Japan Trip 2012~ Part 1

1st May 2012

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

[Read More]

The Japanese Experience Part 2

29th February 2008

Dear Chibi,

After the FujiQ Amusement park, we travelled to the hotel where we were staying for the night. I liked this location, you can see Fujisan on the other side of the lake. Some of us dressed in a yukata (provided by the hotel) while we had dinner and wandered around the building. It’s quite a heated building so it was okay to wear XD That night there was also firework displays we could see outside our room window! It ran for about 30 minutes, and Kazzy was all excited and snapping pictures away.. (took too many, lol) Two which stood out most was a STAR shaped display, and yes.. a SMILEY face one! aww..the smiling face one was soo cool… but Kazzy missed it ;_; We weren’t exactly expecting one of those!

yukata.jpg fireworks.jpg

Along with the yukatas, there was of course, hot spring baths! That was pretty relaxing…Um..no pictures from there XP

mtfujilake.jpg

Mt Fuji the next morning outside the hotel. Looky! No clouds covering its peak!~

Next we went up Mt Fuji’s skii resort o.o Ok, that’s just beyond freezing, hahahaa… *cough* At this point I was feeling a bit unwell. The problem with Japan’s temperature is that it’s reaally really cold outside (so we wear a lot), yet, really really hot inside buildings. It feels like I’ve been turned into an icecube, and then upon entering the buildings, we break into pieces XD We went up there to the snows for a few hours, but didn’t ski or anything. Didn’t..feel like it XD

Next was lunch! This was quite nice too…

tables.jpg

[Read More]

The Japanese Experience

27th February 2008

Dear Chibi,

What does Chibi always look out for when traveling to a new place? The toilets! XD Not so much of where they are, but what they’re like. Sadly, the toilets at the Japan airport weren’t as amazing as the ones in South Korea (the changing toilet seat). They were normal, haha.

tap.jpg dryer.jpg

Here’s the tap where you push down instead of up, and a mini hand dryer.

Of course, the Japanese come up with much more interesting toilets than that. I was very excited to find that the toilets in the hotel are bizarre. I’ve heard about them, but seeing it in action is wacko XD

bidget.jpg

As you can see above, the Japanese have extra options that go with their toilet =) As Tokyo is a freeeezing place this time of the year (was -2 degrees, max 9) , the seats are all heated~ ahh. hehe. The moment you sit on the seat, water starts filling up inside, and it says “preparation”- it makes you wonder what it’s preparing, lol. Well, once it reaches a certain level it stops. After doing your business, you flush it, of course. But, tis’ not the end! It can wash your butt for you XD Clicking on the extras, a little pipe comes out and starts spraying water- different options for male and female. Then it can also blow dry it for you. Aren’t the Japanese living a great life? You just sit there and everything does the work for you ^^;;; Might I just add I don’t think I wanna touch those options again! hahaha…

fakeflush.jpg

During the trip, I also found other interesting toilets. One that particularly grabbed my attention was one that made FAKE FLUSH NOISES! LOL. You can even set the volume… I don’t understand why they would need an extra option to make fake flushing noises, without the toilet flushing. My conclusion was if you wanted to pretend you went to the toilet, and didn’t wanna waste water for flushing nothing ^^; I dunno.

[Read More]