Europe, Asia · 37 Days · 245 Moments · July 2018

🇯🇵 JAPAN 🇯🇵 2018 Summer

19 August 2018

Last flight ! From Dubai to Vienna. Little pastry breakfast and lunch. Watched Japanese movie together 🤗 The flight was quite comfortable, No Samui. Yatta !

18 August 2018

Last meal in Japan, off to home ! Chakahashi came to the airport to see us off.Toshimi and she exchanged their daily backpacks 🎒as souvenir, we all together had last dinner together in the Tempura restaurant at Narita airport. One month passed so fast!
Arriving at the airport in the sunset. Like the day, also our trip must end now after a month. Sad.. but I'm also looking forward being home again :)
Heading to Narita airport, passing through the 2nd biggest city in Japan, Yokohama metropolitan area. A lot of skyscrapers & industrial buildings on the coast, big river (Tama river), baseball match on tv. (They were deciding best 4 today at Koshien tournament). Sometimes quite a lot of traffic but quite chill to drive with a car to the airport with our gigantic luggage full of souvenirs & memories. Toshimi’s father and Miyoko drove us for 3 and a half hour from Mishima station. The watermelon we ate together at parking area during taking break was cold and awesome 🍉 !!!
Farewell lunch @Italian restaurant called cafe “Olio Motore” - Motor Oil cafe.😅 As Toshimi’s mother’s place located close to Tōmei Express highway Numazu inter section, which also functions as a gate to Izu Peninsula, a lot of traffic here, maybe that’s why the name coming from... not some food made with motor oil. Had yummy Italian lunch together, white sauce with seaweed. Was new to all of us but surprisingly good! Margarita was quite Shoppai! (Salty!) Tomi chan commented that to the chef. The place opened in June 3rd. The service was great and food was very nice. We had matcha tiramisu tarte as a dessert and the best cafe latte during our trip ☕️

17 August 2018

Last visit to Kawasaki family. Hideko and Toshimi went to same Kindergarden, thus both mother knew each other. They lost contact more than 10 years after Kindergarten but since Toshimi and Hideko met 2007 accidentally both family united again 🤗 We had chat together almost till midnight 😊 over Yukiko’s home made plum wine and lemonades 😇 Tomi chan got a wooden Japanese toy as a souvenir 🤗 We spent also quite a lot of time during our stay together. See you next time 🤗
Finally !!!! Mt.Fuji, he really exists 🗻 On the way back from shopping to home we saw briefly the top of Fuji-san 😊 for the first time after our one month stay 😅
Last shopping @ Suntomoon Kakitagawa. We had few hours left to find what we were looking for... Toshimi - a new Strawhat, Tomi chan a jacket and shoes. ... we ended up buying a new outfit for Toshimi - wide pants, big trend in Japan. Most of the girl in Japan wore those on the street. Finally Toshimi is one of them again. 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️
#Toshimi After Tomi chan went to bed : girls gonna have fun in Onsen spa world 😆 With Machiko, my friend from high school we met last time 8 years ago, spontaneously decided to go to midnight Onsen. There were almost nobody and outside was just two of us. Hot spring and mild wind,so refreshing ! Of course we tried out Yukata our fit and chatting never ends.... I walked home where I spend my childhood (till age of 12). Here not so much changed. Nostalgic 😊

16 August 2018

Hot pot dinner, inviting Keiko, Toshimi’s father’s old colleague (there are a lot of Keiko Chan’s around here) . After Kyushu-Katsu all you can eat lunch in Osaka, we weren’t hungry at all, but as it’s going to be last evening we can drink Sake with Toshimi’s father we had feast again. Toshimi made Kimuchi-Nabe hot pot with variety of Kinoko mushrooms, Tofu & other soy bean products. Hot pot in summer in air conditioned dining room .. not bad ! Keiko brought also cakes, the dinner last d hours and hours and of course they got drunk. In the end we had little bonfire to sent off deceased spirit home. It’s a tradition in this time of the year that their spirit visit this world we are living in, and they go back after a week. It is called Okuribi ceremony.
Mishima. No Fuji a gain, Toshimi’s father and Miyoko picked us up at the station. We went to shop for dinner together. Tomi chan finds Always something interesting in japanese Supermarket
Rushing to Shinkansen ! With ultimate Tomi chan time saving plan, He run back to our accommodation to get the luggages, while Toshimi chan getting train ticket. Metro from Tennoji to Shin-Osaka, then N-700 Hikari Shinkansen to Mishima. Tomi chan immediately compiles his talent of Japanese sleeping method. Yatta!
Lunch time ! Pakupaku! Kushi-Katsu all you can eat place. Kushi-Katau means deep-fried skewered meat and vegetables. Both of us for the first time but we managed to figure it out how the things works. The best all you can eat ever, for 1600yen we get ingredients and fry them on our own table by ourselves. Including rice, tea, salad buffet, desserts (pancakes & fruits, chocolate fountain !) I fortunately we had to hurry to catch our Shinkansen to go back but we eat as much as we could.
Shopping time @ Abeno Q’s mall. Close to Tennoji Station, next to the highest building in Japan, Abeno Harukas. Toshimi’s favourite shoes shop, mâre mâre she bought 3 pair of shoes. Later whence been to Uniqlo and spend almost 20,000yen 🙈 Shopping in Japan is dangerous 😍so much fun 🤗🤗
last breakfast @Khaosan world hostel. Waking up shortly after 9:00 🕘
Strolling around Namba in Osaka

