We finally decided to visit Mt.Rokko! It took us 3 trains, a bus and a cable car ride to get there.


The cable car was a lot of fun, halfway along you cross paths with the other car.


Then at the top we had to take another bus! We decided to go to the observation spot.


Hmm….too cloudy. Never mind. There is a Beatrix Potter exhibit on at the moment, my parents used to read us her books when we were younger and we visited her old house on a holiday a long time ago. Also Pickles the dog is a character from one of the books, and our dog is called Pickles.




There wasn’t much to the exhibit, just these items and a small gift shop. We walked on to another small area with a gift shop and viewing area.



At the gift shop you can buy these clay discs and throw them over the edge, probably for luck? It cost ¥100 for all these.


I sucked at throwing them but J got his really far, onlookers even started applauding him!


We decided to relax on the veranda and J had this craft Mt.Rokko beer. It’s was actually very nice. As we were sat dark clouds started to roll in and grumbles of thunder.


Great – a thunder storm. It was really close, but we felt safe enough sat on the veranda looking at the view and drinking beer. I’d stupidly taken my umbrella out my bag that morning so we decided to sit it out and play monopoly on my iPad.


As it cleared up this beautiful rainbow appeared right by us! We could see both ends of it, but sadly no pots of gold!


After the bad weather we had a little better view.



There were lots of lovely chrysanthemums dotted around the mountain as well.

We had a good time but mostly because of the crazy storm and rainbow, I wouldn’t recommend going to people on holiday. Although I hear the night time view is beautiful, so we plan on going again and visiting Arima Onsen too.


Nissin Cup Noodle factory

This post is looooong over due! We went to the Nissin Cup Noodle Factory in JANUARY!


The museum area had lots of information about cup noodles, how they were invented, cup noodles in space and a huge wall of all the cup noodles ever made! There is a special vending machine where you can purchase limited cup noodles such as the JAL cup to eat there.


But what we really went for…was to make our own cup noodles!

First you buy an empty cup from a vending machine for ¥500.


Then you sit down and decorate it!


After that it needs filling with your choice of ingredients!

The menu, you choose one soup stock flavour and 4 toppings.

The filling station.

Adding the dry noodles.


My choices. Curry soup, prawn, garlic flakes, green onion and naruto (the chicken pictures).

Before you get it the cup is sealed and shrink wrapped.

To make sure it gets home safe you put it in this special bag and inflate it to protect your noddles until you get home.


But the real test is how they taste….


Delicious! Just as I predicted :D


Maishima Lily Garden

In June I visited the lily garden in Maishima, sadly it was nearly the end of the season so a lot of flowers were past their best. It still smelt lovely though, and from some angles looked full!

It was a little awkward for us to get there, and we had to take a train and sweaty cramped bus ride. It cost ¥1000 to enter the garden which I thought was a little overpriced.





The garden is right by the sea so you can watch big container ships passing by, it took us about 30mins to stroll around. It was very hot, and it would have been nice to picnic there but there were lots of signs saying no eating. On the way out there were some catering vans where you could get fish and chips or curry rice. But seeing as I’d brought a picnic we left and went to the small park opposite.


An observation area with a good view of the sea!

We had a nice quiet picnic and played scatch (the velcro catch game) before heading back. I didn’t realize but I’d gotten really sunburnt on my arms even though I used lots of sunscreen ;_;



Jesus Diamante and Dotonbori River

Sunday I met with the very lovely Lady Diana to shop! First we browsed Amemura, well I browsed and Diana bought some lovely things including an IW dress in the sale I’m very jealous of!

We took purikura!


Then ate at a Fugetsu in Big Step, I had an omelet and Diana had yakisoba, she was so hungry the poor thing and her food took ages to come! I loved the little character of the place.


Diana told me about the Jesus Diamante store in Umeda Sky Blg. Wah I had no idea! So we hopped on the subway and headed there!


Umeda Sky Bldg still had their Tanabata decorations up!


We met a really cute dog! His owner showed us pics of him dressed up for Halloween, what a placid dog! I showed him a pic of Pickles too <3

The Jesus Diamante store is in the West Tower on the first floor, at first we went to the wrong door and it was closed, but as we walked around in disappointment we found the right entrance!


