Japan Trip 2012~ Part 1

1st May 2012 at 11:52 am

Dear Chibi,

After a month, I’m finally back from my first overseas trip with Jacky :D Although we went to both Japan and Hong Kong, this blog entry will be focused on Japan. There’s so much I want to say, but I’ll try to keep this short and not bore you to tears ;) I’m going to put down my general thoughts on Japan and reflect on the highlights of the trip as well as other quirky bits :D

I’ve actually been to Japan four years ago with my family on a one week tour. I blogged about it here and here. I had fallen in love with this place, but I knew what I saw was only a very small part of the country.

This time was pretty full on. Jacky and I explored Japan for three weeks on our own, with Jacky doing all the research and planning. I didn’t have to do anything XD Everything went incredibly smoothly for us, even though we’re in a foreign country with barely any Japanese! The transport system in Japan is also insanely complex with so many different lines, subways, train lines, Shinkansen lines.. but we managed :D Again, I didn’t really do anything.. I just followed Jacky who did all the work getting us to places :D yay.

Shibuya, Yoyogi, Meiji Shrine, Harajuku

I love Shibuya :D! It’s such a beautiful, vibrant and lively city! Everyone is really friendly and when we had some trouble finding our way around, passersby were more than willing to help :)

View outside Shibuya Station

Writing wishes @ Meiji Shrine
Meiji Shrine (which is next to Yoyogi Park) is the first shrine we visited and I really enjoyed it for its peacefulness. Other shrines, temples and castles we visit later on are packed with tourists, which lacks that intimate feel.

Shopping @Harajuku
I loved Harajuku, it’s a great place for girls shopping! Not much here for boys though, unless you just want to look at pretty girls ;) If you look around, most Japanese people look good, and it’s no big surprise because self image seems like a huge deal over here. Most people from little kids to old grannys really dress themselves up. Heavy make-up, fake eye-lashes, lots of accessories, mini-skirts and heels were a very common sight amongst girls in Japan. Or maybe they’re just fashionable. That could be another reason. XD

What I’ve also noticed is that there only seems be to “M” size clothing, no S, or L …  Is this because everyone here wears medium size? XD

Big Echo Karaoke (Shinjuku) “Where everybady is happy” :D lol
It started pouring while we were just outside Big Echo Karaoke, so we decided to check it and see how it compares to Sydney ^^ It was quite nice inside. I LOVE how everything is pink in Japan XD It gives everything such a cutesy feel… I haven’t been to any other country which embraces this colour this much :)

The song selection system was pretty good. I was so surprised to find Chinese songs in here (even ‘pian ai‘ from Chinese Paladin 3!), and what amused me most was the Japanese characters on top of the lyrics. Japanese people actually sing Cantonese? XD

Meeting Brad, Ebisu, Roppongi Hills, Mid-Town Tokyo, Hikawa Shrine, Tokyo Tower, Shinjuku

I had the great pleasure of meeting up with my online friend, Brad of Moonkitty.net :D! He spent an entire day hanging out with us, taking us around Tokyo and sharing many stories and experiences! Brad was always a pretty cool guy online, but he’s so awesome in person too! It was lots of fun meeting him. He also took us to Koots Green Tea for yummy matcha dessert :D We checked out Hikawa Shrine, the temple where Hino Rei (Sailor Mars) lives in the anime version! The infrastructure is basically the same so you can imagine how excited I was running around squealing XD

Chibi and Brad

Brad translating my awesome fortune before I tie it onto the tree @Hikawa Shrine

Tokyo Tower

Nightlife & dinner @Shinjuku

Mt Fuji, Lake Kawaguchiko

Fuji-saaaann.

After a few days in Tokyo, we headed to Kawaguchiko where we stayed for the next 2 nights. This place is beautiful, and the grand scale of Mt Fuji is incredible. It’s hard to describe the feeling. It was also really really cold down here! We had initially planned to ride a bike around the lake, but the cold chilly wind changed our minds.

I really liked staying at K’s House :) It was the first time I’ve slept on a futon (mattress on the ground) and it was surprisingly REALLY comfortable!! I had the best sleep here out of all the places we stayed in during the entire trip.

Having dinner back at K’s House sitting by a kotatsu!
It’s basically a low, wooden table frame covered by a heavy blanket. Underneath is a heat source which keeps your legs really really warm ^^

..and breakfast by Lake Kawaguchiko!

