Go Japan ♥♥♥♥♥♥ Tokyo

(My apologies for not updating this for almost a year, gone hibernating… i guess)

DAy 6 & DAy 7

We took the Shinkansen  to go back to Tokyo.

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We bought Bento Box  for lunch and Mochi for dessert!   I just love love love these! ♥

When we arrived in Tokyo, we just spent this day to rest and take in the view from our hotel.

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Day 7

This is my first try doing a time lapse.  I called it good morning Tokyo 🙂 .

 

We ate our breakfast at Girandole. Yum Yum.  It was good  and  it comes with a view!

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Bagel, smoked salmon, Wasabi cream

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Eggs Benedict,  Smoked Salmon, Hollandaise Sauce

 

 

 

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View from Girandole

 

Then later that night we went to Shibuya.

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Hachiko

To see the statue of Hachiko, alight at the shibuya station and take the Hachiko Exit.

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Shibuya Crossing

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Since we are the  Shibuya area,  we went to eat dinner at  Ichiran Ramen

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Ichiran Ramen

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How to order:

  1. Select and purchase your ramen from the vending machine.
  2. The staff will pass you a piece of paper to customize your ramen.  You can select the noodles texture, strength of flavor, onions etc.
  3. Wait to be seated.
  4. Once you are in your booth. The staff will serve your order

 

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5. Enjoy your ramen. Itadakimasu 🙂

Ichiran Ramen– Shibuya : Open 24 hrs.

Address in Japanese:  Japan, 〒150-0041 Tokyo, 渋谷区Jinnan, 1−22−7

1-22-7 Jinnan | Iwamoto Bldg. B1F, Shibuya 150-0041, Tokyo
(3 min walk from JR Shibuya Station Hachiko Exit)                                                                    Phone number :  +81 3-3463-3667

Go Japan ♥♥♥♥♥ A birthday in Kyoto

Day 5

     12:00 Am Japan time.. I was awoken by a voice singing a “Tanjoubi Omedatou♪ ♫ Tanjoubi Omedatou ♪ ♫” 

cake

1st bday song

    When I opened my eyes it was my friend singing a happy birthday song in Japanese and a Doraemon strawberry shortcake!

I am blessed to have good friends…. or not! hahaha.

2nd bday song hahaha.

2nd bday song with “The feet”  hahaha.

My friend told me that he had to sing the happy birthday song twice.  The first time — not even a stir, the second time he need to sing and wake me up using his feet! (was he kicking me???) hahah.  He was afraid that the candle and cake has already burned down and I still wont wake up harharhar.  I was surprised on how he was able to order it custom made!

   The cake is from Malebranch.  I was surprised on how he was able to order it custom made. I almost don’t want to eat it, Doraemon was too kawaii 😀

 

     That morning we woke up a bit late. We decided to eat breakfast at Yoshinoya.  We wanted to know the difference of their beef bowl  from the Singapore’s  Yoshinoya.  They have english menu.   The beef  is more flavourful  and cheaper :D.  Original is the best eh?

Yoshinoya

Yoshinoya

 

Beef bowl

Beef bowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

english menu

english menu

 

Japanese Menu

Japanese Menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      After breakfast, we went to the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion). We took the train from Gojo Station  (Karasuma Line- heading to Shijo)  and alight at Kitaoji station.  Then you can take bus 101, 102, 204 or 205. Bus ride is around 10 minutes.

Kitaoji station

Bus terminal at Kitaoji station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies wearing their yukata on the way to the Temple

Ladies wearing their yukata on the way to the Temple

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Golden Pavillion

Golden Pavilion

Incense

Incense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Next stop is the Kyoto Imperial Palace.  Since we haven’t eaten  our lunch we decided to eat near the  palace. We found a small restaurant – Inakitei.  It is very cozy and the food is good.  I ordered a Don-Buri set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inakitei

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Lunch , we went to the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

Children playing baseball

Children playing baseball

 

Walls

Walls

more walls

more walls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Munakata Shrine

     

     Then we went to Fushimi Inari Shrine.  We took train from Marutamachi (Karasuma Line) then we change train at  Kyoto and transfer to JR nara line.  We alighted at the JR Inari Station.  The shrine is just outside the  station.

platform for JR nara line

platform for JR nara line

Jr Inari Station

Jr Inari Station

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romon gate

 

Fushimi Inari Shrine opposite the JR Inari station

Fushimi Inari Shrine opposite the JR Inari station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     It is a Shinto shrine and it is famous for it’s thousand torii gates.  When they say thousand… they really mean it hahaha :P.