15 August 2018

Kasu - Udon
Meetup Ping Pong event @ Absinth worn wooth.
Impression of Sanjo-Dori street, Nara. By night, not much traffic ☺️
Daimonji yaki festival
Kasuga-Taisha & Wakamiya-Shrine
Nigatsu-Dō (February hall) and surroundings Best temple in Nara (for Toshimi) very beautiful and chill ☺️
Lunch break @Rokumei-kan Vegetarian Donburi set & Kizami Udon 😋
Tōdaiji temple & it’s gigantic 15m high Buddha made out of bronze, one of the biggest in the world!
Nara-Park. Full of deers (& their poos also 🙈) Some deers can really bow when they wanna get „deer cookies“ 😘 very cute 😍
Breakfast @Kaosan world hostel! Nice location, good price and nice decorated ☺️ Woke up quite last minutes, still a bit sleepy but starting tha day soon ! Koshien Baseball League 2nd game of the day started, Okinawa VS Chiba (Kisarazu)

14 August 2018

Osaka night out, meeting Japanese chans

13 August 2018

Kyoto evening walk, geisha spotting and getting luck
Kyoto izakaya with couchsurfers
Kyoto craft beer place by Australian guy
Kyoto bamboo forest
#Toshimi Off to Nagoya, by Shinkansen.

12 August 2018

#Toshimi Boardgaming and chatting till late with Hideko‘s family ☺️ Had marron cakes I bought from the patisserie, Yūko showed me potatoe chips making tool that she recommends 🙈 We stayed up till 2:00, as it might be the last evening I would spend with them this stay.
Dinner with Hideko alone @Ōtoya
#Toshimi Visiting Jyuichi, my mother’s boyfriend. I bought caramel cheesecake for them and I’ve got super sour lemon flavor water ice. Jyuichi breeds Japanese killifish for hobby. He showed me old medecine for teeth pain. he has pain right now but dentist is on summer vacation so he uses it till they come back.
Kyoto evening
Right after over Hakone, Visiting my favorite French patisserie in Mishima in still heavy rain that I have to ware rain poncho even from the parking to the shop. it changed so much i couldn’t find my favourite ones. Not so much fresh cakes but they shift their business to birthday cakes and packaged sweets & cookies.
Bist du depatt Chan weather on the way back to Numazu. After nice flat long coast line over Shonan, we entered Hakone again, immediately started heaviest rain ever I experienced in my driving carrier. Even stronger and bigger drops of rain than in Fujirock, that I couldn’t see the lane lines. Also level 3 of storm & heavy rain warning in this area. Mountain weather in late afternoon changes quickly bad. But I managed 😀
Checking edible plants around my aunt‘s super small garden. Teruko, my aunt and my mother has good contacts and meeting also quite often despite they live 90 mins drive away.
Coffee break with Teruko & Sakiko. Seems quite busy from retired people to the young couple . We had fun gossiping about the waiters around 🙈🙈 Komeda coffee is Nagoya style cafe, what special about is you get always something salty with coffee.
#Toshimi Today is like all the saint’s day in Japan. Everybody goes to the graveyard with fresh flowers and incense sticks. This is a grave of My grand father and grand mother from mother’s side. Crape myrtle there was so beautiful 😇
Coffee break at cute little cafe
#tomichan Exploring Kyoto. First shrine visit: Yasaka shrine It's so humid here, very hot weather!!!!
Meat vs tofu
#Toshimi Lunch with my uncle, aunts and cousins! We all got so old. Group Foto Toshimi - Keiji - Misato (older to younger also, left to right) Noriyoshi (59) my uncle, the youngest son Sayoko (69) 2nd oldest I have 6 cousines. We used to see each other always around new year. New year (1. to 3. January) are like Christmas in Europe, always bigger family meeting.
#Toshimi My aunt’s place, where my lovely rand mother used to live. We brought her a sea shell from Okinawa. Watched together “Elephant Kashimashi” ‘s concert videos which she recoded for us. Kū chan, her dog was melting from the heat attack. My mother has 4 other siblings!
#Toshimi Waking up at 6:00 and off to Chigasaki city over Hakone again, to visit my aunt (my mother’s 3 years younger sister) Cloudy, no Fuji view again 🧐 little rainy.

