Monday, 14 February 2011

Memoirs of a trip in Japan

As I always like to have the final word, I thought I would add my comments here on Japan to wrap it up. We have had a really good 11 days here, met some fantastic people and seen some wonderful and bizarre things. Not only have we conquered the underground, trekked up a mountain and immersed ourselves into dark caves, but we have made memories that will last a lifetime....the experience of heated toilet seats stand out as the most prominent for me!!

Despite that, and although Japan was a great country to have as our first stop, it has failed to 'wow' me. I'm not sure why...maybe reflecting on it during the flight tonight will help me to realise what it is about the place that really failed to impress me. The people are so lovely and helpful, the public transport is impressive and the temples are great...but there is something missing.

So, I would give Japan 7 out of 10.

Best bits - wonderful people, heated toilet seats, transport, the green tea experience in Tokyo, the Nara deer.

Worst bits - the food, lack of beautiful landscape, crowds, noisy Australians in hostels (doesn't bode well for the next leg of the trip!)

I hope that gives you some idea of my thoughts and feelings regarding Japan: great time, good memories, awful food, no 'wow' factor. In a nutshell.

We are going down under now...hope to update you soon.

Lots of valentines love,
H xx

Off to Oz

Well I'm a bit more of a fan of Kyoto than Hana but I have to admit that it wasn't quite what I expected. Still, we had a great time there but it's safe to say we were all temple'd out and ready to head back to Tokyo.

Another rapid 2 hours at over 100mph via Bullet Train and we were back at our Hostel in Tokyo (after getting mildly lost on the underground). That evening we actually managed to make it to Electric Town. It's an awesome sight to behold: lights towering up buildings wherever you turn, loud electronic noises and hoards of people - it truly is an assault on your senses until you get used to it. We ventured into "Club Sega" (one of the many gaming centres there) and had a go on some of the games in there. What was more interesting to see was the Japanese kids playing those games... it's as though they have extra arms they move that fast!

The following day we ventured to Shibuya and came out of the underground right next to the famous Shibuya crossing (Lost in Translation anyone?). We spent a good 10mins just watching the crossing and the sea of people rushing across the tarmac as soon as the lights turned green. After our Shibuya experience we headed on to Shinjuku and to the government buildings there. We went up to the top of the observation deck of the highest building we could find and got a great view across Tokyo and to the mountains beyond. In the evening we finally found some vegetarian Japanese food! Vegetable tempura, it was very nice and great to have some Japanese food that Hana could eat on our last evening in Tokyo.

Today we are having a last look around Tokyo, grabbing some lunch and then getting the train to the airport.

We fly to Perth at 8:30pm local time!

- Phil