Nov 13, 2019 - Tokyo's Haneda Airport (In Transit)
@@@@@@@ KAPOORS ON THE ROAD While we thought we might we flying into the new airport in Beijing and found we weren’t, we were pleasantly surprised to find that our All Nippon Airlines (ANA) flight took us into the new Haneda airport just outside of Tokyo. I’ve never been a fan of the Narita airport and was pleased with didn’t have to fly in there this time. It seems that most of the flights for Japan Airlines and ANA now use Haneda, and other international carriers land in Narita. The best thing about the new airport was the shower...Jump to full entry
Oct 28, 2019 - Last day in Kyoto
An early start this morning and we began at one place I had been previously, the Kinkaku-ji Temple (the Golden Pavillion). Last week when I visited, it had been really overcast and the photos I took looked really flat. Today, the pavilion was bathed in beautiful, golden, morning light, and with fewer tourists this morning, I am much happier with my shots. From there we headed towards the beautiful Nanzen-ji temple, then followed the Path of Philosophy to Ginkakuji Temple, or the silver temple. The weather could not have been more perfect...Jump to full entry
Oct 28, 2019 - A sobering experience
From Kyoto we headed to Osaka. As we were leaving from Kansai Airport in Osaka and we wanted to visit Hiroshima, it made sense to move south rather than continually back tracking. We spent the afternoon of our arrival visiting the Osaka Castle. It had been raining in the morning but luckily the rain cleared for the afternoon so walking through the gardens was pleasant. The next day we were up early to catch the Shinkanson (Bullet train) to Hiroshima. Even after seeing innumerable photos of the Atomic Dome, it is still a very confronting...Jump to full entry
Oct 27, 2019 - Playing tourist
Over the next three days, Craig and I have spent our time wandering around Kyoto, exploring places that I didn’t visit with Jenny and Andrea, plus a few that I did. It is very convenient to visit a city again, knowing basically where everything is located and which direction to head in. First off was the “Inari Shuffle”. This very famous and picture worthy shrine, often called the red gates, winds its way up the mountain for approximately four kilometres to a beautiful view over Kyoto. Unfortunately, it seemed every tourist in Kyoto was...Jump to full entry
Oct 25, 2019 - Let it rain...again!
Yes, the rain was back but the difference this time was I had a very heavy cold to go with it! Knowing that we needed to plan an indoor activity for today, I had booked tickets to the other TeamLab exhibition called Planets. Unfortunately, getting to the subway meant being totally drenched from the knees down, even using an umbrella borrowed from the hotel. Arriving at the exhibition at our allotted time, we lined up and were shown a short video on what to expect inside. The exhibition we had seen last year was all visual whereas this one...Jump to full entry
Oct 24, 2019 - Hit the road, Jack!
Whilst not a typhoon, torrential rains have been forecast for tomorrow (but I am used to all that now!!) so we decided to make the most of the day while the skies were still clear. We started our morning by exploring the trendy area of Roppongi, wandering around the museums and streets, soaking up the Japanese atmosphere. I had booked a cycling tour for the afternoon so after a quick 7-11 lunch of sushi (me) and sandwich (Craig) we took to the subway bound for Asakusa. If you have never been to Japan before, there are three main ways to get...Jump to full entry
Oct 23, 2019 - Lost in translation
This morning I said goodbye to Jenny and Andrea – well, actually, I didn’t say goodbye, they were both sound asleep as I quietly left the room at 6:35am for my bullet train to Tokyo to meet Craig. Craig had flown in at 5:30am and went straight to the hotel for a sleep and I got there around 11am. It was a fairly quiet day, organising Craig’s Japan Rail pass, booking our other bullet trains for later in the week, grabbing a quick lunch in a side alley in Hamamatsucho and generally getting our TINY room organised so that we could move around...Jump to full entry
Oct 22, 2019 - Last day of the JAKZ tour
Today was the last full day of our JAKZ Tour (aka Jenny, Andrea, Kay and Zalie) and we got moving and out the door by 8am. A quick stop for a pastry and bad coffee for breakfast and then on to the train for Nara. Nara is a small forest area south of Kyoto known for the Tōdai-ji temple, the giant Buddha inside and roaming deer. We spent a very pleasant hour wandering around, feeding the deer and looking at the amazing architecture. Back on the train, we headed to a ramen restaurant recommended to us and written up in all the...Jump to full entry
Oct 21, 2019 - Chilling
After a restless night, with a swollen toe, I decided to take it easy today. Also, I was meeting Craig on Wednesday and knew he would want to hit the ground running so some TLC was in order. Jenny and Andrea hit the road early, embracing bus and train timetables and a map of the city, while I took a leisurely shower and headed off to find the nearest coin laundrette. I spent a very pleasant 50 minutes with the laundrette operator, talking about whether it was my first time in Japan and the Kumano Kudo, all in broken English. Plus, I got the...Jump to full entry
Oct 20, 2019 - Walking the streets of Kyoto
Kyoto is a lot bigger than I had imagined however its really easy to get around and still has a small town feel. Today was all about sightseeing. Having planned our attack, we headed back towards the roof top bar from the night before and then on to the Higashiyama-ku and Gion areas. Walking through the restored streets and houses in Gion was wonderful, albeit incredibly crowded being a Sunday. We were fascinated to see both locals and tourists renting kimonos for the day and then wandering around, photographing themselves and their...Jump to full entry
Oct 19, 2019 - And so to Kyoto
We were so disappointed at having missed the Nachi Taisha shrine (Zalie saw it at the end of her walk the day before) so we decided to hit the road early, catch the train back to Shingu, then a cab out and back to the shrine before catching our pre booked train onto Osaka and Kyoto. The weather had cleared slightly, with only a little drizzle, and we got straight on the shuttle back to the station at 8am. Everything was working out perfectly, surely today nothing would go wrong! Arriving at the station, there was a bus leaving immediately...Jump to full entry
Oct 18, 2019 - Typhoon Kay strikes again!
After a solid night’s sleep, we woke to drizzling rain which would quickly turn heavy. Zalie was up at 5:30am and had talked with the onsen Manager who advised doing the final walk in light rain would be fine, but it was unadvisable to do so in a downpour. Andrea, Jenny and I had decided to catch a taxi to the highest point and walk down if the weather held however Zalie was keen to do the whole walk. The weather looked like it would hold until 9am so she headed off with Susan, an American girl who has been on the same organised self-guided...Jump to full entry