A Travellerspoint blog

Japan

APRIL 2007-kaleidoscope of ancient & modern Japan -part III

Paper cranes in Hiroshima and red colours of Miyajima

semi-overcast 13 °C

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HIROSHIMA

It is difficult to say why we came to Hiroshima. All other cities we had visited in Japan where the obvious tourists hot spots, rich in cultural heritage and filled with countless attractions and fun things to do.
Although plenty of tourists visit Hiroshima every year I find it difficult to put it down on the same list of places we've been to so far.
The city's main attraction is ironically one of the greatest human tragedies, a terrific disaster to its nature and its people fully scripted and actioned by powers of other human beings on the 6th of august 1945 who turned this once military but also an educational city into the first atomic bomb target.

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Standing on the soil that has once, within seconds been burnt to ash and facing some of the reminders of this horrific event, one can't believe the horrors that had happened in this city:

The A-bomb Dome, the only blast survivor left in ruins, a naked skeleton of a building that had once proudly stood and served as an Industrial Promotion Hall has now become and eternal reminder of the sufferings and a symbol of a total destruction that took upon Hiroshima.

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Across the river from the A-bomb Dome, there is the Peace Memorial Park stretching behind the T- shaped bridge which was the actual target used by the bombardier.
It is dotted with memorials

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The Cenotaph that includes all the known names of the victims (excluding the Korean ones who have a separate memorial) and is believed to serve as an arch for the souls to hide from the rain. There is a flame burning beneath the arch and it is to be extinguished once the last nuclear weapon on earth has been destroyed.

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Further along the park there is the Children's Peace Memorial

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inspired by one of the victims Sadako, who at the age of 10 developed leukimia and decided to fold 1000 paper cranes -the Japanese symbol of longevity and happiness- hoping that once she achieved her target she would recover. Unfortunately Sadako passed away having completed her 644th crane. She was buried with 1000 cranes, the remaining 356 made for her by her schooldfriends.
The paper folding of the cranes continues up to this day and the monument is surrounded by milions of them, sent or delivered from schools from all over the country.

Each day we came back to our hotel room we would also find a different paper crane folded for us by the room-maid and in hope for peace in the world.

The Memorial Mound

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Although you probably find yourself like us feeling deeply touched, sorry and angry for what had happened here -especially while you are at the museum, where exhibits speak for themselves and the model showing the town after the blast makes it easier to imagine it although you are probably still nowhere near the reality of those days- the town is far from depressing.And it is all thanks to the citizens who have recovered and on the contrary remained in their town and managed to build a new city of a tranquil yet modern atmosphere and also rebuild some of its previous attractions. If anything it gives you inspiration and hope and shows how much us human beings can achieve on both - bad and good fronts. It reminds us how precious our life is and how little time it takes to destroy it!

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The Hiroshima Castle and one of the trees that had survived the blast and kept growing:

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And while visiting in the castle Nick and Maja got to wear traditional Japanese costumes and grins:

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MIYAJIMA

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Designated as a World Cultural Heritage, Miyajima is an island that makes a perfect day trip if you are staying in Hiroshima (although if you enjoy nature you can easily spend a few more days here!). It can be reached from Hiroshima by a train, followed by a short ferry crossing.

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On the day of our trip we were very lucky with the weather - the sun was shining and the sky was blue which contrasted nicely with the red colours of the famous "floating" O-Torii gate (classified as one of the "three Japanese best views), the shrine and the 5 -storied pagoda.
The island's corret name is Itsukushima taken from the Itsukushima shrine located on the island since the 6th century, although its present form comes from the early 12th century. The island had (and I suppose still has) a holy status and people were not allowed to set the foot on the island unless they approached the shrine - constructed in a form of a pier - on the boat , going first through the O-Torii gate.

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We walked around the gate for a while and then decided to climb the sacred Mt Misen - 535m above the sea level, not too high but those who did the walk know how difficult and fairly steep it was in places.

We passed by the Daisho-In Temple
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-one of the most prestigous temples in Western Japan. This is where we found why the little statues of Bosatsu (Buddhist monks) are wearing the red bibs and caps like babies - the parents who have lost their children take good care of them as though they were their lost children.

We also came across the statue of Tengu, who with his wings and a long nose has been considered to posses supernatural powers since the ancient times and is indispensable to the holy sites on mountains in Japan. It reminded me of our Polish "Duch Gor" -The Ghost/ Patron of the Mountains-.

