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Published: August 29th 2010
Jim has written the first two blogs on his blog page, if you want to read them just type in his name (james young) into bloggers. well what can i say? We have been so busy, our virgin flight into Tokyo was very smooth, i thought virgin were good so glad that we have a few more flights with them. Tokyo was kind of what i excpected, it was enormous and clean. The transport system was great and easy to navigate, i loved all the neon lights. After Tokyo we went to Nikko which was in peaceful woodlands-i loved this place, although everywhere seemed to close by about 8 or 9 o clock so it seemed like a ghost town. We stayed in a guest hose which was lovely but there was some really odd smell in our room. We slept on Tsnami mats on the floor which were really comfortable and we had wonderful views of the mountains. Next we headed to Takayama which is close to the japanese alps, buying a japan railpass has been the best thing we have done as we have used it so much and the shinkansens (bullet trains) are brill. At Nagoya train station on the way to takayama, i bought this unusual looking piece of confectionary from a shop, there were lots of different flavours to choose from and i chose mocha cream. i had to wait for half an hour for it to soften, i also bought jim one but he didn't want it so i ate both of them. it was made from rice and was chewy and sweet on the outside dusted with cocoa powder and had cream on the inside-it was really good. Anyway, jim and i loved TAKAYAMA. We stayed in a buddist temple and our room (again a traditional japanese room) overlooked a garden with a pond full of carp-we have seen a lot of these on our travels around Japan so far. We saw lots of old merchant houses in TAKAYAMA. I tried sushi but i have decided that i do not like it, i have also tried cold green tea which i do not like and sake (a traditional rice wine which is incredibly strong) not sure wheather i like it or not yet. on our second day in Takayama we went on a bicycle tour through rice fields and small town in the mountains-this was fab, it was just me, jim and our English speaking tour guide who was really nice, he gave us loads of info about the area and took us to a natural spring where we drank ice cold water straight from the mountain-the best water ever! jim and i also spoke to a lovely japanese woman who spoke to us for ages about japan etc. Jim tried hida beef, a speciality and loved it but it was quite expensive. Next we made our way to kyoto. We stayed in a great hostel which was really big and had a nice bar attached, i visited some wonderful shrines and temples, not all of them though as it would take aqes there are so many. Jim was more impressed with the monkey park that we visited. It was cool, i've never been so close to a monkey without a cage being in the way before, we were told that as they are wild monkeys they do occasionally attack humans but as long as you don't touch them or stare at them you should be fine. In kyoto an eccentric Japanese man wandered over to us in the street and told us how much he hated americans because they are so loud an arrogant, he then told us how he had used to live in north greenwich and had visited hundreds of places in England including Sunderland-jim was dumbstruck. He then asked us lots of tense and verb questions to help him with his English. Jim and i loved kyoto, it is a very stylish city which still retains the charm of its past. The only thing i was gutted about was that i didn't see a geisha, but i did get to see a japanese doctor as my ears have been playing up and i have two ear infections-lucky me. Luckily the guy behind the reception at our hostel phoned a doctor's surgery and gave me the address. It was on a walk in basis and i didn't have to wait that long. He showed me the inside of my ear through a camera thing-it was all very gross, he then proceeded to stick a white long stick in my ear and prodded around for a bit which resulted in me saying OW, quite a few times which he found hilarious, jim could also hear me screaming from the waiting room. I just hope the antibiotic drops he has given me work as i don@t want to have to keep visiting millions of doctors.
After kyoto jim and i made our way to Osaka, we didn't actually see much of Osaka as we only stayed one night but it was a very fun night. The hoste had a food and beer party on. We were given one free beer ans some food. We met two lovely japanese girls who lived in Osaka so we spent the nigt chatting away to them, they were hilarious/
We are currently in Nara staying in a great guesthouse, we even have our own bathroom-yey. Last night jim and i did KARAOKE, we got our own booth and spent a couple of hours singing some cracking tunes, we enjoyed it so much we are thinking of going back tonight.
So to some up Japan, we love it here, the weather has been great-really hot, it is really clean, the people have been friendly and kind, laughing at jim when he keeps saying hello instead of goodbye and thankyou instead of please. The toilets are amazing, so many buttons and gadgets, jim's favourite is the button that allows water to clean your back passage. The women are so stylish and absolutely stunning, it would be a great country to come to if you were a guy. Also jim and i are managing to stick to our budget so all good.
Going to narita tomo and then fly to singapore on tues eve. i promise i wont wait so long next time to write a blog as this has taken me ages.
Hope everyone is well. Keep in touch.
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