11 August 2018

Separate evening with Tomi chan, 1st night. After driving Tomi chan to Shinkansen @ Mishima station, Went to Gokuraku-yu, a spar in Mishima city. Including mother, Yuko, Izumi and Iga (friend from Highschool) 5 of us girls and had dinner there. Relaxing & refreshing ♨️🤗
We split our journey with Toshimi for 2-3 days. I'm going to Kyoto while she is spending time with family and friends. So far everyone commented the following about a Kyoto trip: "Why to go to Kyoto this is time of the year, it's very hot and too many people?!" But I don't mind, looking forward to it ;) Let's see. Right now I'm sitting at the train station, at the Shinkanzen tracks (faster trains) and getting a f*n heart attack every 4 minutes when a Shinkanzen is driving through with 100000000 km/h :D, next Time I will wait in the waiting rooms. But there is WiFi luckily :)
Driving through old city of Mishima, chiisai streets and went to the biggest shrine around. Mishima - shrine. Tomi chan and Toshi Chan fed deers behind the fence. Soon (next week) is going to be a big festival happen so a bit of construction but quite chill atmosphere.
Lunch after swimming at Marugame-Seimen Udon Restaurant. Cheap and fresh, enough space and tasty ‘ ★★★😋
Try to find a best beach to swim in Numazu. Starting from Tōgō beach, we went to La la la sun beach, neither of them didn’t convince us but we found them tiny cosy beach run by a local farmer @ Nishiura. Not so packed, mostly family with kids other than us. Black sand beach as it’s made of volcanic soil, water wasn’t so clear but good enough . We swam to the furtherest bouy while Izumi putting her sunscreen on, waiting her out there but found her making big X sign with her arms. We then understood she can’t swim further than she could touch the ground with her toes, came back and three of us swam together hand in hand to a floating raft off shore where one can sit on a bit and chill. There we dived in to the sea while Izumi watching us and little fishes and again same way back hand in hand three of us. Sunshine was quite strong this time of the day but in the water was quite refreshing.
Breakfast at home. Toshimi cooked Kimuchi & Fū (dried wheat glutain) stir fly. Toshimi’s mother made green pickles with chili and sesame, boiled eggs, Edamame, iced green tea.

10 August 2018

Anjinsai Fire work festival @ Itō, A lot of snack shops, last evening with Toshimi’s father and Miyoko. Had a lot of fun ☺️☺️ Swallow nest at the narrowest parking I’ve ever seen. Advanced parking.
Impression of Itō city and the festival
Trying Japanese traditional summer clothes, Yukata (for women) and Jinbē (for men) group fotos and selfies ☺️
Driving through North of Izu Peninsula, from Mishima - Usami - Itō. Arriving northeast coast of the peninsula. Palm trees welcomed us by sunset.
Shy Mt. Fuji, where are you ? Tomi chan sleeping. Entering Shizuoka prefecture, passing the bridge on Kawaguchi lake & driving through Susono city
Unique insect on our parked car, Miyoko picks up raspberries & little Lizard
Lunch at Touge no Chaya. Again Houtou Udon (this regions speciality Udon, wide and thick) & Kinoko Soba. The waiter was strict. Although the view is already nice in such a sunny hot day, we are missing Fuji behind the mountains. Toshimi’s father shows Tomi chan how the view should be with Fuji normally. We still don’t have luck today .
Short stop at the fruit stand. speciality from here are breed fruits, such as “shine Muskat” the white grapes. Spending 100€ here is quite easy. Toshimi got a grape which cost ¥1620 for souvenir. (900g) which she picked up by herself. We also tasted local wine from here.
The highest JR station in Japan
Last morning in Karuizawa. Trying out yukata

9 August 2018

Finally! Something still open! First Crêpe in Japan 😋 Dekai !!!
Night walk in Karuizawa town, It wasn’t even 19:30 and most shops are closed. Earlier than Austrian standard and we were shocked 😳 Checking out prices of a summer house in this area.... 😗😗😗 went up to st. Pauli‘s church again through shopping streets and we had crepes, the one and only shop we found open. Huge but we managed to eat one each 😂 Toshimi had caramel based, Tomi chan chocolate based. Almonds, bananas, whipped cream and some fresh fruit toppings. Miyoko sighs of our endless Appetit 😝
Made it by 17:00 back to Naka-Karuizawa station, and had first proper Italian restaurant in Japan! Anti pasti, fresh made pizza fungi, root beats risotto with blue cheese and prochuto, artichoke pepelonchino, three different grilled meats, tiramisu, red wines ! Over priced but tasty 😋
One of the only three existing around about in Japan, is here in Karuizawa. We accidentally found it and went through with our bikes. Of course left traffic!!!
The most popular church in Karuizawa town, where the most couple have wedding. St.Pauli’s church. Quite minimal.
Coming to the city center of Karuizawa town to the north part. A lot of nice villas, summer houses of rich people (big garden), found a church and a small shrine. Dark brown and fresh green colour contrast makes the unique atmosphere in this town. Moss are covering every surface and the ground.
Cycling through some golf club area, there will be a tournament in coming weekend, quite a lot of people. We cycled two of us and mean while Toshimi’s father and Miyoko was playing golf in one of those. We biked by but couldn’t spot them. (Toshimi could get a free beer from Tomi chan if she could)
Kazakoshi Park. We had lunch there and went in to botanical garden. in Karuizawa it’s unique climate they have also special species. In 20.000m2 spaces there are 1600 types of plants. We didn’t check everything but found pretty flower called “Renge-Shouma” hanging white filled flower with dark blue middle. Their buds are also pretty like hanging little balls. Entrance was ¥100. Found Nagano Winter Olympic monument held in 1998.
First stop at shiozawa lake (entry ¥800.. so we skipped it ☹️) Lots of museums around here, also Erzgebirge wissen toy museum !
Renting bikes 3 hours for ¥1000. (Got some discount) retro bike shop. Let’s get around ! 13:45. 29 degrees Sunny ☀️
Encounter a huge long legs pregnant spider. Also a lot of bugs around as it’s in the middle of forest. Karuizawa is a popular summer resort as it hardly goes over 30 degrees in the middle of summer. Located in Altitude 940-1050m. The highest mountain around is Asama-Yama (Asama mountain) which is 2568m high, a lot of swamps, quite foggy through a year. Around is also a lot of other mountains which are 1200-1500m high.
Fresh breeze refreshed us.nice walk along a creek and Hoshino-resorts area. No gaijin (foreigners)around here. A lot of western style cafes & shops, Sonnentor (Austrian bio herbs & spices company) Erzgebirge worden toys, Australian soft drink, Italian gelato, pasta etc...
Finally sleeping enough waking up 10:15. Starting a day walking down to Nakakaruizawa station. MC Wakannai chan & DJ Nani chan