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During the walk,Maja needed some serious encouragement from time to time and with a little help of daddy's back and the promise of an ice-cream afterwards (always works!), she proudly made it to the peak.

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The views from the top were magnificent and as the walk back would be same as the walk up- mostly through the forest - we decided to make our way down using the cable car and enjoy the views just a little bit longer. It was fun!

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There is plenty of other attractions on the island -for example the Eternal Fire Hall which shelters the fire, lit by Kyobo Daishi (who underwent the ascentic practise for 100 days on the mountain in the autumn of 806) and believed to have been burning for 1200 years! This fire was used to lit the Flame of Peace in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
The island is full of cultural assets and various spiritual sites located mainly on the mountain, "wonders of nature" and "Miyajima's living miracles" as advertised on the leaflet together with traces of travels of famous worshippers which are probably very interesting to the followers but wouldn't have much significance to us.
Still, we found the place absolutely stunning. The shrine and temples "co-exist" with perfect harmony with nature, that has been kept totally intact creating a magnificent scene for anyone who visits.

Here is what we found on the slopes of the mountain, a perfect description of the place put into words by the First World War poet Edmund Blunden who must have visited the mountain during his life- if you click on the picture it should enlarge:

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This month we also liked:

Books:

very sad and very true:
"Eyewitness Testimonies Appeals From The A-bomb Survivors"
"Hiroshima" John Hersey could not describe it better then The New York Times did on the back of its cover -"...nothing can be said about this book that can equal what the book has to say. It speaks for itself, and in an unforgettable way, for humanity..."

learning how to fold the paper cranes: get your colour square paper ready:

http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-crane.html

Posted by Bulls 09:45 Archived in Japan Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

APRIL 2007-kaleidoscope of ancient and modern Japan -part II

Templed out in Kyoto and Nara

semi-overcast 13 °C
View Seoul to Japan part I on Bulls's travel map.

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Kyoto

Once we arrived in Kyoto our slight disappointment with Mount Fuji's "poor hospitality" towards us, was quickly replaced by the zing and excitement of being in Japan's most beautiful and most "Japanese city" -according to the worlwide reputation.

However, if you arrive like us by train, you will be first impressed not by -what Kyoto is best known for -rich cultural heritage of the ancient Japan (17 Unesco World Heritage Sites)-but one of the largest buildings in Japan -the very futuristic and modern building of the Kyoto Station. It will also take you back into the 21st century when your visit to Kyoto is over.

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We had only a couple of full days to explore it with an extra day for the trip to nearby Nara. With a late evening arrival, also a late departure and a trip to Nara we decided to stay in the ryokan located near the station and save some time on commuting to and fro.
It proved to be a good choice as it was handy and very comfortable and compared to Tokyo's one - recently renovated and very clean. The room was specious and once Maja was fast asleep in bed (read: on futon) we could sit on the little "balcony" and reflect on our busy day and plan the next one while sipping green tea...or indulging ourselves in Japanese beer and delicious desserts....

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Although most scenic and beautiful spots are located west, east, south and north of the city centre as if embracing all that is new, there are also a few highlights in the central part of the city which we decided to explore first.

We went to Nijo Castle -built at the beginning of the XVII century. It first served as an official residence of the Tokugawa Shoguns until the country's sovereignty had been returned to the Emperor in the XIX century and the castle became the property of the Imperial Family.

Passing through the fortification and over the moat to stand on the hill overlooking the castle grounds with its palaces and gardens, you're guaranteed to be taken back in time.

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But if your mind keeps drifting back to the present day wait until you go through old wooden gates and enter the reception rooms and the original "nightingale floor" starts squeaking under your feet as you walk along!

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Of course the castle wouldn't be short of blossoming trees that come in all colours and variations and it even has its own "blossom calendar":

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We have also visited "nearby" -well still centrally located- Imperial Park surrounding The Imperial Palace although we didn't go to the palace as you need to prebook your tour well in advance and also because we didn't have enough time.

It was getting late in the afternoon when we went to wander the streets of Gion district hoping to catch a glimpse of a geisha passing by. The place felt very aunthentic with its streets lit by lanterns, decorated with vivid colour ribbons and lined up with original old wooden buildings that served as restaurants, souvenir shops or exclusive teahouses -"geisha retreats" where patrons may pay more then $4000 to spend an evening in the company of 2 or 3 geisha.

