Page 3 of bwendorff Travel Blog Posts

Asia » South Korea » Seoul May 22nd 2015

Corey taught Judo this morning until 9am, so we didn't get up until he returned home. Then Clara made us all tasty pancakes that we covered with Nutella and bananas. What a great way to start the day! Meanwhile CJ was watching cartoons on the TV. The show was one about pulblic buses and other transportation in Seoul. Corey told me the site was such a big hit that the government started making some of their public buses look like the characters (same colors/eye headlights) and have the voices inside for stops sounds like the voice on the show. Great idea to get kids comfortable on public transportation, if you ask me. The bus system in Seoul is inanely large. When we went to the bus stop that morning, the flow of buses never stopped. Finally ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gangnam May 21st 2015

I got up early to catch the train to the airport. I made it through the gate and onto the train just as it was pulling away (oops cutting it close). Not a minute after I got on, they made an announcement that every seat was reserved. Dang it! So I hopped off quick at the next stop to ask the platform conductor how to get one. He directed me back on the train, so I got back on. A few minutes later, the train conductor made his way through the train checking tickets and let me pay for one. Lucky me! When I finally made it to the airport, I was really confused trying to leave because the one I bought on the train was only half the price. I originally used my PASMO (the ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ueno May 20th 2015

Forewarning, this may not be the most interesting day to read about but I enjoyed the more relaxing day. It stated early with me catching the train from Nara to Kyoto, then the Skinkansen bullet train to Tokyo from there. I had a good three hours to read and relax. Upon my arrival to Tokyo, I trained over to the part of town known as Ueno. It is the museum district and has a huge park. After dropping off my luggage, my goal for the day was shopping for souvenirs. I wandered first to a store called Don Quixote which is a bit like a Japanese mini Walmart. I found the Kracie gummy making sets that Jeff (my old boss) had told me his daughter was obsessed with, so of course I had to pick up ... read more

Asia » Japan » Nara » Nara May 19th 2015

The last thing I wanted to see in Osaka was the Umeda Sky Building in downtown right by Osaka Station. That made it very convenient for me to move from Osaka to Nara by train. Lucky for me, I was able to sleep in because the building didn't open until 10am. Around 10, I arrived at Osaka station where I was able to take an underground passage way to the Umeda Sky Building. The passage wasn't anything special, but it did have a little bit of flare in the form of a rainbow squiggly stripe down the middle. The Umeda building structure was the true treasure. It was a pretty intriguing architectural design. I followed some Korean and French tour groups into the building to figure out the way to get to the ticket counter. It ... read more

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka May 18th 2015

It was supposed to rain so I got up early to head over to Miyajima, an island about half an hour away from Hiroshima known for the shrine there that has a floating Torii gate. In the past, normal people weren't allowed on the island because it was sacred. If someone wanted to visit the shrine, they had to take a boat and pass through the floating torii gate. The gate is only 'floating' though if the high tide is in, otherwise you can see the base structure sitting there in the sand. Of course the planner in me made sure to look up the high tide for the day and found out it was 9am. That meant I was up and on the island by then! I went straight for the shrine passing random deer ... read more

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima May 17th 2015

I woke up early to shower before heading on to my next couple cities (yes, I'm ramping up the travel goals now that the guys are gone - I took it easy on them). Unfortunately, I had forgotten to get a towel the night before and the office wasn't open until 8am (a problem since I wanted to catch the 8:20am train out). I didn't want to use the towel I brought and have to carry it around wet, so I skipped it. I hope I didn't smell too bad! I hopped on the bullet train over to Kobe. Besides good beef, Kobe doesn't have a whole lot for Western tourists. Many Japanese people come because the city has a big Western influence and go tour Western style homes and eat at those type of restaurants. ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto May 16th 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015 I was awoken at 6:30ish this morning to the sound of Fred getting ready to go running. It didn't take him long to come back though because it was pouring rain outside. I went back to bed until my alarm went off at 7:15am. The rain was still coming down pretty well, so I took that opportunity to upload some pictures to my blog. Around 8am the rain was dying down so I began getting ready for my day. The boys had planned on leaving around 7 or 8am to catch a train from Kyoto to Tokyo. When I was ready to leave for my next hostel at 8:45am, they were just getting up. They had to tease me that I was up and out before they were (I didn't expect anything ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto May 15th 2015

Last evening we exhausted our financial resources, so we had to replenish by stopping at the ATM in Seven Eleven. Meanwhile, we grabbed food before hunting down a bike rental shop. In Tokyo, a couple people at the hostel with us mentioned while we were in the common room how nice it was to get around Kyoto on bikes. IchiEnSou had pointed to one down the street from them. For only $5, we were able to rent bikes to explore the city for the full day. Excited about not having to walk as much, especially since the Kyoto public transit system is nowhere near as good as Tokyo's, the boys jumped on that opportunity. We each got bikes with baskets in either pale blue or teal to go on our adventure. My first stop was actually ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto May 14th 2015

In order to get a early start, we had ordered breakfast to be delivered to our room at 7:30am. Somehow we all were up and out of there way in time for it to be brought in. They cleaned away our futons and set our table up with trays of breakfast food. It was a diverse tray with more things that I could possibly eat. I tried everything, finding the things I enjoyed most and finishing those off. You can guess what the guys' trays looked like by the end. Again we finished the meal off with tea and coffee. Then we packed up and dropped our bags off with the front desk so we could continue exploring Arashiyama before heading over to the opposite side of Kyoto called Higashiyama. Our first stop of the morning ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto May 13th 2015

I had everyone up early again because of our set time for the Toyota Factory Tour. Unfortunately, the night before I couldn't get Luke to give me his WiFi password before he crashed for bed, so I didn't have the directions to get there. I made Fred in charge, so he downloaded some directions. Just before we were about to leave Luke popped out of his room surprising us because he was supposed to be at work already! Apparently the vacation to Hong Kong he just returned from plus hosting us was a bit too much, so he took a personal day. Heading out we grabbed food from the Lawson's Convenient Store on the way to take a subway to Toyota City (boys and their food). In Toyota City, we had to switch to another train. ... read more

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