Since moving on from Kyoto, the last few days have been a (kind of) wind down. On our last day in Kyoto, we spent the day walking around near the temple again to catch one last glimpse of the cherry blossom. There were literally thousands of people sitting around on plastic tarpaulins having picnics all around the park under the cherry blossoms. It was like a festival, something equivalent to our Glastonbury! I knew there was a bit of a celebration around the cherry blossom season but I had no idea on what scale! Everybody was in a great mood, all chatting together, eating together and enjoying the occasional sprinkling of soft pink petals in their green tea together.
We had a bit of a rest when we arrived in Osaka before spending the evening wandering the illuminated streets in search of good food. Osaka is known for it's cuisine so we wanted to make sure we picked a good one for what would be our last Japanese meal! We wandered the streets up and down in search of a restaurant reccomended by the Lonely Planet which was supposed to do the best Udon noodles in town. But could we find it? We searched high and low but it was no where to be found. We ended up trying some street food, you have to put your money in a little machine, press a button (any button! It's all in Japanese so you could end up sheeps knackers for all you know!) the machine then spits out a voucher which you take to the little man and he cooks your food right in front of you! Luckily, we picked well, we we ended up with a HUGE bowl of soupy noodles with roast pork and lots of vegetables. It was by far the best soupy noodles we have had while we were here! And it was only 900Y (about 6GBP) - Bargain! We later found out that the two buttons on the machine simply meant "meat" or "more meat". Simples.
For our last day, we went to the Universal Studios. I thought the queues for Alton Towers were bad, we queued nearly two hours for our first ride and it was a bit of an anticlimax - it only lasted about 30 seconds. And it put Paul's shoulder out! The rest of the day was a bit better, we went on the Jurassic Park ride and got drenched - I was wearing leggings so I looked like I'd peed my pants! We went on the Spider Man ride which was really good fun, it was all 3D and you actually got wet when Hydra tries to grab you and you could feel the heat from all the flames being thrown at you. Back to the future was good as well but the queue was a lot longer for that one and I was a bit of a grumpy little poo by the time we got to the end of it! I really enjoyed the ride though. We also managed to catch the Peter Pan show but it was all in Japanese so we didn't understand any of it.
The highlight of the day for me was the "magical starlight parade" right at the end of the evening. It was half an hour of float after float after float of various characters all made out of fairy lights. I was squeeling like a child squeezing Paul's arm going "look at that one", "take a picture of that one", "oooooh I like that one" and so on. It was so much better than I had imagined (and beleive me, I had imagined it!) My favourite float was Arabian nights which had a bigger than lifesize pink Indian elephant, giant peacocks, camels, Arabian dancers and a man with a big light up sword who blew me a kiss while Paul had his back turned. I haven't been so excited since, erm, ever!
Well, the sad day has finally arrived. Our adventures have come to an end and we are sat in Kansai airport feeling more than a little deflated. We had to get up at 4.45am to get the train to the aiport and thankfully did not rely on the hotels wake up call which never came! We go back a time zone (it's currently 11.40pm last night in England) so jetlag is going to be a killer.
First thing I want to do when we get home is start planning our next trip.... Papua New Guinea, Newzealand or Borneo? Lonelyplanet.com here I come!!!!
Watch this space for our next Epic Adventure.
Or, for photos tomorrow. Once recovered from Jetlag and first day back at work that is. Bleugh.