According to the guide book the evening in a teahouse begins with an exquisite dinner presented in accordance with strict rules of ettiquette and geisha (or maiko-apprentice geisha) introducing herself in Kyoto dialect while the client eats his dinner. Next comes shamisen (traditional 3 string instrument) performance, followed by a traditional fan dance and of course the service of pouring drinks, lighting cigarettes and bantering.

Unless you are introduced by an established patron it is almost impossible to enter the a Gion teahouse and witness a geisha performance with the exceptions of annual public performances or dance presentations or.... watching more or less dodgy posts on YouTube!

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And today the luck was on our side - we managed to see quite a few, possibly on the way to/from their appointments or theater shows.

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Once in Gion we went to Gion Corner to observe tea ceremony, Moribana -a flower arrangement, a performances of Kyoto music, an ancient comic play and a traditional Kyoto dance performed by beatifully and colorfully dressed Maiko and Geisha. At the end we also watched a puppet play where the actors operating life size puppets are also present on stage although dressed completely in black.

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It was an interesting experience although it felt a little stiff and dry.

After that we went back to the central part of Kyoto to see what the modern Kyoto's night life and streets look like.
Unfortunately only to a certain extend as our own little puppet was getting a bit tired. We found a nice place to eat (deep fried noodles served and then crashed with salad and other bits, delicious!) and headed back to ryokan.
On the way we popped into an internet/manga cafe to check our emails:

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and of course some MANGA

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Although the central part of Kyoto is a very modern place with neon lights,big shopping arcades, modern architecture etc Kyoto's ancient vibe does not leave you for a minute. Many people move around on old bikes, you see many women and men casually wearing their kimonos, there are plenty of little shops or stands serving traditional foods and snack -we had delicious grilled rice cakes topped with succulent caramel.

Here is a view of a temple at night:

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The next day we went to the outskirts of town and visited quite a few temples which seemed to be appearing anywhere like "mushrooms after rain". After walking from one to another we were totally templed out and decided just to walk along and enjoy the serenity of nature without stopping by:

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While walking we came across not an average VIP you might think of - the moss boss and his numerous faces

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and here he is at his best, stretching amongst the trees like a green carpet decorated with red flowers:

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Nara

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While staying in Kyoto we visited nearby Nara (40 min train journey) -the first permament capital of Japan (before that capitals were moved from place to place with the passing of each emperor according to native Shinto taboos about deaths) and a second only to Kyoto as a repository of Japan's cultural legacy (8 Unesco World Heritage Sites ). In size Nara is quite small so we were able to see most important sights and attractions but we could easily have spent another day or two there and explore some of the more distant sights as well.

Most of the attractions are situated in Nara-koen area -a park on the eastern side of the city. It is within a walking distance from the JR station and the whole area can be easily covered by foot.

Temples and shrines are Nara's biggest attractions. Buddhism first flourished here along with traditional Japanese Shinto religion under the strong patronage of succesive emperors and empresses.

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The park is also home to an estimated 1100 deer which today hold a status of National Treasure and in pre-Buddhist times were considered messengers of the gods.

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You can see them roaming all over the park but mainly at the entrances to temples looking out for tourists with food. You can buy special buiscuits for them but if you are with children you should try to do it discreetly as their eyes are watching you all the time and the moment you hand out something to one you 'll be surronded by the others sniffing and biting your pockets which can be a little scary and intimidating.

Nara's star attraction is Todai-Ji temple and Daibutsu-den Hall

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which is considered the largest wooden building in the world sheltering the enormous statue of the Buddha (16m high, 437 tonnes of bronze and 130 kg of gold!).
The statue represent the cosmic Buddha -the centre of the universe, believed to give rise to all worlds and their respective historical Buddhas,

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There is also a tall wooden pole with a hole the size of Buddha's nostril. It is believed that once you squeeze through it you become enlightened. We wanted to have a go but would have to dedicate half a day to it by joining a long que of schoolkids on their way to illumination!

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Outside the hall there is a "healing statue" (sorry I cannot remember the name) and again according to beliefs if you touch it with "a suffering part" of your body it will be healed.

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We walked around the park, admiring the scenery and the old architecture that survived through wars, fires and other disasters.

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On the way back we came across a Buddhist celebration. We tried to find out what it was but nobody could speak English although they tried to explain it to us by gestures mainly pointing at Buddha.

