Japan Trip 2015

Slideshow of Photos

Well I've finally finished editing/collating my photos and put them into a video slideshow.
 I hope you all enjoy watching it and feel like you were also there.

To also see a small selection of my photos as images - see the separate page titled Japan Trip 2015 Photos

Tokyo Day 8 (18/01/2015)

*We didn't get to see Ueno Zoo on Monday. We got all the way out there in the morning but found out it is closed on Mondays. Of course it had to be. We are going back tomorrow (Wednesday) to see it when it is open. I imagine it will be a lot more impressive from the inside. Although the outside did have pandas made from trees. 

Today we went back and visited DisneyLand. It was a lot better walking around without the rain. We didn't go on any rides. We would have had to wait 80mins for most of them. This was not going to happen. There was a lot more shops and decorations to see here compared to DisneySea. Plenty to fill in a day without going on rides.

Tomorrow is my last day. After zoo we shall have one last look around Akihabara, play arcades to use up all the coins left over and pack. We found a hot dog restaurant which we shall go to for dinner. It has beers from all over - so going to have a VB and pizza/hot dog to end my trip and going back home to Australia. Matt continues on for another week - He is going to Osaka this time.  

Tokyo Day 7 (18/01/2015)

We started out by going to Yoyogi Park. This is one of the largest parks in Tokyo. We chose Sunday as everyone is suppose to come dressed up in their fashions but we didn't see any unfortunately. Still very beautiful.

I had to check out Shibuya crossing. This is rumored to be the world’s busiest intersection. It is the spot that is always used when Tokyo is featured in a movie. Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift is a prime example of this. After dark on a Friday and Saturday night is the best time to see everyone pouring out of the station dressed in their finest and neon-lit by the signs above.

We looked inside a Parasite Museum. That's right! A Parasite Museum. How many people can say they have visited one of those.

Tomorrow we have a Sumo match and the Zoo (for Pandas). 

Tuesday will be Disney Land (No rain)

Wednesday will be packing and just looking around Akhibarara for the last time.  

Tokyo Day 6 (17/01/2015)

Today was our shopping day.

We found a flea market in the Akihabara area. This was on for this weekend. Lots of very cheap figurines of characters from anime shows. Matt was in heaven. Ones for $8-10 normally $40+ back home.

We visited a Cat Cafe. This was an experience. $10 for 1 hour and 1 drink. About 17 cats in room. Most are just sleeping and occasionally a couple will walk around. Can pat them but most will move away. Best way is to use a toy provided to play with them. 

Had to go to Yodabashi Akhiba for my camera shopping. 10 story building with everything electronic - cameras, phones, computers etc. Got lots of camera gear from here. Could have spent way more if I didn't have restrictions on my luggage when flying home.

Went to the Robot Restaurant for dinner. If you are in Tokyo you must go here. Need to book beforehand otherwise you won't get in. It is the number 1 attraction recommended on Trip Advisor. You haven't experienced Tokyo until you have been here. Photos/video can't do it justice.      

Tokyo Day 5 (16/01/2015)

Today we had a hike up Mt Takao. We had to travel for an hour by train to get out here but worth it. Mt Takao is one of the closest natural recreation areas to central Tokyo, offering beautiful scenery, an interesting temple and attractive hiking opportunities.

About to head off to Ninja Akasaka. This is a Ninja themed restaurant with food made to match. Ninja Star shaped biscuits etc. This is something I would suggest if you're ever in Tokyo and a Ninja person. You go through Ninja training and you choose from a Set course and each section is a different piece of food that is ninja themed. 

Tokyo Day 4 (15/01/2015)

Today we spent the day out at DisneySea. This is like DisneyLand but Tokyo Exclusive. Unfortunately it had to rain all day. We did get to see everything and go on the rides we wanted but had to buy a Mickey Mouse Poncho to keep a bit dry at least. Would have been better without the rain. At least the rest of our time here is suppose to be fine. We have 2 days at the end with no plans yet so might go back to DisneyLand on one of those and see it with no rain.    

Tokyo Day 3 (14/01/2015)

Today we started out by experiencing the Tea Ceremony. The tradition was explained along with a showing of how the tea is made and we got to have a go at preparing the tea ourselves. This is well worth the experience. Something you have to do yourself to appreciate it.

