I’m BACKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!


From the land of the rising sun. Or so they say, though I didn’t really bother looking at the sun at all.

SHIRAKAWA GO IS AWESOME

So here’s a short summary of my trip:

Total Time: Around 7 days

Total cost: Around 450k yen

Number of people: 3

Places went: Nagoya, Takayama, Hirayu Onsen, Shirakawa-go, Kyoto

People met: Blitzwing01

Things bought: At the bottom of this post.

Due to space and internet speed constraints, all pictures would be resized and reexported in lower quality. Some of them also have color and detail tweaks due to me not liking the way they look =D. If you are really dying to see the picture in it’s full glory, contact me.

Also, this is supposed to be a short of backpack trip thingy, so it isn’t really geared for EXTREMELY good hotels with awesome food. We ate 680 yen stuff and traveled to different places in buses.

Starting

Midnight flight. All of us were dying on the plane even though it’s just 6 hours. Then a flight attendant came over and started talking to me. Apparently, 95% of the people usually on the flight we’re on are Japanese, with the rest being Europeans. Singaporeans are like rare species on that flight rofl.

My face was almost a 😄 when the plane landed though. This is my first (when I can actually think) trip to Japan. My last one was when I was 5, which kinda doesn’t count since I don’t remember nuts.

Train stations

We alighted at Chubu in the early morning and took a train to Nagoya. Total amount of asking along the way about whether we’re going to the right direction? 4.

Then something awesome happened.

I lost my ticket. ROFL.

Ignore the nails

So I had to ask the train conductor and he wrote me another one. Yeah, I kinda misplace my stuff a lot XD.

CROWDS

Nagoya station was ridiculously crowded, and I’m not fond of crowds since people tend to resort to pushing and shoving in the end. Which is kinda rude and irritating.

Parkies

Had to take a ride to Fushimi since I don’t know the way yet. While trying to find the hotel, we passed a rather peaceful park. There was also someone performing juggling when I passed it the other time.

Hotels will be covered in another section in the post.

Nagoya

Nagoya Festival

Probably the biggest event in Nagoya that happened during my one week trip.

And so it starts...

It was actually pretty ~.~ to be honest. The crowds weren’t huge since it was a Saturday and all the paraders did was either play music, cosplay kinda thing and some others waving at the crowd. It wasn’t actually very exciting as most of the onlookers were…………….. children. Or parents bringing their children. There were some fun people in the parade though. Ninjas, cute girls (probably, didn’t really appeal to me but hey >_>;) and some weird lordy thingys.

Joker dude who posed for me

Dude who posed for me

All girl parade sectors are awesome too

All female parade sectors are awesome too

I have no idea what this is

I have no idea what this is

They even brought out horses

They even brought out horses

The horse that went a little rowdy, so it has 2 tamers beside it

The horse that went a little rowdy, so it has 2 tamers beside it

Chances are, no one is looking at the old man

Chances are, no one is looking at the old man

Actually, now that I think back about it, the people who had the most fun were probably the performers. And the children. I had a whole bunch of them beside me since they were one big family and boy, were they high. Pretty fun parade, but nothing extremely special that would be worth a second glance.

Of course, they don’t call it a festival just with a parade do they?

It was entirely by chance though, that we stumbled upon the grounds of where the performance and night festival activities were held. It was already dark when we reached, so all of these are night shots. It was in Sakae btw, Central Park.

MAYO TACO

MAYO TACOs, the source of all energy

Some drummers performing

Some drummers performing

Some singer on stage singing........ the Kirin beer song

Some singer on stage singing........ the Kirin beer song

Something for the kids

Something for the kids

Lots of stalls but I think almost 30% were taco stalls and the others were food stalls. A few kid game stalls were scattered around, but that’s about it.

Meetup with Blitzwing01

Don’t worry if you don’t know him, cause I didn’t either. Lol. He idles around in #denpa and when I said I was going to Nagoya, he told me he was living there. So yeah, why not meet up then! 😄

He’s the dude behind http://omoshiroi.info/omoblog/ if you’re wondering.

He brought us around Nagoya and some of the tourist attractions in it. Though Nagoya isn’t really a city for tourists, so there wasn’t actually a lot to see.