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Maja went to get a closer look and say hello to a beautifully dressed Japanese girl, who in return gave her a colorful flower to keep.

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Accompanied by fog and drizzle throughout the entire day,we really enjoyed Nara and wish we had more time to explore this little town , go to museums and see some more of the local people and their ways of life ...

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This month we also liked:

"Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken." Frank Herbert

"Memoirs of the Geisha"- strongly critised however still a great film!

Maja posing with Kitty - her favourite character !

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watching Japanese Matrix on YouTube (now we know where they get the idea from)
here is our favourite:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5RrLWT4TjKs&mode=related&search=

Posted by Bulls 14:55 Archived in Japan Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

APRIL 2007-kaleidoscope of ancient and modern Japan -part I

TOKYO AND MOUNT FUJI

sunny 16 °C
View Seoul to Japan part I on Bulls's travel map.

Under the famous cherry blossom tree

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When we decided to come and live in Korea for a year it wasn't because we had any particular interest in the country itself but mainly for the opportunity to live abroad and travel to other "nearby" places.We also thought that it could have been a chance to boost up our finances -but so far we have only enriched ourselves with photos and the great experiences of places we have been to while away from the UK...not that we are complaining

Anyway the idea of coming this way excited us very much, especially because of its location -Korea is very close to Japan. And Japan has always been somewhere amongst the top countries we wanted to visit!

So Japan here we come!

Our adventure with Japan began in Tokyo where we flew in on friday night.
We took a taxi to our ryokan located in Asakusa -the old part of the city.

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The taxi ride was pretty cool. To our suprise there was not much traffic and entering Tokyo via the express way snaking amongst some very impressive buildings, it felt as if we were flying just inches above the city. And the views of Tokyo at night were stunning as expected.The city was buzzing with colourful lights and neons but we were mostly impressed with the red twinkling lights on top of a few buildings that seemed to be coming and going to/from nowhere as if the echo of light was drawing us deeper and deeper into the city.

However short our stay, while in Japan we wanted to have the ultimate Japanese experience. We decided to spend most of the night in ryokans - traditional Japanese inns dating back to XVII th century - somewhat equivalent to the guesthouses except there are no beds in the rooms but futons that spread out on tatami floors, the bathtub is more of the "squat in it" size but taller then bathtubs we have in our bathrooms and there is usually a beautiful tea set with some green tea. Once in the ryokan you take your shoes off at the entrance and you're supposed to change your clothes and wear "yukata" which is a casual form of the kimono and was originally worn after the bath (simply - a dressing gown or "around the house" clothes). Depending on the size, location and the price, ryokans tend to offer a variety of facilities such us hot spring baths, delicious home made food prepared out of local and seasonal ingredients,karaoke bar etc.
The best and most authentic ryokans are often located in scenic places on the outskirts or outside towns.

TOKYO

In Tokyo -having chosen one of the cheapest ones and conveniently located on the back streets of Asakusa - Tokyo's oldest part of town -we didn't have very high expectations. And right we were to do so as with its old carpets in the corridor, tiny rooms and a musty smell the place resembled more of an old youth hostel although still in japanese style. Considering it had all the basic works -the tatami floor, futons, yukatas and tea set were all there, the staff were all very friendly and we were out in town throughout the days and back totally knackered late evenings,the place did the job of providing a very cheap and basic Japanese sleeping experience!

We fully dedicated our first day to Asakusa -the old part of town, with some of the greatest temples, markets and where some of Tokyo's old folks live and carry on with their daily routines as if the world around them hadn't changed. It is not suprising it is packed with people -its old, traditional Japanese atmosphere attracts not only foreign but also Japanese tourists but somehow you're not bothered by the crowds who seem to be an integral part of it all.

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We followed a long street lined up with tourists and market stalls selling Japanese crafts and souvenirs to Senso-ji -the biggest and most significant temple in Tokyo. We not only visited the temple but were able to discreetly observe other people who came to visit and pay their respects to yet another incarnation of Buddha (the one of Mercy) and receive "blessings" by burning giant insence and bathing their faces in its smoke in front of the gate to the temple.

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It was a nice place to be and walk around although felt a little strange lacking the knowledge of what the place is really about and what different things symbolise but we learned more as we had travelled further on.
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There was another way we could have done the tour around the old town but at the time we somehow didn't fancy it...now I wish we did....it is cheesy and touristy but hey ....at the end we are the tourists!

