Page 2 of katybug Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Hachioji November 21st 2013

Not too exciting, since I visit Mt. Takao all the time, but I went last year to see the autumn foliage and wanted to make sure I went this year, too. Originally I had planned to go with Jocelyn, but she ended up bailing so I was sort of at a loss when I would take my trip when my friend Kelly said she was going the very day I was scheduled to go with another friend, Rie. Must have been fate!! Therefore, the three of us ended up traveling together and had a very wonderful time seeing the colors, eating dango, and buying good luck charms at the temple on our trip. ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Yamanashi » Fuji Five Lakes October 31st 2013

Due to a school festival, I ended up with a six day weekend on the last weekend in October. Since Rani normally has Mon-Tues off, she took Sat-Sun off and we got a four-night trip, Friday night through Tuesday afternoon, to do some exploring in this great country. This means we could go a little bit further than normal; it also meant that we were going to see the beginning of some fall colors at higher elevations. Clearly, this meant that we should take a four-day trip to the Fuji Five Lakes area, so we did! Of course, we came in during typhoon rains, since it's typhoon season here. That was unfortunate, but the worst of it was Friday when we arrived anyway, and it was too late to be a night where we were actually ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Saitama » Kawagoe October 1st 2013

I had today off because it was "Tokyo Citizens Day", so Rani and I went to check out Kawagoe, or "Little Edo", which was supposedly a half hour away from central Tokyo. Well, given our location and that by "central Tokyo" they meant Ikebukuro (which is not central Tokyo lol), it actually took us closer to an hour and a half to get there. Still, we left early enough that it was alright, and we were excited to see what the area had in store. Getting off at Kawagoe Station put us nowhere near the area we wanted to be, so we did some walking, which certainly wasn't bad. The weather was gray and it kept intermittently raining, but it wasn't enough to be really annoying and it WAS enough to keep the big crowds away. ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Hachioji September 7th 2013

I'm sure that posting blogs about hiking Mt. Takao - which I tend to every couple of months because it's easy and close and I am very fond of this little mountain ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Koenji August 25th 2013

After my most emotional day at work - because I got a new job and am leaving my current eikawa position to teach in a private high school starting next week - I met Rani at Koenji Station, in western Tokyo, because she had heard about a dance festival called Awaodori there and we were interested in seeing what it was. As soon as I arrived, I knew that trying to find each other out of the station was going to be a nightmare of epic proportions, as the festival was happening directly out of the station gates, so I waited on the platform for her to arrive after her job interview and we went out to see what was going on. There were TONS of people, and street vendors like at the other matsuri (festivals) ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Ashiya July 16th 2013

While my sister was at work today, I ventured towards Kobe to do some hiking - I had instructions on how to get there wit my Hiking in Japan book, and two bottles of water, but it ended up being over 90 again today and just really too hot to be hiking, which sort of came back to bite me later on. It wasn't hard to get to Ashiya-gawa station, though I did get lost trying to find my way up the residential backstreets to where the rock garden officially started. Why are these things NEVER clearly marked anywhere?! So that took up some time and a lot of my water, because it was swelteringly hot and I was lost, but eventually I did find what I was looking for. There was a nice waterfall and ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto July 15th 2013

On day 2 and 3 of my trip, we had decided to take a mini-trip to Kyoto, as both of us wanted to go see things there again, and the famous Gion Matsuri (festival) was happening right when we could be there. It was pretty awesome that it worked out like that, so we booked a hostel for the Sunday night of our stay, and headed out Sunday morning. It didn't take long to get there, but when we got to Kyoto Station, we were unable to find any lockers to store our extra stuff in. Seems like EVERYONE had the same idea. And the tourist information center wouldn't give us free maps, so we decided to go without one, just using the big city guide map as a reference. This weird old guy came up ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Nara » Nara July 13th 2013

Since my sister is down in Osaka for a summer internship, I waited patiently until the only national holiday in June and August, and then took a week's vacation down to see her. I'd only been to the Kansai area once before, and only for 2 days, so I was very excited to see more of it this time around. And to see my sister, of course! The problem was that I had not anticipated the DEMAND for shinkansen tickets due to the three-day weekend, and as such, when I bought my tickets Friday night after work, I could only get a non-reserved seat. The shinkansen ride to Shin-Osaka from Shin-Yokohama is 137 minutes, and I stood in the CROWDED non-reserved section for 80 of them. It was HOT and pretty miserable, haha. Luckily, I grabbed ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ikebukuro July 5th 2013

To celebrate the 4th of July - or, not really, but it just so happened that the friend I was going with is military and had the 4th off and it fell on MY day off of Thursday - I went to the Sunshine City aquarium in Ikebukuro! It was really fun, and it was exciting to go back to a part of the city that I hadn't been to since I arrived in Japan a year ago. We actually had a little trouble finding exactly where we needed to go. We found Sunshine City okay, but nowhere on the side of the building did it list the aquarium, and after some furious google searching, I gave up, used my dictionary to find how to say "aquarium" (suizokukan) and asked the information desk where it was. ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Tokyo June 25th 2013

I had yesterday off in a RARE shift swap with the head teacher, who needed a Thursday worked for him at the end of August, so I managed to get a day off with Rani, who I never have similar off days with. We decided to make the most of this and go to Tokyo Disneyland together - she hadn't been there yet, and I hadn't been there when it wasn't cold outside! We got up early and made our way out to the bay on the crowded, crowded trains (I'm continually glad I don't have to deal with that in the mornings) and ended up getting a really great day for it, weather-wise, particularly since today is raining and blech. Our first order of business was buying ears, because we were determined to wear the ... read more
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