Foxes are regarded as the messengers

regarded as the messengers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map of Fushimi Inari Shrine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senbon Torii

Senbon Torii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     After the Shrine we went to the Gion District.

      

 

 

 

 

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     Then we ate dinner at Miyako Ramen.  It is located near the Yasaka Shrine.  They have english menu.  The Ramen  was tasty, yum yum :D.  A good meal to end the day

Miyako

Miyako

English menu Yay !

English menu Yay !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go Japan ♥♥♥♥ Kyoto

Day 4

     We woke up early this day or should I say tried to haahah.  I wanted to see the sunrise in the Kiyomizudera temple.  From our hotel, we took bus no. 80 or if you are coming from Kyoto Station take bus number 100 or 206.

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tourist

Happy Tourists taking a pose

 

 

 

Koyasu Pagoda

Koyasu Pagoda viewed from Kiyomizudera Temple

 

Kiyomizudera Temple

Kiyomizudera Temple

 

Kiyomizudera Temple

Kiyomizudera Temple

 

Wooden board or they call it Ema. People write down their prayer and wishes on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       After visiting the  Kiyomizudera Temple, we decided to forgo the Ninen-zaka Path and Sannen-zaka Path.  It is still early and  the shops are still closed.  We planned to go back again later.

 

Thought this one is a statue :)

Thought this one is a statue 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We went  to Kyoto Station to eat breakfast.  The station has a unique architectural beauty in it.

                   

From Kyoto station, we went to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.  We took the the JR Sagano Line and alight at Arashiyama Station.  It is easy to travel by train here in Kyoto not as complicated as Tokyo.  You can  see the  Kyoto metro map here.   When we arrived at the  Saga Arashiyama station .  We head out for the Bamboo Grove Path.  It was around 11:00 am and it was very crowded.  We figured out that the best time to go there is very early morning to avoid the  crowd and enjoy the scenery.

Bamboo Grove Path

 

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Kyoto Rickshaw

Some girls stroll around wearing their yukata.

Some girls stroll around wearing their yukata.

He sells dragonflies made out of bamboo

 

We also  visited the Tenryu-ji Temple.   It has a very beautiful landscape garden.  You could rest there and enjoy the view.  Have a moment of zen ♥

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenryuji Temple

Garden view

people who are resting and enjoying a moment of zen

people who are resting and enjoying a moment of zen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After resting for awhile, we left the  temple and  looked for a place to eat lunch.  Most restaurants near the  temple are full.  We stumble upon this small store on the way to the train station.

 

yummmy Takoyaki!

yummmy Takoyaki!

     We bought the 12 pcs special takoyaki.  It has green onion, mayonnaise & sauce.  It cost us 1000 JPY .  My friend and I shared the Takoyaki.  Then we ordered Yakisoba for each of us ,  costs 500 JPY.  The takoyaki and yakisoba they have is very flavourful.  Best one I’ve had so far ♥ 😀

Yummyyy Yakiisoba

Yummyyy Yakiisoba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     After eating lunch, we headed out to TOEI Kyoto Studio Park.  We went back to Saga Arashiyama station and  took the train going back to Kyoto.   We alight at Uzamasa Station, the studio is a 5 minute walk .  There are directions you can see along the way and it is easy to find.

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  It is a different kind of theme park.  It is an actual studio for TOEI movies.  It depicts the street of Edo period.  Entrance Fee is  2,200 JPY for Adults. You can view a copy of the studio map here. Some attractions inside the studio park has an additional charge.  We’ve watched the ninja show (entrance is free).  The show is in japanese but I still enjoyed it.  The action stunts are well coordinated.  The lead actor reminds me of the anime Naruto.

Ninja Show

Ninja Show

Ninja Mystery House

Ninja Mystery House

One Piece - inside the Toei Anime Museum

One Piece – inside the Toei Anime Museum

Mazinger Z

Mazinger Z

ninja!

ninja!

