Australia, Japan · 12 Days · 35 Moments · January 2017

Bag is packed & off to Tokyo, Japan

27 January 2017

Interesting or funny signs around places we travelled in Japan
Buildings of Tokyo 😍
Tokyo fish market & stalls

26 January 2017

Had our last Tonkatsu last night at restaurant Ginza Bairin. The restaurant has 18 bar stools set around a curved bar & 18 seats at tables & been around for nearly 100 years. It is so popular with local Japanese that there is often a queue of people waiting to get in. In fact whilst we were waiting at the door 2 women jumped the queue in front of us, much to P's horror!!Tonkatsu is a lovely crispy panko crumbed fried pork cutlet - in the traditional Japanese style. The cutlet came as a set menu with miso soup, steamed rice, cabbage & pickled veg. Delicious πŸ˜‹
Just checked in to our last hotel, back in Tokyo. It's a sleeping capsule hotel, called First Cabin in a stylish area of Tokyo between Fish Market & Ginza. The Hotel has segregated sleeping arrangements for men & women. It also has communal bathrooms with toilet shoes again?!? I wonder how much sleep 😴 I will get tonight sleeping like a chicken in a coup with no door πŸ” interesting times.

25 January 2017

Heavy snow in Nozawaonsen & probably a no ski but coffee β˜•οΈ day & visits to the many public onsens (12) in town

24 January 2017

Japanese house shoe etiquette is interesting?!?. When you enter a house you need to remove your shoes & change to 'house' slippers or scuffs which are for indoor use only. However, if you go into a room with tatami mats you need to remove those house scuffs & only enter with socks or bare feet. In addition if you go to the toilet you need to change the first 'house scuffs for toilet scuffs, which are only worn in the toilet area. When you leave the 🚽 you change back to the all purpose house scuff. Hope you got all that πŸ€”πŸ˜

23 January 2017

Hakone Open-Air Museum. Foot spa, Cafe & main gallery
The Hakone Open-Air Museum. Opened in 1969, it is set in the beautiful landscape of the Hakone hills. Japan's first open air museum. The museum is home to approximately 120 permanent works by well know modern & contemporary sculptures eg. Henry Moore. The museum also has a bldg devoted exclusively to a range of works by Picasso. Truly amazing works of art & wonderful experience not to be missed πŸ‘β€οΈοΈ
Hakone Open- Air Museum. Symphonic Sculpture
Hakone Open-Air Museum Children's Zig Zag House- kids can construct stuff with triangle shaped blocks & Diamond Structure where children 12 yrs & under can crawl thru'
Food in Japan is a diverse range; we tried a themed restaurant & cafe with mixed results, market food, kiosks & stalls; traditional Japanese noodle soups, all sorts of Yaki & Katsu & were even lucky to stumble upon a Michelin star restaurant.

19 January 2017

Designer architecture for top fashion houses like Prada, Stella & Issy
Views from the Tokyo sky tree tower

18 January 2017

Ueno Park, a beautiful green space packed with cultural attractions incl art galleries, museums & a zoo.
Themed cafes are all the rage in Japan & some so tacky like the Maidreamin based around young girls wearing short school uniform like costumes with long white socks & frilly underwear!?!? The cafe had a surcharge & was beyond tacky decor & with the most overpriced snacks/food.
UDX building Akihabara, amazing mosaics on the ground floor
Went to an Owl Cafe today in Japan & was not really sure what to expect?!?. Happy to say I had nothing to do with the booking. Was shocked at what unfolded as it was the saddest thing I have seen in a very long time. People using beautiful majestic birds of prey as entertainment for paying tourists, mostly westerners. It made my heart break. I'm sure PETA would have something to say & Trip advisor should be ashamed to promote such cruelty as a top attraction in Japan 😒😒I did not participate in any of the activities & left as soon as I could.
Bus 🚌 stop with 2 little chairs 😊
Yanaka Cemetery
Kayaba Coffee House for breakfast
Mocha Coffee at Kayaba Coffee House
Green tea latte at Kayaba Coffee House
Hot Chocolate at Kayaba Coffee House

17 January 2017

A fun day on our Foodies tour led by Meg, our Japanese guide (who was originally from Fukushima) wandering around the narrow streets near Ueno Railway Station (which was like a huge outdoor market). Some of the delights sampled were sparkling sake, Oyaki (pastry buns filled with pumpkin πŸŽƒ & miso flavoured spinach) , steamed Scallops, sea urchin. Freshest sushi tuna, mangykatsu (fried minced wagyu beef, which was like a beef burger) Korean Barbecue which was a mix between sukiyaki & Shabu Shabu and for desert a fish shaped custard filled pancake!! It all makes me feel tired thinking about it, so it was good that our guide managed to fit in a foot spa & shoulder massage whilst taking afternoon β˜•οΈ!! Thx Meg ❀️️
Pokies Japanese style & sooooo noisy!
Afternoon tea & a foot spa & back massage
Visit to the temple in Ueno during our Foodies tour
Only in Japan, flavoured Kit Kat.... coffee, miso, wasabi, red current & many more
Beautiful variety of tasty mushrooms & I don't normal like mushrooms πŸ„
Family time in front of the Tokyo Sky Tree tower, which I thought was the telecom tower. doh!!!
Rise & shine β˜€οΈοΈhello Tokyo. After a good nights sleep in our hotel Red Planet we woke to this wonderful view of Tokyo Sky tree tower. What a structure in the urban landscape. We must go up the tower in the next couple of days & take in the view. Off to explore Tokyo & sample some of its tasty food on offer

16 January 2017

Arrived in Japan a little tired, after 8.5 hr flight. Watched a load of movies on the plane incl 'Room' & 'American Sniper', both highly entertaining. Now on Narita Express from the airport into Tokyo city a 45 minute trip (Melbourne we so need one from Tullamarine) Then another ride on a metro train to our hotel. Looking forward to bed 😴😴
Going through customs in Brisbane ....all good & no hold ups.
All a bit slow this morning due to early start. Off to Tokyo via Brisbane with Qantas. Bags have been checked & we are now waiting at the gate to board.