Moving on to the next country, Chicago.

I got not much to say. We just had one day to go around and it was .. alright, I guess. The Bean. The face fountain. The museum. The sculptures. We had pancakes somewhere in the outskirts where we had to line up outside. 

Universal Studios Japan: Halloween Horror Nights.

We timed our trip to coincide Halloween to see what goes on there. USJ’s theme is The Ring, although they had a Biohazard too, and they had an attraction for it. Tickets were already sold out at around 9 or 10A.M. Tough luck. For those who want to get tickets to their special attraction, you gotta line up way, way, way early in the morning. The Japanese are willing to do that.

Anyway, Halloween day was fun. In the JAWS ride, there were Japanese dressed up as Superman, Batman, and Spiderman in our boat. They made the boring ride fun by overreacting to special effects and cheering on the boat navigator. People were dressed up as all sorts of familiar characters.

At night, they change their rides to The Ring style. Sometimes Sadako would be standing at the corner while you wait in line. And in line, the TV shows something then turns to noise and shows the infamous video of her by the well.

Strolling around the theme park are walking zombies, sometimes a horde that would “attack” visitors. They try their best to scare the visitors. Fun times! Although I enjoyed the one in California more.

Osaka Castle

If you’re into museums and history, head over here.
Nerdherd.

Nara

Deer Park & Nandaimon Gate

Always a fun time when there are deers roaming around. We didn’t expect to arrive at night, so it’s not as fun as daytime and the deers were less active. I decided to put some photos from my previous trip where it was daylight while visiting the deers.

You can go to Nara as a side trip (it takes about more than an hour by train) if you’re in Kyoto. It’s quite a fun activity.

Someone started a Tumblr blog called Slug Solos with photos of musicians rocking out that have had their guitars replaced with giant slugs.

did-you-kno:

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Adam Levine

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John Mayer

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Este Haim

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Matt Bellamy

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Prince

Source

Kiyomizu-dera

Yet another USECO World Heritage Site..! On the way to the top, you have to pass by a preserved street where you can buy A LOT (good!) of souvenirs (the food-type ones are good, mostly). You can buy some of these in many tourist places in Kyoto too. I highly recommend the green tea baum cake. The cover of the box is white with a Japanese character (word). The cake is circular and is green and yellow (like.. beige-yellow… sorry, I’m limited with the fancy colour names). I think it costs around ¥1500.

Back to the destination. It’s a walk up and there’s an entrance fee (around a ¥100) if you go inside further. I guess I was able to take some nice pictures because of the sunset.

Also, there are Japanese people wearing kimonos walking around too. Many tourists would try to take their picture thinking that they’re “geisha”—- but they’re just regular people who are wearing kimonos. Nonetheless, it would still look like an authentic-japan-trip picture.

Photos by Ean Dacay (me)

Fushimi Inari, the number one tourist spot in Kyoto.

I never get full of this place. It’s a must-go for every first timer. This was early in the morning, so not much people were there. Some hikers, no tourists (maybe just a couple or two).

This place is still one of my recommendations to visit if you go to Kyoto.

Photos by Ean Dacay (me)

Tokai Nature Trail.

If you want to go somewhere off-the-beaten-path, here’s one of it. It’s near the Wind & Ice caves. We crossed a group of elderlies taking a hike. They were really nice. They greeted us as they passed by us. 

Bonus: Find the guarding Batman at the bus stop you get off.

Photo by Ean Dacay (me)