8 August 2018

Continued drinking Sake / Whiskey, With variety of snacks. Inside in the accommodation. - Conserved Figs - Wasabi rice crackers with peanuts - Chili rice crackers - Wakame sea weed with sesame seeds - Nuts and dried fruits mix. Japanese likes to drink alcohol always something savory to snack with. And Toshimi’s father really loves Sake. But no WiFi here 😂☹️
BBQ in rain ☔️ It’s covered place, actually nice to be outside in a forest. For the first time Toshimi did BBQ with her father. We bought too much food as we were all hungry at the supermarket 🙈 Mushrooms in Japan are so diverse and different from Europe, very tasty to grill. Atsuage-Tofu (thick cut and fried Tofu) was very tasty too! Käferbohnen - sticky rice was also quite tasty 😋
Shopping at supermarket in Karuizawa @Nagano. Vegetables and fruits are expensive and special in Japan. Tomatoes ¥151 per 100g - two pieces ¥533 (more than €4) Little apples from New Zealand, looks like tennis balls - 3 pieces ¥647 (about €5). Packaging is also quite different than in Europe, in plastic trays & wrapped. Found Klapfen filled with whipped cream / Red bean paste !
Driving through South Alps of Japan, Yamanashi to Nagano. Over 1000m sea level, the air is fresh and cooler. Mountains are very green and covered by white misty clouds. Houses are different than in the city. Toshimi is very excited from the area she rarely visited. Tomi chan sleeping while in TV is everyday high school summer baseball tournament.
Lunch, specialty in Yamanashi prefecture - “Houtou” Miso based pumpkin soup, with very wide noodle and a lot of vegetables. Toshimi’s favorite food. It served for each person in a cast iron pot.
@Oshino-Hakkai, 8 ponds, one of them has 8m deep. Bad weather yet so many tourists, mostly from China and Korea. Toshimi came here many times because of the beautiful chill view of Fuji and lakes. It seems very touristic place now, as it’s also written in multiple languages. The houses are old style and full of moss, one of them is standing on water. We found ¥350 Apple (€3.00) in the souvenir shop, also Tomica (Tomi - car!) Didn’t stay so long.
21st day in Japan. Off from Hakone! Short stop by rice field 🌾 Toshimi’s family name 前田 “Maeda” means in front of (MAE) rice field (DA) A lot of Japanese family names are involved with rice field - such as 本田 Hon-da (mainrice field), 豊田Toyo-ta (rich rice field), 中田 Naka-ta (middle rice field). Two days in a row breakfast at 7:40 makes Tomi Chan kaputt again. 10 days left.
2nd morning at Miyagino. Again 7:40 Toshimis father woke us up. Tomi chan breakfast half sleeping. Toshi chan - Japanese switch on 🤗 eating fish, miso soup and Natto !! (Fermented soya beans !)

7 August 2018

Way back to accommodation. Bus to bus and hike up to the hotel. Found a Gaijin chan (Foreigner) very much adopted Japanese way of spending time on transport. The driver was strict and funny in a way, we heard also emotional Nani ?? on announcement as his head set was always on and all passengers can hear his conversation with other customers. Streets around Ashi lake are narrow and curvy, cycling seems quite hard too. As there are barely any space on the sides.
Bus, hotel, garden, dekai dinner, whiskey, tired Toshi
Around Ashi Nobody is swimming in this beautiful lake. Nande?
On the way down from Hakone mountain
Black Egg, the speciality from Owakudani. Another secret of long life in Japan.
Owakudani, Sulfur & fog at 1000m height
On the way up to the mountain with cable car, from Gora to Sounzan. Foggy and no Mt.Fuji. Is he really exists ? Tomi chan wonders ...
earliest break fast ever ... opens only 7:30 - 8:30.

6 August 2018

Mini private onsen
Japanese style accommodation
Finally I found a beer automat :)))
Table tennis with Toshimi's father and Miyoko at the hotel
Japanese beer garden, craftbeer place. Unfortunately it was raining so we sat inside, but the place was looking great. Tried rice beer for the first time, not bad, tastes like regular "helles". Toshimi tried beer with orange flavor. (Not Radler)
Temple visit in Numazu
Visiting a small cave in the mountains on our way. It was so cold inside that I couldn't see when I got out because of my glasses.
Visiting a house of Toshimi’s grand parents.Where she lived also during her childhood.
Finally slept 9 hours and Sushi for breakfast ! Jippy ! Colourful sweets for vitamin boost. Chill morning ☺️

5 August 2018

Picking up Pizza close to Mishima station. Yuko picked us up and we had dinner at Kawasaki family’s Hause. Lot of Onigiri, Japanese home made food, fruits and pizza ! Toshimi’s mother eating pizza with chopsticks 😲
From Narita airport, back to Numazu. Found a lady with a bag, written “wake up! Mother fucker” Nani chan 😂🙈😂🙈(she doesn’t know what’s written on her bag)
Bye bye Okinawa !! Beautiful. Birds view above the sea... but Toshimi was sleeping by take off 😅
Last morning swimming at Churasan beach, Tomigusuku city (Tomi- castle !) Amazing dry sunny day !

