Japan · 40 Days · 31 Moments · July 2017

Redinka's tour through Japan

27 August 2017

Baseball is incredibly boring. It is more interesting than cricket though, which honestly isn't saying much. Pulled an all-nighter in Golden Gai (strip of small bars in Shinjuku. Max 8ppl can fit in each bar). Met a pretty cute dog while I was there

22 August 2017

Disneysea Tokyo -long queues v. Tame rides but a fun day

21 August 2017

Tskukiji Market/ Robot Restaurant

17 August 2017

Nikko: - Went to a famous General's shrine with a couple locals I met - it was beautiful - Went to a Buddhist temple which had a dragon painted on the ceiling. When the monks clap wooden sticks together under the dragons mouth there is a different sound and echo to when it is clapped everywhere else in the temple - Shinkyo bridge #sagoi - Visited Kegon Falls - the view was ~amazing~ (see photo #6) - Went to an onsen. It was a sulphur spring so there was a mild scent of rotten eggs but once you got over that it was so relaxing - last photo is a creek near the hostel- amazing

16 August 2017

My new best friends and I chilling in Nara

15 August 2017

- Cycled around Lake Kawaguchi: soooo pretty!! Would've been nice to see Mt.Fuji but it was super cloudy. I thought it was going to be a cruisey 1hr ride, but ended up being quite hilly and took a total of 4hrs (including approx. 350 pit-stops for photos) - Was raining on and off, but still nice (yes mum- I sought shelter when it was raining heavily and wore the poncho [see photo #4 showing me in a poncho under a tree with proof of today's date]) - Went to a cute as cafe w a nice view of the lake. I had mushroom pasta- was good to eat something non-Japanese lol. - Went to a doll museum. The doll maker makes EVERYTHING by hand and there is so much detail. Very impressive but also potentially nightmare-inducing - Ate Okonomiyaki!!

13 August 2017

- Went to a performance that showcased a variety of traditional Japanese musical performances including: Tea Ceremony,Japanese Harp, Flower Arrangement, Court Music, Japanese Comic Play, Traditional Dance ( w/ Maiko and Geisha performers) and a Puppet Play - Explored Gion - Went to Nishiji Market and bought a kimono!!!

12 August 2017

-Climbed Mt.Inari to get to Fukushima Inari Shrine -Went to a Teahouse - Ate delicious grilled Kobe beef - Participated in Zazen meditation at Shourinji Temple. Was an amazing experience which I hope to participate in again. Everything was in Japanese but they had written English instructions for beginners. I found the first half quite difficult but after a while I got into the zone. The monk had this wooden paddle to tap your shoulders with to increase attention. - Visited Tofuku-Ji Temple and the Hojon Rock Garden - Chilled by a river

11 August 2017

Kyoto and Nara: Food, deer and temples

9 August 2017

Yesterday: -walked around Osaka - met up w a local I had met earlier on my trip and she took me to the Osaka Sky tower and the Japanese version of tapas (Izakaya). Was very fun and delicious - I learnt that my mis-pronunciation of the word 'oishii' meant I was saying 'cow' instead of 'delicious' πŸ˜‚ She also taught me a few more useful phrases - I'm still getting used to loudly slurping my ramen. I thought I was doing well but after going to a ramen restaurant, I realised I still have a long way to go in terms of volume haha.It's considered rude not to slurp. -I went to Dotombori which is a famous strip in Osaka w good nightlife and food. Was pretty cool - I booked myself into a hotel in Kyoto and am so excited to have my own personal space and not have to worry about being considerate of others. Also excited for a proper bed- have been sleeping on a futon the past few nights.

8 August 2017

Universal Studios,Osaka 🎒 - WAS SOOOOO FUNN -went early to avoid queues.can literally be a 2-3hr wait for a ride. - I had an Express Pass which let me skip some of the queues. - Some of the rides have 'single rider' lines which also lets you skip to the front - The Harry Potter Park was awesome as! Totally forgot how much I liked HP. All the visual effects of the characters spoke Japanese (duh!) which took some time to get used to - I tried butter beer which I'm pretty sure was just creamy soda - There was a ride where you go backwards the whole time -was kinda cool but I preferred the version that went forward because it was more scary - the two Jurassic Park rides were cool aswell. The second one was a proper roller coaster where you 'were' a pterodactyl soaring through the air so you got a birds eye of the whole park before dropping down and twisting etc. -I went on my fave rides a few times. The wait said 80-100min but w single riders line, wait was <20min