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Having paid our visit to the temple, we decided to walk to the pier to take a cruise on Samida river. As we walked along we saw people gathering all along the river and suddenly we found ourselves looking at "backstages" of what was to be a show of a traditional archery competition performed on the horseback or foot, with its form going back as far as XII century and handed down to the present day.

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In the old days the shogun himself encouraged it as a necessary accomplishment for a samurai and in the present day the event is held by the head of the family that has been an active master of archery and horsemanship and inherited the shogunate.

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It was a great show as we didn't known about it beforehand and came across it simply wandering down the river.

Next was the cruise on the Samida river, nice and relaxing, offering not the most beautiful but an interesting overview of the city and Tokyo's bay.We passed under quite a few bridges, some old as well as modern buildings, the famous Asahi Beer tower, a XVIII centrury traditional Japanese garden and a fish market.

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We ended the day in a local restaurant in Asakusa where Nick had some traditional Japanese dish of egg, pork and noodles and I went for the chef's sushi plate of the day that had a wide range of sushi samples and I really enjoyed it except for the sea urchin roe one which had a very strong taste and was literally repulsive ....

Our second day in Tokyo we spent by travelling in between different this time modern and happening districts of the city but first we went to Ueno Park

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filled with galleries and museums that unfortunately we didn't have the time to visit but at Maja's request we stopped at the Ueno Zoo to see the giant panda. For some reason panda's enclosure seemed to be the least pleasant one. While other animals seemed quite happy and kept in good condition, the panda looked a bit miserable and depressed.

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After enjoyable time watching the animals, we went to see peonies garden filled with all the colours and sizes of the flower!It was beautiful and I absolutely loved it -peonies have always been my favourite flowers -my grandma use to grown them in her garden and I remember poking my nose to smell them just like Maja did here:

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In case you like peonies or are a fan of crosswords -its name comes via Latin from Greek and belong originally to the physician of gods.
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As it's been a while ago since we had accomplished all this, I can't remember in what order we did things, but we decided to walk the streets to get a bit more feel of the city instead of jumping on the subway getting on and off at major sights and attractions.
Looking at the map, city looks very compact and places we wanted to go to seem quite close to each other but once you start walking (with a 4 year old who wants to look and touch literally everything) it takes a bit longer then expected. Still we walked through very beautiful Hibiya Park with a large lake filled with spotty, red, white and black carps and turtles sitting still on the rocks as if they were statues to the Imperial Palace gardens as the palace itself is not open to the public.

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Just across the road was the busy shopping district of Giza

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with the expensive shops and the Godzilla statue somewhere within. We walked for ages looking for it and expecting it to be respectfully a big size and we nearly missed its ironically small statue although standing face to face with it, it could still send shivers down your back and it took few minutes to persuade Maja to come close to it and have a picture taken:

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Next we found ourselves on electric powered streets of Akihabara -famous for its many electronic shops and Mecca for games', manga and animation lovers.

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We only wished we had more time to dive into some of them as it looked fun and do some people watching as this is apparently place to be but all we had time for was to rush through the streets and visit the Anime Centre located in one of the higher buildings there which also gave us a good panorama of the area.

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Then there was the time for dinner and saying good-bye to the city from the 250 metres high observatory of the Tokyo Tower.
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Standing there and watching the city at night with its neon lights blinking in all colours and in every direction, Tokyo felt like a very cool city to live in offering a big choice of neverending and sometimes the weirdest enterteinment there is! It felt like all we had done here was having a quick peer at it through the keyhole not having enough time to turn the key and open the door. Definetely a place to go for the youngsters out there with spare time on their hands....
Not a very sharp snap of the night view but gives an idea:

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MOUNT FUJI

However sad we were to be leaving Tokyo behind, we were very excited and looking forward to the rest of the trip and the next day on the slopes of Mount Fuji!

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We booked a day tour to the mountain, with a cable car ride and a boat ride on one of the nearby lakes.
The clouds had hung very low this day and although we came half way up(by bus) to the 5th station, which is not always possible due to the weather conditions,the mountain still wouldn't show itself.

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Slightly dispappointed, we got the fridge magnet from the souvenir shop and went on the cable car but all we could see all up the way were other traveller's disappoited faces.