Kyoto, Kiyomizudera

We caught a Shinkansen (Bullet train) down to Kyoto/Osaka, where we were staying for the next 8 days :D Being on the Shinkansen feels like being on an airplane during take-off! It’s so fast! The seats are really comfortable which makes the rides feel very short. We sure made use of our JR passes :)

Our first real sight of the beautiful sakura (cherry blossoms)!! They started to grow a bit while we were in Yoyogi Park, but it wasn’t until we reached Kyoto that we got to see lots of them :D

Beautiful view from Kiyomizudera, Kyoto :D

Arashiyama, Tenryu-ji Zen Temple, Bamboo Grove, Monkey Park

The day spent at Arashiyama was my favourite, where Jacky and I had a picnic under the sakura for hanami (cherry blossom viewing!)

@Tenryu-ji Zen Temple

@Bamboo Grove

yay for hanami!!

@ Monkey Park, where we can get up close and personal with wild monkeys 8D

..well, as close as you feel comfortable XD

Feeding the monkeys peanuts! This was too cute and funny :D You place a peanut on your hand and they grab it off you XD

Night view of the sakura back in Kyoto :)

To be continued in Part 2!

 

19 Responses to “Japan Trip 2012~ Part 1”

  1. MrGaz says:

    I remember being approached by a black man at Shinjuku who was trying to sell me some goods. That was a scary moment to be honest as I thought he was going to rob me. >_>

    Tokyo night life is just amazing. Shops don’t close at 6pm and there always something to do.

    • Chibi says:

      Ah yesh, I have some stories about Shinjuku too! We go back to Tokyo after our days in Osaka~ More about that in part 2 :D

  2. Brad says:

    Awesome photos! Loved hanging out with you guys!

  3. Emily says:

    Looks AMAZING, Chibi! Glad you guys had fun, looking at the pictures make me so jealous. Can’t wait to see more photos and hear more stories from you in person ^.^

  4. feedthe1337 says:

    Nice entry! Hope you’ll talk about Hong Kong as well later on.

    I had no idea the Hikawa Shrine was real! Yeah, getting to go there must have been awesome. Really glad you managed to get it done.

    Haha, I was being a hater when I rode the shinkansen. I was like, “Yeah, the speed is okay, I guess”. Maybe it’s just because I’m faster 8).

    WILD MONKEY \(*O*)/! Of course, I missed out on the cherry blossoms. Not that I would revisit Japan just for hanami, but it does seem really cool =). Wait, but not as cool as Jacky’s hairstyle in those photos _(*3*)/! Next time it’s me and him around the world alone.

    Looking forward to part two (^-^).

    • Chibi says:

      haha yeah, I’ll probably write something about HK too~ though I’m sure my views will differ from yours a lot XD

      “I had no idea the Hikawa Shrine was real! Yeah, getting to go there must have been awesome. Really glad you managed to get it done.”

      haha yup, I would’ve had some trouble finding it without Brad’s help ^^

      “Haha, I was being a hater when I rode the shinkansen. I was like, “Yeah, the speed is okay, I guess”.”

      hahaa.. I wonder what Jacky has to say to that ;)

      The Cherry Blossoms were totally worth seeing :) We actually planned the trip around spring just to see them. The last time I went to Japan it was winter (but then we got to see snow)

      “Wait, but not as cool as Jacky’s hairstyle in those photos _(*3*)/! Next time it’s me and him around the world alone.”

      AHAHAHAHHAHAhahaha omg XDDD Actually, Jacky said he wouldn’t mind going to the Maid Cafe with just the two of you ;D More about Maid Cafe in part 2 entry!

      • Jacky says:

        “Haha, I was being a hater when I rode the shinkansen. I was like, “Yeah, the speed is okay, I guess”.”

        Shinkansen Ojichan makes it faster!

  5. […] feedthe1337 says: “ Nice entry! Hope you’ll talk about Hong Kong as well later…” under Japan Trip 2012~ Part 1 […]

  6. […] Brad says: “ Yeah was really comfortable and fun! Your turn to show me around Sydney…” under Japan Trip 2012~ Part 1 […]

  7. CyCyN says:

    AAAWWWWwwww!!!! You met up with Bradie! I was hoping to see some pics on Twitter but I’m glad you posted them here. *steals* My two fave Aussies <3

    And wow! You went at a really gorgeous time, there are Sakuras everywhere! So pretty! your pictures are so nice! I love looking at them. :D

    • Chibi says:

      I always think that you and Bradie have already met with you always skyping and stuff 8D!

      Glad you like the pics!

  8. Jacky says:

    Awesome entry! Definitely had the best time in part 1 I reckon. Glad you put up lots of pics of Arashiyama day =)

  9. […] I suppose I forgot about it XD Jacky’s new DSLR is awesome! I really wish we had this for our Japan trip earlier this year. His photos make me not want to take any pics with my 12 megapixel point and […]

  10. […] years that we chatted a lot through social media. We finally met in person in April 2012 when Jacky and I were in Tokyo, and he was totally awesome to hang out with […]