Photo diary

Japan Diary: Kiso Valley - Magome

One of my favourite places we visited was a small town called Magome in Kiso Valley. If you do visit Nagoya I'd highly recommend taking a day trip to Magome. We started our day off by sleeping in until 8.30am (other days we were waking up at 6am!!) and took the train to Nakatsugawa station, followed by a bus there.

Magome is a beautiful preserved town dating back centuries with many buildings made of wood. We decided to take the Magome-Tsumago trail which is a 8.9km scenic hike. I didn't realise that the hike was this long. I was expecting 3-4kms of walking along a flat surface. I was very wrong. Parts of the hike were up hill and I'd definitely recommend wearing something a bit more appropriate which don't involve Doc Martens and jeans :')

Beautiful Magome aka beginning of the hike

The view was absolutely breath taking here. I definitely wasn't able to capture the vastness and the beauty of it all!

We had a small tea break along the way. The trail also led through the countryside and we passed a few houses and saw a few locals. We even saw some monkeys jumping on rooftops!

Just before reaching Tsumago, we came across a few waterfalls and rivers. This one river we came across was so vibrant and the water looked quite icy too.

The hike took about 2-3 hours for us complete. I thought we had to hike back to Magome, but Luan told me there was a bus we could catch to the station which would take us back to Nagoya (thank goodness)!

We spent most of our day in Kiso Valley - walking from one town to another. I'd highly recommend this trail! But try to take a few snacks with you because when we went hardly any cafes were open for lunch!

Also theres not many vegan options in Nagoya so rice and salad was my best friend.

Japan Diary: Nara Deer Park

One of the highlights from this trip was visiting Nara Deer Park. I was so excited to go and it was my first time going there. I would highly recommend getting a one day pass for visiting Nara and getting around to the deer park and to the temples. It was definitely worth it (500 yen!!!) as you could catch public transport as much as you want. Our first stop was at Kofukuji temple.

Our second stop was Yoshikien Garden which was a short walk from Kofukuji Temple. 

We made our way towards the deer park afterwards and there were so many deers! I was so obsessed and kept taking lots of photos so be prepared for the spam below :')

It was pretty difficult finding vegan meals in regular Japanese restaurants  - but theres always rice and salad! This was the standard:

We went back to Osaka and went on the ferris wheel at Osaka Aquarium.

Our plan afterwards was to go to this cafe close by called Kuma cafe as its apparently owned by an Aussie and they had really good reviews for food, but when we arrived they told us they were closing. So we headed back to Dotonbori to find a place to dine. There were only a couple of places that had vegan options (as stated on Happy Cow). We went to El Pancho which was a Mexican restaurant.  We were all so hungry as we only had 1 meal quite early during the day too.

It ended up being a long day, but one of my favourites!

Japan Diary: Osaka

December 18th 2017 - Day 5 in Japan

When we arrived in Osaka from Kyoto, we were greeted by slightly warmer temperatures and it felt less cold. 

Our plan today was to visit Osaka castle which was walking distance from the train station. Who would've thought there'd be a castle in the middle of the city?

There were also little food stalls but unfortunately there was no vegan food :(
But luckily I packed a salad!

We headed to Dotonburi. Dotonburi is packed with street food like takoyaki which actually originated from this city.

There wasn't much vegan food in Osaka that I could find, but I used the Happy Cow app on my phone which displays all restaurants that have vegan options. As a group we decided to split up and Luan and I went to find food I could have, then we found a place for him to eat at as he didn't feel like vegan food. We visited Cafe Atl and we got a potato tart, a risotto and a green tea banana cake which was so delicious. Afterwards Luan had food at an okonomiyaki place and he said it was quite nice.