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
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!
A Japanese savoury pancake with an interesting variety of ingredients – especially famous in Osaka and not be missed!
Snapchat duties inspiring me with food puns! Add us @TheTravelIntern for future entertainment 😉
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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.