A Travellerspoint blog

T13S Miyajima Island and Hiroshima

Thursday 13 Sept 07

It's 11.30pm now. I'm in my brand new room and Im exhausted. I got moved to a cute Japanese room, upon my request. It's so much better than my old Western room. I could live here.

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Today we went to Miyajima Island. I loved it a lot! We got there by tram, then took a boat there. We saw the famous 'floating tori gate'. First from our boat and later from land. As soon as we got to the island, a raindeer appeared! Right in the ferry building! Actually the island was covered in deers! When we took the cable car/ ropeway up to the top of the mountain, then we saw monkeys too! Red faced wild ones. Very cute, but a bit scarier. The deers always come up to you, looking for papers to eat, but the monkeys aren't so friendly.

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Miyajima was covered in souvenir shops! Tons and tons. I was out of money, so found an atm at the post office. But guesse what! It kept rejecting my pin number! Wtf o.o I was so dooomeeedd. While I was wondering what to do, by some miracle, my guide walked past. He advised me to go to Hiroshima to sort out the problem. So off I went back 'home' to Hiroshima *sigh*. Finally I found a bloody ATM beside the baseball stadium, and it took my pin number. Yay I had cash! I went back to the hotel, and by a great coincidence, our group was all arriving there at the time.

I decided to head back to Miyajima Island! "To see the sunset" *cough* souvenir shopping. See what I do for my friends. I want to buy them souvenirs. It was nice back on the island. There was no sunset, but thats ok. It was nice and warm there. I saw even more wild animals, like racoons! They were quite friendly.

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The shops on the main little street are so unique! I have never seen anything like them in my life. They are completely unlocked, but 100% empty of people, even the light were off! So are they open or closed o.o Well the anwer is they are open. When you walk in, the lights come on and the store keeper creeps out from slumber out the back lol. I bought a lot of small cute things. David calls them 'tat'. It's British slang haha.

Finally at 8pm or so, I caught the boat and train back. Im so good with Japanese transport now =D Im not a lostie. No one was in the lobby upon arrival, so I emailed home, then decided to go explore the night life of Hiroshima on my own. I found a cute shop called Kiddy World or something, and bought a mogwai gremlin plushie toy. At 10pm everything shut. I still walked about lookin at the shops and people for a while. So much walking has really made me tired. It's now time to sleep yay. I hope I wake up in time tommorow. I need to pack, we are travelling again!

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Posted by AKISSA 04:44 Comments (0)

W12S Hiroshima ~Bikes and baseball~

Wednesday 12 September 07 ~Bikes and baseball~

Wow today turned out unique. In the morning we took the Shinkansen to outer Hiroshima somewhere and went bike riding amongst the rice fields! Ok let's see the map. I think it's 'Soja in the Kibiji District'. I haven't riden a bike for years! Maybe since primary school. But I did ok. I even rode in high heels XD And I even stood on the bike at some point. We rode for like 3 hours. Apart from the rice fields, we visited some temples and shrines along the way. The only bad thing was that it was a hot day, and we all got sunburned. The trip remined me of those 'Tour Vietnam by Bike' trips. I had an awesome time.

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Afterwards we went to Okayama Korakuen Garden coz it's one of three very famous gardens in Japan. Some shogun 'lord' use to live there some hundreds of years ago. We got an English speaking guide, who made everything more interesting. I didn't think much of the garden though. It looked more like a golf course! It has too much open spaces. We didn't stay there long. We went back to our area of Hiroshima pretty soon.

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At 6pm we went to a baseball game! Hiro, Peter, David, Stephen, Damien and I. Wow baseball was a lot different then I imagined!! It was more like a concert in a huge stadium, coz it was mostly young people. The fans were so active and into cheering. They had special chants and cheering dances choreographed! There was drums, trumpets, a conductor, flags, balloons, team shirts, and other memorabilia. It was totally different from American baseball. They didn't even have that baseball tune. I was so busy watching the audience that I didn't even pay attention to the game!