4 August 2018

Checking out the closest drinking place from our hotel, “Sunakku Kizuna”.to have a drink 🥃 small place with 8 seats at the bar and 2 little tables. Tried some Karaoke, there was no menu. The lady and other customers were very friendly. For a bottle of beer and a glass of whisky it was ¥3000 (~25 €) 👀 Nani ? Place 🙈😅
Trying Okinawan outfit at shopping mall @Omoromachi 🌺😎
Early dinner in the food court, trying Okinawan style Soba noodle and Omurice with double potatoes.
Snorkeling tour, 20 mins away from Miegusuku port, close to Tokashiki Island. amazing world under the water!
Awamori distillery tour & tasting. It's basically rice "Schnaps". I bought two bottles for later :)
Breakfast buffet, day 2 ! Getting better, got some salad and different type of little pastry and Onigiri 🍙 Early enough but still crowded.
Tomi chan trying out massage chair @ our hotel room. ITAI !!

3 August 2018

2nd time Don Quixote, getting souvenir and heading to the hotel back with a pedestrian bridge under the monorail 🚝
Coming back to our Izakaya from the first night, Kaientai.@Kokusai street. ¥100 Orion beer! Assorted pickles & Potato salad with spaghetti. We met the same waitress again, the place was packed out with all loud drunk people, the service was quite slow unfortunately.. but it is our favourite bar in Naha!
Trying out Okinawan Aloha shirt 🌺 50% Off because there is no shop clerk, ¥2000 per shirt 😉
Toshimi’s favourite hungarian sweets, Kürtös Kalacs @ Kokusai street ! Opened by Japanese, 3 years ago. Quite small compare to hungarian standard size, ¥500. They sell also salty ones (Kürtös dog)
Junk food time ! MOS burger, they have vegetarian soya burger ! Onion rings, real french fries, fresh veggies 😋 Yum yum 😋
Sunset swimming @ Bibi Beach
Peace memorial park, monuments of victims from WW2.
Peace memorial museum. Very good structured (no English though) to get to know history of Okinawa of 20th century. Okinawa was Ryukyy Kingdom before and was having hard time both by invited from Japanese main islands and Americans after the WW2.
Driving down to the south end of Okinawa main island
Shuri Castle
Quite basic breakfast @ GRG Hotel, the Blue seal ice cream is existing only in Okinawa. Red potatoes are very popular here and we had ice cream & bread for the breakfast

2 August 2018

Okinawa had US Dollar till 1972 And right traffic till 1987 They changed to left traffic !
Visiting Okinawan village at Ocean Expo park. The buildings reassemble old buildings from different eras of Okinawan history. 15-18th century and 18th-19th century: different ryukyu kingdom eras. Afterwards Japan conquered the islands. Since than building styles also changed and were regulated. Very nice reconstruction of the buildings and interesting description about history.
Tropical Dream Center plants, fruits, etc.
Tropical Dream Center bugs and fish
Tropical Dream Center flowers
Visiting subtropical arboretum close to Nago at Okinawa island Ocean Expo park. Nice activity for a bit rainy day. We were the only guests at the time :) The park also offered a game where we had to find spots to collect stamps and solve quiz questions. As a reward we got kawaii stickers and a butterfly badge. Locations included also a maze, a spice garden and a garden with several butterflies.
Good morning swimming ! 1 mins to the beach, the wave is a bit high but friendly sandy beach, clean blue water, there was no body. Sakiko tried out her swim ring ☺️

1 August 2018

Accommodation! Arriving huge apartment for just three of us ! 4 bed room ( 1 Japanese tatami floor + 3 room with beds) and big living room 🙂 Toshimi’s mother found a swim ring 🤗 The balcony faces to the ocean and city center of Nago 🙂 the sound of wave is comforting
On the way back to the accommodation. Found non drive-through eating space at A&W, the local hamburger shop. Seems like piepte can sit in the car and order, can eat in the car parking. Never seen this before.
Night swimming Tomi chan
Dining out @Nago city 5mins from our accommodation. Okinawa style bar 😋
Picking up Toshimi’s mother from the airport, rent a car and off to the north city, Nago. Okinawa Express way - spread Limit of 80. There is no need to hurry in this small chill island. Welcomed by palm tree Allee, Driver Toshimi get super excited 😎
Weather sucks... first Shopping time in the department store! Toshimi got some new outfit, Tomi chan a new back pack 🙌🏻 Looking forward to wear them 😊shopping in Japan is just so awesome 😎
View from our hotel @ Naha. Next to Monirail station. Weather sucks today. No swimming 🙁
8:30. Our alarm rang at 7:40. Too sleepy but successfully got in time for breakfast buffet. Toshimi tried Natto after so many years. Tomi chan excited to have french fries for breakfast 😲