      You can also rent costumes and walk around the  studio. You can also have your make up and hair done for an additional fee.  When you visit this studio allot about 5 hrs to fully enjoy the park.  In my case,  I just rented the  costume because not enough time to do  my hair and make up . But still,  I enjoyed the experience 😀

I just can't resist to ask this guy to take picture with me :P

I just can’t resist to ask this guy to take a picture with me 😛

Deity of Good Fortune

Deity of Good Fortune

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kyoto Tower

After the Toei Studio Park, we decided to go to the Sannen-zaka Path. We took the train and head back to Kyoto station.Unfortunately, most of the shops are closed already.  Saw them close twice this day!  hahaha. Forgot to check what time they usually open and close :P.  We took a cab back to our hotel.  The restaurant we want to go to was just beside our hotel.  Sobanomi Yoshimura is the name of the place.  They make their own buckwheat noodles.  We wanted to try the  soba as I read on reviews it’s quite good.  The staff can  speak a little english and they have english menu. Dinner was good and it  was my first time eating buckwheat ice cream.  I like it 😀

They are making their own noodles

They are making their own noodles

Sobanomi Yoshimura

Sobanomi Yoshimura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        

 

 

 

 

 

Cold Soba

 

 

 

 

 

 

buckwheat icecream

buckwheat icecream

Go Japan ♥♥♥ Lake Kawaguchiko & Kyoto

DAy 3

     Ohaiyo Gozaimasu .  This day we plan to go very early and see the Chureito Pagoda, which is part of the Arakura Sengen Shrine. Woke up about 5 am and before 6 am  and we are good to go.  I went near the lake and took a couple of pictures on this very early morning.

     After taking some photographs we went back to the hotel and asked the  reception of the hotel, the english speaking staff is not yet available.  However,  since my friend can speak a little bit of  Japanese, we managed to ask if he can help us call a cab.  Unfortunately, there is no cab available, it was too early.  The staff informed us that the shuttle service is available at 8:30 am.  We sat down at the lobby and thinking what to do. Seems our only option is to walk  to the station if we still want to make it on time for breakfast at 9:30 am. It will be about 20 minutes walk.  Then the staff approached us again and said he is able to take us to the station.  We are so thankful that he was able to accommodate us.  He drove us there himself :).  We were able to catch the train before it leaves.  The staff at the station alerted them and waited for us to board the train.  We thanked the  train driver for waiting.  He greeted us with a smile.

How to get to the Chureito Pagoda:

    From Kawaguchiko Station take the train and alight  at the Shimo-Yoshida Station (300 JPY, about 15 minutes).  The Arakura Sengen Shrine is  a 10 minute walk from the  station. From the Station there are signs that will lead you to the  shrine.  Then you will pass by residential area .

Shimo-Yoshida Station

Shimo-Yoshida Station

 

 

Ricefields along the way

rice fields along the way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn is coming!

Autumn is coming!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arakura Sengen Shrine

Arakura Sengen Shrine

             

stairs to the Pagoda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mt Fuji on the way to the Chureito Pagoda

Mt Fuji on the way to the Chureito Pagoda

 

Chureito Pagoda

Chureito Pagoda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

    Finally after how many hundred steps, I was able to see this view in real life.  I always admired this in pictures and in  post cards.  I just have to take this shot hahaha :).  So happy that it was a clear morning and we are able to see Mt Fuji for a couple of hours ♥♥♥.

Mt Fuji and Chureito Pagoda

Mt Fuji and Chureito Pagoda

    Around 9 am Mt Fuji was hidden in the clouds. We are very lucky we were able to see it for two days.  After that we went back to the  hotel and  we are able to catch breakfast.

Breakfast

Japanese Breakfast

 

Took some pictures of the area before we prepare for check out.

 

 

 

 

Mt. Fuji hidden by the clouds

Mt. Fuji hidden by the clouds-Lake Kawaguchiko

     We left the hotel around 11 a.m.  We are heading to Kyoto.  We ate lunch at the Kawaguchiko station and sent some postcards.

Yoshida Udon Noodles

Yoshida Udon Noodles

Cafe at the Kawaguchiko Station

Cafe at the Kawaguchiko Station

      From Kawaguchiko, we need to go back to Otsuki (47 Minutes).   Then from Otsuki transfer from there and take the train going to Hachioji (about 30 minutes). From Hachioji then take the train bound for Shin-Yokohama (about 40 minutes train ride).  Then from Shin-Yokohama to Kyoto (about 139 minutes train ride).

Hikari 479

     We arrived at Kyoto Station around 6:45 pm and we took a cab to go to  our hotel.  We booked at the Citadines Karasuma-Gojo Kyoto.  Check in was easy and  they have english speaking staff at the reception.  Location is good . Gojo station is just beside the  hotel. The room & toilet is nice and quite spacious :).  You can also cook.  The room has its own sink and stove.  I like it.  I  wasn’t able to take much pictures of the room.  We are in a hurry because we have an 8 pm reservation for dinner.