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Peter-san was acting all loud and crazy, and it attracted the attention of some Japanese girls lol. We all made friends with the guy and girl sittin infront of us. For some unexplainable reason they loved us! Their names were Takashi and Shizuko. The girl especially loved me and totally wanted to be friends! How cute! And she's 32! o_o But looks 20 something. She insisted that we all go hang out sometime, so I said how about after the game. By the way, they can't speak English, so I had to use my minimal Japanese, plus Mr Translator Hiro.

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After the game, Shizuko led me around holding hands! LOL That was so wrong, yet so fun! She led us all to her favourite restoraunt. Mind you, we walked about 10 minutes, holding hands! I wonder what passers by thought! The retoraunt was so damn cute. It was a tiny, traditional looking, dimly lit, trendy one. It was as hell expensive as it looked too. The food wasn't all that, but the company was good. Hiro and Stephen had to translate everything said. Peter and Shizuko were really into each other. Finally we left and split up at 11.30pm, then went back to the hotel.

I spent way over budget today! Bike hire was 1000Y, the garden plus transport was 1000Y, baseball game was 1500Y, dinner was 2000Y! Im guessing thats AU$70.

Posted by AKISSA 01:27 Comments (0)

T11S Takayama to Hiroshima

Tuesday 11 September 07

It's past midnight and Im in my new bed, at Hiroshima. In the morning (still at Takayama) we had some spare time. Mostly I was packing, then watchin tv. There was this drama called Brother Beat on, it's about 3 hot brothers XD I liked the eldest the most. We left Takayama at 11.30am. This town was really fun.

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All of today (daytime) was spent travelling. We went on three trains and one tram. I was asleep a lot though. Japan is great coz u can sleep and no one will steal your luggage. Finally we arrived in Hiroshima. Upon arrival, it didn't look so exciting. But now we have many maps and it looks like a great place to explore. Our hotel is not impressive, I have even been given a Western style room with two beds! I intend to move out, and into the next vacant Japanese room, asap.

At 6pm or so we went to dinner. We had Okonomiyaki, a Japanese pizza type thing, made of salad and noodles. It was nice to try but it was expensive and I couldn't finish it all. Afterwards, Pete, Steve, David and I went exploring the nightlife of Hiroshima. We were totally blown away and amazed! It's like a mini Tokyo! Neon lights everywhere you look! And young people and tons of shops! We stayed till the shops closed, about 10pm. David said "We died in Takayama and now we're in heaven!"

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Then we hung out by the river. It was nice and it was a warm night. Finally we bummed with our guide in the hotel lobby. Upon our request, he even took us sightseeing outside some love hotels! LOL The hotels didn't allow us in XD

Posted by AKISSA 00:55 Comments (0)

M10S Takayama ~My Bday in a Kimono~

Monday 10 September 07

-17 °C

It's my birthday. It turned out ok! ^_^
In the morning, I went to shower at Lorrain and John's room (the sci fi older couple) coz I don't have a shower! I could always take a shower at the communal bath, but mass nudity is not my thing XD .Breakfast was traditional Japanese foods and it was ok I guesse.

Later we headed out to the 'Hida Folk village'. It was all hundreds of years old Japanese country houses, and most were burned. I was bored out of my mind so I left. Alone, I went to see Takayama's many temples and shrines located up towards the bottom of the mountains. Oh first I checked my emails at the Info Centre and yay I had bday messages! Even from lovely Tomo kun. I wrote to mom and to Tomo.

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It was rainy in the daytime, but I went for a couple of hours walk exploring Takayama's many temples and shrines anyway. It was awesome! I pretty much had them all to myself. I even heard a monk chanting in one! It was all an amazing, authentic Japanese experience. It was a great birthday, except I wish Tomo was by my side. Or Akanishi Jin XD I took tons of photos.

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At 4pm, 'the cool group' met up and went sake sampling. Yay it was my first time tasting sake. Somehow it reminds me of champagne. It's quite nice. My fav drink is still the ume or whats-it-called. Then we looked at the souvenir shops in the 'old section'.

At 5.30pm we all met up at the ryokan and dressed in kimono (actually in yukata). Well it was ladies only. Mine was the best! It was white with blue and purple flower patterns, and a purple obi. A lady dressed me up in it, that felt weird but nice. We all had an awesome time and took countless photos! We went snap happy. I wore my kimono untill midnight, I loved it so much.