31 July 2018

Mono rail which connects Naha airport to Shuri. There is no train trucks in whole Okinawa island. In Monorail is not much advertising as it is in Tokyo. Thus relaxing atmosphere. What Vending machine offers also different than main island of japan, more fruity refreshing drinks rather than cold non-sweetened Japanese tea.
Strolling around 国際通り(Kokusai Dōri street) the Main Street of Naha, capital of Okinawa Prefecture.
2nd Bar, 海援隊 Kaientai @ Kokusai dōri street. ¥100 Orion beer (local beer brewed in Okinawa), 180ml of Awamori for ¥500, (30% alcohol) And Ume-shu (plum wine, 14% alcohol). Next to us was drunk local, shouting and complaining about her life, but otherwise, quite chill place, enough space and cheap.
First restaurant in Okinawa ! Walking through Kokusai Dōri street, at 21:00 still quite lively on the street. Had Okinawa style Soba, Omelette with sea weed inside. We were only customers in the restaurant. The waitress was friendly, traditional Okinawa food, good price too ☺️
After a 3 hour flight from Tokyo (with one extra hour delay) We arrived in the hotel on the southern, subtropical Japanese island Okinawa. Chilling a bit at in the hotel room before getting going to checkout the main shopping and restaurant street in Naha. The hotel room is great for a one night stay before we continue to our next destination in the north of the island. It's next to the airport and a train station with a view on ocean. Small but practical and comfy.
On the way by train to the airport next to Tokyo I (Tomi) saw the most amazing train toilet I've seen so far. Super huge, clean and operated by buttons for opening, closing and locking the room.
Funny Japanese name 大野 normally it should spelled Ōno. @Sangenjaya.

30 July 2018

Village vanguard @ Sangenjaya. After dinner shopping at funny “book store”. Checking out new hat for Okinawa trip and a rucksack for Computer🎒 The shop is open until midnight.
2nd Sake place “Nagomi” @ Shinagawa Located in Underground, small and cozy place, including a lot of small dishes (Tapas portion) of Master’s choice ¥3,500 for 3 hours all you can drink (Sake - Japanese rice wine, 15 to 16% alcohol) Shinagawa is office workers town, a lot of small bars. The Master of the bar and his wife also joined us. Toshimi’s father got drunk.
Meeting Toshimi’s father @ Sake Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo. Eating bunch of salad after 5 days of Fujirock. Yummy proper food and quality Sake !
Small street coffee shop @Sangenjaya. Shirokuma coffee (Poler bear). Coffee made with love. Coffee of the day (iced) for ¥280, Drip coffee for ¥400.
Shinkansen to Tokyo from Echigo-Yuzawa. Tomi-chan being Japanese. Catching up with sleeping during transportation 😪
Breakfast @Echigo-Yuzawa Station. Luxus Udon! With 5 different toppings. Kakiage (mixed vegetable Tempura, the round stuff on the left top), San-sai (picketed mountain vegetables), raw egg, Wakame see weed, Kitsune (Tofu thinly sliced and deep fried, cooked in sweet soya sause). It’s standing noodle place which is typical at the train station in Japan. Tomi chan got the same without soup as it was with fish stock. ¥570 each.
Bye bye Fujirock! Leaving the camp site, no body died, but uncountable number of fully/ half broken tents and drunk people Chans.

29 July 2018

Dinner @ Gypsy Avalon, Maitake Tempura bowl, the best veggie food at Fujirock !
Long queue to Bob Dylan concert 😳😳, and the concert itself which we checked out with Keiko. Good background music. Afterwards we watched a nice Japanese rock band at a very small stage.
Lunch @ Gypsy Avalon area, NGO village, trying out west African instrument called “Ola”. Had coffee with almond milk (not the best coffee)
Jack Johnson @ Green stage
Keiko’s stand, all fried chickens are sold out !
@Red Marquee
After the storm last night...
After midnight @ Crystal palace A lot of knocked out Japanese sleeping every corner escaping from the storm
Storm doesn’t stop, we went back to our tent, got dry clothes and concerts goes on !

28 July 2018

Fish Bone @ White stage. It started to rain. People in rain ponchos are dancing yet super energetic, true Fujirock experience!! Toshimi caught a drum stick in the end of he concert. Tomi Chan’s shoes got totally wet though.
Workshop, making coaster with locally produced wood 🌳
Best cafe au lait, The old guy was roasting coffee beans on spot with old school way. Slightly raining.
Field of Heaven stage. A lot of organic shops, alternative food and clothes. Tomi Chan trying to find a had which covers ears, to protect from sunshine. Integrating to Fuji rock outfit.
Johnny Marr @ Green stage, First concert of the day. He played quite a lot of songs from the smith. Many Japanese Chan’s creeping around everywhere, also on their fordable chairs. Interesting atmosphere.
Good morning! Long queue again at shower, camp site is even more crowded than yesterday. They pitch tents in between each left over spot, also 5cm away from out tent. Nani ?

27 July 2018

Mac demarco @ Red marquee. With computer game back ground (earth bound, Toshimi’s favourite Super Nintendo game actually !)
Elephant Kashimashi @ White stage Beautiful sunset, great performance!
Tune-yards @ Red marquée. Probably the best concert of while Fujirock!!
Chilling @ the river, behind the White stage while Albert Hammond Jr playing
Going up by a lift called Dragondola to higher mountain peak. The area of Fuji Rock is also a ski resort. Enjoying the beatiful view from the lift and the fresh but sunny weather on the mountain. We got to 1300 m altitude. The location was part of the festival with a small stage, few restaurants and bars and some activities.
11:10 Made it to the first concert of the main stage (green stage), on the way we had a nice view of the mountains and we saw the sexist "Ladies camp", where only women can camp. The band which was playing is Toshimi’s favorite band from her high-school time, MONGOL 800. Nostalgic. Still remember the lyrics. Tomi is experiencing Japanese Fuji rock festival culture: chilling on the chairs.
9:40 Had breakfast with ready made rice with garlic sause (surprisingly good) and canned beans.
7:20 waking up as it’s too hot to sleep, there are barely any shadow at the camping site, except “Ladies area” . Went for morning shower and there were long queue. We waited first for the warm bath and as Toshimi almost made to the entrance she recognized it costs ¥500. We re-stand in the queue of the cold shower, waited about another half an hour in the sun. Tomorrow, we will be prepared for that 🧐