Nagoya Castle

We walked into the castle grounds and it was all pretty standard, huge castle and trees around. But wait what is th-

Eh?

Eh?

OH. So this is where the parade starts at. I feel really sorry for them, since it was probably really hot for them and they’re all standing under the sun in those suits waiting for the march to start. There was a huge crowd though, compared to Saturday and we didn’t really bother about going too far ahead seeing as there’s a sea of humans in our path.

Nagoya CASTLE!

Nagoya CASTLE!

Nice castle...

Nice castle...

Wasn’t exactly a lot to see, but I was talking to Blitz most of the time. He was trying to survive a huge crisis. His girlfriend dropped off at the wrong train station and is kinda lost lol. He didn’t pick up the phone when she called so……………….. 南無. Good luck Blitz, live on!

Osu Shopping street

Osu shopping street

Osu shopping street

We went over to Osu Shopping street next, which had a ton of young people (though I’m probably younger >_>;) walking around. Though this brings up a question, who said Japan didn’t have couples. There were couples EVERYWHERE.

THe whole street is flooded with clothes shops, food shops, arcades………….. well most of the things you’ll find catered to the younger generation. Though there were some with sold 2nd hand expensive clothing.

Jubeat

Jubeat

Goddamned, Blitz is so good at this. He tackled extreme and got S ranks……… I tackled normal and beginner and still got like…….. Bs and As >_>;

Gamerz

Gamerz

We also dropped into Gamerz and I bought a Hiyoko stick pillow since she’s my favorite in Oretsuba. But there wasn’t any Akabeesoft2 goods so……. sigh.

Lots of goods lol

Lots of goods lol

They did have a nice collection of goods though, no doubt.

Mandarake

Mandarake

Then Blitz suggested we go over to Mandarake (I read that as Mandrake at first) to see if there were any.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any. But it was here I realised something.

OH MY GOD

OH MY GOD

Eroges are extremely expensive, especially old and popular ones. Moshiraba at 16,800 yen.  With Kusarihime winning all prices at 18,900 yen. But why the f- is G senjou 7k yen only may I ask >_>;

Maybe because it’s just Mandakare as it wasn’t as expensive if you buy online. Still, these prices were so mindblowing that I kinda went O.O for a few minutes.

Itasha

Itasha

Then we spotted an Itasha in a nearby carpark. Japanese really love box cars though……… I’m not very fond of them. 😄

Some shrine

Some shrine

We went over to a nearby shrine too. Nothing too special here since it wasn’t surrounded by nature and children were mostly chasing birds near the temple -_-;

Random

Tora no Ana

Tora no Ana

After dinner, we moved on to Tora no Ana. Wonderful place where I got most of my goods in the end =X. Here, Blitz bought starry sky for his girlfriend… I mean like……. Wow. Umm ok.  The whole 2nd floor was pinkish and I swear I looked out of place in there.

And so it ends

And so it ends

Then we parted. It was nice meeting Blitzy. I need to go travel around more =>

Anything below are just random things I saw in Nagoya

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Why is there a ferris wheel on a building may I ask.

Wheeeee

Wheeeee

The twin spiral building in Nagoya… Very nice.

I spot Kokuhaku~

I spot Kokuhaku~

Also went over to the game shelves in Big Camera and spotted a safe, romance game shelf. Had the urge to buy Kokuhaku but I didn’t have that much spare cash >_>;

Water Magic festival

Water Magic festival

The Nagoya Water Magic Festival that was held not too far from my hotel.

Nice boat

Nice boat

It was pretty funny when this boat appeared while the choir was singing. The children in the boat starts waving and stuff like that =X

Food

Of course, how could I forget about FOOD.

Made of win rofl

Nice posters >_>

Mmmm

Mmmm

This was where we ate our first meal in Nagoya. My mother was eating that, though she didn’t want to at first when she realised it was raw egg. XD. Was pretty bothersome to convince her to like….. EAT IT.

CURRY!

CURRY!

I ate curry, but it was like…….. 1/4 the spiciness of what I usually eat. So I ended up using the curry powder and almost covering my curry with it.

