoyaki and Japanese dinners look just amazingly delicious! I am here in Japan but feel like I travel with your family when I read this post.

  • Martyna@WholesomeCook May 6, 2012, 2:40 am

    How cool is Kidzania???? And those cherry blossoms are beautiful too! What a great trip Nami!

  • Cooking gallery May 6, 2012, 11:02 am

    Your Japan pics really make me want to visit Japan…!! Look at those bento goodies, I think I would not be able to stop buying bento boxes there ;). As I have told you earlier in FB, my parents also visited Japan recently (which made me totally envious…!!) and they loved it! Unfortunately my mum couldn’t find any shops which sell bento boxes (my parents went with a tour group) and in the end she only bought things like mochi and seasonings for noodles ;).

  • yummychunklet May 6, 2012, 12:17 pm

    Looks like an awesome trip. I need to go back soon!

  • Gourmantine May 6, 2012, 12:58 pm

    I’m really enjoying your stories from Japan, Nami, thanks for sharing them with us. I’ve already had Japan very high on my “to visit” list, but seeing all the beautiful photos and reading stories, I want to even more :)

  • Karin May 6, 2012, 10:22 pm


    I really enjoy looking at the pictures in your blog and of course your recipes too. Do you have a recipe for onsen tamago like the one you had for breakfast at the hotel? It looks like there is some kind of sauce in the onsen tamago. Is it some kind of dashi with light soya sauce?

  • Raymund May 7, 2012, 12:48 am

    Wow that was fun for the kids, I’ll be stoked if I were that child. I love field trips.
    BTW that takoyaki looks good, thats my top 1 favourite Japanese food.

  • Beth Michelle May 7, 2012, 4:15 am

    I know I said it before but your kids are too cute! What an amazing trip you had! I love the photos of the cherry blossoms. They are so beautiful. I hope to go there one spring to see them in person. I love the idea of that kidzania. How amazing is that?! After reading through your post and seeing all your amazing photos I really want to take a trip there!!!

  • Baker Street May 7, 2012, 5:56 am

    Another great post, Nami. Japan has always been a destination I’ve been wanting to visit. It really looks like you had a fantastic time.

  • kitchenriffs May 7, 2012, 9:18 am

    I’m thoroughly enjoying the pictures and trip report. Some fascinating sights, and I need to visit Japan! Wonderful post – thanks.

  • Jeno @ Week Nite Meals May 7, 2012, 3:39 pm

    Nami, thank you for sharing your wonderful trip with us! Last night’s Amazing Race went to Osaka, so when I came to your site and saw the temple photo, I recognized it right away! What a beautiful country, we can not wait to visit when Trinity is a little older, want to make sure she remembers all the sights!

  • Baltic Maid May 8, 2012, 10:16 am

    My friend lives in Kobe. I really enjoyed learning more about that area. Thanks! Looks like you had a wonderful time there.

  • Michael Beyer May 8, 2012, 10:39 am

    Hi Nami! I enjoyed looking at all of your pictures. It was a trip down memory lane for me too as I’ve been to many of those same places. Glad you had a great trip with your family.
    – Michael

  • Lyndsey@TheTinySkillet May 8, 2012, 1:31 pm

    I am so glad I didn’t miss this segment of your trip. What a wonderful time you all had. I must be so nice to catch your friends wedding and show your kids the country where you grew up! And spend time with family! I enjoyed all the beautiful photos….very interesting. I love the bento lunches, and woul like to eat breakfast like in the morning.

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet May 8, 2012, 10:17 pm

    YAY! The next part of your trip :) I love all the photos and everything you did with your kids hehe it seems like a great activity for the kids to make friends and learn some important skills such as managing money :D I wish my parents had sent me to those kinda activities maybe I wouldn’t be so much of a shopoholic then hahaha I really miss Japan looking at all your photos just make me remember all the great times I had with my sister when i went hehe :D Can your children speak Japanese?

    It must be so wonderful for you to go home ;) Great post Nami!

  • amy @ uTryIt May 9, 2012, 11:59 pm

    I gotta take my kids to KidZania when I visit Japan! :) I know they’ll have fun and love it. The cherry blossom is really gorgeous. I better plan my next visit to Japan in Spring. BTW, you’ve got me craving for some Takoyaki!

  • Alyssa May 10, 2012, 5:33 am

    Stunning photos! This sounds like a wonderful trip. I especially love the photo of your kids next to the cannon. I have one like that from one of the forts here. I’m glad you and your family had such a lovely vacation!

  • Cristina May 11, 2012, 6:13 am

    I luv the concept of KidZania…so cute how the kiddies are all dressed up and role playing! {sigh} so beautiful all those cherry blossoms. That has to be the most beautiful and serene experience to be amongst a grove of those trees in bloom. It must’ve been difficult to leave Japan from vacation. Sounds and looks like you had a memorable time. Thank you for sharing about your trip – I enjoyed your images and writing about it, Nami. :)

  • Eri May 11, 2012, 12:04 pm

    What a lovely post Nami! I’m so glad you had such a good time!

  • Nina May 11, 2012, 1:48 pm

    Nami, i just got to read your vol 2. Loved vol 1, was waiting for vol 2 but then i got busy. This is again such an informative post about Japan. If i were to visit Japan ever will keep these things in mind. Osaka looks beautiful. Actually all pics looks fantastic. Am glad you had a lovely vacation:)

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen May 12, 2012, 5:30 pm

    Beautiful! I want to visit if just for the cherry blossoms!

  • Michiko Yokoe May 13, 2012, 11:44 am

    Hi Nami,
    love your post! Wanna be in osaka right now! That’s one of my favourite things in japan… on every corner delicious and healthy food is waiting for you…greetings from germany, michiko

  • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 15, 2012, 10:30 pm

    I’m quite sad that I didn’t get to properly experience Japan’s sakura season yet again…another thing to look forward to for next time I suppose. Your photos are beautiful! I want to go back already!

  • Chopinand @ ChopinandMysaucepan May 31, 2012, 6:32 pm

    Dear Nami,

    Your kids are absolutely adorable!! I tried the signature Miso cod at Nobu’s restaurant in Melbourne once it was pretty awesome. Since then, we have tried to replicate it at home because the meal at Nobu was not cheap at all either!

  • cquek August 22, 2014, 12:22 am

    Thank you for allowing us to travel to with you.