26 July 2018

For Toshimi the last time was 10 years ago, compare to that there is dramatical change of the number of tourists. Quite different atmosphere. People are bringing chairs and chilling, found sleeping Japanese inside of the concert, on the ground quite unattended or looks almost unconscious (Toshimi thought even he is dead and called the staff) There was one main stage “Red Marquee”, always 25mins of DJ, 25 mins of live band concert. Small DJ Booth with chill music, and small stage where they had a MC with some program such as lottery or dancing.
Festival food ! Met Keiko as she works in one of the food stand. Got Avocado fried (in the middle is melted cheese, outside spiced crispy dough. With soy sauce and wasabi was nice. On the other hand the long french fries which look good but were terribly oily and didn’t taste like anything. and won 2nd worst french fries Tomi chan ever ate.
Off to the festival eve party! Festival started with fireworks. The area is not so big, not the whole festival area is open, as it’s just “festival-eve” for everyone, means without ticket anyone can come. Quite crowded.
Putting up tent, we didn’t have a chance to put up before as we bought it just yesterday and didn’t have time for testing out. The tent in Japan is almost double expensive as in decathlon and the quality you get is shitty. Our lesson 🙁
Off to Fujirock ! Get ready by 10:00 to be on time for an Fujirock eve party ! Took a local train to Tokyo from Mishima, then from Tokyo a Shinkansen “Max Toki” - Toki is Japanese crested ibis - to Echigoyuzawa, Niigata. The north of the main island. First time Shinkansen for Tomi chan ! We didn’t have time for breakfast, and there was nothing sold in this Shinkansen, so we had some rice crackers and SOYJOY we bought in Gotanda.

25 July 2018

Finally found Toshimi’s favorite ice cream, “Turkish ice cream”, which you have to mix it before eating, and it has special sticky texture. Unfortunately the original milk flavor is discontinuation of production now, we found chocolate chip & mint flavor. Tastes like a bit after eight. Still nice and nostalgic ☺️😋
Okonomiyaki Home party with Toshimi’s classmates from her high school. We had electric cooking plate on the table and there grilled pumpkins and made Okonomiyaki (Vegetarian) 🤗 With different kinds of mushrooms, Tofu and Kimchi😋
Shopping @Espot Numazu Found toilet papers with their own stamps on it. Also written please don’t steal our toilet papers 😅
Shopping continuing @Seria, 100 yen shops. Where things have all the same price. Found a lot of practical stuff for 100 yen (with tax 108 yen), many goods for Fuji rock ! Toshimi went crazy and we bought 50 products 😲😲
Day driving & shopping. 2nd day of driving for Toshimi, getting used to it again with left traffic. Went first to get a Tent for Fujirock ⛺️ We left out camping stuff in Vienna as it’s too much luggage to carry, but Outdoor gear here is quite expensive, and not so much choice. Anyway we took a tent for three, got sleeping bags, ready for camping ! (Last minutes 😂) The shop clerk was super friendly, she printed out the tent instructions for us, and even a googlemap to the closest Bankomat machine she printed out for us. Japanese are very helpful Got first rain shower in Japan shortly after we left the shop !☂️
Sleeping long enough and had proper Japanese breakfast ! Well, it was already after 12:00 though, but our first meal of the day. Plane rice, Miso-Aubergine with Shiso-leaves and Boiled eggs. Salty in the morning is typical, and always with rice rice rice 🍚
Rooftop little park at Toshimi’s mother’s flat by night. Common space for a little child as well as BBQ for families. 11th floor, you can see also Mt.Fuji from here by day.

