A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: tayzonday

Update Time! whats been happening?

rain 17 °C

Its been a while since our last update so here we go.. i would recommend getting comfortable and possibly a coffee - this isnt going to be short folks.

last tuesday we went to Disney "the happiest place on earth" land. and it was a long day! we were able to conquer every ride except for space mountain, which im pretty sure would of been the best ride in history, due to some fast pass ticket scam, though the nice lady said we can comeback and use it another day (sigh) however all in all it was a good day and we were pretty exhausted by the end of it.

later that week we headed off to Mt Fuji with great expectations however our spirits were crushed like small helpless animals under the tread of a tree clearing bulldozer of environmental hate. it was a cloudy rainy day and couldnt see anything at all. the highlight of the day was the violation of a small rabbit / badger mascot by Josh and Darren while wearing disney cowboy hats.

Luckily the Nagano day trip was amazing. After a brief train trip, bus trip, mountain hike we arrived at monkey paradise aptly named hells valley due to there steamy gysers and rocky terrain. our first interaction with a monkey was josh being attacked and chased so we knew we were onto a good thing. it was pretty surreal being able to walk right upto wild monkeys and watch them go about their daily business of laying in hotpools and fighting each other (monkies are somewhat cruel) The day ended with some naked bathing (no monkey).

Well after all that the intinery has been thrown out the window and things got alittle crazy over the last couple of days.

It started off Sunday morning with the plan to take a 4.5hr train ride from Tokyo to Takayama in central Japan.
Upon arriving in Takayama we quickly hired some bicycles from a local and set off. It was quickly agreed upon that bicycles was the best idea of the holiday so far - we made great time and saw the entire city in an afternoon. so instead of staying the night - we packed it up and changed our course to Osaka.

We arrived in Osaka around 8:30pm and made our way into a pretty seedy part of town (ofcourse without knowing!) and finding a capsule hotel. we decided to give it a try - though the locker space couldnt fit our suitcases so we had to upgrade to a normal room. (not without jumping into some capsules first though)

Today we went in search of new accommodation and somehow found a place built into a major stadium which is home to the Osaka Football Club. its pretty strange to be staying in a stadium!

After dropping off our bags we ventured off into Osaka to check out whats for offer. starting with a trip to the Aquarium. it was pretty good though the much hyped whale shark cause abit of disappointment. i was expecting to see something godzilla like.. but it was just a fatter than normal fish.

After that it was into Osaka Castle, and with a trip to the castle came more rain (we seem to have bad luck with weather so far) the Castle was somewhat impressive but i think the weather made everyone abit disgruntled.. we made for shelter and went over to Dombomtori (sp?) and walked around what seems the largest street mall in the history of street malls. eventually getting lost.

anyways the last few days will see us visit Hiroshima, Miyajima and Himeji and exploring more Osaka.. expect more photos soon!

Posted by tayzonday 04:12 Archived in Japan Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

We survived the ninjas!

hopefully we will have the same outcome in Tokyo...

overcast 21 °C
View Japan Holiday on tayzonday's travel map.

Well we just got back from a day with the Ninjas. We left early this morning as Iga-Ueno (ninja hangout) was a good 2hr trip and what seemed liked 45345 different trains. We were lucky enough to stumble across a pleasent japanese woman who guided as in the right direction, which i think was lucky because im pretty sure we were set to go in the opposite direction altogether.

A day at the ninjas consists of firstly a quick demostration of a ninja house which is what seems a typical farmers shanty but it has a billion hidey holes and places of advantage to launch a formible attack on your local milkman or possible rival ninja spy!

After that we got to view alot of ninja clothing / weapons and read up on the history. this was the calm before the storm however as soon enough we were watching a live ninja demostration with real weapons. We all left pretty impressed and josh and darren were so amped that they decided they would be wannabe ninjas if only for 5minutes and chuck some ninja stars around.

We finished off our ninja excursion by a quick visit to a castle. it was very impressive from the outside and made for pretty cool photos however the inside was abit of a letdown, pretty much consisting of nothing.

On the way down from the ninja mountains in the hunt for food we seemed to of stumbled upon a local market / parade. there was plenty of food and game stands and darren felt compelled to blow 500yen on a rigged shooting game, he did score a pitty prize from it though being a rather cool BB gun.

After eating some dodgey street vendor food and joining the local parade we waved through the 456423 trains back to Kyoto.

Tomorrow we leave for Tokyo on a first bullet train ride. Kyoto has been great and if things continue to improve its going to be pretty epic!

Posted by tayzonday 01:24 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

Let the countdown begin!

overcast 19 °C

Well we are exactly 67 Days and a bunch of hours (too lazy to work that much out) until we fly out of Sydney International destined for Osaka!! With airfares book, accommodation reserved things are going pretty smooth and now we start looking at a must-do! things to achieve during our time in the land of the rising sun. Here's a small list so far!

