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And the Skytree Saw Me Off


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Today was kind of quiet & somber, the trip has come to an end {insert mega sad face}.

The weather was quite hot today, it was meant to reach 33 in Tokyo and there have been reports of records further north on the news. I will admit I’m looking forward to the cooler weather.

We started our day in Kamakura and headed back to where it all began in Ueno Park three & a half weeks ago. I took one last stroll around the park, amazed by how quick the lillys had put up new leaves and different flowers in bloom.

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There was one last shrine visit to Yushimatenjin Shrine, where it appeared there was some street market/party happening with market stalls set up.

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Strolling back to Birtes hotel we stumbled across a parade , I assume it was related to the shrine as we had seen some of the people dressed up there. It was interesting watching them chant, almost dance around, it was questionable if some actually had any pants on....

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As I left Tokyo on my last Japanese train ride it felt as if the Skytree was waving me off. It was quite visible and the you can see it as we skirted out of the city bound for Narita.

So now I’m sitting in my airport hotel room reflecting on the trip, kinda feels like a dream but I’m sure I’ll have a rude awakening when I crash back to earth Thursday morning.

Ps no I haven’t seen Trump other than on the tv, he didn’t seem that happy to be watching the sumo tournament.

Posted by ChristieA 02:59 Archived in Japan Tagged park japan asia shrine parade Comments (1)

Money Laundering

Yesterday we traded the mountains for the beach as we said goodbye to Nikko and headed to Kamakura. We really were quiet yesterday arriving in Kamakura about 1pm we dropped our bags off & checked out our quirky room at Omachi Junxion. The weather has been quite warm & humid here so I’m actually looking forward to some cool weather for a change. We had a little walk around the area, stumbled across a temple you can’t enter but you are able to explore the grave yard with its graves hidden in niches in the rock.

First up today we caught the electric railway to The Great Buddha, it wasn’t as big as the one at Nara but still quite impressive as this one stood out in the open and for a small fee you got to go inside. Inside was not really that exciting just a hollowed out Buddha, no peaking out the eyes or anything, still interesting learning how it was build.

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Leaving Buddha we found a hiking trail through to some other temples, the stairs to the start were hard work but after that it was alright except somehow we ended up back on a major road. Never mind we managed to find our way to Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Jinja Shrine, where we washed some of our money as the story goes its meant to double....I’m still waiting. However it was still pretty cool you entered through a rock tunnel into an open area and the shrine where you washed the money was in a niche in another rock.

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On our way had noticed another shrine, Sasuke Imari Jinja Shrine so we detoured via that, more steps (I’ll sleep well tonight) and there were all these little cat figures. Actually thinking back they were kinda creepy cat figures, small & exactly the same, I’m sure they followed us.

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After one last noodle soup we jumped on a packed electric railway car and headed for Enoshima, an island connected by a bridge. There are steps up to the Shrine but there’s also an escalator!!! I know an outdoor escalator, I was exciting & quickly jumped inline to pay I had had enough of stairs for the day. We explored a little at the top before taking the steps down (escalator only goes up {insert sad face}).

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After all the walking & stairs plus a couple gin & tonics (with real tonic!) during happy hour think I’ll sleep well tonight.

Posted by ChristieA 03:44 Archived in Japan Tagged japan temple hike asia shrine rail Comments (0)

Oysters & Momiji Manjyu


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I have a gripe with people staying in hostels, I get that you come in late that’s fine but seriously do you need to go through every plastic bag in your bag......numerous times???? Anyway whinge over this has been our home for the past few nights
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Since everyone else was up early in the dorm we headed off to Miyajima, took a street car & the ferry to get there and the weather well it was overcast and we did have some light rain but it didn’t stop us. We roamed the streets for a while, so many souvenir shops we soon got sick of them and the deer roaming the island well they just blended in after a while.

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We braved the crowds (mostly tour groups) and walked around The Itsukushima shrine as the tide started to go out.

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And why does anyone go to Miyajima....to see the O-Torii Gate of course, we were there long enough to see it before & after the tide went out. Sadly it really does look like it’s in a dire need of a good paint job but this is one of my favourite photos, you can see the size of it with the people around.
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There was also the Daigan-Ji temple nearby we took a quick look at.

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It felt like we were doing the hike but instead it was only a stroll to the ropeway, there was a sign that said 10mins, 7 if you run a little. Pretty sure distance is one of those things lost in translation. There’s two different cable cars that take you to the Shishiiwa observatory and of course this is when it decides to throw down some light rain, when we’re on top of a mountain. Since the views weren’t great we opted not to summit Mt Misen.

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Now this is the point we start to get ‘hangry’ and we’ll we had been told to try the oysters, it’s what there known for and well when in Rome. I tried an oyster and well wasn’t that keen on it but still I ate it pretty sure the fact it was grilled & had been flavoured with sake helped hahaha

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Another thing they are known for on Miyajima is Momiji Manjyu I guess it’s a biscuit with some kind of filling, well I had been told to try the deep fried version. So that’s a sponge cake with some filling (the pig I am tried two custard & cheese both great) then dipped in batter & deep fried.

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Last night after been inspired all day I attempted another paper crane (don’t ask about my one the night before it was crane like that’s about it) to leave to join the thousands for the next peace Memorial Day in August.

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Posted by ChristieA 01:06 Archived in Japan Tagged food japan temple animal asia shrine hiroshima Comments (0)

Sadako And The Thousand Paper Cranes

Today we explored the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, the place is quiet and a lot of memorials to see. My favourite of course the children’s memorial with its beautiful gold crane, surrounded by paper cranes and pictures made of cranes. We also went to the museum, that’s definitely a must do, they’ve done a really good job with the displays. I enjoyed the one about Sadako but they also had a special displays showing drawings by people showing there memories of the atom bomb, they were heart wrenching and worse to me than the photos. Anyway take a moment to think of the victims as you have a look at these photos.

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We did stumble across a little shrine so we poked our heads in and glad a look.

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Lucky Hiroshima is fairly flat because we’ve walk a long way today some 21,000+ steps but that was because we decided to see the Shukkeien-en Garden. Again an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city outside it’s walls.

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Posted by ChristieA 00:55 Archived in Japan Tagged japan memorial garden asia Comments (0)

Crossing Another One of the List.


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Since I read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes as a child I’ve wanted to visit Hiroshima and today I did. We left Himeji on the Shinkansen after a well needed sleep in, the first left of the train was fine we have reserved seats (if you get a JR Pass go get reserved seats takes a couple of minutes & worth it) but the second leg we didn’t (were talking 2 x 1/2 stints). We had to stand for the first 15 or so minutes before seats became available, it wasn’t too bad cause you knew you didn’t have far to go but.....

We’re staying at the Kawate-ya Hostel for the next few nights and it’s back to capsule bunk beds but the place is relatively new & the people running it seem like friendly people.

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For lunch we opted to try what the lady at the hostel suggested now it was left, left & you’ll see the menu. Ok we can do this off we go & yup sure enough there was this little place, it had about 4 tables & well nothing in English. We google translated a couple of the pictures on the wall and went with the noodle soup & curry combo and oh it was good still no real idea what it was but good.

We opted to explore the castle for the afternoon, there is a shrine & a shop in the castle grounds. The castle itself has been rebuild and inside are some displays, however the five flights of stairs to the top wasn’t worth it. I thought we’d get a good view of the Peace Park but no there’s a sports dome in the way.

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Tomorrow we’re off to the Peace Park

Posted by ChristieA 01:11 Archived in Japan Tagged japan castle hostel asia Comments (0)

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