24 July 2018

Having dinner with friends from Toshimi’s high school time. 2 of them became mother, 2 of them are pregnant ! Tomi Chan had first time pizza experience in Japan. Margarita pizza and cold Chinese noodle salad for Toshimi. They were very curious about Tomi chan, especially speaking English, and eating vegetarian.they were so impressed that Tomi chan doesn’t know his blood type? Which is so important than knowing your horoscope .
Back to driving after 4 years! Driving back Hideko home, had a quick green tea and snack. Wasn’t so bad to drive ! The green tea was excellent, had rice cracker with it, shortly saying hello to her family and little chat.rushing for the next appointment 🙈 Busy visit , 3 days of Numazu after 4 years meeting everyone I want to see and having enough time is quite difficult.
Sea of Numazu late afternoon surprisingly less people, and surprisingly warm water. The closest beach from where I grew up, about 25mins from home. It’s not a sandy beach but are made of small rounded stones. The tide brings also a lot of garbage from the sea to the shore unfortunately, still it’s beautiful here. We could have enjoy the view to Fuji mountain when the weather is nice, but he was hiding behind the crowd today. Th beach is called 千本浜 Sen-Bon-Hama, thousand pine trees beach. Pine trees are symbol of my home town, Numazu.
After getting new Driving license, Meeting Tomi chan again, and went 回転寿司 (Train Sushi restaurant) with Hideko and Cheryl. Welcomed by Pepper-kun (human type robot) to choose the seat of your choice - counter type or table. Compare to Europe,quite different vegetarian sushi options, no Avocado sushi or maki for example, as I predicted.🥑 But there are yummy ones of course, such as いなり (Sushi rice in deep fried and marinated Tofu wrapped) or たまご(egg), to Blue berry cheese cake 😆 A dish (normally 2 pieces of Sushi🍣 , or 6 pieces of Maki) costs ¥100. Quite cheap 😋
Administrative time. Renewing my driving license, which expired 1 month ago. In Japan you have to renew one’s driving license every three years (or 5 years the longest, if you are good/clean driver without any penalty records. Registration was from 12:45-13:00, only 15mins long open. Like Asterix Movie, had to go from one information desk to another for about 10 times, filing up dozens of papers,taking few pictures, finally having “Lesson” for about half an hour, finally I’ve got it done !
While Japan has such a high tech toilet, those kind of Japanese “squatting” ones still exist. This one was in the building of Driving license institute. We call those 和式 (Japanese style) and the other one are 洋式 (Western style)in Japan.
What I wanted to do once I’m in Japan...! Hair cut! It’s so easy to me to get what / how I want with my hair 🙈 I have 20cm shorter hair now 🏄‍♀️🌻🍉🌞

23 July 2018

Egészségedre! Greetings from Hungary with Unicum. Everybody tried for the first time, Hideko (Toshimi’s friend from kindergarten) loved the taste, so she won the rest of the bottle😉 The bottle design also made good impression, Kawaiiiii 🇭🇺💕😋🙈 the essential of course !
After dinner, some local friends came over with bunch of snacks and we partied at home. Chatting and playing boardgames. So much yummy snack from Chips (Edamame-cheese flavor) to soufflé cheese cake,salty boiled peanuts, Edamame (young green soy beans) and of course ... matcha ice cream. Never enough matcha snacks in Japan ! Toshimi brought presents for everybody from Austria: boardgames, snacks and cosmetics.
Having dinner with Toshimi and her mother Sakiko. Udon salad with lot's of veggies and mango. Recepie from Lya. With big block of tofu next to it. Tofu is so cheap in Japan! For around 30-40 Eurocents we got enough for 3 people.
Arrival in Numazu! Toshimi’s mother, Sakiko picked us up at Mishima train station with a little Kawaii car. Had a stop at supermarket, orientating how people in Japan do groceries. 🍎One Apple : ¥199 (€1.5) Multi fruits package of two Apples 🍎 🍎, one Orange 🍊, one Kiwi 🥝and a grapefruit was ¥799 (€6.15) Interesting mushroom.sorts I've (Tamas) never seen before. Toshimi cooked quick lunch afterwards, Tofu champulu (stir-fried Tofu and Vegs)
Taking a local train from Shibuya to Mishima, trip was about 2 hours. Shibuya - Yokohama, Yokohama - Amami, Atami - Mishima. Planned was changing 2 times. But, we had mistake at Yokohama, missed the station so we took 4 trains, 3 lines. The view to the Pacific Ocean was amazing!
DAY 5 Bye bye Tokyo ! After spending 3full days and 4 nights in Tokyo, time to be back Toshimi’s home town. We say bye bye to Keiko’s cozy studio apartment. Breakfast was ...🍵an intensive matcha ice cream from Seven-Eleven (excellent), 2nd time Yukimi-Daihuku! - Mochi covered milk ice 😋 We left a bit of souvenir from Hungary & Austria as well. We gonna see each other at Fuji rock again next week. Spontaneously we took a bus To Shibuya, instead of taking a subway. New experience 😊 Bus wasn’t so crowded, not the fastest but confortable. We learned that it’s not allowed to stand up from your seat during driving, until the moment of the door opening of your stop. It’s dangerous otherwise. The bus driver will announce you if you don’t respect this rule 🚌🚌😳

22 July 2018

Local festival in a little temple Hachiman-jinja@ Koenji. Met other friends there, saw Japanese tradition and craziness in summer. Of course super crowded, but some performers are interesting. spontaneous but quite unique experience!
Wondering around in Koenji, in Nakano district. On the way to a little summer festival as the sun is setting and on the way back home on little streets and the barstreer afterwards. Toshimi chan getting nostalgic about seeing the district where she used to live. A side of Tokyo, I didn't see much yet, with little houses narrow streets. Not looking metropolitan. We also saw a DVD and CD store, which still seems to be popular in Japan.
Strolling around Nakano-Ward. Tomi chan won a first prize in lottery (was a fire works set!) on the street all of sudden. we had a little rest with an ice cream on small green spot next to Nakano town hall, where people are BBQing and having picnic.
Lunch time ! てんや@中野 “Tenya”@Nakano. First time Tempura (Japanese style assorted fries) for Tomi chan! 野菜天丼 ¥550 5 Vegetable Tempura (Aubergine, pumpkin, Maitake-mushroom,sweet potatoes and french beans) with Rice in a bowl. 天ぷらうどんセット¥720 Combination of Tempura (Shrimp,butter fish, squid, pumpkin, french beans) with warm Udon Noodle