Tomorrow morning I'll be flying back to Singapore, so today can be considered as my last day and night in Tokyo. My two friends are still sleeping (it's 8.35am now) so I use the time to go online. Wish to meet my sis online, but she doesn't. So I just write a blog here (edited on 27th August 2007) ^^
Now the blogspot is in Japan version, so I just guess which botton to click in this page kekeke...
Day 1 - 12th August 2007
I arrived in Tokyo on that day and went to Tokyo station alone using Narita Express *see pic.. then met my friend somewhere near the station. Wow, Tokyo train station is so big.. Lucky there were public phone so I could contact my friend and met him.
I spent whole day on 12th August in Tokyo covering Shinagawa, Sony Building, Ginza, Uyeno, Ameyayokocho, which basically are shopping areas, and ended with view of Senso-Ji (Senso Temple) at night.
Day 2 - 13th August 2007
Also in Tokyo, covering youngster shopping areas, such as Shibuya, Harajuku, then having sukiyaki all-you-can-eat at Ikebukuro, and last place was Roponggi Hills to find the Hard Rock Cafe.
*see picture on the right side - Hendra, Me, and Lucky at Ometosando Hills at Harajuku area (new shopping mall selling high class branded things)
Day 3 - 14th August 2007
We went out to Tokyo station first to purchase shinkansen ticket for Kyoto. After that, we spent the rest of the day in Tokyo DisneySea. Actually there are 2 Disney to see in Japan: DisneyLand Park and DisneySea Park. But I heard that the rides in DisneyLand are almost the same with what they have in LA and HK, and since both my friends have gone there before, so three of us agreed to go to DisneySea Park.
Hm... We could see that most visitors were Japanese. Perhaps it was because it was a school holiday and/or maybe they bought annual passport since they stay nearby. The storyline was quite different with what they have in other Disney, which makes them interesting but the rides were not daring enough! Overall, I wasn't really satisfied with it.
Day 4 - 15th August 2007
We went out early in the morning to catch our 6am shinkansen. We took N700 Shinkansen, which is the new type (started in July 2007). It was fast. The journey from Tokyo to Kyoto was 2 hours and 11 minutes (normal Shinkansen took 2 hours and 42 minutes).
Reaching there, we began searching for ryokan (Japanese traditional guesthouse) *see picture on the right. There was a public bath there.
After taking rest for a while and planning on what to do, we then went out to downtown area started with Nisikhi Market. I love this place so much because inside it, there were lots of shops selling Japanese any kind of food ingredients to cook the Japanese food, including bento set, snacks, souvenirs, etc.
We also visited some nearby Japanese temples and shrines. By the way, there are over 2000 temples and shrines in Kyoto city. We had sushi for lunch. Not so good, perhaps because the price was cheap (only 105 yen per plate - around SGD 1.35) *see picture. Then we walked up to Gion and went up to one temple. I took lots of picture in Nishiki Market and it made my battery flat so fast hahaha.. So we went back to ryokan to charge the battery. At the same time, each of us took a bath at public bath. It was my first time naked with other women hahahha..... The water was hot but it made my pain and ache gone f0r a while. I took a short nap before we went out for dinner.
We went to Ponto-cho - nightlife's area - narrow street filled up with lots of restaurants and bars *see picture on the left. Before deciding where to eat, we took a look also at Gion area then at the end we decided to eat Unagi at Ponto-cho. The set was quite expensive. My set costs 2,100 yen (unagi w/ rice - medium size, chawan mushi, soup, and little bit of achar). My friend's one costs 2,850 yen (all of the above plus sashimi and little bit of vegetable). We sat at 3rd floor and facing the view of the river. Very nice view =)
Most shops were closed at 9pm in Japan, so after having dinner, we all went back to Kyoto station. Before going back to Ryokan, we took a look at Kyoto station. It was huge!! We went up to 12th floor to see the Kyoto view from top.
Day 5 - 16th August 2007
In the morning, we had our Japanese breakfast at the ryokan *see picture on the right side- Japanese traditional breakfast w/ dining room's background.
After makan, we went to Kyoto Tower Hotel to hop in the bus (we booked a morning local tour). The tour consists of viewing Nijo-Ji (official Kyoto residence of the first Tokugawa shogun, Ieyasu), Kinkaku-Ji (Golden Pavillion Temple), and Kyoto Imperial Palace *see picture below - view of Kyoto Imperial Palace.