My bed

     After Check in , we just put our luggages in the room. We just freshen a bit, then off to dinner.  I have been looking forward to this dinner for almost a year ever since I  saw that youtube vid of an omu rice opening up  like a flower ♥, so NO!  I am not going to miss this chance.  We took a cab to go to the  place so we won’t be late.  So far it I find it easy to take a cab here in Japan (cab fare is quite expensive, I think flag down rate is about 8 sgd. So most people will choose to take train or bus).

    The restaurant name is KichiKichi (キチキチ).  It is an eight seater (counter seat type) restaurant and I would highly suggest that you make a reservation before coming here.  You can fill up this reservation form or you can call them (you can ask the hotel staff to help you).  In our case we fill up the form,  initially it’s all in japanese, Thank you google translate! Mwah mwah and mwah.  Now they have the reservation form in english Yay!  :).  After making a reservation they will send email confirmation.

Kichi Kichi sign on the street

Kichi Kichi sign on the street

Go in this small alley where Kichi-kichi is located

Go in this small alley where Kichi-kichi is located

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Omu Rice Heaven!

Welcome to Omu Rice Heaven!

Menu outside the store

Menu outside the store

 

 

Need I say more? If there is an Omu rice heaven  this guy must be the  God of Omu rice ♥♥♥

kichikichi

Chef Motoyoshi Yukimura

Chef Motoyoshi Yukimura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He was fun and  showed  us the art of making an awesome Omu rice.  This was one of highlights of my Kyoto trip.  I actually went to Kyoto just to eat this!  Best Omu rice I’ve tasted 😀

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Chef and his pretty assistant

omu rice

croquette

croquette

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kichikichi 

185-4 Zaimokucho, Sanjo Pontocho-dori Kudaru, Nakagyo-ku,Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture (Pontocho)

 

 

Go Japan ♥♥ Tsukiji Market & Mt Fuji

Day 2  

     Woke up early,  drew the curtains and checked if it still raining.  Nice, the rain has stopped. We quickly prepared and  went to the Tsukiji Fish Market to eat our breakfast. We wanted to see if by any chance of luck Sushi Dai don’t have that long queue.  However the moment we walked towards the market, it started raining again. Arggh!  We wonder if one of us is jinxed :P.  There is an Information Counter in the Tsukiji Market.  You can ask them  if you are looking for a particular store, they speak good english and  will help you for directions. In our case we asked for directions for Sushi Dai, it is very famous (based from what I’ve read and those who went here already) for the tastiest and freshest sushi. We are directed to walk past the parking lot then turn right and the building number is 6.

                                             

 

Watch out where you are going or these may ran you over

 

 

 

 

 

 

     People are still queueing even if it was raining. I told myself “Nah I am not gonna do that”, in which a few days after,  I ate my words hahaha.

queue for Sushi Dai

Sushi Dai

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     We looked for other eating places beside the Sushi dai, there are quite a few choices and voila!  Saw this store that sell UNAGI!  My friend and  I got both excited as we like to order and  eat this whenever we go to a japanese restaurant back in SG. We ask if they have english menu, they don’t but they have yummy pictures displayed around the  store. We asked the  lady how much is the set in the pix , she pointed to us the price in the list that is in front of us.  JPY 2,600.  It was very tasty. We ask for the name of the store , the lady said it’s “Fukusen” . Best unagi I’ve had so far

price

 

     

     After we checked out of our hotel, we made our way to Shinjuku Station.  It was raining and we have luggages with us, we decided to take a cab.  It cost us about near 2k JPY.  We went to JR Ticket office to reserve our seats.  We will go to Lake Kawaguchiko. There is no direct JR railway to Kawaguchiko,  so we have to go from Shinjuku (JR) Station take the Ltd Express Kaiji (covered by JR pass) to Otsuki.

          

     They will issue you a green  card that bears the car and seat number . You just have to show it at the station and they will let you in. Just don’t forget to ask which platform number so it will be much easier .

Just look for this green symbol, it is for Green car – reserved seat.

         

Inside the Kaiji 109.

Inside the Kaiji 109.

they have food stores inside the train station and platform ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are in a hurry to catch the train, you can grab a bento box and eat it inside the train while travelling. Very yummy :P.   It’s one of the things I like in Japan, you can eat and drink inside the train.

