Sometimes we never think of going away from home during Christmas. We just want to spend it with family, feel the season, get together exchanging gifts and more. After reading this Holiday Vacation Ideas that I will feature now, you cannot resist of going away from home this Christmas.
Our Most Memorable Christmas
In 2010, me and my 2 kids decided to spend Christmas away from home. This was the first time we had it. It is quite exciting, at the same time a little sad because we are used to celebrating it at home with cousins and some close families.
We choose to travel to Osaka, Japan. The hotel we booked was just close to the train station as Japan’s train transportation is the most convenient way to go around.
Kids were so excited because even if this is not their first time to travel, it is their first in Japan and they have heard a lot of good things. Tasty Ramen, Hello Kitty, animation, popular games and so many more.
After dropping our stuffs at the hotel, we hunt for a Ramen House. The first restaurant we passed by had line-ups where customers are already sitting outside just to wait for a table. Nah, it is cold and we are hungry. Finally, we found a traditional ramen house where we really enjoyed it.
Osaka is very popular with so many things. Besides, it can be a gateway to a lot of interesting places in Japan.
Shinsaibashi-suji, one of Osaka’s oldest and busiest shopping destinations which runs about 600 meters in length. Shinsaibashi-suji’s collection of brand name shops, chain stores, independent boutiques and variety of restaurants makes it popular with nearly every kind of shopper. At Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi-suji becomes Ebisubashi-suji, though the same shopping atmosphere remains.
At Dotonbori you will find this world-class dining that wouldn’t blow your budget. Dotonbori Okonomiyaki Mizuno is the best place to experience the most popular Okonomiyaki in town. We loved the food, the service and the place.
From Osaka station you can take a train for 1 hr and 26 minutes and you will see this very popular and nice Himeji Castle. You go in and a chance to go up to the top floor of the castle and don’t forget to get a stamp once you reach the top.
In Osaka you will also find the Giant Tempozan Ferris Wheel. The wheel has a height of 112.5 meters (369 ft) and diameter of 100 meters (330 ft) formerly the biggest, tallest and most technologically advanced observation wheel in the world (now surpassed by the even more massive British Airways London Eye). From high up in the air you can enjoy a panoramic view of the sea, the mountains, and the entire city of Osaka. The wheel has 60 eight passenger cars and will take 17 minutes ride. We spend almost 30 minutes to get a ride. That is how popular this ride is.
Universal Studios, Japan
You cannot be in Osaka and not visit the Universal Studio. We started early, took a train and still we are caught with line-ups. The good thing is they have enough ticket booths to take care of this excited crowds.
Make sure you brought with you heating hand warmers during winter.
We spend the whole day enjoying every event they have. That was fun and really unforgettable moments.
Last year(2016) Kobe Iluminarie attracted and average visitor per day of 348,000 and peaked of 558,000 visitor for just one Sunday. Aren’t you curious why people are coming here? And this year (2017) will be very special because Kobe port opening is celebrating its 150th year. That is even more exciting.
This year, Kobe Iluminarie will be in its 23rd year. It will open on December 8 to December 17, 2017. The venue will be at the Old Foreigner Settlement. It is said to be 270 m long this year and if last year they used 300,000 LED bulbs, this year they will be using 400,000.
The lighting schedules will be:
- Monday – Thursday – 18:00 ~ 21:00
- Friday – 18:00 ~ 22:00
- Saturday – 17:00 ~ 22:00
- Sunday – 17:00 ~ 21:30
Close to the venue is a fountain square. Fountain plaza works in accordance with the music and it will create an entertaining venue like a dream.
Surrounding will be lots of shops where you can find souvenirs, foods and fun booths. This is really an event that you will never forget. You will feel your heart beating so fast as you are approaching the lights. I really find this once of my treasured moments to have been there.
Just Enjoy the Holidays
There could be more places to spend Christmas and enjoy. Why I have featured Osaka and Kobe because I see it as a very special event that surely will never be forgotten.
Wherever you are planning to spend Christmas, the most important is you will enjoy it, whether with the whole family or friends. The Spirit of Jesus Christ being born is present and the love for everyone will make Christmas a meaningful season to everyone.
World’s Top Destinations For Christmas
- Bethlehem, West Bank
- Santa Claus Village, Finland
- New York City, USA
- Dublin, Ireland
- Tokyo, Japan
- San Juan, Puerto Rico