Trains are awesome. This is a fact. So Mike and I were excited to take the shinkansen to Osaka from Tokyo simply because we are nerds and like riding trains. We took the Nozomi train (because it’s the fastest one, obviously) from Shinagawa Station in Tokyo to Shin-Osaka Station in Osaka. If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you can only ride the two slower shinkansen trains, Hikari and Kodama. (We’re not on tourists visas, so we can’t get the Japan Rail Pass. But if you can, you SHOULD, because it’s a really good deal and train travel is expensive in Japan.) It was just over two hours, with brief stops in Yokohama, Nagoya, and Kyoto.
HOORAY FOR TRAINS, thinks Mike.
Mike trying to capture the shinkansen with his iPhone.
My bags always have cute things attached. We shipped our larger bags to Osaka via the amazing Yamato takkyubin service, which you should definitely use if you ever need to send your luggage anywhere in Japan. You can drop your bags off at any conbini, or have Yamato pick them up. Your bags will then arrive, stress-free, anywhere in Japan by the next day for around $12.
The Nozomi shinkansen car. More space than economy on any airline.
We picked up train bento boxes (or ekiben) at the station to eat on the train.
Mike’s ekiben was a bit more… uh, Western.
Speeding through Japan at 300 km/h.
A stop in Nagoya. It seemed like a nice place. I should visit.
Once we made it Osaka, we took the subway to Namba Station to get to our hotel. We stayed at the Fraser Residence Osaka, which I would recommend because it’s EXTREMELY well-located. It’s right outside the station and close to Dotonbori and fun things.
View from the hotel window. Just to the left (outside of this photo) is Namba Parks, which you may have seen on Reddit.
The room even had a combo washer/dryer!
Somewhere around Namba Station, I came across an AKB48 cafe and shop! Unlike the store in Tokyo, there was no lineup to get in, so I was happy to wander inside and soak up all the AKB48 goodness. I didn’t eat at the cafe, but I wanted to…
…BECAUSE LOOK HOW CUTE THE FOOD IS! Wah, adorable!
Instead of animal-shaped AKB48 food, we went for real Osaka food, okonomiyaki.
SUPER DELICIOUS! I looooooooooove okonomiyaki.
After dinner, we walked around Dotonbori for awhile (and spent too much time in a Round 1) before heading back to the hotel. The next day was our early (11am is early for me, okay?) flight to Okinawa — more on that in the next entry!