Day 18-19: Hong Kong (part 1 of 2)

Had 2 full days in Hong Kong
Arrived about 9pm at the hotel, gave mum a huge hug ;-). pretty impressive decor for the Intercontential I thought, even more when walked into room, a proper -king- sized bed.
Hadn’t slept that well in quite a long time. Next morning – rain, got soaked heading to the Peninsular Hotel and stuck me head in to have a look (well, the doorman opened it ^_^; ). Never in my life seen so many riches, unlike here, people dont show off their wealth, but in HK its
in a whole diferent league. (See photos below).
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The rest of the was spent window shopping, avoiding sharks, and popping across to HK island for a look. Dad arrived that evening on his way back from UK. Had dinner, organised the next days tours and slept.

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Day 16-17: Back to Tokyo

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Was a fantastic trip, but had to to an end sometime. 😦 Two weeks flashed by, and had half a day to fill in before final dinner. So… not surpringly, headed back to Akihabara hoho. And this time did spend a bit of the last of me ¥, went back to hotel had a snooze, then met everyone for dinner. Cash was extreemly limited at this stage, so 2 dishes had to suffice, few others went kareoking again, tho decied to hit the hay early. GROUP HUG first, with one older member of group trying to sneak a kiss on cheak on to someone else hehe.

Onwards to Hong Kong!!

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Day 14-16: Lake Kawaguchiko, Mt Fuji

4 Train transfers later, arrived atu Ohike Hotel, room has direct view of Mt Fuji (photo below), which is unusual aparently for a single room, has a beautiful painting on the sliding doors, large vase and wallscroll.

image The only dinner included in the tour was this night – a 9 course dinner at that, one would easily pay ¥3,000+ for it. Starting with small bites, to bacon and veges, to dessert of melon, green tea ice cream and a creamy, caramel pudding.

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Ended evening with a few hours of anime (cartoons) 😉

Second to last full day of tour (nooo!!), the staff of the Inn that am staying at made a traditional breakfast, lots of diferent flavours, some couldn’t recognise – honestly wasn’t quite to my taste as much as the one in Takayama. Afterwards, caught the bus up to station 5 on Mt Fuji, managed to get a peak at the top in morning, before clouded over…then poured with rain :-(. Bused back,Grabbed a 7/eleven meal for 300¥, got lost and soaked walking back to Inn.

Dinner was Indian, felt it not bad, but a little sweet, and definatly not Indian med-hot as was described. Finished off with a round of Kareoke 🙂 – somthing one must do at least once when in Japan. At least im not alone with a out-of-tune voice ^_^. With 7 others, did 2 songs + a duet within the hour we had booked, Bohemian Rhapsody [QUEEN], Dont Stop [Fleetwood Mac], and another for duet, cant remember name right now…it will come to me.

Now it’s back to Tokyo for last minute shopping 🙂 …

One thing would like to add, some may have heard of it before, at padestrian crossings, instead of silence, or beeping, a wide variety of tunes are played, a diferent one fot diferent set of lights, found them quite amusing actually 😉 this can be applied to announcements on public transport too…

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Day 11-14 (June 14-17th) 3 transfers & Kyoto

7:30am – train leaves on the dot.
There are lots of things to do in Kyoto, a good mix of the old and new, and plently of green, especially compared to Tokyo. After 3 train transfers, arrived early afternoon, went and did 3 included activities, a Zen (rock) garden, Kin (gold) temple and another (will look up it’s name later) temple. Really beautiful details and facinating history.
Afterwards, caught bus to Gion, the old part of town, had a fantastic dinner & 1 beer (although meal was quite small) in a litte resturant down one of the many, many alleyways. Afterwards dragged into a bar, another beer and sake down, tastey as they were, by time left the pub walking straight was a chore. Thankfully no undesirable effects the next morning due to drinking water as well.
The second day-slept in till 9am, was pouring with rain, no planned events for the group. I dont know how i forgot to grab coat, but i did. Decided to find the International Manga Museum. With a bit of help, and umbrella that was just given to me found me way there. Spent a good few hours wondering around. Quite impressive displays from the history to influences on French comics.
Grabbed a very late lunch @ starbucks (how exciting 😉 ), and double that up with lasangia for dinner, kept hot by candle.
Third day – and another free day went back to Gion and surrounding areas for window shopping-well was supposed to be. Brought a few gifts, still waiting to last day to get sweets etc b4 travelling to HK.

