andjulbed

andjulbed

andjulbed

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Former TravelPod Member: andjulbed


Joined: May 24th, 2014
From: lives in Cairns,Australia



Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns June 4th 2017

Geo: -16.9254, 145.775For my own reference at a later time (we would certainly be keen to go back) and for anyone that is thinking of going to Japan there a quite a few things that we learned about that are a little unique to the country and that are worth knowing before you travel.ItineraryPlan to visit some rural areas not just cities. The cities are fascinating but can wear you down after a while. The cities themselves are not that attractive but there is alot of beauty there once you start looking for it. Its hidden away though. Even the cities that boast multiple stunning gardens, shrines and temples are not pretty on the surface. Hotel rooms in these cites can sometimes be a little depressing. I lost count of the number of times we walked ... read more
Favourites

Asia » Japan June 2nd 2017

Geo: 35.6895, 139.692 - Tokyo (Shinjuku) So how do thirteen million people live in almost perfect harmony? I can't quite get my head around it but in Tokyo they somehow manage it as far as I can see. Having spent a few days in and out of multiple subway and train stations I think I understand to a certain extent. Of course I am far from an expert having only been here for a very short period of time but I am intrigued and therefore have thought about how it can possibly work. At any given moment there are hundreds of people at every rail station but it works. Pretty much everyone follows the rules. Keeping to the left or paying the correct fare or not talking on your phone for example. Most people are polite ... read more
Tokyo - Cat Cafe
Tokyo - Cat Cafe
Tokyo - Cat Cafe

Asia » Japan May 31st 2017

Geo: 35.4973, 138.755 - Kawaguchiko So of course coming to Fuji Five Lakes is all about seeing Mount Fuji. That iconic image we all have. We want to see the real thing for ourselves and see if it really is a perfect as the photos. For me though it was also about the lakes and the forests and being able to chill out and not do all that much before we plunge ourselves into the chaos that is Tokyo and then fly home. Fortunately luck was on our side and the fire goddess was ready and waiting for us when we arrived in Kawaguchiko. I booked a place on the other side of the lake to the main part of town by the waters edge and with views of the mountain should she choose to show ... read more
Kawaguchiko
Kawaguchiko
Kawaguchiko

Asia » Japan May 29th 2017

Geo: 36.24, 137.97 - Matsumoto What was most conspicious about Matsumoto was how quiet it seemed. Granted its a much smaller city than some of the others we have visited but there was quite simply alot less people around. We saw little or no foreign tourists and very few Japanese tourists. There didn't even seem to be that many locals. We could easily walk through the very centre of town without having to dodge a single person. Such a nice change! Even better was checking into a hotel and not finding that your only window faces directly into a brick wall. Instead we found a spacious room with multiple windows and views of the alps during the day and the city lights at night. In keeping with more laid back atmosphere we did a bit of ... read more
Matsumoto
Matsumoto
Matsumoto

Asia » Japan May 28th 2017

Geo: 36.15, 137.24 - Takayama For over two weeks we have been travelling mostly to cities large and not so large and are having to search each day for all the beautiful things we are discovering here. Finally we are faced with natural beauty spread out before us and in abundance. After about twenty minutes on the Shinkansen travelling from Kanazawa to Toyama we board a limited express train bound for Takayama in the Japanese Alps. Almost instantly the scene turns to deep green forest and the rolling hills turn to towering peaks. The rivers are wide, shallow and rocky. We immediatlely make the comparison to New Zealand's South Island. As we move closer to the Alps we catch glimpses of majestic peaks still partially covered with snow even though its only days away from the ... read more
Takayama
Takayama
Takayama

Asia » Japan May 25th 2017

Geo: 36.56, 136.64 - Kanazawa Our new best friend the taxi driver in Hiroshima told us that Kanazawa was a smaller version of Kyoto. He was certainly acurate about that when it comes to first impressions.The railway station was in a way a smaller version of Kyoto station in that the roof is a massive globe shaped steel framed structure. The Kanazawa version doesn't have quite the same impact but the similarities don't go unnoticed. This city appears on the surface to be like any medium sized city in this country. Innovative and modern, obsessed by food and consumerism as a distraction from everyday life. On a daily basis we are left gobsmacked by some amazing gadget or idea that we have never seen before. Today we hit a sushi place for lunch. To our delight ... read more
Kanazawa
Kanazawa
Kanazawa

Asia May 24th 2017

Geo: 34.39, 132.44 - Hiroshima After a beautiful, sunny and comparitively relaxed day the rain has returned which significantly limits our sightseeing options. There are worse ways to spend a rainy afternoon however. Our hotel is very close to everything we need and we have a very nice view over the river and the parklands. Yet another mind blowing view. Ground zero is only metres away. We are now based in Hiroshima and there is no subway due to the city being located on a river delta meaning that building underground tunnels is not really an option. So public transport is all above ground. In the inner city that means getting around by tram or bus which means getting wet when its raining. No subterranean shopping zones here like we have found in other large cities. ... read more
Hiroshima
Hiroshima
Hiroshima

Asia May 22nd 2017

Geo: 34.2966, 132.321 - Miyajima For me Miyajima is the highlight so far. For one thing I was in awe of the level of service at our hotel. It was one of the few places where we booked to stay in a traditional Japanese hotel with Tatami floors and futons and Kaiseki dinners. I find these places quaint but can also feel a bit like a fish out of water so tend to opt for the western option most of the time. But I was so glad we booked as we did. For a busy place like Miyajima our hotel was nicely tucked away on the other side of the island. But we could get a lift into town anytime we wanted. The hotel staff were amazing. At all times they offered professional, friendly and flawless ... read more
Miyajima
Miyajima
Miyajima

Asia » Japan May 18th 2017

Geo: 35.01, 135.75 - Kyoto In our minds Kyoto was the place to see the traditonal side of Japan. With so many heritage listed temples and shrines it seemed like the thing to do. However our first impression of Kyoto was the ultra modern Kyoto station. A steel and glass monolith with a massive main hall featuring exposed steel beams, recognisable from blocks away by its unique design. An absolute antithesis of what we were expecting. For some reason we seem to have spent alot of time in this place. All roads (or rather rail tracks) lead to it and it has everything we need, one way or another. I have been thinking alot about the mindset here. There is an awful lot of forward thinking and thinking outside the box. I guess that's why this ... read more
Kyoto
Kyoto
Kyoto

Asia May 15th 2017

Geo: 34.6937, 135.502 - Osaka So the motto for Osaka residents is eat until you drop but I think it could also be walk until you drop because that is what we did. The plan was to take it easy and not try to see too much but even taking in a few of the sights involves a great deal of walking. Underpasses, escalators, stairs, footpaths, observatories, tunnels, malls and towers. You name it we walked it. We caught some great views of the city at forty stories up from the Sky Tower. I loved how you could sit there and have a coffee or an ice cream and take in the view. The JR Tower Osaka station was also impressive, complete with an indoor topiary garden and more mass consumerism. The giant ferris wheel was ... read more
Osaka
Osaka
Osaka




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