 

 

on the way to Ostuki

    Then from Otsuki Station we need to transfer to Fujikyu Railway for Kawaguchiko. Upon reaching the Otsuki station it is easy to transfer and there is no need to  go out of the station. You can also use Pasmo or Suica to pay for the fare or buy the ticket from there.

Go out from here

Just go straight ahead for the transfer exit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transfer/Exit gate to Fujikyu Railway

 

 

 

 

They have cute themed trains..

Thomas and Friends

 

 

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There are few stop overs before reaching Kawaguchiko station in which you can take pictures 🙂

      

 

Kawaguchiko Station

Kawaguchiko Station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Upon reaching Kawaguchiko station we went  to the Fujikawaguchiko Tourist Information. They are friendly and speak good english. If you booked a hotel in Kawaguchiko area they can help to call the hotel once you arrived in the station and the hotel shuttle service can pick you up. After they have helped us call our hotel , just after 5 minutes the  shuttle service came to picked us up.

Fujikawaguchiko Tourist Information

Fujikawaguchiko Tourist Information . Hours open to visitors: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m

We have booked at the Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen Hotel New Century.  They provide free hotel  shuttle service starting 8:30 am . They have an english speaking staff at the reception  until  6 Pm.  I chose  a Japanese style room facing Mt Fuji. I have requested for high floor and  non smoking room. The view from the  room was great. It  see was a clear late afternoon and we were very lucky to see  Mt Fuji  

view from our room

view from our room

 

Doraemon and Mt Fuji

Doraemon and Mt Fuji

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Kawaguchiko & Mt Fuji

 

outside the hotel

 

Mt Fuji

Mt Fuji

 

Dinner

Dinner  from Hotel New Century

 

     After we ate dinner, when we came back to our room they have already prepared the futons for us. The hotel had their own onsen baths.  I decided I wanted to try the onsen.   At night the  ladies can use the  Bldg A – 7th Floor  View Big bath,  for men it is in Bldg B 1F.  When morning comes it will be reversed. Women will use the  B1F and men will use the 7th Floor.  It was a different experience for me.  As it was my first time and not used to seeing naked women , at first I felt kind of shy, however when I overcome my shyness, I started to enjoy the onsen.  Cameras are not allowed (thank goodness!) so no pix how it looks like inside :P.  The hot water helps to relax your tired muscles while looking the serene outside view.  It is a must try experience. 🙂

Onsen Schedule

Comfy Futons

Comfy Futons

 

Go Japan ♥

DAY 1  –

     We arrived at Haneda Airport around 4PM.  It was raining heavily in Tokyo.  We straightaway went to the JR Travel Service Center to exchange our JR pass.  It was easy, the staff can speak english and  they were very friendly.  You can choose and decide which day you want the  JR Pass to be activated, it will start counting the 7 day pass on the day you first used it .

Located near the Tokyo Monorail 2F Ticket Gate/Arrival lobby

Located near the Tokyo Monorail 2F Ticket Gate/Arrival lobby                       

  Then we bought a PASMO card, you  can  use it to ride trains and buses both in Tokyo and in Kyoto. It is easy to purchase and  top up the Pasmo card. The machine have an english option, so don’t fret 🙂

       Then we are all set to go out of the airport Yay!  We took the train to go to our hotel.  After a few stations the train is getting crowded.  After a few stops, I looked outside the train window.  It was still raining heavily  and then  I saw this river, the water is almost overflowing and running very fast.  That’s the time we realized we took the wrong train, oh noes! Instead of heading to Higashi-Ginza station, in which our hotel was located  we ended up in Yokohama! OMG! hahaha.  We decided to get off on the next station.  By this time, the train was so packed! Hello rush hour! How are you? In case you ask me I think we are lost! To top it off it is raining heavily and it’s getting dark!  Not a good timing to get lost. Hahaha.  We had a hard time getting off the next station. The door opened at the other side and we are on the opposite side. As we tried to say our “excuse us” and made our way to get off the train (either the  train  was so packed or they can’t understand us)  no one was moving to give way.  The people behind us who also wanted to get off, started pushing us. Then we have no choice but push/squeeze our way out!  I don’t know how many feet I have stepped on or if my luggage or my friend’s heavy luggage ran over any feet, as we struggle to get out while saying sorry.  Whew!  We were able to get off on time before the door closed. Both of us laugh after we realized what just happened.  We asked for directions on how to go to Higashi-Ginza Station from the train staff.

