Saturday, 28 January 2012

A Sneaky One from Japan

It's my last night in Japan and I've managed to borrow Melanie's lap top - no small feat, believe me. I've been trying to pack my bags and convince myself that I only have 23kg (baggage allowance) in my bag.  Unfortunately I have no way of checking until I get to the airport tomorrow night, and it's too late to go to the Post Office to post excess home to myself.  I've decided to post some notes for myself on the blog so I can throw out all the brochures, maps and information I've collected to cut down on weight,  I will post photos and add to this when I get home to my own computer.

Anyway, as I know I won't be allowed to have the laptop for long,  I'll get into it.

Day 4 - Nippori Street - what an experience!  Amazing fabric, haberdashery, everything sewing related street.  Wonderful bargains to be had - I especially liked the Yuwa and Echino fabrics, but more about this later.

Day 5 - Slow day, had about 6inches of snow fall overnight and it's very different for someone from Queensland to lay in bed and hear the sound of crunching as people try to navigate the very slippery, icy footpath outside.  Headed to Akihabara- electronic district where I brought a new camera, and Melanie found a shop called Super Potato with all kinds of electronic games - even the old Super Nintendo and older.  Found a great shopping centre - lovely to wander around out of the cold.  Melanie indulged her passion for shoes with yet another pair of dangerously high heels and both of us enjoyed time in Tokyo Hands with it's wonderful collection of cute stationery and stuff.
Day 6 - Dynamic Tokyo Tour - wonderful experience with exceptionally friendly guide.  Tokyo Tower Observatory, Traditional Tea Ceremony at Happo-en Garden (yes, I even joined in - the tea was very bitter), a traditional garden in the middle of Tokyo.  500year old Bonsai! Lunch was a traditional Japanese style barbecue at Chinzan-so another stunning Japanese garden created ~ 1860's.  Imperial Palace Plaza and Nijubashi bridge, Sumida River Cruise, Nakamise Shopping Arcade at Asakusa and drive through Ginza.  Big day, but very enjoyable.
Day 7 - Quilt Show Melanie visited Ueno zoo to see the pandas, then we both found our way to Ikebukuro for some serious shopping that evening.  Found a Post office - posted a surprise parcel to myself!
Day 8 - Shinkansen (Bullet train) to Kyoto,  Flew past lots of heavily snow covered areas and was fortunate to see Mt Fuji.  We were told that due to cloud and mist it could only be seen about 60 days each year, and we've seen it twice in our short visit.  Also very interesting to see the countryside.  It appears either very flat or very mountainous.   Afternoon - Kyoto Handicraft Centre.  Pm New Miyako Hotel (Very nice!!!)
Day 9 -  Kyoto Morning Tour - Nishi Honganji Temple, Nijo Castle - Tokugawa family home of the last Shogun (stunning) and Rokuon-Ji Temple - The Golden Pavillion (Budhist Temple).  Exceptionally cold day - very hard to take in all the information given, as it is so cold!  My fingers hurt to bend and I think my nose is running and I have no control over it.  Surely it will snow later today.  We leave to return to Tokyo on the Shinkansen, mid afternoon.  Dinner - little Ramen store just down from Hotel.  Great food and very cheap!
Day 10 -
and home to Australia.

That's all for now.
Cheers, Bev

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