15 Sep 2015

Japan Flashback! Part 5: Gion Corner, Instant Ramen and Going Home

Hello and welcome to the fifth and final part of my Japan Flashback! (Sad, I know). If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:


Day 9 (Evening): Gion Corner & Train Drama

After a lot of walking and temple-visiting, we finished off our day in Kyoto by going to Gion Corner - a popular theatre that puts on performances of things like traditional flower arranging, puppetry, tea ceremonies, dance and comedy. It was a lovely way to end a long day, finally getting to see some of the things I'd read about in action.

Unfortunately though, it wasn't quite the end of the day. Japanese trains are renowned for their punctuality, but sometimes, accidents happen. The train that we were supposed to be taking back to Osaka was cancelled and we had to brave the crowds of rushing business people. We spent almost an hour on the very quiet subway instead, which ended up being quite peaceful. It wasn't an altogether pleasant series of events, but it turned out to be a nice memory.

Day 10: Instant Ramen Museum & Saying Goodbye

Our final day in Japan was finally upon us, and so too was the highly anticipated trip to The Instant Ramen Museum in Ikeda. Leave it to Japan to build a whole museum about cup noodles.

It wasn't just a exhibition on the history of ramen and how it's made and packaged. We also got to make our own cup noodle to take home and save for later. We were of course limited by what we would be allowed to take through customs, but it was fun to design our cups and see them filled and sealed. And they were a great thing to have on hand after arriving back home completely exhausted.

We found some lunch, made our way back to the hotel to collect our luggage, and were off on the express train to Kansai International Airport. I was so tired that I didn't even notice that the whole thing is built on its own artificial island.

While we were waiting, I did one last exciting thing - had my first Starbucks experience. Yes, 17-year-old me had never been to Starbucks. 17-year-old me didn't even like coffee (oh, how things have changed). I ended up getting a Double Choc Chip Mocha, which I'm fairly sure we've not had in Australia, and it was pretty damn good. I also probably definitely needed the caffeine.

So, finally, after many hours on planes and not much sleep, we made it back into Sydney. I slept for 16 straight hours once I got home. I'm not exaggerating.

Japan was such a great experience and I miss it all the time. It was my first time being immersed in another country's culture, and I think that's a beautiful feeling. I'm definitely going back again sometime, especially now that my Japanese has improved by a lot.

I hope you enjoyed my little series! I'll hopefully be able to do more travel posts at some point in the future. Feel free to share your favourite place I went, or some of the places you've been in the comments! 


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