Konichiwa!: Japan Trip Live Blog


Continuing with my "live" blog for my trip to Japan. I have to create a new post as the page might be too heavy with photos already.


Dec. 6. 10:30 am, Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki
So it's Day 3 now. I actually overslept and woke up late so that means Hakone is out of the picture. I am also reluctant to go there, as it might take a while, and I need to change hostels today too.


11:30 am, Khaosan Tokyo Ninja
After checking out of Kabuki I took the subway ang went across the Kanda river to check in the other Khaosan hostel, the Ninja. The actual check in is not earlier than three pm so I just paid and left my luggage, and go someplace to kill some time.


12:30 pm
I took the subway again and went to Tokyo SkyTree, which is the highest tower in the world. The 634-meter tower is also a new Tokyo landmark. There was actually a long line in for the tickets, and it took me about an hour to get one.


1:30pm, Tokyo SkyTree observation deck
All I can say is, the view of metropolitan Tokyo at 350 meters is spectacular.


5:00 pm,  Akihabara
I went back to the hostel after SkyTree, and I went out again as soon as I got my room key. Next stop is the gadget mecca, Akihabara. As a gadget freak this place is like heaven to me. I thought I can control myself from not buying anything but I failed.

Akihabara has a lot of other "interesting" shops too. I spent almost five hours exploring the neighborhood.

9:30pm, Khaosan Tokyo Ninja
I'm back in the hostel to rest. Got an early day tomorrow, as I am traveling to Kyoto.


Day 4
12:03 pm, Tokyo Station
I checked out of the hostel around 10 am and proceeded here to activate my Japan Rail Pass which I will use for traveling to other cities. First ticket I got is for a Shinkansen (bullet train) ride from Tokyo to Kyoto. I was so thrilled. Rail is my second favorite mode of transportation, after airplanes. And Japan's Shinkansen is renowned for its efficiency and technology.


The train - the Hikari 700 series model - left on time, and the trip to Kyoto took less than 3 hours. At the station I strike a conversation with an old lady who mistook me for a Japanese. We were Bledsoe to converse through gestures, singular English words and Nihonggo, which I only guessed what she meant. I was able to tell her where my seat is and where I'm going. On her stop she actually stopped by my seat to say " Sayonara " to me.


We passed by Nagoya and several smaller cities along the way. I saw a town with snow too just outside Nagoya so that bodes well for Nagano/Hakuba leg of this trip.


4:00 pm Gion Ryokan  Q-Beh
I arrived in Kyoto just before 3pm and it actually took me a while to figure out which bus to take (Bus 206, dummy), and I didn't find the hostel right away. I was able to check in around 4pm. The hostel is built like the old-school ryokan, so it was very quaint. I love it.


5:00 pm
After resting and charging my phone battery I set out to explore the neighborhood. I dropped by a small eatery and ordered a bento. I didn't realized I'm so hungry.


5:30 pm
After a late lunch/early dinner I went to the old districts that looks like you got transported back to the samurai era. There were temples in the area too but I didn't go in because it was already dark and I can't take pictures anymore.



7:30 pm
I went back to the hostel to rest, but I went out again about an hour later to look for hot food. I can't find any ramen place close by so I ended up in Starbucks to get a hot chocolate to warm me in this cold evening. It will be an early bedtime for me tonight as I will be early tomorrow,  I will go to Osaka and I want to be back by afternoon.



Comments

  1. How badly did you fail? Ilang gadgets nabili mo? :-)

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    Replies
    1. I bought several accessories and toys, plus one Bang&Olufsen headphones, which is a major purchase :)

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  2. Hi mate, looks like you're having a great time. Pity about Hakone, but do try to make it there one of these days - great views, nature, and history all rolled into one (with Mt. Fuji as the cherry on top IF the weather's good).

    Great shot from the Sky Tree. I went there close to sunset, which was a good compromise as it allowed me to have a daytime view and (just minutes later) an amazing nighttime view, with the whole city spreading out in all directions like a sea of lights. Of course, the light was fading fast so the daytime view wasn't as good as yours. I'll have to go back there sometime to get better day shots, at high noon or thereabouts.

    Mm, Akiba. You went for the gadgets, I go there for the anime/manga. Almost a nightly ritual whenever I'm in Tōkyō. I'm careful to steer well clear of the, er, mature stuff of course (thankfully, in your typical store that tends to be isolated in a separate floor or relegated to the basement so it's easy enough to avoid).

    Good stuff mate - keep 'em coming.

    Cheers and happy travels.

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    Replies
    1. thanks Diego. yup I enjoyed exploring Akihabara, even the stores selling the mature stuff, lol. I will try the Hakone/Fuji next time I will be in Japan (not sure when will that be). If I have a longer time, I'd like to try to climb some part of it too.

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    2. "If I have a longer time, I'd like to try to climb some part of it too."

      Coincidentally, I've got plans to climb it myself - during the 2015 climbing season if all goes to plan. I even have the flight booked already. (^_^)

      Actually, my main targets for that trip are the 3 major summer festivals of the Tōhoku region (which, by a splendid coincidence, are usually held during the best season for climbing Fuji-san). I'm not 100% sure yet that I'll do the climb, but if it goes through, I'll likely do it with these guys:

      https://www.fujimountainguides.com/

      Cheers.

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    3. Cool!

      Aside from Mt Fuji I also wanted to exlore Hokkaido, and maybe Fukuoka.

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