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Spring in Japan: Osaka, Kyoto, Nara
Visiting Osaka, Kyoto and Nara for the cherry blossom for my birthday. Sun, sakura and lots of food.
Osaka is in the Kansai region of Japan with a total metropolitan population of about 20 million people. Twice the size of London but still small compared to Tokyo. I prefer it to Tokyo as it's still small enough to get around and theres lots to see.
I've missed Sakura (cherry blossom) season the past 2 years as it's only about a 2 week period; too early and no flowers and too late they have already fallen off.
I stayed in Osaka a few days before heading to Kyoto for my birthday and then back to Osaka via Nara.
Kyoto is the ancient capital city of Japan. I visited for the day back in 2015, but this time, I stayed in Kyoto for 3 days for my birthday which gave me more time to explore.
It's nice to stay in traditional Japanese tatami rooms with paper window covers and sleeping on a futon on the floor. Because it's Sakura the rooms are about £50 a night but for the rest of the year you can find a good cheap room for more like £25-35 a night.
Kyoto is famous for the Geishas, Temples, Shrines, the bamboo forest and just everything historical Japanese. Osaka and Tokyo are super modern cities but Kyoto has lots of traditional culture to check out.
Nara country part is famous for deer that just walk around all day. There's other places that you can see deer roaming in parks in Japan but I think that Nara is the most famous place.
Todaiji Temple is in Nara park and it is the worlds largest wooden temple. I don't know much about it, but it's really big and really old and it was also a wonder on the game Age of Empires 2. As you walk toward the temple there is a giant gate with 2 hand carves statues maybe 10m high. I failed to get a decent photo but thee things are incredible and must have taken thousands of hours each to carve.
Overall, theres not much to say about Nara, it's a small city near Osaka and Kyoto. It's a really nice place to go and just chill out. The day that I was there it was sunny so it was good to lay on the grass in the sun.