Ray Lee


Ray Lee

Asia » Japan » Osaka April 24th 2024

Checked out at 10:00 and were allowed to leave our luggage at the hotel as our plane wasn't leaving until 21:25. We thought we would take a taxi because I'd put in Osaka Airport and estimated cost was about $80, but the very helpful hotel receptionist said the cost would be about $250. I showed her what I had on Google Maps and it was then she pointed out that we had to go Osaka Kansai International, not Osaka Airport. I thought they were the same, so it was lucky I checked. She told me that the best way for us to get to the airport later was to catch a bus or taxi to Osaka Station and then an Airport Bus from there. She said they would a order a taxi for us. That sounded ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka April 23rd 2024

Late start this morning. Left 8:45 and went down the road to the hotel's cafe. We didn't think it had what we wanted, so we decided to go to the Umeda Sky Building. Not best day for it as it's raining, but thats okay. We hailed a taxi because otherwise we'd need to catch a train and bus and with the rain, worth the extra cost ($21). We reached the Umeda Sky Building at 9:10, 20 minutes before opening. We decided to go to the cafe at the top for breakfast. The building is very impressive. The elevator to the 39th floor is glass so you can see 360 degrees as you ascend, then you take an escalator through a glass tube to get to the 40th floor. We had very nice breakfast of coffee and ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka April 22nd 2024

Early start so we could try the hotel's buffet breakfast at their Slow Cooking Restaurant. We left at 8:30 and reached Platform 11 easily, for our last Shinkansen bullet train to Osaka departing 9:11. It's been quite easy finding the correct platforms. If you find your trip on Google Maps, it tells you where to go and also the cost. At the station, there are many signs in English, and arrows on the floor, directing you to Shinkansen or JR (Japan Rail) lines. As we took the Shinkansen, it meant we were a little further away from our hotel, meaning another two trains after reaching Shin-Osaka, so we decided to catch a taxi. It was so much easier and was worth the $19. We dropped off our bags again at the Del Style Osaka Higashi Temma ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji April 21st 2024

Easy start to day. Left Hotel Flex at 8:20 and reached Platform 14 at 8:40 for our Shinkansen bullet train, Mizuho, to Himeji. This one is older than the others we've been on, but still very comfortable. On arrival at Himeji Station we bought our reserve tickets for the fast train to Osaka at 9:11 for tomorrow Raining today unfortunately, but all good as we found our hotel easily and were able to go up another covered arcade almost the whole way. We left our bags, bur Oscar was reluctant to leave as he just wanted to play. Finally convinced him to go at 11:15 and again undercover right up to the park adjoining Himeji Castle. We decided to have lunch at the Kassui-ken restaurant within the Koko-en gardens which are next to Himeji Castle. We ... read more

Asia April 20th 2024

Out at 8.15 this morning and stopped at a 7/11 on the way to the bus stop and bought some apple Danishes and tried the do-it-yourself smoothies which were great. Made our way to the same bus stop as yesterday to get to the Peace Park again, to catch the Aqua Net ferry to Myajima Island. Most people go by train to Myajimaguchi Station and catch the local ferry but from Hiroshima it would have taken us about 2.5 hours compared to 45 minutes on the Aqua Net direct ferry. It costs $40 return and well worth the time saved. It was a pleasant cruise watching all the different islands going by and we reached Myajima at 10:00. We followed the crowd and saw the famous floating Torii Gate of Itsukushima Shrine. The Torii Gate floating ... read more
One of the Aqua Net ferries
Arrival on Myajima
Not the famous Torii Gate

Asia » Japan April 19th 2024

Left the Sanco Inn Hotel at 8:30 and had plenty of time to buy coffee/ matcha lattes and buns before boarding our Shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima which left on time as usual at 9:12. It was a very comfortable 90 minute trip. Hotel Flex was an easy 10 minute walk from the station. We again took advantage of the luggage forwarding service, but this time sending all three of our big bags and packing everything into backpacks. This time, Krissy used her bigger backpack and I used the backpack that normally attaches to my Osprey suitcase. It worked quite well, I carried the heavier pack on my back and the second one on my front. We were able to leave our bags at the hotel as we were too early to check in. We then ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto April 18th 2024

Out the door this morning at 8:25 to catch the 9:09 train to Saga Arashiyama Station to connect to the Sagano Romantic train. Since we left earlier than planned I thought we could get the earlier train, but after getting coffee and entering the station we had to walk quite a long way to get to our platform. We were at the front of the line as we were there 20 minutes early. We reached Saga Station around 9:30 and the Romantic Train station was right next door, so bought a few more items at Lawson for breakfast. We were booked for the 10:02 train which left right on time as usual. It's only a short 25 minute ride but we did enjoy it. It basically follows the Hozugawa River valley gorge and we could see ... read more

Asia » Japan » Nara April 17th 2024

Late start today because Krissy and Oscar slept in until 8:30. We still managed to catch the 9:30 train to Nara and got there about an hour later after one train change. As usual we picked up some buns for breakfast and with just 10 minutes to spare Krissy decided to line up at Starbucks for coffees and matcha latte and made an order. Daisy and I waited for the drinks so Krissy and Oscar would have time to find an elevator if needed. We just made it in time at 9.30 and got to Kintetsu-Nara station just over an hour later. We started walking towards Nara Park and there were deer everywhere on the footpath outside the park. Vendors are selling Deer crackers at strategic places for $2. We bought some and entered the park ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto April 16th 2024

Today was a day of beautiful scenes. Set off early to find a cafe for breakfast but the one we were thinking of was closed so we decided to head to the bus stop to go to Kiyomizu-dera. We ended up buying some food from a convenience store and ate some waiting at the bus stop. We got to the Sannenzaka area around 9:50 and the walk up the steep hill to the temple complex was interesting in itself, with the path lined with shops. We stopped at a great coffee and donut place for coffee and donuts of course. Then some shopping for gifts before finally reaching the temple complex at about 10:40. Kiyomizudera is a temple perched on a hill, offering panoramic views of the city. The complex is in a beautiful setting full ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Gion April 15th 2024

We decided to have the hotel buffet breakfast which was good and set off fairly late around 09:40am. It was only a short 12 minute trip on the train to the Inari Station, right opposite the temple entrance, but we hadn't counted on the number of different lines converging into Kyoto Station. Like living opposite Central Station in Sydney but much more complicated. Took us quite some time to work out where we had to go and then had a long wait in the train before it set off. Reached the temple entrance at 10:25 and proceeded to follow the hordes of tourists. Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head of all of Japan's Inari Shrines. Inari is the Shinto God of Rice. Its famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of ... read more

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