We went to a Polar Bear Cafe for lunch. There is an anime show which this cafe is based around. Main drinks and food are made to look like characters from it (ie coffee has the froth looking like a Panda. The room is decorated with posters.

We visited the Kanda Myojin Shrine - This shrine promotes itself as a protector of electronic gadgets, particularly computers. Ceremonies are performed to protect and secure laptop computers, and the shrine's shop provides amulets and charms for the same purpose. Lots of visitors bring their gadgets here for this purpose. 

Visited a Pokemon center. Lots of cool Pokemon accessories here.

We went to a little kids' theme park like store based on a kid's show. We went here to try some weird flavoured ice cream. I took photos of the names but will have to upload them later. I can say they were some weird flavours though.

Tokyo Day 2 (13/01/2015)

Today we had to have an early start as we were going out to see Mt Fuji and go to the Theme Park that is called Fuji Q. Got a few great shots of Mt Fuji. Nice clear day to see it. Didn't go to base but still had great view from where the Park was.

We spent the day at the Theme Park going on Roller coasters and other amusement rides.

We had dinner at Sizzlers. Matt told me this is a Queensland restaurant so he was surprised to see one. Main dish you choose then included in price is all you can eat salad, drinks and desserts. Well worth the price.

Then had a couple of tries at the baseball cage at night which was in the Red Light District. Interesting to walk around it at night. 

Tomorrow we have the Tea Ceremony experience and we shall visit some Shrines and Temples. 

DisneySea is on Thursday. This is like DisneyLand but a Tokyo Version only. Shall try to keep posting as I go.       

Tokyo Day 1 (12/01/2015)

Today we went to Madame Tussauds. This was like a lot of the others but more focused on Japanese people. Took a lot of photos in here. Will have to wait until I'm back to see them. Next we spent some time in Joypolis. This is basically an amusement park that was first opened on July 20, 1994 in Yokohama, Japan. Joypolis centres have since opened in several cities in Japan with the parks featuring arcade games and amusement rides based on Sega intellectual properties. This is worth going to if you have played Sega games.

We had a look at the Trick Art Museum. This was really well done and shows you how your perspective can change how you see something. Well worth a visit. 

We then had dinner at the Tokyo Sky tree. This was worth it for the view.

 

Osaka/Tokyo (11/01/2015)

Today I had a late sleep in. Around lunch time I caught the Bullet train back to Tokyo so I could meet up with my mate (Matt). We are now having 11 days of adventure around Tokyo. Seeing all the sites on offer.

It is so good to stay in the one place now for the rest of my trip. It means I can finally unpack my suitcase and leave everything out so it feels like I'm staying somewhere. I stay out at the airport for the last night on the 22nd so I can just make sure I have everything packed and then spend that night packing properly.

For dinner we went to the Maid Cafe. This is basically a cosplay restaurant where waitresses dressed in maid costumes act as servants, and treat customers as masters in a private home, rather than a restaurant. Interesting to experience it. It is the kind of place a family could go, couples and friends like me and Matt did.   

My posts will come a few days behind now or it will be one big past covering a few days as I don't have internet in my room and we are on the go always now. I'll still try to keep everyone updates to what I'm getting up to. Photos will be limited now also. Might have to wait until I'm back and done processing to see anymore. 

Osaka Day 2 (10/01/2015)

Today I ventured out to Osaka Castle for the morning. This was interesting to see. It was surrounded by massive moats. The museum was fascinating to see also. When I was walking in I passed the local pigeon man and he put feed in my hand so I had pigeons land on my arms and feed. He was walking around putting feed on people's shoulders etc so pigeons would land on them. Everyone seemed to be quite entertained by this.

In the afternoon I browsed shops. Didn't buy anything but quite amazing to see all the things you can't get back home - from kitchenware to general household items.

Well, tomorrow I head back to Tokyo to join up with my mate and we will be doing lots more exciting things around there. This leg of my trip has been rewarding, adventurous and lots of fun. It has showed me more of the world and what is out there on offer.

Looking forward to part two of this trip.

Osaka Day 1 (9/01/2015)

Today I headed out to check out the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. The marine life is displayed in 15 tanks, each representing a specific region of the Pacific Rim. This is handled very well. I was thoroughly impressed with this aquarium and would highly recommend taking your children here. I also got to touch the little sand sharks and manta rays.

Hiroshima/Osaka (8/01/2015)

No photos were taken today. I just left Hiroshima and travelled on to Osaka. I had a walk around once I checked in to see what was nearby.