Melon pan

Melon pan

I’ve always wondered what this taste like… It’s a little too sweet for my tastes, but it wasn’t bad. =D

Sushi~

Sushi~

Blitzy brought us to a sushi place where it was actually pretty cheap. Actually cheaper than sushi in Singapore, which was pretty surprising considering Japan’s “fast food” is like thrice the price of what you buy over here.

Unagi~

Unagi~

My old man also tried this Unagi dish which you add some kind of tea to it. Apparently it was tasty, according to him.

Breakfast =D

Breakfast =D

Komeda’s coffee was excellent. Apparently the coffee is well made (I don’t drink coffee) and it’s cheap. I think it was 380 yen for a cup. In the mornings, a breakfast set comes with the drinks for no extra charge. We don’t really eat much for breakfast so this was excellent.

From left to right, American Coffee, Hot Cocoa, Original Blend Coffee.

MOAR CURRY

MOAR CURRY

We also went to the this curry house called Coco Curry house or something like that and tried the curry. It was tasty and cheap, but still………….. Japanese really can’t take spicy stuff lol. I tried my mother’s “very hot” curry (Or so it says on the menu) and it was……….. well…… sweet. Yeah. Not that it’s bad or anything but it wasn’t spicy as I would’ve expected it.

Takayama

So we went to Takayama after Nagoya. It’s a peaceful place and all, but I wouldn’t say it’s interesting. It’s more like a middle ground for people going to other places like Shirakawa-go or Onsens. It’s more of a middle ground for people going to places like Shirakawa-go or Onsens. But it’s still an interesting place.

Best part, when you sit in the bus station in the mornings, crowds of school girls walk past you like a hoard. Then you can ask for a picture. =D

Buses Buses

Buses Buses

So it starts off with us taking the bus over to Takayama. It was a Monday, so there weren’t a lot of people.

HELLO TAKAYAMA

HELLO TAKAYAMA

Wasn’t too long before we reached Takayama. All the places looked pretty old but the amount of foreigners in this place is unbelievable lol. I saw at least one every few seconds.

Nice streets

Nice streets

Streets were pretty nicely kept but there’s nothing too interesting.

Autumn is awesome

Autumn is awesome

Then, I saw this awesome tree near the station which was turning red beautifully.

Souvenirs

Souvenirs

There were also souvenir shops, but nothing really worthwhile to take back IMO unless you’re living in Japan.

Pretty old it seems

Pretty old it seems

Pagoda tower thingy

Pagoda tower thingy

Walking around more (Actually we were lost again) we reached this shrine which was empty. It had a caretaker and he ran up to us and started explaining about it’s history and stuff like that. Apparently, there’s another shrine with a matching bell or something somewhere nearby. That’s around all I remember lol.

What was breathtaking though, is this

Holy shi-

Holy shi-

That's Beeeeeg

That's Beeeeeg

Fuck that’s big. Impressive size and beauty too. This is probably my favourite tree throughout the trip. It’s just….. breathtaking.

Hirayu Onsen

As we were pretty tight on time, we decided to just go to the Hirayu Onsen and relax.

It was just an hour trip by bus, so it wasn’t too long before we reached there.

Nice little house I found

Nice little house I found

Cute little house I found.

At first, we couldn’t decide on which onsen to go to since there were so many. In the end we settled on Hirayu no Mori (ひらゆの森) as it was definately the closest and looks like a decent Onsen.

Hirayu no Mori

Hirayu no Mori

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s wise to bring in my non-waterproof LX3 into an onsen with chances of it being splashed on. Also it isn’t very polite to take pictures of naked men all around, so you’ll have to settle with this.

Hirayu no Mori has a pretty big (Actually I’m not sure how big is big since this is the only onsen I’ve gone to), or at least spacious. It seems to be really popular though, the entire place was flooded with people. There was even a dude who brought his young daughter in with him. Lol.

But, as I have absolutely no experience with Onsens whatsoever, guess what I did. The two of us (me and my father that is) went straight into the open air ones and jumped straight in. The experience can be summed up in one word. Fuck.

It was hot as hell and we were pretty dumb. After the torture, I realised that we shoulda gone and bathed first and then start from the inside till the outside. Lol. It was freaking hilarious when I realised that. LOLOLOLOL. No wonder everyone was looking at us like we’re idiots XD.

Nice car

Nice car

And so, I’ll end the my Hirayu Onsen post with this nice car in the carpark that I saw.

