Japan – I’ll be back for you.

I’ve been away for a bit – to the land of the rising sun.

It was my maiden trip to Japan! I used to not be interested in Japan mainly because its yet another city, but I was soooo wrong. This entire trip changed my perspective of Japan. In fact, I think I fell in love with the country and every little thing about it… the food, the culture, the clean toilets and the sassy ass washing bidets…etc

Not forgetting the travelling pals! Its our 3rd trip together and I think our group dynamics is pretty interesting.

So our trip features 9 full days of running around – 3 days in Kyoto, 1 day in Hakone, 4 days in Tokyo with day trips out to Chiba’s Disney Sea and Nikko.

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The M (Moron) gang! Our M story has come a long way ;P

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Temple @ Nishiki DSCN4519

Ichiran Ramen – Kyoto branch! It reminded me of ramen with a sharp chilli spice – Quite shiok really, but my favourite ramen is still from Ramen Santouka.

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The famous Kinkakuji – Golden Temple in Kyoto. (Grateful for the sunny day too!)

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We went to Zenrinji/ Eikando Shrine basically for this bridge – entry costed us 600Yen – but so glad there was some autumn foilage to see! (Kyoto’s autumn season only starts in Nov apparently)DSCN4628 DSCN4640

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My fellow M (Moron) and I with food in our hands – Kiyomizu dera food streetP1020814

 

I really like our group pics! Check out the awesome quality courtesy of Veron’s camera.DSCN4670

The famous Kiyomizu-dera temple. The half not featured behind this building is actually under some reconstruction. It was a Sunday so the temple was pretty packed.

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Back in our little Airbnb apartment in the Jujo area, southeast of Kyoto station. We would buy lots of snacks from the supermarket and then go back heat them up and feast like kings! This was supper. The great thing about our Kyoto lodging albeit a little out of the way was the fact that it was roomy and had pretty good kitchen facilities!

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Our daily outfit shots outside the house!

This photo below is taken at Tenryuji @ Arashiyama. Check out the autumn foilage!P1020933

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We spotted some Maiko and Veron was the most daring to ask for a photo with them! On second thoughts, later on I found out that tourists can actually have a Maiko transformation done in Kyoto… so I wasn’t too sure if these 2 ladies were real Maiko now, cause, why would a Maiko want to be mobbed by tourists at a tourist spot like Arashiyama? DSCN4726

This is my favourite pic taken at the famous Fushimi Inari endless Torii gates! This is also where Memories of a Geisha was actually filmed.P1030073

We headed to Hakone the day after for a very big but secret mission. However, we met with heavy fog and bad weather. (Still kinda pretty though – I love the mystical feel of this) P1030218 DSCN4825

Also, we did not know that all the food stalls would be closed by 5pm! Oh the horror! After a couple of quiet discussions, we changed plans to Plan B… which was to plan to go to the Onsen/ public bath in our beautiful hotel for an hour.P1030285

Well I was supposed to bring Veron there and just enjoy and make sure we were there for a full hour… Back in the hotel room, the guys were busy blowing up balloons.

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This was our mission:P1030329 P1030321

And was a success!!!! So happy to them both (Look at Chunkiat’s face!) :) Its always nice when you know both parties in the relationship, and of course so nice to be apart of it all and also witness such a true and sweet moment.

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This was post proposal. I really love this goofy pic of all of us, especially Jason, Choon Yew and I at the back being like calefare. hahahah

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We headed back to Tokyo swiftly after our epic plan in Hakone – The weather was also not very favourable for sightseeing the next day. I must say I will remember Odawara for 1 thing – their awesome udon and their super cool food market on the basement of the station. The best food I ever had (minus Tsukiji fish market’s sushi) came from here.

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Back in Tokyo we did some shopping at Ikebukuro and chanced upon Tokyu Hands!!!! Its a stationary heaven really, I think me and Veron spent 2 hours there and bored the guys out :P oops.

Our Tokyo leg of the trip was pretty hectic – we were awake on most days at 5am or 6am and only back to our apartment (Also Airbnb but not worth mentioning cause it had a couple of issues) at like 9 or 10pm.

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For one of our early mornings – we got up at 5am Tokyo time (4am in Singapore) to eat fresh sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market. The freshest I’ve ever had!!! It costed us about SGD 35-40 each, but it was sooooo worth it! I loved how the sushi chefs did not add too much rice to overwhelm the sushi too.

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Then we headed to the famous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa for some sightseeing! It was REALLY touristy.

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Our sights that night featured the famous Shibuya crossing and the Daiso store @ Harajuku lol. (Wished we had more time tho!)

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We had our stop to Disney Sea in Chiba on Friday (finally it was sunny after 4 days of rain). Because we were bound for Tokyo station from Shinjuku to change trains to Mahaima (Disney Sea stop), we met with rush hour traffic. This was my experience being packed like sardines on a train. Also thankful that Singapore does not have such a situation though we are kind of close.image_1

Minnie! More pics with Veron, will upload when I get them :)

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Managed to catch a beautiful sunset too!image

 

Jason & I on one of the kiddy rides. :P DSCN5033 DSCN5134

Our last day of sightseeing meant us travelling 3 hours out to this place called Nikko in the Tochigi prefecture, some 100km North of Tokyo. Our main purpose, a glimpse of nature and autumn foilage. We actually rescheduled this day trip to the very last cause the weather wasn’t favourable when we first arrived in Tokyo, and we wanted to go on a sunny day. Thank goodness for the accurate weather forecast!DSCN5140 DSCN5163 DSCN5171

Lake Chuzenji in Okunikko area.DSCN5174

The mountain at the back is called Mount Nantai. Its so conical, don’t you think? DSCN5198

Then it was off to Hangetsuyama, to view Chuzenji Lake from above. and its surroundings. The weather was so good on our way up, the bus driver told us that Mount Fuji was visible from afar! Can you see that little tiny cone in the centre of all the clouds in this photo? That’s Mount Fuji! The tallest volcanic mountain in Japan! So blessed to have been able to see it, especially after terrible weather in Hakone which restricted us from viewing this!DSCN5233 DSCN5238

View from Hangetsuyama’s peak! We’re a bit late for the autumn leaves have already started to yellow, and most of the trees, barren.

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View of the conical Mt. Nantai on the bus ride down.DSCN5314 DSCN5319

Kegon no taki. Oh I love the reds and yellows here!DSCN5326 DSCN5335 DSCN5344 DSCN5354

Last but not least, Ryuzu no taki… Its more beautiful in photo than when we saw it for real… maybe cause we were in a rush. We only had 15 min to view this before catching the bus back to the Nikko station – it was a mad rush cause we had a train to catch.. So maybe we did not find the correct viewing point where other people took their wonderful shots of Ryuzu waterfalls.

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All in all, Japan was pretty amazing! And I’d love to go back. Top on my list would definitely be to visit the Fuji 5 lakes or the Kawaguchiko area… and the next if I had more time would be to don a kimono and walk around in one… :) Till my next trip, its time to save up yet again.

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