Tomorrow I will check out the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.

Hiroshima Day 2 (7/1/2015) My Birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me! I celebrated my 27th by going over to Miyajima Island for the day. This is one of the 3 most scenic spots in Japan, and also the most famous, being the only one as an island that is a world cultural heritage site.

The Torii Gate is one of the most photographed spots in Japan.

The island is great to walk around. Many more Shrines and Temples can be found dotted around the island. If your up for a long walk you can trek up Mt. Misen (or else catch the Ropeway up).

The Five-storied Pagoda.

The island is home to many wild deer. They can be seen laying underneath trees and even just walking around amongst the people. You can be walking along a path and the next thing you know a deer is walking towards you from the other direction and passes you without a second thought. 

Tomorrow it is onwards to Osaka for 3 nights.

Hiroshima (6/01/2015)

Today was an early start again. Moved on from Kyoto and made my way to Hiroshima. I arrived before lunch so left my bags at hotel and headed out to the A Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park.

Walking around the Park allowed you to come across many monuments and statues dedicated to all those who lost their lives. The A Bomb Dome was under going checks which they do every now and then. 

Walking around the museum was very moving. Seeing all the devastation that happened and hearing about the stories. Getting to see the items that were found and what people went through afterwards.     

Saw the locals of Hiroshima. Unfortunately these 3 were strays and would come over to you if you sat down with food. 

Kyoto (5/01/2015)

Today was a full day of visiting tourist sites. The weather was nice to me. Was still cold but had the sun out. Snow still on trees and roofs of houses but not on foot path.

I started off with the Nijo castle. This was spectacular to see and walk around inside seeing all the rooms. 

I then moved on to Kinkakiyi Mae (Golden Pavillion). This was fascinating to see. Got some great photos here.

Last was the Daitoku-ji temple complex. This has one main temple and 22 small ones surrounding it. Could not see many of the smaller ones as they are behind stone walls but a few you could pay to go into.

Tomorrow I head onto Hiroshima.

 

Kanazawa/Kyoto (4/1/2015)

I spent the morning walking around in the rain. I visited the Kanazawa Castle Park and Gardens next door. These were magnificent to see up close. I didn't get to take many photos because of the rain (once I get a waterproof case for my camera this will not be an issue).

This is a statue that's at the park. Not sure who it is.

Tomorrow I have a full day in Kyoto so more visiting of sites and photos to come.

Takayama/Kanazawa (3/1/2015)

Today I went out in the morning for a bit more of a walk around Takayama. Still had snow falling down. Looked around preserved buildings. Fascinating to see.

In afternoon I headed on to Kanazawa.

Takayama (2/1/2015)

Today I had an early start. I travelled from Tokyo to Takayama. As soon as I was out of Tokyo I could see snow. It was quite fascinating. Back home in Australia you can't say it snowed today.

I arrived in the afternoon and checked into my hotel. As soon as I stepped off the train I was walking over snow. Had to watch my step. I walked down to the Takayama Yatai Kaikan (Festival Floats Exhibition Hall). They have a festival each Autumn and when it's not on you can go here to see the kinds of floats used. I was blessed at the Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine. 

As I was walking around I had light snow falling on me. It is a week too late but I can say I've had my white Christmas now. I've got the Christmas tree with snow on it. (No, it is not fake)

Tomorrow afternoon I head on to Kanazawa

Tokyo Day 2 (1/12/2015)

Today was a lazy day catching up on sleep. I got back to hotel around 3am. Went to Tokyo Tower to ring in the New Year. Lots of locals and few tourists here. Had Christmas trees which where lit up plus food carts. Around 11pm I decided to go up to the observatory. I had found out later that no fireworks would be going over the tower, so thought going up would let me see the fireworks else where. Could see a bunch of people in a circle holding what looked like white balloons down at the bottom of tower. 

At Midnight everyone in tower cheered. I had my camera pointed out to the bridge but nothing happened. No fireworks anywhere. I checked up later and apparently they decided to not do fireworks this year and instead have everyone release white balloons. These were the people I saw before but didn't take much notice of. Of course the year I come over to experience it they don't do any fireworks. I can at least say that I have celebrated the New Year from a top of the Tokyo Tower. The Bridge was lit up and a building near it so got to see that. 

Tomorrow I head off to Takayama.