Well as some of you may know I’ve been to Japan and I was encouraged to write something about it on here so here it goes, my story about my trip to Tokyo & Kyoto ^^
First and foremost I’m Japanophile and to go there was an absolute blast, I’ve always been intrigued by the country and to finally go there as a young Dutchman is somewhat special haha
Flight took about 12 hours which I didn’t really mind as I got to watch a lot of new movies and the screen build into the backseat of the next passenger could also be used to play games on with a wii-like remote which had buttons on it. I actually played Poker versus other passengers lol.
Aaaaanyway the first day (only the evening left after arrival) I went to Shibuya (picture below), it’s the busiest crossing in the world (around 30mil people that live in Tokyo)
Now the first thing I noticed except for how many people there were was the hospitality and friendly attitudes people showed, It’s seriously unreal and you have to experience it for yourself as a westerner.
Next day I went to Ueno Park, no blossoming Sakura (except for one)which has a great influence on tourism as well as pricing, if you want to go cheap to Japan around February is as cheap as it get’s
Close by was the Edo Museum which get’s much praise and it had some neat things around the 17th century (edo period) such as authentic [url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v373/nasc336/Japan/IMG_0033.jpgSamurai armor[/url], art & weapons
Next was Akihabara, this is the electronic centre of Tokyo with all shops evolving around computer parts, games and other technical gizmo’s, some interesting things there as well as very cheap products on the markets (i.e. saw a PSP for only 8000-9000 Yen (around 70 euro’s)
What I didn’t expect to see here were tons of dressed up girls dealing out flyers and stuff as well as lot’s of uniformed school girls *yummie* xD
The next day it was Sunday so my plan was to visit Harajuku where all the youngsters and fashionable types gather but because I was early I visited Yogiyo Park which was next to the Harajuku Bridge and I was amazed because at the time I arrived a series of Traditional weddings was going on of very high ranking family’s, it was also in the newspaper the next day
By the time I came back to Harajuku bridge it was a lot busier and a lot of dressed up folk had arrived, I think I’ll let the pictures do the talking xD
One thing though, most youngsters who dressed up were quite colorfull and would be happy to hug you (free hugs) or take a picture with the occasional tourist but the (mostly) guys on the other side, the gothics, the steampunk kids denied being photographed and sat on purpose on the other (smaller) side of the bridge, I think this pic portrays the terms of this separation quite well ^^
(Luckily the camera I had could zoom in pretty far)
Takashita street( clothing shops)
And last but not least, lollypop girl!
Went out that evening to Shinjuku and goddamn all those pachinko halls (game/arcade) what a noise came of out those places, unbelievable o_O
The third day took the Shin Kansen (faaaaaaaaast train, 160-200 km/h) to Kyoto.
The cleaning of these trains is again typical Japanese and a prime example of how it should be done (train system in Holland is a mess)
They wait a few minutes lined up before the train arrives, bow and greet the passengers as they come out, go in, clean furiously, flip some switch which makes the stairs turn around facing west (Tokyo is the end station so otherwise passenger would be looking backwards on their way to Kyoto) a very nifty system indeed, when they’re done they come out, stand lined up again, raise a their hand and give some signal and rush towards the next train which is about to arrive meanwhile.
My hotel was in a pretty quiet area and you are basically near dense forests/nature so it’s a whole other world compared to the concrete jungle of Tokyo which has a building on every possible square inch of ground you can come up with :0
I can’t remember all the names of the temples over there (shame on me) but to give you an impression here are the piccu’s~~
View on Kyoto
The Golden Paviljion (Had to wait for a loooong time before I could take my post-card like picture because it was so busy >_<)
Kyoto at night is pretty awesome, lot’s of smaller streets lighted with Lampionnen (engrishlol)
Also saw a lot of Maiko’s as there are severall of these schools in Kyoto, which ment a lot of fairly young girls in Kimono’s /happyface
Maiko 3 These were actually from Hong Kong
Maiko 4 A lot of these girls had messed up teeth, it’s considered as a form of Kawaii (cuteness) so a lot of teenage girls don’t have their teeth fixed on purpose.
At a certain temple a class arrived with their teachers, they were about to make a [url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v373/nasc336/Japan/IMG_0410.jpg ]class photo[/url], it awesome.
After a couple of days it was goodbye Kyoto and Hello Nikko, Nikko is an area with very old temples, dating back around the year 800 and lies an hour by train outside Tokyo, it’s also a bit higher so there was still snow there.
Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil
Hear no evil, see no evil the other version
In Tokyo I still had to do some shopping so I went back to more popular places like Shibuya, Harajuku but also Asakusa, a more traditional looking part from the rest of Tokyo where when shops were closed some amazing Graffiti popped up as well as this lit up pagoda
Tsukiji Fishmarket provides fish for entire Tokyo it was a monstrous industry with so many people selling/exporting fish, the picture is just one of example of how big a tuna’s get caught, killed and sold on the spot.
Harajuku street life (Living standards are pretty high in Tokyo, no wonder everyone is so well dressed)
Most young girls there were whearing short skirts or cut jeans with hiiiiiiigh heels or colourful sneakers a long with the occasional winter hat while the sun was shining, durr…
Only had rain on the last day, which made me realise how lucky I had been because the entire week before the weather was great.
Picture taken from the star bcks with a view on Shibuya crossing.
Didn't buy a lot of special things though, most things are the same as here except for well.. traditional stuff and clothing, so I tried some out myself
I can speak about a gazillion things but I think this is mooooreee than enough for you guys, I hope you enjoyed my little picture story about my trip to Japan. Arigota Gozaimassuuu for reading and Sayonara!!!~
Since my return my brute Lord-Nasic42 has achieved Bicep rank, \o/ cheers little fella! \o/ Dentist is up next