Japan was incredible – from the delicious food in Osaka and kyoto to the lovable animals we met in cafes, I wanted to to keep every memory as vividly as I could. While some people do it through photography, journals or even vlogs, my favourite way is drawing in what I call my Travel Visual Diary!

A Travel Visual Diary is a compilation of my trips expressed through drawing from photos, or memory. Starting a Travel Visual Diary really isn’t as tough as it looks, check out my guide on how you can start your own visual diary.

Here’s how I documented my 7 days, enjoy!

Day 1 – Osaka

travel visual diary day 1 osaka1) FlyScoot

FlyScoot’s 787 Dreamliner – spacious seats, wide legroom, adjustable headrest… We loved it!

2) Ark Hostel

Beds were super spacious compared usual hostel beds. The place was tidy and neat with really friendly receptionists. Loved the vibes!

3) Dotonbori Food Street

Expect large signboards screaming for attention – dancing LED lights, huge food sculptures and even moving mascots! The must-go place for all foodies, especially those that enjoy bite-sized snacks.

4) Creo-Ru Takoyaki

Octopus balls, topped with a jiggly poached egg. Oishi!

5) Green Tea Cheese Tart

Green tea custard sitting on a crusty butter base, perfect for all dessert lovers! Available in other flavours too if you’re not a matcha fan!

6) Okonomiyaki

A Japanese savoury pancake with an interesting variety of ingredients – especially famous in Osaka and not be missed!

7) Snapchat

Snapchat duties inspiring me with food puns! Add us @TheTravelIntern for future entertainment 😉

Day 2 – Osaka

travel visual diary day 2 osaka

1) Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum

Customise your own cup noodle from scratch – design the cup, pick a soup base and even the ingredients inside! One of my favourite activities!

2) Sesame Mochi at Kuromon Market

The harmonious blend of sesame with the sweetened chewy dessert was simply irresistible, must try!

3) Owl Family Cafe

Really adorable and cute owls! Worth the ¥‎1500!

4) Pablo Green Tea Cheesecake

A seasonal special – smooth green tea custard with mochi and red beans woven in. Definitely worth queuing up for!

5) Rockstar Reptile Cafe

Chameleons, lizards, snakes and other tamed reptiles! Yes, you can carry them too!

Day 3 – Kyoto

travel visual diary day 3 kyoto

1) Cooking Class

Learnt how to prepare our favourite Japanese dishes from scratch – gyozas, chawanmushi and miso soup!

2) Yasaka Shrine

Couldn’t give this a miss while we were in Gion with it’s glowing orange gate in front.

3) Issen Yoshoku Okonomiyaki

Apparently one of the more famous okonomiyakis in Kyoto!

4) Emoji Mochi

I got a bit over excited seeing this emoji in real life! Unfortunately, it wasn’t as tasty as it looked.

5) Mochi with Brown Sugar Syrup

A little odd tasting and slimy, but seems like a popular treat for locals here!

Day 4 – Kyoto

travel visual diary day 4 kyoto

1) Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

One of the most picturesque spot in Kyoto! We arrived at 7am and was able to enjoy the tranquility for a bit before the crowds started streaming in around 10am.

2) Gio-Ji Temple

A surreal landscape with lots of greenery – everything was just covered with moss!

3) Green Tea Mochi from Nishiki Market

Freshly cut mochi from the Nishiki Market. I still remember how soft and chewy they were! Definitely worth looking out for.

4) Tamago Egg Roll from Nishiki Market

Fluffy, sweet and light egg rolls.

5) Soy Milk Donut from Nishiki Market

My favourite find at Nishiki! An exceptionally fluffy bite sized donut that keeps you wanting more.

6) Daiyasu Oyster from Nishiki Market

Serves fresh succulent oysters raw or grilled. Both equally amazing!

7) Daiyasu Homemade Tofu

More custard-like than tofu, super smooth and delicious.

8) Salted Mackerel Tempura

Battered fish on a stick! Delicious but slightly pricey!

9) Ichiran Ramen

Loved the whole process of ordering through a vending machine, customising every aspect of the ramen from how cooked the noodles were to how flavourful you wanted the soup to be. Also the best way to try the #foreveralone life in single eating cubicles.

Day 5 – Kyoto

travel visual diary day 5 kyoto

1) Fushimi Inari Shrine

The famous never ending rows of tori gates. Another famous iconic sight in Kyoto!

2) Kimono Rental from Yumekata

Fancy looking Japanese for a day? All dainty and demure! (Although we soon realised they aren’t the most comfortable attire to explore the city in – at least the photos were worth it! :P)

3) Kiyomizu-dera

Lush green forests surrounding the pagoda, shrines and halls.. Very photo worthy!

4) Philosopher’s Path

A super photogenic pebble and cobble stoned footpath lined with cherry trees! We chanced upon this on the way to the Nanzen-ji

5) Nanzen-ji Temple

One of the most important Zen temples in Japan! We didn’t get to explore the inside but loved the abandoned bridge structures and lush greenery surrounding it.

Day 6 – Nara

travel visual diary day 6 nara

1) Nara deers

The most common life form in Nara, these free-roaming deers were hard to miss, or resist.

2) Bicycle Rental

Probably the best form of transport in Nara… but do remember to return them on time! (Most rental shops close at 6pm on the dot!)

3) Kasuga-taisha Shrine

Stone lanterns scattered in the garden area, giving a sort of mystical vibe… Spot more deers roaming around.

4) Todaiji Temple

A worthy visit to see the largest wooden building in the world!

5) Kakinoha Zushi

A local delicacy of Nara – traditional sushi wrapped in persimmon leaves.

Day 7 – Osaka

travel visual diary day 7 osaka universal studios japan

1) Universal Studios Japan

A huge urban playground for both adults and children and it was sooooo fun!

2) The Flying Dinosaur Roller Coaster

Held from your back as you glide through the tracks with nothing under you, I could feel my heart in my throat just looking at this ride (I obviously didn’t take it).

3) Turkey Leg

Huge and slightly salty, the feeling of tearing the meat off the bones was… shiok!

4) Harry Potter World

A must visit for Harry Porter fans out there! Experience flying on a broomstick through Hogwarts and having a butterbeer at Hogmead!

Day 8 – Osaka

travel visual diary day 8 osaka

1) Tuna Auctioning at Osaka Central Fish Market

Some fishy business happening at 4.15am, catch an intensive session of tuna auctioning! Worth waking up extra early for.

2) Osaka Castle

The gardens surrounding the castle was gorgeous!! There were carts selling food too!

3) Harukoma Sushi

The slices were so thick and fresh! Super value-for-money sushi!!

SCOOT TO JAPAN~

We took FlyScoot‘s 787 Dreamliner to Osaka. The flight transited at Bangkok and to be honest, I was thankful to have a break to walk around the Thai airport after sitting down for a couple of hours. Scoot flies to Osaka 6 times a week, which means you can choose the best day you want to visit Japan. Other than the comfortable ride, we were impressed that we arrived in Japan before the skies turned dark!

Travelling around the Kansai region was a breeze! Osaka, Kyoto and Nara were under an hour away from each other via the public trains. We barely warmed our seats before we had to hop off the train!

Definitely an unforgettable trip.

Like what you’re seeing? Hop over to my Instagram @dingsleepy for more visual diary illustrations!

This post was brought to you by Scoot.

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