You can see just how big and gorgeous the shop is on their website.


I want to live there! The owner(?) has collected lots of trinkets and old fashion books, it was really interesting.

Whilst browsing Diana pulled out one dress, and we both gasped loudly! It was perfect. Like a dream come true.


The website picture does it no justice at all. It is so beautiful. Like something Marie Antoinette would have actually worn <3 it costs ¥72,000. Too much ;_; though I've asked J to bury me in this dress so I can forever wear its beauty.

Afterwards I had to say goodbye to Diana, I will miss her amazing French accent!

J and I had plans to boat down Dotonbori River! It only costs ¥700 but it also only takes 20mins. With the festival lanterns up at the moment it's quite pretty.



We sailed past the famous Glico running man.

Then for dinner we ate some kushi katsu on the edge of the river.


The big ball at the top is a deep fried takoyaki ball, how much more Osakan could you get?!

Before going to bed we walked around for a bit to explore and get some exercise.



Torikizoku a Japanese Wetherspoons

I can’t believe I haven’t made a post about my favourite place to enjoy a beer and feast on chicken – TORIKIZOKU.

We always say its like a Japanese Wetherspoons (a chain of cheap pubs in the UK) as every one is the same, it’s cheap, and you know what to expect.

They are dotted around everywhere, especially in the Namba and Shinsaibashi area, but there is one in my home town, and the two either side of us. Just look for the bright yellow signs and red ¥280.


Inside there are wooden slat booths and tables for you to sit at, you do get a little privacy although most of the branches don’t have a no smoking area.


The larger branches have English menus, but they aren’t really required you can just look at the pictures.


Through our vigorous testing we can recommend the tsukune cheesu (chicken balls on sticks with cheese), piman (green pepper with minced chicken and sauce), camembert (deep fried camembert ), karage (deep fried chicken) and curry ramen.

Kii with some karage.


For drinks of course have a beer but don’t get the big ones, it is very poor quality and makes you very sick. I can personally testify to that. Because everything is cheap its good to try new things such as different sakes or shochu. We like the umeshu (plum wine), yuzushu (lemon alcohol, tastes like lemsip), and the whiskey!


The best bit is that everything on the menu is ¥280 (¥294 with tax)!!!!!! Enjoy!


Rilakkuma: Bonjour!


Isn’t he precious?! After admiring Ariel’s French series Rilakkuma I found this fella in Ito Yokado in Tennoji the following day!! Seems they had a clear out of the stock room as there were a few bee series and a chocolate series Rilakkuma.

The best thing was that he was only ¥1260 as that was the price back in 2010!

I already have a matching cosmetics pouch from the series I bought before my trip to Paris in 2011.

It made my day for sure!


Rilakkuma UFO haul

J tried to win more Rilakkumas over the weekend yay!

I really love the summer festival series!

We won….

A really old onsen series keitai charm.


Finally got the swimming ring keychain, happy coat keychain and fan matsuri one.




A guitar Rilakkuma from the Aloha series…for ¥100.


Then at the very end of the night another festival Rilakkuma, the assistant must have moved him closer to the edge 4-5 times but he sill wouldn’t jump off! See how easy the assistant tried to make it for us!


I know that the quality of the fansclub items isn’t as high as the Rilakkuma store items but I love these series and think they have a lot of personality. The keychain plushie quality is actually fairly low (5/10) but the small plushies are pretty good (8/10).


Gion Matsuri 2013

I was lucky enough to visit Gion Matsuri again this year, my post from Gion Matsuri 2012 is here.

We have to work on the 17th so could only visit for Yoiyoiyama, where the roads are closed and the parade floats are stationed around the main area. It’s lovely to walk around, see people in yukata, eat festival food, enjoy a beer, listen to the music and look at the floats.

Before the roads are closed at 6pm we did some shopping, had dinner and of course tried the UFO machines our latest obsession.

Walk down the river, where we saw lots of herons and a lazy muskrat.

Finally winning the swimming ring Rilakkuma.

Relaxing and sharing a beer by the river.

Getting busy.


Mos Burger mascot.


One of the floats for the parade, men wearing yukata sit in them and play music like tinkering bells.



Before walking back the station we got some festival food, I got a frankfurter on a stick!