Random

We did walk around some parts of Takayama at night. As we were almost like going there to transfer to Shirakawa-go, it was just a slight detour on our part.

Fami Fami fami~ fami fami mart~

Fami Fami fami~ fami fami mart~

I had to stifle my laughter when I entered family mart and the music plays. Kept reminding me of the video.

Wish we have combini’s like this here though. They sell so much useful stuff. I understand now why combini food is pretty popular >_>;

Night time in Takayama

Night time in Takayama

The sun sets wayyyyy to early over there. At 5 it was darkish and in a few more minutes it turned absolutely dark.

Why is there a telephone booth over here may I ask?

Why is there a telephone booth over here may I ask?

My first impression when I saw the booth was, “Are we in the wrong country?”. >_>;

Food

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I can’t remember what this is called, but it’s a set meal of………….. rice cakes.Not counting the croquettes or the other meals.

The ball things and the big patty thingy are all rich covered in miso paste. It is pretty tasty btw, though I definately preferred the croquettes.

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Some Hida ramen, 大盛り. It was pretty tasty, but I didn’t find it extremely noteworthy. Didn’t feel like something that’s kinda representing the region TBH.

Shirakawa-go

Shirakawa-go is actually just a stones throw away from Takayama. Heck, it’s even closer than Hirayu Onsen. We took a really early bus over to Shirakawa-go to breathe the morning air. Also, I’ll be covering the Minshuku (民宿) that I stayed over for one night since it’s more appropriate that way as that was a huge part of my experience in Shirakawa-go.

The road to Shirakawa-go

The road to Shirakawa-go

First off the bat, the scenery is EXCELLENT. It’s amazing. Save for the huge amount of people crowding the entire place. This picture was taken early in the morning when no buses has reached Shirakawa-go yet.

Another angle

Another angle

Another angle of the entrance.

Small shrine

Small shrine

Crossing the bridge, there’s this small shrine thingy which is the first/second build I encountered. It’s a mini-shrine, that’s what I call it =D

We went around and tried to find our Minshuku and..

TA-DA

TA-DA

Our stay for the night! XD.

We just left our luggage and continued on with our journey.

It’s pretty crowded, but near evening and early mornings there isn’t anyone on the streets really, so that’s the absolute best time for photo taking.

Well then, I’ll just let the photos do the talking I guess.

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There’s this path towards the top of a view platform where you can see the whole of Shirakawa-go from the top of a mountain. You can either go there by a bus or by foot. We preferred to walk, and it wasn’t a long way up to the top IMO.

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Walking up…

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There we go. We’ve reached the top =D. There are two viewing platforms, one is more of a relaxation place surrounded by trees with one bench and a nice view overlooking shirakawa-go. The other, is a huge open space where it’s more for viewing and photo taking. I personally like the smaller place as it is more secluded.

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There’s also a small shrine thingy and a gathering spot in there (though you can’t get the view)

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This is the bigger viewing platform. Very nice, though there is a lot of people passing to and fro and it spoils the mood of the view really.

Wide shot of Shirakawa-go

Wide shot of Shirakawa-go

A wide shot of Shirakawa-go. It’s very small really. Oh, and the air on top is fabulous. I could sit there all day, though that would be pretty much a waste of time XD.

More random pictures of Shirakawa-go

Canals

Canals

I wanna live in that >_>;

I wanna live in that >_>;

Inside one of those houses

Inside one of those houses

Some of the houses have exhibits that you can pay around 300 yen to walk and look around. Interesting structure. What amazed me was that it didn’t smell bad, as I initially thought it would.

So.... we're supposed to jump out of a window?

So.... we're supposed to jump out of a window?

I won't touch it even if you ask me to -_-'

I won't touch it even if you ask me to -_-'

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Nice flo-.... wait.... are they chilli...

Nice flo-.... wait.... are they chilli...

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Deserted shrines >_>

Deserted shrines >_>

We walked pretty far from Shirakawa-go and reached this totally deserted shrine. It was totally empty and I kinda took a picture and walked away lol. Doesn’t really feel good to be near a shrine like this too long.

