Thursday, April 18, 2013

Japan Trip (part 3)

I tried to put in the text after the itinerary table, but failed so here the part 3.

Day Three

We start off in the morning to go to Kyoto. I had searched for various route for our Japan trip and brought chosen printed routes.  The thing about Japan trains, it is really remarkable how they manage to have punctual time table and even this time table is available in their various route website. Amazing !! 

Arrived at Kyoto station, really recommend to buy lunchboxes here, cause its quite cheap compared to foodstalls we saw around Kiyozumidera and the Nishiki market..  and its taste quite good too. (I forgot the specific location but it’s around the exit and Tourist Information office). 

We got the Kyoto map at the Tourist Information office and took bus to Kiyozumidera Temple.  The climbing walk is quite long. When we arrived, the temple was being renovated. 
I think in winter or spring the view maybe better, but the weather that day was nice enough.
In several location there were wooden spoon, where mistakenly I tried to drank the water at the first spoon I saw. Turns out there is only one place where you can drink the water, it has a ultraviolet disinfection machine. You have to go down the temple through the stairs.

When we left Kiyozumidera Temple, I think its around 2.00 pm something and we don’t have lunch yet, then we settled in a small restaurant in the area. Its quite expensive for our budget but well, we have to sample the real Japanese food, right ?  Afterwards we went to Nishiki market. It was quite a long tunnel-like market.. so many things to see. They have fresh seafood section, crafty section, 100 yen store, arcade games store.. yeah, my boy tried to ask money for this. But we know, he could be hooked and spent more, so we didn’t allow him. (I watched too Japanese movies with bad guys trying to get all the money)

Then we tried to find toilet, and couldn’t find it in the market, then we found one in the Museum near the market. I think it was a Kyoto painting museum. It contains old paintings showing life in Kyoto in maybe 16-17 Century.  It was quite nice.  At this time, I think we forgot about visiting Gion district or decided not to go there.. I forgot but then we decided to go to the Kyoto Imperial Palace.. garden by foot.  Looking at the maps, it seemed the distance to get out from the current street labyrinth to take bus to go to the garden was the same length to go to the garden by foot directly. So the four of us, walked pass Kyoto houses to go to the garden. It was nice walk, the houses mostly still landed houses, and quite traditional with wooden fence.  When we were in Nishiki market, it was raining, so when we arrived in the Palace Garden, the benches are wet.  The park is nice and quiet, and they preserved some old houses.. really really beautiful.  

Getting out from the park, we were quite confused where we can take bus .. so we were quite loss for a while trying to figure out the way. We found the bus stop for bus that goes to the Kyoto station.  So Kyoto is very nice for a city walk. I really recommend getting lost in the labyrinth of streets.  

The next day, we prepared to check out from Osaka hotel and going to Tokyo by Shinkansen.  Our next hotel will be at Disney Tokyo area. Turns out our train lane to the Disney area is the farthest from our arrival platform at Tokyo station.  We walked for 20 minutes, carrying our heavy luggage. This is one of the things that I missed out in planning. The other major thing was I packed too many clothes haha.

From the Shin Urayasu train station we took taxi to the hotel, it was around 10 minutes journey. If we stopped at Maihama station, it maybe around 30 minutes by taxi.

Our hotel is a bed and breakfast Disney style. Comparing between Universal Port and Palm Fountain, in terms of space size and quality, Universal Port is better. But for Tokyo, for the size and price Palm n Fountain is quite OK.  We looked at the map and decided to go to Odaiba but it was raining when we arrived and already around 7 pm so we had dinner at McDonalds, bought some food at the convenience stores for breakfast and head back to hotel.

Our major weakness during holiday is to wake up early. Its such a struggle to go out before 9 am. If we can, it was a miracle. So the next day, we went to Tokyo Metropolitan Govt Building, Harajuku, and Odaiba. Didn’t get to go to Shibuya crossing. We seems to be lagged behind schedule or unable to go to many places  all the time haha.. maybe we were too optimistic ..
We bought  crepes near the entrance of Harajuku and while eating the crepes found that behind Harujuku there is a small temple, a pond and a nice path.. then we spent too much time there. I thought its Yoyogi park, but we were wrong. It’s too small to be Yoyogi park.  Too many people in Harajuku, and funnily many westerners do wear costumes/ cosplay make up … . Strangely the japanese mostly hide if they saw we pointing our camera to their direction…  I don’t know.. maybe they are working there without their parents consents ? (my motherly instinct or detective instinct in action)

We then went to Odaiba, our objective was the Sonyexplora science place.  Then we found out that the Tokyo Bay scenery from Odaiba is quite spectacular so we lost track of time there hehe… and finish off Odaiba with Yoshinoya beef bowl.  

The last two days we went to Disney Land then Disney Sea. Both have their charms so making decision which one first was difficult. Found out that there weren’t any Fireworks at the end of day.  We went to Disney Land first. But then my kids who are now 8 and 13 thought that they are too old for Disney Land attractions.  And I also had enough of Turkey Leg. Uugh.. no more !! We were able to enter most attractions which mostly a translation from Disney story book.

The next day we went to Disney Sea. We really need to watch our timing this time, because we have to go to the Haneda airport around 6 pm. So, we were running around Disney Sea taking fast pass as much as possible. Doing as much attractions as possible. At the end, we were able to try mostly everything that are interesting.  And we also found the food in the Arabian Coast area to be delicious. Try the curry. I like the shrimp curry.  And the shop has better stuff compared to the neighbor Disney Land. Maybe because it targets older kids / teen so fit us better.

Our taxi to Haneda cost around 10,000 yen. We almost had to use two taxi since our luggages are too big. Thankfully, we could fit them all, at the end.  At Haneda, we found KitKat green tea and Tokyo Banana. I wasn’t able to find them before. Bought some, and tried to put them in the bag. So remember don’t check in your bag before you check out the stores in Haneda. Or you might carry a lot of things in the cabin.

Finally, our Japan trip come to an end. I felt we needed more days… We haven’t seen everything but we had everything, quarreled, angry, despair … but I’m glad we stay healthy during the trip and seen most of the places we want to see.
And hopefully, we would be able to see Japan again.. well, at least after Harry Potter attraction opened in 2014 at Universal Studio Osaka !!  yay !!  and hopefully we can use full board airline next time… 

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