Monthly Archives: January 2013
Today I bought a wedding gown (well, techinically my fiance’s mother did because they wouldn’t accept my international credit card. Sigh). Because Japanese wedding gowns tend to be very, very froufrou and expensive, and I couldn’t go to Ohio, I couldn’t actually try any on (or any that I might be interested in buying, not that hello kitty themed purple princess ballgowns aren’t lovely). This meant I had to make an educated guess as to what would look good on me. One of the dresses I had saved to my favourites is about to be discontinued by David’s Bridal, and is $200 as a result. That’s a deal I really can’t pass up. Kyle’s Mom went and had a look and said the construction was really good, so I have ordered one, sight unseen, based on their measurement charts. I figure if it doesn’t fit, I can sell it and make a fair amount back.
Here’s hoping. I’ll honestly still go in and try on a few because I want to make sure, but I think I have my dress!
And I’m not putting it on here because I make Kyle read my blog XD
So, after debating where to go to get out of Kobe, we came up with two options. One was South Korea. There was a special deal on and so long as we were willing to do a tonne of train travel and an overnight boat, we could get to Korea fairly cheaply. The problem was that it is winter, and we would be going to Busan, where the bulk of the things to do are not very winterproof. Besides, my friend and I had both been to South Korea previously.
Instead we decided to go to Shodoshima. Shodoshima is an island in Japan’s inland sea. It is famous for being the first place in Japan to grow olives, and is a sister island of the Greek island of Milos. We roped a couple of friends in and booked a hostel. The next day we travelled a couple of hours away to the terminal, and boarded the ferry.
I found a festive round bottle of coke. I drank it on the ferry and felt very, very fancy.
When we were about 3/4 of the way to the Island, the hostel called. Their system had booked us in error, and they were actually closed. This threw a spanner in the works, as staying on a beach in below freezing weather is not my idea of a good time. We arrived on the island and set about finding new accomodation. The only place available was very pricey, so we figured we’d just take the last ferry home, and explore for only a few hours. After making this decision, we went to the bus stop to take the bus around the island. On arrival at the bus stop, we discovered that the busses only leave every 2 1/2 hours and we had just missed one. We asked about taxis and found there were none available. We were a bit stuck and wandered around the town we were in, trying to figure out what to do. The only things open were the shrine and the gas station. The shrine was lovely and quiet, but very small and took all of about 5 minutes to see.
I did love the old torii gates
A few minutes later, a man in a small, white van pulled up into the petrol station. My friend managed to convince him to give us a lift halfway around the island. We ended up in another village, went to the bus station, and found ourselves in the same predicament. Thankfully, there was a taxi nearby, so we went to the closest tourist attraction – the olive park. It was quite cool – very Greek inspired.
Olive ice cream
After visiting the olive park, we took the bus to the ferry terminal to catch the last ferry off the island. We arrived at the terminal and realised one small problem. We had taken the wrong bus and were at the wrong terminal. We looked at the timetable and realised the next bus would get us to the correct terminal with 3 minutes to spare. After a ride across the island, our friend ducked inside to buy the tickets, whilst we talked to the ticket collector in an attempt to stall. We got on the boat, just before it pulled away. To make matters more amusing, there were 8 people on the boat because it was New Year’s Eve. The boat carried 500 lifejackets. We had space. All of the space.
After a dramatic day, I decided not to follow the others into Osaka, but instead got Mcdonalds and ate it at my neighbours house to ring in the new year. It was incredible.
So. My ear started to feel better a couple of days ago. Sadly, any hope of flying was gone, but Kobe was starting to drive me insane so my neighbour and I decided to go to the most American restaurant we could find. I could escape reality for a couple of hours, and pretend that I actually was with my fiance, and not my cold shoebox apartment (actually, my apartment is perfectly adequate for one person, but that doesn’t sound as dramatic).
We looked around Kobe, and realised that the only American restaurants were takeaway, so figured we’d simply duck over to Osaka and go the the most American of American restaurants – Outback Steakhouse. So long as we ignore the theme…
Outback is located in one of the prettier parts of Osaka – Osaka isn’t exactly known for it’s prettiness in general, but this area is.
Osaka, the pretty part
We had to wait for a while to be seated, but is was super worth it. The drinks were some of the best I have had, the food was tasty (and calorific) and the portions were huge. I know I’m in Japan, and therefore have an abundance of extremely fancy food around me, but I haven’t been so excited about a meal in a long, long time.
Amanda looking amazing
I felt like I was 13 again, and eating all of my favourite things.
After we finished eating, we took the underground route back to the station. The Osaka station has been done up over the last few years and is huge and sparkly and fancy. We wandered through a few shops, before heading back to Kobe, and therefore reality.
According to Amanda, fountain of knowledge, a lot of the new station was done in the original style of the old station, from decades or even a century ago!
Happy New Year ❤