The place full of.... well you know

The place full of.... well you know

Overflowing with Lolis and Shotas, this is the place where children go an-

Well you get the picture. Looked like a pretty old neighborhood school, but I spotted quite a lot of young children running around in the grounds. No I didn’t touch any of them and no I didn’t go around haa haaing and asking for pictures. >_>; (only SOMEONE would do that)

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This bee in a flower picture took me 5 minutes of chasing the indecisive bee around from flower to flower. What a bothersome bee >_>

But of course, one of the biggest highlights of Shirakawa-go is…

Shirakawa Hachiman Shrine

Shirakawa Hachiman Shrine

If you don’t know what this is, go reread Higurashi. Like seriously.

It’s an unusually calm and serene place, with a huge empty pebble filled ground, extremely tall trees and the shrine sitting right in the middle.

SHIRAKAWA GO IS AWESOME

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There was even this small hut by the side of the shrine.

But, the amazing thing are the plates. Like seriously amazing.

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Almost every (maybe even all of them) were about Higurashi. You wouldn’t believe the amount of effort some went to design the plates. Here are some that caught my eye:

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All in all, the shrine is a beautiful place that you really should visit at least once. Even if you aren’t into Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.

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Scarecrows

Scarecrows

Beautiful Garden

Beautiful Garden

Back in the Minshuku though, dinner time held a very huge surprise. Not the dinner exactly, but rather the people who were going to eat with us.

Yum yum

Yum yum

But here comes the surprise.

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You can’t see it from just a picture, but this is a group of deaf-mute travellers from Nagoya. It was extremely surprising when they came in.

But they were really friendly and tried to strike up a conversation with us. I laughed so hard when I told them I was from Singapore and they started doing the a sign of water sprouting out of their mouths. God. That was hilarious. The merlion seems to be famous rofl.

Cheers to you too

Cheers to you too

Would be best if you could converse in Japanese though since the owner is better at Japanese than English.

The smoke from the stove thing that they used to heat up the room is terrible, my parent’s eyes were dying (For some reason I’m pretty ok) and the room was smokey. Food was delicious, especially the miso meat thing. Note though, don’t bath or change your clothes before you eat dinner. It’s going to smell of smoke afterwards.

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It’s a pretty cosy room for sleeping. Problem is rooms are seperated with only one Japanese styled door and it HAS NO LOCKS. Exactly, you could peep and see what the people in the other rooms are doing. Isn’t sound proof either since the top is pretty much empty with no walls. I’ve heard cases of people being able to hear sex sounds on the other side of the door, or if you’re anti smoking, people smoking in their room would probably float all the way to yours. That said, I slept like a rock but apparently, my parents slept pretty bad as the deaf-mute were pretty noisy XD.

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There’s also this kerosene (I think) heater in the room. I would recommend not to turn it on like.. unless you’re freezing as the smell it gives off is poison. It’s terrible. I turned it on to see what it does but after a while, the smell was getting to me. Wasn’t too cold anyway.

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Breakfast was pretty tasty too, though the veggies were a little salty for my taste.

For the Minshuku, it is extremely expensive IMO,  8000 yen per person. If you’re going to backpack and have a tight wallet, I suggest you skip staying there. It’s not exactly amazingly rare or fun. There is probably less than a 0.1% chance you’ll meet the same people I did. I enjoyed mine a lot though =/.

I’m pretty sure most people can finish walking the whole of Shirakawa-go in just one day. Unless you’re gonna take on the mountain path. It’s absolutely achievable.

Some more random pictures before I wrap Shirakawa-go up.

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Food

There was actually quite a lot of different places to eat in Shirakawa-go. We couldn’t really decide so we just went in to a random one.

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This place called the Keyaki.Looks like a pretty modest shop house kinda thing but the atmosphere inside was warm and cosy.

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Food was pretty good. I tried the toufu set while my mother tried….. something else (Don’t remember the name). I ended up stealing her beef from time to time =X.

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What I liked most though, was the view from the window. Ahhh…. Lunch with a great view is always welcomed really.

This ends my Shirakawa-go trip.

Kyoto

You didn’t really expect my to just go to Shirakawa-go and fly back did you?

OF COURSE NOT. HAHAHAHAA.

But this time, the challenges thrown to us by the bus center was a little surprising, we sure didn’t expect anything like this to happen.

