I just spent two FANTASTIC weeks in Japan. I had the first 5 days with my friends Ange and Pat and then the rest of the time by myself. Here's a little of what I did.
Friday 2 July - Air New Zealand to Auckland, then Narita.
Row one on 6:30 a.m. Air New Zealand flight to Auckland - was already up at 3:40...
Yum! Entree on the plane to Japan.
Friday 2 - Sunday 4 July - Tokyo
Stayed at the Hotel Lone Star
Bento erasers at 45 floors up (Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings)
Sunday 4 July to Wednesday 7 July - Kyoto
Stayed at the Kyoto Century Hotel
Sunday afternoon - Nara
Monday - Hiroshima
Tuesday - Kyoto
Me at Kinkaku ji (golden temple) in Kyoto. First time I went here I was 16!
Geisha! In Kyoto! and all their other stalkers... My old flatmate Kimie took me to this street in Gion to geiko spot - I thought we were too late this time but we saw heaps!
Wednesday 7 July - Ange and Pat off to Europe, so I'm off to Nagasaki.
Stayed at the Hotel Cuore
I'd never been there before. It was a little like Wellington. I found it personally very interesting because of all the Catholic stuff, and the other sightseeing was great, however the town wasn't so exciting. Still worth a visit though!
Friday 9 July - Thursday 15 July - OSAKA!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stayed at the Hotel Villa Fontaine
I lived in Osaka for two years (Jan 03 - Dec 04) so it was obviously where I'd spend most of my visit. I had a fantastic time catching up with everyone!
Okomomiyaki! In Osaka.
Okonomiyaki, done Hiroshima style (Hiroshimayaki). The make like a crepe, fried noodles and fried egg, then sandwich together. Was ok, but not as good as the normal way. This was in Hiroshima but I can't seem to re-order the picture!
Dontonbori in Osaka
My lovely friends from church in Japan - Kristian, John, me and Salib.
Katsu curry!! At the place Namba Walk (Namba station) where I almost always used to go for my lunch/dinner when at work. なつかしい～
The main shopping street of Osaka (Ebisu Suji). Fantastic because it's all under cover!
I went to my old work (which is now a new company in a different place...) my schedule was still on! But I didn't have any lessons...
Me pretending to take Craig's level - up CAT. Just like old times! (I mean me taking a lesson, not that I used to take his lessons...)
Country houses on the way to the Mikimoto pearl farm in Mie prefecture.
Note to self: be careful when deforesting and polishing with the scouner (on a bento box I bought).
My friend Mitsu (who used to live in NZ) took me out for dinner. I was expecting he would take me somewhere nice, but when he told the taxi drive Hotel Rihga I realised it was going to be really really nice. Such an amazing view, and kaiseki ryori!
Sashimi, one of the first courses of about a million.
Maybe course 308,330 of the meal. Top right is horse in miso. Yup, horse. Wasn't actually too bad, especially considering I'm not a big meat eater.
Me and Mitsu after the fantastic million course and horse meal. 28 floors up in Osaka!
Midosuji train line in Osaka. Leaving :( to go to Tokyo. Osaka will always be my second home!!!
Getting the shinkansen to Tokyo. I looooove the way all the train guys point both ways to show the tracks are clear.
I had my priorities in order on the shinkansen to Tokyo.
It's Mt Fuji! Really!
Tokyo - Thursday 15 July - Saturday 17 July
Same hotel as at the beginning of the trip.
Yeah, so I um, bought a few bento things. And a new suitcase for them to go in...
A real bento shop! Hokka Hokka Tei (this one is in Ginza near the lovely Air New Zealand Japan who gave me an also very lovely tshirt - pics some other time of that!).
While buying even more bento stuff at the 100 yen shop in Harajuku, I noticed this. Maybe like sheet music for rappers?
Remember, toilets are NOT ashtrays. Because I do often see cigarette buts in toilets.... (maybe just in the mens'?)
I was aware of those piercing eyes as I took this photo...
My last meal in Japan (if you don't count the food at the Qantas lounge at the airport...). I went to Tsuna Hachi in Shinjuku (right near my hotel) as recommended by my Rough Guide. Soooo good! The man who cooked my food in front of me said my Japanese was good. He was nice.
Yay! Then time for the flight home! I loooooove Air NZ. When I grow up I want to be a flight attendant.
As we were taking off I finally got to see Mt Fuji! Otherwise this would have been my only trip to Japan when I hadn't seen it!
Up and away...
Yum! Dinner entree on the flight home (with dessert to the side! so tempting!!)
Sunday 18 July - home!