     Upon reaching the station, we decided to walk because  the rain seemed to stop… Not!  Just after we walk a block or two, it started to rain heavily again.  It was around 7 pm and it was dark already.  We asked for directions from a guy who is in front of a Pachinko establishment.  After getting directions, we thanked him and walk a few steps . We stopped for awhile and struggled to find our umbrellas that is inside somewhere in our luggage.  To our surprise, the same guy who gave us directions came to us and gave us two umbrellas to use. We didn’t expect this act of kindness from a stranger.  After thanking him, we kept on walking and looking for our hotel.  We seemed unable to find the hotel, so my friend asked again for directions,  this time, from two middle-aged ladies. To my surprise he was asking them  in Japanese (when I asked him later on he said he wanted to surprise me, he learned basic Japanese conversations).  Aside from giving us directions they even walked with us and took us near the hotel. On our first day we have experienced the kindness of the Japanese people.  Getting lost, walking under heavy rain and getting drenched didn’t seem to be a bad thing at all.  Instead we appreciate the experience and I felt admiration for the Japanese people :).

     We booked 1 night at the Tokyu Stay – Higashi-Ginza as I originally wanted to go to the tuna auction. It is ideal.  It is very near the Tsukiji Fish Market.  We decided not to go to the tuna auction.  We are travelling to Kawaguchiko the following day and for sure we are not able to wake up that early ;P.  The staff at the reception can  speak english. The room size is a bit small however it is clean and the  toilet is clean and spacious.

     We decided to go out and  eat dinner at Ippudo. While trying to locate the ramen shop , it started raining heavily  again.  It took us quite awhile to  find it. We thought it was on the main road, and it doesn’t have an  english sign. We just matched it to the picture we checked online. By the time we were able to find it, we were drenched again ;P.  Hot ramen  for a rainy night

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Ippudo (4-10-3 Ginza | 1F Central Bldg., Chuo 104-0061, Tokyo) Higashi-Ginza Station (Asakusa line), exit A8.

     When we went back to the hotel, we were still drenched.  It is very convenient that the hotel room itself has its own washer & dryer. We were able to  wash and dry our clothes at the comfort of our own room.  Next time,  I can travel light if I book accommodations like these :).  Needed to sleep early  as we planned to eat early breakfast at the Tsukiji market and leave for Kawaguchiko.

Go Japan ♥ Preparation

      Since I was young, I have always wanted to go to Japan. This year, I decided to go and celebrate my birthday there. My friends went with me to celebrate, aren’t they the sweetest? ♥

       We decided to go free and  easy for 10 Days :).  After several late nights of researching and planning, finally! I was able to draft my itinerary, how to’s, how much entrance , fares , budget etc.  Last thing I need is to be penniless in a foreign country right? ;).  Most websites I have checked recommended to use Hyperdia.com for checking of train routes and schedules.  The site is very useful. It helped me planned routes and estimate the train fares as well.  Yay!  I was able to build my confidence that  we won’t get lost (hopefully). When I saw the Tokyo Metro Subway Map, my nose almost bled and my confidence was smashed  :).

         I booked all our accommodations through agoda.com.   Here is the itinerary I planned:

  •  Arrival and 1 night stay at Ginza (1 night)
  •  Lake Kawaguchiko (wanted to see Chureito Pagoda and Mt. Fuji)(1 night)
  • Kyoto ( 3 nights)
  • Tokyo  ( 4 nights)

       I also went to the Japan National Tourism Organization(JNTO) here in SG.  I was able to get  copies of maps and travel guides for Kyoto & Tokyo  that will be very useful.

      I rented a pocket wifi and mobile phone from Pupuru, the service is good and hassle free.  They reply quickly if you email them for any enquiries  (Mon-Fri.).  I have requested it to be delivered to our hotel.  This video is from their youtube ad:

 

   We bought Japan Rail Pass from H.I.S.Singapore. There are two types : Green  and Ordinary. Green – need to be reserved and first class ; Ordinary – non reserved seats. You can choose from 7 days, 14 days and 21 days pass.  We have bought the  Green Car  7 days pass.

     Planning and Packing – This is the real challenge hehehe. I am  still learning the art of travelling light :P.  I decided to use my small luggage and  my friend will use a bigger luggage so I can also  stuff it with my things. Now let the adventure begin….