Starting

You know, normally when you ask to alight in Kyoto from a bus, you’ll expect a bus center. Or at least somewhere where foreigners could actually NAVIGATE in.

Hilariously, the hotel in Nagoya where we asked to help us book the buses gave us an absolutely awesome landing place.

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This, was where we alighted at. Kyoto Fukakusa. This picture is taken during our trip back to Nagoya. When we actually arrived in Kyoto, we alighted in this bus stop at night, with the addition of heavy rain because of the typhoon. It was pretty much a WTF moment for us.

Somehow, we managed to find a combini (Lawsons) and asked for directions to the nearest subway station. Which was a 10 minute trek in the rain. Terrible.

No wait, that’s still ok. My mother went and dropped the cell phone (it was a rental one off softbank) onto the tracks. Sigh. I ended up asking the station masters (Or whoever they were) if they could retrieve the phone.

She was so happy to get back the phone (we ended up searching through a few stations since she didn’t remember where she dropped it) that she said everything I bought in Nagoya would be on her bill. => Didn’t really buy too much though -_-;

After that, we managed to reach our hotel, really wet. We had to eat macdonalds for dinner. Sigh.

Kiyomizu

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We went to the JR Kyoto station the next day, which is also where the bus information counter for tourists spots lie. We took a bus down towards Kiyomizu, but not right up to it (It’s the recommended walking route from Yahata).

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My mother, like all the women in the world, likes jewelry. Thank god she knows when to stop buying though. Anyway, this is a glass shop that we passed by. It had quite a lot of nice glass earrings and clocks. Stuff like that. It wasn’t terribly expensive though.

Here are some of the things she bought

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(Shirakawa-go one wasn’t bought there =X)

The first one changes color under light. Well she’s the one paying for her own stuff so I didn’t say much =D. It is pretty though.

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It was just a short hike to the top. There were shops all around the place.

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Human powered lol.

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We finally reached it. Weather wasn’t too great since it was right after the typhoon, but at least it wasn’t raining >_>;. It felt it would rain any second though.

Oh the irony

Oh the irony

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Some couple =D

This isn’t actually the inside of Kiyomizu yet though.

This is Kiyomizu

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View was excellent and the structure of the entire building was very interesting. Air was very fresh. There were tons of people there though, and it’s kinda a bother to walk around since there will be people blocking you >_>;

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The love/bond/connection/I WANT SOME LOVE section of the temple. Here, there was a lot of students, both guys and girls, flooding the place buying predictions and stuff like that about their love life.

Love prediction stone

Love prediction stone

Some stone thing that predicts your love life I guess? It was sitting in the middle of nowhere though, I almost tripped on it.

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I didn’t buy any if you’re wondering. I don’t need predictions for my love life >_>; I’ll set it to the course I want, not the other way around =P

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Nice greenery filled walk. Very calming.

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The kids seems to be having a lot of fun.

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This woulda been beautiful if not for the muddy water.

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A class of children taking a picture, so I took one of them too =D.

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The shopping street thingy leading to Kiyomizu.

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Some kimono wearing woman

Some kimono wearing woman

GEISHASSSS

GEISHASSSS

Chances like these don’t come often, so I snapped away. =>

Koudaiji

Koudaiji

We walked all the way to Koudaiji, where it had more of a modern like feel.

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Gorgeous pathway

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The old man is drawing a very nice picture of the roads and buildings. Too bad I don’t have a good angle of his drawing and I didn’t really wanna break his concentration.

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We went into a small alley and walked around a bit until we kinda realised we’re……….. lost.

Took quite a long time before we found our way and made it back to Kyoto station.

Ginkakuji

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We didn’t go straight there first though (as usual)

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First, it was the Nanzenji temple. This building was huge to say the least… Though it’s empty on the ground floor. You need to pay to get on the 2nd floor.

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Then there’s this cool arch thing that looks so worn out by time.

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It also contained very beautiful trees, though if we went a little later it’s probably going to be really epic.

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This place was unfortunately off limits, but they didn’t say anything about not taking pictures =D

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After that, we went into the “Pondering path” (Not sure if this is actually correct) and started walking straight to Ginkakuji. It was a pretty long walk, but the path was filled with trees and it was a very calming walk.

