Blogs from Japan, Asia - page 8


Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Chiyoda January 21st 2014

Police officers in Tokyo have shining white Bridgestone bicycles, with reflector bedecked white document carriers, a baton slung on left hip and a walkie-talkie. Koban (police boxes) range in size from telephone boxes (think glass TARDIS) to three-desk offices. They often have a small stable of white bikes lined up outside them. The police officers are unfailingly polite and helpful. They patiently show foreigners where the unlocate-able building is, i.e. across the road and 50 metres to the left. When presented with a punctured tyre, the older officer kindly pumped it up for me, while the younger one quizzed me to ascertain if I really was the owner of the bike. The fact that the tyre needed proper repairs was overlooked and after gracious thanks and bows all round, I walked off in search of a ... read more
Koban (Police Box)
Walking the bikes
Jogging Track

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shibuya January 21st 2014

I left early morning to get the train from Hakata (Fukuoka) on Kyushu island and arrived in Tokyo about 5pm. I had arranged to meet my friend Joe in central Tokyo at the Hachiko dog statue outside Shibuya station, with the plan of having a coffee with him and taking the sleeper train from Tokyo at 7pm up to Hokkaido in the far north of Japan. I really wanted to see Joe as we haven’t seen each other in a few years and wanting to make the most of my train pass and see the entire island I really wanted to visit it but I hadn’t realised how tiring the travelling was going to be. Really I didn’t have enough energy to do both but I was determined not to miss out on a fabulous opportunity! ... read more

Asia » Japan » Fukuoka » Fukuoka January 20th 2014

I checked out of my hostel in Osaka (sadly as I’ve really enjoyed using the foot-warmer in the bedroom) and started my morning at my usual café which serve me with boiled egg, toast and a milky coffee which always sets me up for the day. I got on the bullet train this morning bound for Hakata/ Fukuoka City on Kyushu. It went at a dizzying speed and I was gripping my seat in fear and had to listen to Pink Floyd on my Walkman to calm me down and distract me. It turned out I’d got on the Sakura Super Express. In the evening I went to the centre of Hakata but it was nothing to write home about. jobs in jobs in korea: Busan... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto January 19th 2014

The JR bullet train pass is great. I can go on almost any train in Japan including local and some subway trains. There are so many places I want to see in Japan, so much food I want to savour and so many insights I want to gain into the culture. However, after yesterday I’ve decided I need to slow down a bit. For each city I visit I need to first of all find the correct bullet train (there are four different types that go to the same place all at different paces, some I cannot get on,) I then need to find the correct platform (in some stations there are 50 platforms all in the same area of the station,) on the local streetcars (old trams) I need to find out the fare, find ... read more

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima January 18th 2014

This morning I activated my bullet train pass and set off from my hostel in Osaka to shin Osaka station and caught the train to Hiroshima. It only took 1 and a half hours and right now I am on the bullet train going back to Osaka to stay the night in my hostel. Today is my 1stday of using the pass and I have six more days left so I have made some plans to see as much of Japan as efficiently as possible. Today I saw what was left of the Atomic Bomb Dome after the atomic bomb landed in it. I walked around the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park which was incredibly peaceful and relaxing. Then I went to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum which was very informative and gave in depth information (in ... read more
atomic bomb dome


Asia » Japan » Osaka January 17th 2014

I went to the very famous spa world which just happened to be around the corner from my hostel. Spa world is made up of saunas from all different parts of the world and just so happened to be giving out discounted tickets. It has six floors. On the top floor there is a family swimming area where people must wear swimsuits and on floor 4 there is a Europe spa (for women on odd months of the year) and on another floor there is Asia spa (for men on odd numbered months and women on even numbered months.) It also has lots of spa treatments on the other floors. Spas are part of the Japanese ritual and all Japanese people take a bath on an evening usually around 7pm. So I went to try spa ... read more
osaka at night

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka January 16th 2014

I got up late after a refreshing, much-needed 12 hours sleep. Yesterday was exhausting and with the time and effort it took just getting to the airport in Hong Kong and getting the 3 hour flight, I was as tired as when I went from London to Bangkok. Today I started the day gently with a lovely warm shower, worked my way around the local neighbourhood, had a chat to a few people in the hostel, went to an ATM which took 3 hours to find one that accepted visa and ended up in a local restaurant recommended to me by the owners of the hostel. It was a very good find especially as the Japanese owner spoke English. He talked to me a lot and explained that here in Osaka people will ask me a ... read more

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka January 15th 2014

I arrived into Kansai airport in Osaka, courtesy of Peach Airlines (the Ryanair of Japan.) The morning in Hong Kong was complicated, long and difficult in almost every way possible but from the moment I touched down in Japan I had a pleasant experience. I had a nutritious, set meal in Osaka airport with soup, fish, pork noodles, vegetables and green tea. All toilet seats in the airport were heated and I was able to get into a ladies only carriage on the Osaka train to my hostel (I think these exist so men don't hassle us and we feel safer at night.)Once I left the airport I got the Osaka train and was given a manual written in English with a step by step guide on how to buy a train ticket and how to ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo January 8th 2014

Damm!! I can't get into my hotmail account because they need to varify who I am coming from this location...SOOO I can't find out what is happening with flights in the Montreal /Toronto area!! My flights have been long but uneventful but , I guess , Suzanne has not been as lucky . I am going to proceed with my bookings as arranged. Given that I am at the hotel on my own at the moment and flight AC1 from Toronto has arrived I will look forward to connecting with Suzanne at the hotel in Yangon. Suzanne do call Susan if you need to make new arrangements to sleep in Tokyo . What a day !... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Chiyoda January 8th 2014

Greater Tokyo has a population of 37 million people, and Tokyo City 13 million people. Tokyo is listed high in the worlds most liveable, richest and safest cities, depending on which list is consulted. Tokyo is definitely the largest city I have spent time in, beating: Istanbul 13.5 million, San Francisco 5.8 million, Zhengzhou 4.4 million and Sydney 3.7 million. Kanda (my current residence) is a district in Chiyoda, the centre of Tokyo. The Tokyo Imperial Palace (home of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko) is 5 minutes bike ride away. On 2 January I dropped by for the annual New Years Greetings (with 70 thousand others) in a well-managed and well-behaved crowd. For four flag waving, photo-snapping minutes, the Imperial Family stood and waved behind glass, and the Emperor delivered a 43 second greeting for peace. ... read more
Tokyo Tsukiji Temple
Apartment looking north
Looking south

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