Spotted 3 Geisha within a couple min, beautiful they are, did get photo but was a bit blurry unfortunatly. Will definatly post it up later anyway They never stop for pose for photo shoots, or they would never get to work.

The day ended with more bars with the Aussies, and noodles for dinner.

Last day in Kyoto came way too quickly! Had a morning walk to a Shinto shrine on a small hill, 500 or so steps at least. Beautiful views of Kyoto on a good day, but the forecast isn’t looking too great … showers then rain for Mt Fuji area. We will see when we get there…

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Day 11: 3 transfers + Kyoto

7:30am – train leaves on the dot.
Have got lots of things would love to do in Kyoto, the first half day is included activities that we have payed for. Includes a Zen garden (garden wihout plants, but more of a piece of artwork made with sculpture, rock and sand-one thing that have wanted to see, and a couple of shrines (Kin Shrine, meaning gold is one of them, a rebuilt version of the original-that unfortunatly was burnt down by a crazy Monk). So it shall be facinating.
Tomorow hope to go visit the Manga Museum at least :-).

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Day 9-11: Nagasaki

Smaller than Hiroshima, but just as famous – the second nuclear target in Japan. Arrived on Saturday evening, and by anonymous decicion, all of us headed out straight away to find a places to drink, eat and explore. After about an hour of wandering the back streets, all of us buggered off on our seperate ways. Thirst is a mighty force indeed… so 3 of us girls went straight to the waterfront to drink beer & black russians 🙂 (in addition to cheese & crackers and garlic bread-the first bread eaten in a week. Aah, I miss it. Also bumped into a kiwi who had been sailing around the world for 5 years now.
After about ¥10,000 down, decided to move on and meet some of the others… in another bar, appropriatly named the Crazy Horse, music bar. Every saturday there live music, and singing. Good guitarists definatly, playing classics from the 60’s onwards like The Eagles and The Beatles to Oasis. Volunteers for guitarist or singers (in or out of tune are welcome 😉 ).
The evening went on until 1:30am, then with pockets a bit emptier, staggered straight bk to hotel , dead to the world in 10min flat.

The second day in Nagasaki made a relaxing one, strolled around the winding streets (which somehow reminded me of Welly suburbs), popped into starbucks for coffee-it wasn’t that bad, just the milk tasted more like cream, and napped a little. Is a 7am start on Monday, bound for Kyoto!.

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Day 7-9: Hiroshima

Took 3 train transfers to getd here. Time has gone so quickly, its difficcult to sleep at night, today (11th june) got up to 30°C. Somthing definatly not used to, so this blog entry is being typed after 10pm.
Drank beer and went for a Thai resturant the first evening, had vietnamese spring roll to start wit, then a delicious Tom Yum soup, which came in a clay pot.
Found way back to hotel shotly after 9:30pm as had a included-in-price-tour at miyagi island, 30min local train ride, and 10min ferry. Got to see the most photographed gate in Japan – the underwater gate-best seen at high tide, which was at 8:30am = 7:30am meet in .hotel lobby *yawns* 😉
Photo of this will be uploaded once I sort through camera photos.

Then came the dreaded walk up a mountain, id say about the same height, or slightly higher than our mt Kaukau which had some fantasic views. Of couse i cheated and took the ropeway with 1 other person from group. And surprise surprise, there are again 2 Nic’s. 🙂
After a photo shoot, walked and ropewayed down again. Got stuck with a group of 14-15yr olds from a Jnr High school from Osaka, wanting to practice their english on me, and test my taste buds with snacks made from seaweed lol.

A surprising song now playing on local radio: “You give love a bad name” – by [plz fill this gap someone 😉 ].

Once made all the way back to the town, grabbed a delicious lunch of yakitori noodle Okonomiyaki (pancake) – specialty of the region + sweets with red bean paste or chocolate in the middle – hope im making those who read this post hungry ;-).

Can’t say the afternoon was so plesent, head was pounding, water all gone – went directly to bed in hotel + lets just say my lunch should have stayed down longer.

Second day, slept in a bit longer (1 hour not enough!) packed & met the group about 8:30am. Proceeded to the Peace Park Memorial & Museum. Facinating it was, but very depressing sights and stories. Filled up the rest of the day until had to meet up with everyone for another trip on the the Shinkansen, heading towards Nagasaki (southern most city if you look on a map). Forecast: Rain (yay!)

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