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Next was the lake and again as if cruising in the clouds, we couldn't even see the lake -never mind Mount Fuji! At least we felt relieved we hadn't gone ahead with our original plan of spending 2 days around the mountain, soaking up in the hot springs and enjoying the view ......

It was still a good trip, the guide on the bus was brilliant, sharing interesting facts of the country helping himself with self made pictures and lots of humour. If it wasn't for him we would never find out an interesting fact that Japanese almost NEVER say "I love you".....and that the headquarters of the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult (responsible for chemical warfare conducted on the Tokyo subway using sarin gas) were located very near, by one of the lakes near Mount Fuji.(if interested - see more info at the bottom of this trip's entry)

Maja made a good friend with an American/Iranian boy and although they had only spent a few hours together, both found it difficult to say good-bye to one another.
Here they are with Maja's favourite Japanese cartoon character -cuddly, smiley, magical and mysterious Totoro :

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The best view we got on this trip wasn't unfortunately of Mount Fuji but this beautiful tree came to the rescue:

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This was the only organised tour we had joined during our travels through Japan All the the rest we have tailored ourselves.
So next we made our own way to the train station and bought some dinner to have on the way.

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This must have been the best dinner and the best train ride we have ever had.
While in England we would generally grab a sandwich or pasta/salad box (well I'm not mentioning Mc's and KFC's and all that lot) ,Japanese have all this too but what seems to be traditional and very delicious are the boxes packed with plenty of little things inside: a piece of fish, variety of pickles (oriental style), fragrant rice, little omlettey things and lots of other sometimes hard to identify bits and pieces!There is also a choice for seafood and meat lovers. Conveniently packed, fresh, healthy and with great variety of choice -it was definetely a winner for me.

As for the train -no need to comment -clean, spacious, cool looking, comfortable and fast as the bullet in its name, little expensive but definetely worth the money pleasantly transfering you from one place to another(worth buying Japanese Rail Pass if that's the way you're going to travel)!

This month we liked:

words by Caskie Stinnett
"I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine."

2 books by Haruki Murakami:

"Underground" -already mentioned while writing about Mount Fuji, this book is a collection of interviews the author had conducted with the people who lived through the catastrophe including the victims, not affected passers-by and the members of the cult -the ones who had quit the cult since and the others who remained the members. Very interesting read!

"Kafka on the shore" - absolutely fanastic book, it starts a little slow but once you're "in it" there are two things you are no longer able to do - put it down or understand just as the words:

"In the place far away from anyone or anywhere, I drifted off for a moment"

Murakami's state of the art website is definetely worth visiting if you decide to read him, music plays a significant role in some of the plots and characters life and you can listen to what they had listened to in an instant -loved it!

www.harukimurakami.com

Jonathan Ross "JAPANORAMA" series

"carp flags" (which brought my some memories back from my kindergarden years when I was chosen to read out the greeting (in English)to the Japanese comitee visiting our town's factory - it was my first (and last) public performance, I must have been 6 and scared to death lying to teacher's 5 mins before the big event that I had stomach cramps hoping to get away ...the same flags were flying over our heads ....now I know that generally the carp stands for good luck and prosperity in Japanese tradition although originally The Carp is a symbol of boyhood courage and strength -"In Japanese tradition, a boy’s family flies a carp shaped streamer to encourage him to achieve his goals in life through unrelenting perseverance. In this way, the boy emulates the Carp, that fights its way up stream against formidable opposing currents to reach its destination."

TOKYO_ASAK..p_flags.jpg

Monchhichi- yet another childhood memory and a funny story:

Monchhichi.jpg

I had one when I was small and haven't see it since. I had to buy it FOR MAJA :)
She liked it straight away but unfortunately lost it during the day and was pretty upset about it. We kept looking for another one but typically couldn't find it.
While we were at Mount Fuji -they had some in the toys shop , so Nick secretly got another one (looking as close to the lost one as he could)and brought it back to Maja with the story that Monchhichi wasn't really lost, he just went to say g'd b-ye to his friends...Maja seemed to buy the story although she commented "He must have had a big dinner as he seemed to grew a bit bigger overnight"...

Recycling in Asakusa:

Tokyo_-recycling.jpg

And of course:

Tokyo_Asahi.jpg

And special thanks to: Dominik for sharing his experience and throwing in ideas

Our journey through Japan continues soon in the next entry in the meantime greetings to all our families and friends!

Posted by Bulls 15:40 Archived in Japan Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

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