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There was this awesome dude who was meditating beside the path. Looks like an excellent spot to do that really.

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There are two paths you can walk on. One is the road path and the other being a path beside the canal. No need to say which is more picturesque.

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After the path there are a few shops scattered here and there.

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Then we reached Ginkakuji. It looks like a really well groomed garden IMO. All the plants are really well tended to and they all look really well organised. Kinda like the opposite of Kiyomizu where nature does what she wants with the place.

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There’s also this cool sand art thing in the middle of the place

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Though I must say, it looks really good in many ways. The mossy ground really gives the whole place a nice tint of green.

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The souvenir shop looked pretty interesthing too, surrounded by bamboo shoots.

That’s pretty much it for my Kyoto trip.

Random

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I also took a tour of JR Isetan at Kyoto. I can only say this.

The design is excellent, but the total amount of shops is pretty crappy considering the amount of space used for the entire structure. I’m not a huge fan of shopping either, so this didn’t really appeal to me much.

Food

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Yummy ramen at a cheap price is always welcomed on my book. This isn’t really anything special, but heck I though I’ll show what I ate there =D

In case you’re wondering, yeah I did put more chilli powder after this.

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Yummy hamburger set that I ate. It was well cooked and I adore potatoes >_>. For a cheap price too. Definately worth it =X

Hotels

Nagoya Rolen hotel

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Just a normal hotel IMO. Apparently, their non-smoking rooms have the smell of smoke too. It disappears after a while, but still there’s still a slight smell of smoke lingering in the hallways and the rooms.

Rooms were pretty small (guess that’s the same for most Japan hotels though). Some of the rooms didn’t have a bathroom or toilet, but we took the one with it.

Not very good soundproofing, I could hear what some people were doing in the rooms next to me (I could discern their conversations). Still, I’m a really heavy sleeper so it didn’t affect me much.

Breakfast or dinner is extra charge. There’s a machine selling dinner on the 2nd floor for 900 yen each. Not a very nice price might I add. For breakfast…. Just settle it at Komeda’s coffee unless you’re rushing for time.

I wouldn’t recommend this hotel though I won’t say it’s bad. It has nothing to noteworthy and I think I saw lots of business people staying in there.

It’s not very cheap either. Decent price yes but nothing lower or higher than that.

Website

J-Hopper Takayama

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It’s a very nice, clean room and pretty spacious. Just right for sleeping on futons and there’s a TV. Heater and all, but it’s still way too early in the season to use something like that.

Toilet and bathroom was private for us.

This is actually all we needed, and it had a very reasonable price. we only lived there for one day, therefore I can’t comment on the help and humanflow you may get in there, but it seems too be thriving with activity and J-hopper seems to also host some tours around Takayama. If you’re backpacking in Takayama, this would definately be a great help. And it’s really cheap too.

I would recommend this budget hotel. I can’t find anything wrong with it. Cheap, convenient and cosy.

Website

Yahata

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Probably my best stay throughout my whole trip.

Yahata is a budget hotel in Kyoto. It’s really narrow and kinda had to find, but it’s very much worth the price of what you’re paying for.

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A pretty wide room for 3 people I might add.

Toilets and bathrooms are shared, and there’s two computers with internet access on the first floor for free. But what I like most about Yahata, is what they provide.

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There’s breakfast in the morning, maps of the routes you can take in Kyoto that goes through most of the popular attractions in Kyoto. There is almost always staff in the hotel that you can talk to for directions or stuff like that. Unfortunately, the older owner and his wife isn’t as good in English as their younger staff, so it may be a little problematic to ask them something if you don’t know japanese. But the younger ones definately went abroad to study before, so they’re english is absolutely fine.

The rooms are really cheap too, and even cheaper if you live in the shared rooms.

I didn’t like the sound proofing though, I could hear people talking and stuff like that. Since the topmost floor uses a ladder, some dudes prefer jumping down from the top, and making one hell of a noise when they land. Still despite that, it’s a nice little budget hotel.

I think you need to book early for the tourist seasons though, it was pretty full during my stay and I wasn’t even in a good season (Typhoon).

Website

Loot

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Nitro+ Collection Tapestries off Tora no Ana

Awesome stuff. Spica looks so lovable =D. Cost was 5.2k yen or something like that. 6 tapestries altogether.