The weather of the day was damn hot!!! It felt like 40 degree Celcius! But no choice, we still had to browse around the area since the 3 places were best-know places in Kyoto.
We finished tour at 12.10pm and having a break until 1pm. Then we went up to Kurama (around 1 hour journey by train) to have the outdoor hot spring bath or Onsen in Japanese. Nice view from the train but it would be much nicer if we went there during winter time. Hahaha..
And it was also my first time to get naked outdoor together with other women. Hahaha.... But it was damn nice! No wonder lots of Japanese love to do so! I wish Singapore had one onsen too.. hahahahha.. *above pictures taken near Kurama Station.
We went back to Kyoto station and had our ticket change. We supposed to return to Tokyo that night, but since we had save some time, we still managed to go to Osaka, which is only 29 minutes away by train from Kyoto. And luckily there were seats for the train on the next day. So we headed up to Osaka. We also managed to find a good hotel with reasonable prices, New Hankyu hotel
We reached there around 8pm. The tourist information centre has closed, so we had to find hotel by ourselves and we just went to the hotel nearby walk-in. At first, we requested for a room for 3 and it costs 27,000 yen or 9,000 yen each. We still thought about it and discussing but since we took quite some time, the front office officer offered us another rate for 3 single room at 8,000 yen for each room (all w/out breakfast). Since my friend has long time never slept alone inside the room, so we all agreed with the arrangement. Hahaha... And we found the room very nice *reminds me of the day when I stayed in Geneva... see picture. We had dinner nearby the station (omelet rice), and had free time 'til sleeping time. I browsed around the station area before going back to hotel and slept.
Day 6 - 17th August 2007
We checked out from the hotel at 9.30am. We headed to Kyoto Castle as our first destination. It is Osaka's landmark - place that must see!!! Hehehe... *see picture on the right. Beautiful, right? We went there until 1pm. The weather was as hot as the day before. We had to endure though.. And the best thing, u know what? I didn't bring my sunblock to Kyoto and Osaka. I left it in Tokyo. 'Cos during my stay in Tokyo, the weather wasn't that hot. Haiz.... now I bring some souvenir from there - black skin.. hahaha...
We then went directly to Universal Studio and spent our evening there until 8pm. It was very fun! I enjoyed the ride "Hollywood Dream" very much and took it twice! There was personalized stereo in back of each seat. We could choose on what song to hear during the ride. I chose Pop English and they played "Girlfriend" song by Avril during my ride, which was DAMN GOOD!!! Hahaha...
We had burger set for dinner at one Diners inside it. Quite expensive for the portion like that.. but no choice lorr... We were inside Universal Studio lehh... We also took some other rides, by using 'single rider' pass - made us faster reach the ride.. hehehe..
We set back to Tokyo by Shinkansen N500 and reached Tokyo around 23.42pm *see picture - me & Shinkansen. The Shinkansen series N700 is much better than N500. But we didn't inform clearly with the person who changed our ticket, that's why we ended up taking N500 on our way home. Oklah, at least we still arrived safely to Tokyo. Hehehe... ^^
We had our supper at Yoshinoya nearby the house before headed home.
Day 7 - 18 th August 2007
I spent first half day nearby my friend's apartment to browse around the supermarket and having Udon alone for lunch while both of them went to wash their clothes nearby the area.
At 2pm we started to go out to Yokohama area. First we stopped to see the Chinatown. It was quite big and most shops selling the 'bao' - Chinese meat bun. The sizes range from small to big and some were even decorated in Panda style. The Chinese food there were very expensive so we only bought some buns and other snacks while browsing the area.
After that we moved to Sakuragi-cho station to view the Landmark Tower (the tallest building in Japan) and Cosmo Clock Ferris Wheel (the world's highest ferris wheel at 105m and has the world's fastest lift - 45km/hour). We only saw the view from a far and didn't go up as the weather was cloudy at that day *see picture on the left.
We then went to Yokohama station, which consists only shopping malls like Sogo, Porta, etc, and set ourselves to Kawasaki to have our dinner at food court. I had Hamburg steak Japanese style *see picture - Oishi nee..., while my friend had a chicken rice and ramen. After that we went back home and took a rest.
So, today, 19th August, we plan to go to Tokyo Imperial Palace. Going to put more pictures once I returned back to Singapore. Ciao!!! - As per mentioned in the blog after this, we didn't go to Tokyo Imperial Palace due to the hot weather. And I've put lots of pics in this blog. Hope you enjoy my trip too... Peace!! ^^