Osaka vs. Tokyo: Which is better?

Tokyo or Osaka?

I’m beginning to begin the full planning of the 2015 trip to Japan and one of the biggest hurdles is the battle of where I should go. There seems to be two large cities that rise above the others, Osaka and Tokyo. But the question that continues to loom over my head, which one would be the best place to visit for a first trip to a foreign country?

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Osaka at night

Here is a great picture of Osaka castle at night during Sakura. The lights they use underneath the trees make it even more awesome looking.

Institute of Nature Study in Tokyo

Looks like Central Park in New York City, an area of green in the urban jungle. But the Institute of Nature Study is not a park at all, its a nature preserve.

The Institute of Nature Study, sitting near Meguro Station in Tokyo, is a nature preserve in the bustling city of Tokyo. It has various trails that take visitors through different ecosystems of Japan. For only 300 Yen, it looks like a nice little retreat from the craziness that is Tokyo and allows people to take a walk and take in some of the natural beauty of Japan.

Has anyone ever visited it while in Tokyo? I’d love to hear your story and how it went!

My thoughts on Malaysian Airlines flight 370

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Today, Malaysian Airlines and the Malaysian government announced with new data and satellite images, they confirmed that flight 370, which has been missing for 16 days, crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean. They concluded that the plane, which was last tracked (to some degree) was out over this wide expanse of water with no possible landing spot nearby.

For two weeks, 26 nations have been looking for this mysterious plane and it seems they have concluded it went down somewhere into the ocean. While there is no physical evidence yet, planes continue to spot debris from the air and ships are moving in. I hope they are able to find some evidence, even a seat cushion, anything from that flight, to bring more closure.

This entire investigation has been one big mess from the start and the families of the victims of this flight have suffered. Even today with the word that the plane was declared crashed into the ocean, families received a text message from the airline company. A text? Really, that’s the best they can do? It’s a trying time and a very emotional time for these families, but a text message to family members that were not in the hotel at the time hurts a little bit. It is hard to reach all family members, but this didn’t look great for the airline at the time.

I hope they continue to hunt for evidence, find some sort of the plane, and try to find some kind of an answer. They first need to find a part of the plane before moving forward and perhaps that will come in the next few days. My condolences to those families and everyone that has been affected by this horrible tragedy.

Follow me on social media

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the biggest social media person/expert out there, but I do enjoy one main venue and that’s Twitter. For those who are on this giant of a social network, make sure to give me a follow, @usfmatt I’ve met several travel people like a good friend Ashley Harrington (England) on Twitter and have been able to converse with travel people to get information and tips in a very quick fashion.  It’s only 140 characters at a time, but there are some great people out there with great information.

I’ll be very honest, I respond to a tweet a lot faster than a comment at times. Gotta love technology!

[sorry for the shameless plug and ask for followers, but worth a shot since I’m still a greenhorn at WordPress!]