  • Chill in a hotspring (onsen) in Nagano with the snow monkeys!
  • See the ninja museum and shows in Iga Ueno
  • Get a rundown on some edo period samurai history.
  • Visit the peace park in Hiroshima
  • Check out the wooden gate in mayajama and chill with the deer on the island.
  • Do some shopping in Ginza, Shibuya & Akihabara
  • Have a coffee at the starbucks overwatching Shibuya crossing (as you can see on the background)
  • Walk the street markets of Osaka & Akasusa.
  • A day of eating the best japan has to offer in Osaka (right before we fly home ^_^)
  • Ride the metro train and visit Shinjuku station during peak time.
  • Visit the imperial palace and its surrounding gardens
  • Check out the Harajuku girls and some cosplay.
  • Visit Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea
  • Spend a night in the Gold-Gai bar district (Shinjuku) and Kabukicho's karoake bars
  • Visit Mt Fuji.. jeah!
  • Bail Josh out of a Japanese jail.
  • Visit Japans largest castle in Himeji
  • Scope out of the shrines and temples Kyoto has on offer

and this will only continue to grow the closer we get to October 21!

Posted by tayzonday 17:28 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

We wont be sleeping in the streets!

Accommodation has been sorted.. well mostly anyways

sunny 19 °C

Well I've been able to reserve accommodation in Kyoto and Tokyo which will see us spending 14 of our 18 nights in Japan.

Firstly is the Kyoto ryokan Tour Club! its a quiet little place 9 minutes away from the Kyoto central rail station. It will be our base for the first 5 nights allowing us to easily visit Nara, Ueno and Osaka during the days. Kyoto itself is rich in Temples and Shrines and I'm sure plenty of sightseeing of "old japan" will be done during the opening of our holiday!

meditation1.jpg
Everyone needs a Zen Garden - particularly Josh

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Modern Japan living?

Our 2nd base of holiday operations! will be none other than Tokyo. We wanted to be close to the center of Tokyo to make seeing as much as possible easy! With this in mind i found a little place in the Asakusa district which is rich in atmosphere with the street lined markets and traditional temples. Once the entertainment district of old Tokyo.

photo_taitoryokan.jpg
and yes when i said "little place", i meant wooden shanty.

The Taito ryokan will be our home for 9 nights between the 26th of October to the 4th of November, and will allow us to see all of the central Tokyo districts aswell as make daily trips to Mt Fuji, Nikko, Nagano and Kamakura.

As for accommodation in Takayama, Miyajima and Osaka i think the attitude at the moment is meh.. and "winging it" may be applied.

Posted by tayzonday 22:52 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (1)

First part of our plan revealed!

Here it is folks. Just a little preview of things to come.

sunny 18 °C

Scheduled Flight Dates
Depart - Sunday Oct 21 @ 11:30AM
Arrive in Osaka at 8:20PM in Kansai Airport

Return - Sunday November 08 @ 8:50pm
Arrive in Sydney at about noon at the Intl. Airport

Itinerary

Oct Sun 21: Arrive at Kansai Airport, and travel to ryokan in Kyoto.
Oct Mon 22-Wed 24: Spend two full days in Kyoto and one day in nearby Nara. Nara is an easy day trip from Kyoto.
Oct Thurs 25: Day trip to Iga Ueno, visit the ninjas. If finish early spend evening in Osaka or Kyoto before returning back to Kyoto Inn.
Oct Fri 26: Take the bullet train from Kyoto to Toyko in the morning. Check into ryokan and explore Asakura district.
Oct Sat 27- Tues 30: Spend four full days in Tokyo
Oct Wed 31: Day trip to Hakone, Mt Fuji & the Five lakes.
Oct Thurs 1: Day trip to Nikko
Nov Fri 2: Day trip to Nagano (snow monkeys!)
Nov Sat 3: Day trip to Kamakura
Nov Sun 4: Travel to Takayama in the morning, spend the night here.
Nov Mon 5: In the early morning, travel from Takayama to Hiroshima (4 hours) and visit the Peace Park. In the afternoon, continue to Miyajima and overnight there.
Nov Tues 6: Get up early and spend a few more hours on Miyajima. Leave the island around eleven for Himeji (2 hours). Spend the afternoon exploring Himeji Castle. Travel to Osaka for the night.
Nov Wed 7: Spend full day in Osaka
Nov Thurs 8: Spend the day in Osaka before checking into Kansai airport at 6pm fly home that night.

So that's that then. A full 18 days in the land of the rising sun. It's going to be action packed that's for sure. Honestly, I can't wait :-)

Stay tuned avid fans - For there will be regular updates to our blog over the coming weeks. Including plans of the attractions we wish to see, accommodation, and much much more!

Posted by tayzonday 18:00 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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