Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 1- Ginza & Shibuya

Now that we are back from our honeymoon, its a bit hard adjusting back to reality.
Haiz, how I wish I can still be on holiday! :S Think I miss Kyoto most! (and maybe Hong Kong too, the shopping bits)

But i shall relish all those fond memories by looking at the daily collection of pictures we have and giving detailed accounts of our days there, maybe it'll offer those going there a tip or two! :)

We covered Tokyo, Nikko, Hakone, Kyoto & Hong Kong on our trip. (Which meant lotsa trips to and fro on shinkansens and planes.)

DAY 1- Tokyo (Ginza & Shibuya)

Day 1 in Tokyo was a wet one for us. Wet was one thing, cold was another! The rain drops here are icy compared to those that fell in Singapore, Bbbrrrrr...
We spent most of the day hiding in the malls and shops in Ginza. Stepping out on to the streets meant coming face to face with the cold blast of rain and wind. I think days are short here nearing winter, with the sun setting at about 4.30pm.

LION at Ginza, Tokyo's oldest beer hall. We chanced upon this outlet in one of the many underground malls in Ginza. That's where we had our first meal in Tokyo. A nice cozy restaurant serving from yakitori to spaghetti. And the best crab cream croquettes D said he has ever had. *slurp* =P~ (seen below hiding behind the breaded prawn) Appetizing plastic food display outside the outlet.

After filling our tummies, it was time to do some shopping! Yes, even in rainy conditions, the shopping has to go on! This nice spanking building caught our eyes from across the street (even in the rain) and D just had to go in to have a look at the Apples in Tokyo!

And next stop was Itoya, some way down the street. With a large paper clip beckoning this is a must go if you love and I mean LOVE stationary, like me! 8 or maybe 9 stories of stationary heaven! From pens, organisers, paints, character stationary and calanders, they got them all under 1 roof!

All well over dosed on stationary, next stop was Hakuhinkan Toy Park. Now this one is Character Heaven. Home of all characters and toys you can think of, all 8 floors of it. Breathe hard and resist the urge to cart everything off the shelves! :P
With a bit more stash, we stepped out onto wet and windy Tokyo,
hmmm, time to start looking for dinner.

We stop by at an eatery located on the 2nd floor of a mall near Toy Park, attracted by its plastic food display. Hah.. we're such suckers for these plastic food displays! :P But there's nothing better on a cold evening then Oden and Yakitori!
Yummy! :)

Oh and I forgot to mention one thing. The Japanese, always taking pride in their packaging and presentation, would never let their paper carriers bearing their brands get all crummy in wet weather. So they have devised 'rain-bags' for their carriers! Wow! nothing like a 'raincoat' to keep my buys nice n dry! And I can get to keep the carrier bag too! Double wow! hahahha....

It was still raining after dinner but we ended the day dropping by Shibuya.

I wanted to visit Loft which had a branch there. 7 floors of anything and everything. From toiletries, cosmetics, stationary, (yes, more of it) home ware and furniture!
With enough excitement for the day, we headed back to our hotel tired and frazzled by the wet weather and hoped that tomorrow would be sunny.

Tired but happy me holding on to the day's shopping and our trusty Tokyo City Atlas, which guided us around confusing Tokyo. I'd recommend this to anyone going there!

Some tempting yummies in the vending machine at the subway station! :P~

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Day 12- Kyoto–HongKong

Today we left our hotel in kyoto real early at about 7am.
1st time we had to get up so early and drang ourselves out of the hotel, with baggage in tow.
Phew, only then did I realise how the stash has built out and gotten a little out of hand.
It was heavy and a chore lugging it down kyoto street. :(

We made our way to the subway station to catch the train back to Tokyo. Its took about close to 2 hours on the train.
And we had to transfer at Tokyo to the Airport Express train to Narita.
If you have not been to Tokyo, let me tell you Tokyo station is a big challenge.
Especially when you have like only 20 min to get from 1 platform to the other!!
But we made it! With mad crowds and silly luggage in tow. But it wasn't the least bit fun :S

From Tokyo, it took close to an hour to get to Narita.
After which we climbed aboard our plane to get us to Hong Kong.
Geez... a whole day of travelling/running around!
But here we are in Hong Kong!
My foot's hurting a little from all the walking we've been doing. Really hope I'll be ok tomorrow...
got shopping to do and things to see! heeehheeee....

