kansai osaka minoh park
Werbung/press trip
You guys wouldn’t believe how much I struggled writing these lines and looking for suitable words to express my joy of finally being back to Japan. Today is already my 3rd day in Japan and while I just arrived, I already celebrated my 25th birthday, been to a Christmas market and visited Minoh..

I left Berlin on 6th of December for my flight to Osaka, my favorite city in the world. The flight was super pleasant and fast. It took me only about 11 hours (including layover!), to arrive in Osaka Kansai airport, where I was welcomed by the Kansai tourism board with a warm welcome and my name being displayed in the airport. From KIX airport, I entered the airport bus which brought me directly to the recently opened New Hankyu Respire hotel, which opened on 27th November. I checked in and stayed in the 33rd floor. It might haven been a good spirit, because 3 is my lucky number. When I checked into the room my eyes widened, as I could overlook the beautiful Osaka skyline. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. 

RESPIRE combines the meanings of the words “rest,” as in to have a rest, and “inspire,” as in to have one’s senses stimulated and be filled with vitality. RESPIRE also means “to breathe.” Hotel Hankyu RESPIRE aims to offer a place where one can relax comfortably. It is a 4-star hotel with 35 floors and about 1,032 guest rooms.

new hankyu respire hotel

After a quick fresh up I left the room to explore more of Umeda area, where I was staying. I went to some shopping centers and ate my favorite food, kanpyo maki. In the evening I went to a German Christmas market which was super crowded. It´s the first time for me to visit Japan in in winter and especially during Christmas time. I was surprised, how Christmas is celebrated in Japan.

christmas in japan

Besides the Christmas market, I also went to some other shopping centers to see all the Christmas illuminations and to take some more photos. I really liked the Christmas illumination in Umeda station, which was also directly at my hotel. After a long day in Osaka with many shootings, I decided to return to the hotel and have a rest before celebrating my birthday on 8th December and heading to Minoh for the first time. I wanted to visit Minoh last year during my trip to Japan, but unfortunately a taifun was heading close to Minoh area and I had to cancel my trip. This year however, I visited Minoh for my birthday and had a wonderful time. 

osaka japan weihnachtsmarkt

I took the Hankyu train from Umeda station to Minoh, with only one short stop, where I had to change the train. Arrived at Minoh station, I had lunch at the lovely Salun Powaku restaurant, where I even received a birthday cake. The vegan restaurant is located at the Minoh station and offers vegan food, without refined sugar. Besides the food is also gluten-free, GMO-free and super healthy. I might had my best burger at the restaurant and also enjoyed a delicious ice cream.

lebkuchen weihnachten japan

After finishing the delicious lunch, I walked back to the station and took a taxi to the Katsuo-ji Katsuo-ji. A friend of mine once sent me a beautiful photo which I put as my desktop background but I didn´t know the exact location. 

umeda japan osaka tarvel solo

I was super happy when I arrived at the Katsuo-ji as I recognized it to be my desktop background. The area of Minoh is really beautiful. I recommend to wear comfortable shoes when visiting Minoh, as there is a walking path. It takes about 40 minutes one way from the JR station to the temple. Also, walking into the temple area might take some additional time and there are beautiful photo spots. Minoh is only 30 minutes from Osaka city so I absolutely recommend to make a stop. 

hankyu tourist pass osaka minoh kobe kyoto

Besides the Katsuo-ji there is also the well know Minoh waterfall, which I also visited. The area around the waterfall is offering local snacks, such as maple leaf tempura, which is unique for the area. 

minoh station hankyo tourism

I spent almost the entire day in Minoh and really enjoyed some time in the nature. I returned back to Osaka city after a long day in Minoh, since I was meeting with a close friend of mine, who organized a small birthday party for me. 

minoh japan kansai waterfall

I was really excited. Osaka has so many amazing vegan restaurants. We celebrated my birthday at Shizen Bar Paprika Shokudou Vegan, where I enjoyed a delicious dinner, before I was surprised with a second birthday cake. The restaurant was even playing the happy birthday song and the whole restaurant sang for me, it was such a touching moment.

monoh japan tempura

After my dinner I walked to Namba area, my favorite area in Osaka and did some shopping, before returning to the hotel. I´m so happy and grateful for being back to Osaka and my favorite prefecture Kansai. I´m more than excited to tell you more about my upcoming trips soon and present you the beauty of Kansai.

japan birthday party cake