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6.30pm was dinner time. The food wasn't my idea of fun, but I endured most of it. And Hiro bought me a bday cake! How nice is that! Everyone was happy about getting cake. We all chilled in the dinner hall until we got kicked out lol. Then upon my request, us in the 'cool group' went out for a walk.

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Our group outing was perfect. I wore my kimono and indeed I did get good reactions. One person said 'it suits you' in Japanese. We took some pix at the Pachinko parlour with some anime people. Then we tried to find a cheap bar to drink at. Whilst hangin out in the 'number 1 street', beside my fav blue-lights tree, Pete wandered off to talk to the locals. Suddenly this girl comes running over to me, asking to take a photo! Then Pete rocks up and announces that he told her I'm a famous aussie actress! ROFL what a classic. So she's goin snap happy with her mobile and I took a photo with her too. Omg it was so fun!

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All the bars and hangout spots were too expensive for us. One wanted a 2000yen ($20) cover charge just to get in! Must have been a hostess club. So we just bought some drinks at the 'Family Mart' and went back to hangout in our ryokan. It was fun there. We just drank and talked, then later watched Japanese tv. We stayed there (David and Steve's room) till midnight.

Here's a funny story. Yesterday at dinner, Pete lifted the entire miso soup by the lid (coz it tends to just stay on) When the serving lady saw this, she kinda jumped and guided it down LOL. Then today she served miso soup again, and Pete goes to her "Look, you ready?" and lifted the lid. But this time it came off in a sec! Pete's theory is that she pre-opened his as a preventative LOL He did show her a photo of the floating miso soup at least XD

Posted by AKISSA 04:55 Comments (0)

S9S Hakone to Takayama ~Must Visit town!~

Sunday 9 September 07

Im loving today. Ok I'll tell u from the beginning.
In the morning I went to visit the Little Prince Museum, but since it's expensive and we had to leave soon, I didn't go inside. When we left our Hakone ryokan, one of the ryokan girls said "bye bye Aki san" and waved us off. She loved the Aussie souvenir pencils I left her.

First we left the mountains by bus. Man we drove past some dangerous steep cliffs at unsafe speeds! The driver must think he is Initial D or something. Ofcorse Peter san made the trip funny as usual. Hasheshi-maaaaaaaaaaas. It means 'we are off'. And the driver actually said "the left is clear, the right is clear, the front is clear, ok we are off" LOL Then we went on the trains. Shinkansesns. Two of them! We went past tons of forests and mountains, plus rice field areas.

Finally we arrived at Takayama. Our ryokan is spectacular!! Whoa now this is my style of living!! It's traditional and luxurious. I'm gonna go photo crazy in here. My room is Sugoi, totally awesome. It's 100% traditional plus class. I got the paper walls, tatami mats, little table, sliding doors, futon and a tv XD. I'm impressed.

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After arrival, we went out to explore Takayama. It has a symbol representing it: a sarubobo baby monkey. So cute. Even the town is amazing! It has many temples and shrines, souvenir shops every few meters! Even an "old Japan" section with all traditional wood and paper houses and shops! I really could live here. It's so cool! I even saw a man walking around clapping wooden sticks, like the ones we saw at the Roaring Dragon Temple. I saw a rikshaw too o.o And when I wanted to cross the road, two 'useless job' traffic cops stopped traffic for me!! Omg XD .I bought two traditional shoes, the geisha type geta, now I need a kimono.

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At 6.30pm we had to return for dinner. It was getting dark by then and the shops were closing anyway. Whoa dinner was the best ever. It was 100% traditional, from the setting to the food. We were in a great tatami hall, with little tables and seats with no legs! I ate all the food presented and tasted flavours that I never knew existed. I even ate sashimi and weird things. Quite shamefully, all us tourists behaved so western, being loud and sitting unsightly lol.

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It's midnight now. At about 9pm most of us headed out 'bar hopping'. We went to a traditional restoraunt that was totally empty & we just drank Japanese alcohols. I drank 'u' something plum wine. And we sat on tatami mats =p .Then it was just Hiro, David, Steve, Pete and me left, and we went searching for more bars. We found one with out own little room. It was really fun, coz Pete is so funny^^
Ok time to sleep.

Posted by AKISSA 04:00 Comments (0)

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