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Redjuice Graphics work magazine – [エクスト] Summer 2009 off Tora no Ana

Wonderfully illustrated works in there, especially the Shinobu drawing. 1050 yen

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Hiyoko stick pillow off Gamerz

No I’m not gonna hug her while sleeping. It was around 1.3k yen. I liked oretsuba and Hiyoko was my favorite character. Just couldn’t resist =X

Conclusion

It was one hell of a fun (and bumpy) ride. Lots of unexpected shit sprung up, but it was interesting anyway. I can’t be bothered about going more into the details since….. this is pretty long already.

Heck, the next time I go to Japan, it’s going to be big and noisy Tokyo. But that’s a pretty long time away. =D

22 thoughts on “I’m BACKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!

  1. HUh, didn’t know you were an sg guy. Looks like you had a lot of fun, barring some unfortunate circumstances.

    I heard the stick pillow is more for use as a wrist rest while you’re using the com though. And that Ignis looks good.

  2. Cool! Nice shots 😄

    Btw, does japanese really hate gaijins (as I heard)?
    And is that true that they trying to answer you in Engrish even though you refer to them in Japanese?

    Also, try to play http://vndb.org/v2478 so you’d know what to do with your dakimakura 😄
    …though why yours is so small?

    • Thanks.

      I didn’t have any problems with it really. Some do try to answer you in Engrish but I kept speaking in Japanese so they switched.
      Normally, you gotta show them you do understand all the rubbish they’re sprouting so that they will speak in Jap to you. That’s why you gotta emphasize =X

      Mine isn’t a daimakura. It’s a stick pillow >_>; Daimakuras don’t go for 1.3k yen each…

  3. Yes, I’m sg too… And displaying it is also ok. I got my friend one Yoake one for his birthday.

    I got a dakimakura too btw.

  4. Didn’t guess you were from sg accany.. >.>

    Anyway it sounds like a very fun and quite eventful trip! 😀

    Hopefully I’ll have saved enough for one in the middle or end of next year. Prolly aiming for a solo trip, so i can *ahem* visit the more sleazy places with no qualms. Having said that, besides visiting the bright lights of the cities, the onsens and country sides will definitely be stops I’ll wanna make. And I prefer slow leisurely trips… will prolly want to spend one to two weeks there at least. Now if only the yen will drop more..

    • Sleazy places? Why lol. Unless you mean really hardcore eroge shops. I never really liked the kind of red light district stuff if that’s what you’re trying to hint =X They piss me off because people working in those can do so much more than just………………… service. Kinda sound like a preacher now >_>;

      Wait, do I not seem like an SG guy? Maybe because I’ve been living more on the net than IRL so I didn’t really pick up much of the typical Singaporean habits, but I’m pretty much 100% Singaporean lol.

  5. We probably don’t guess because you mainly talk about eroge, instead of other stuff. About 3/4 of your posts are on eroge.

  6. Japan huh… looks like it was a lot of fun 😮
    I assume this was a family trip, given that you mentioned your parents? I dunno if I could possibly go there with my family and still be open about the stuff I’ll be doing there, especially if we pass by Akiba or something. Though I must devote a day to arcades. Japanese ones are the bestest~ Speaking of which Jubeat – LOL awesomeness. I wish I could get that here >_>

    • Eh, my parents didn’t really mind. They went up the fourth floor of Tora to take a look. Btw, that’s the eroge floor >_>; Or was it the artbook. Can’t remember.

  7. My friends who visited Japan (non-eroge/anime followers) tell me they are amazed when they saw the collection and spectrum (tentacles, etc) of eroge and anime available publicly in Japan. I doubt I’ll be comfortable bringing my mom there.. she’ll probably go “aiyoh…” and start the nagging routine. 😛

    Yep! I was talking about the red light district, though I have no experience in them as of this moment.. however I think i’ll like to try it out at least once while I’m single now. The people working there piss you off cos you think they can do more with their lives, something like that?

    The tapestries.. who’s the gal in the bottom middle one? She looks hot. :O

    • She’s Ingunis from Jingai Makyou. (Probably wrong spelling)

      I’m not really interested in red light districts much. Yeah you got it right. Kinda feel like their wasting their lives in a place like that really.

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