Can't post pics up coz we have to use the hotel's internet lobby as they charge for in room internet connection.
Haiz, another reason to make me miss Japan! (They provided us internet over there for FREE! :S)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Day 11-Kyoto

Tomorrow we will be leaving Kyoto for Narita Airport.
Think we will both miss this place. Hehhehe...
D already said we'll be back again :P
Hehehe... already making plans for a return! :P

Going to have an early night, so no time to load up pics of our stash for today.
But, well, let's just say its a good stash! Hahahha...
Went out and bought whatever I wanted to buy. :P
Luggage getting heavier... uh-oh..:P

Day 10- Kyoto

Today we went to Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is famous for the countless torii gates it has. It was a long walk and we didn't even cover the whole hill.

We also visited the Kiyomizudera Temple("Pure Water Temple"), which is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan.
We got to see 2 Maiko on their way to the shrine too.

Part of the fun of visiting Kiyomizudera is the shops on the way to the temple, that are along the steep and busy lanes.

This shop sells very nice fabrics!

We went to Gion after that and managed to catch glimpses of Maiko and Geisha going about their evening appointments. Pity it was raining and we could not stay longer. :S

For dinner we decided to try Okonomiyaki! Hehehe... looks not bad ah? It was rather yummy too!

Once again, a look at today's loot! :P hehehhehe....

Monday, November 05, 2007

Day 8 & 9- Kyoto

We LOVE Kyoto!!
Hahahhahaa... yes, I mean it. If we do come back to visit Japan, we'll be sure to visit Kyoto for a longer time.
Our hotel though being smaller than the one in Tokyo, has a fabulous location near the
Nishiki Food Market. This market sells much more than food. And it branches out into smaller street markets too! I don't think we'll have time to really finish walking it.

From fresh food, to cooked food, sundries and candies and a whole lot more!
Hehehhe... and here's a look at the day's loot. :P

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Day 7-Hakone

We moved on to Hakone to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji.
Being on a hill, its also real cold like being on Nikko.
The bus ride up the mountain took about an hour of twisting and turning, which wasn't very good. :S
We stayed at Yugisori.

Our japanese style room there.
Yugisori also had a hot bath which was great on a cold day! :P
But no internet there, so this post is a bit late.

They also served a great dinner. And I mean a GREAT BIG dinner. Hahhhaa

And I got dressed in a Yukata! :) hehehhee....

After dinner they set up the futons for bed. They look nice dun they?
But, not as comfortable as our mattress coz it kind of hard.

We be moving on to Kyoto next. Will post more pictures soon!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Day 6

We visit this bakery just near our hotel every morning to buy our favourite bun! :P
Its really yummy. Kind of like a red bean sandwich.

Today we went to Akihabara, which is famous for its many electronics shops.
Imagine Sim Lim Square x 10.
Its gadget land here. And also many comic shops everywhere.

Racks and racks of hand phones are available here. All shapes, colors and sizes.

Also lots of SEGA and Taito machines here where you can try to 'catch' stuffed toys.
Bunny anyone?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Day 5

Today we decided to take a break from the city and also with the good weather, we headed up to Nikko to catch a glimpse of the pretty autumn leaves and waterfalls.
And boy was it a good choice! :)
I never though I would see those pictures that I've seen on calenders for real!
But it was rather cold up there on the hills though... 'smoke' was coming out when we spoke! hehhehe.... lucky we brought heat packs!
Here are some pretty pictures of Nikko.

Here's a picture of the Kegon Falls, one of Japan's 3 most famous falls.

We managed to see the autumn leaves here!

Ryuzu Waterfalls, another one that we went to see. So cold here! >.<

Some loot from the hills... heheheh :P