6 August 2017

Ogijima Island - known as one of the Cat islands of Japan - Very small island - Has a fair bit of art exhibits. Because I am here while the Setouchi Art Festival is on there were a lot more exhibits to see than normal which were pretty cool - My favourite exhibit on this island was called 'Akinoriumu' where automated wooden musical instruments played music in a specific sequence. It was really cool. There was also a shadow film that went to w the music. - I also liked the Memory Bottle Exhibit - It was SSSSOOOO hot today. Thankfully for some of it I was walking along the coastline so there was a bit of a breeze

5 August 2017

Naoshima Island (art island in Kagawa Prefecture) - Went to Benesse Art Museum and Chichu Art Museum. - Benesse had open exhibits too - they have an Arthouse Project where random houses on the street have exhibits. - I only went to a couple of the art houses and both were amazing. - the first one was an almost entirely dark room w a dim screen providing the faintest amount of light. After your eyes adjusted to the darkness, you walked around the room and for some reason it was just absolutely amazing! I think my other senses were heightened or something, I can't properly explain it but it was awesome - the other Art house I went to was also really cool.

4 August 2017

Setouchi Art Night Festival, Takamatsu
Cat cafe 😻😻

2 August 2017

Zambini Island,Okinawa Prefacture -snorkelled and enjoyed the beautiful beach. - nearly missed my ferry home lol

1 August 2017

- sushi in Japan doesn't have seaweed🍣 as I was eating it I kept crying from the wasabi but couldn't find the sauce. I first thought it was the sauce I was dipping it in, then I thought it was the picketed ginger. Turns out under each piece of fish there was a large blob of wasabi lol - Tried Okinawa Soba - visited castle in Okinawa - It's really nice sleeping in a hotel. I like that I don't have to be considerate of others . It's going to suck going back to sleeping in a hostel lol. Only thing is that smoking is allowed inside my hotel so everything smells. They have an all you can eat breakfast though. You win some, you lose some.

30 July 2017

Another day, another museum: -Hiroshima A-Bomb Dome -Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (was super eye opening and quite sad. They had stories from the survivors as well of stories of the deceased) - Hiroshima Museum of Art - Hiroshima Castle Also went to Itsukushima Island which has the famous Itsukushima shrine and was very pretty. There was also a hike through Mt. Misen but it was 35-38 deg and > 80%humidity so I decided to skip it Everything, like the whole of Japan, was absolutely beautiful and all the food was delish: - grilled oysters - matcha ice cream - onigiri - these small sponge cakes that had a custard filling ( I think they were French, very soft) - squid on a stick w teriyaki sauce - soba noodles I have only been here for 14 days and have already bought 7 pairs of earrings lol

29 July 2017

Today I took a bullet train to Hiroshima and went to a park and an art gallery. To get to the park/ gallery I had to climb sooo many stairs in really hot weather. It was only on the way back that I found the 3 escalators and ramp that led to the top πŸ˜«πŸ˜‚ Also went to Daiso which is really massive here compared to the ones in Aus. In a few days I leave for Okinawa (beach island) and I'm so excited!! It'll be nice to have some privacy as I will be in a hotel.

28 July 2017

Yesterday: - took a Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagoya. It was super fast πŸš„ - Explored the area and chilled at a local park. So far, all the parks have been out of this world- absolutely massive with multiple shrines. TODAY: -I walked the Nakesendo Highway Trail between Magome and Tsumago (approx 3hrs at leisurely pace). It was so beautiful. - I was really paranoid as there were signs throughout the trail saying to ring a bell to scare off bears - Tried zuru soba noodles which is a cold noodle dish where you dip the noodles into the soup - There was a "refreshment stand" halfway along the trail where an old man offered free green tea that was oddly refreshing despite the heat. He also offered pickled shallots,sweets and tomatoes grown from his garden. - I learnt that apparently the reason Japan has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world is because they employ people for pointless jobs (eg: opening gates).it keeps their economy going though and decreases homelessness.

26 July 2017

-super misty and rainy today - went to the Hakone Open Air Museum and Pola Museum of Art. - Both were amazing and both had Picasso exhibits. Pola also had a Marc Chagall exhibit which was beyond amazing-I had never heard of him. 🎨 - I went with this French chick I met who knew a lot about European artists and she told me some pretty neat stuff about Picasso and the other artists at the Open-Air museum. Very insightful - Ate udon 🍜 At the end of my trip I have some spare time and I would like to come back here to sightsee the area-everything is so beautiful πŸ’•πŸ’•

25 July 2017

Hakone 🌿🌳

24 July 2017

Yesterday: SHINJUKU -massage -jazz bar 🎷🎺🚬 Still getting used to everyone smoking indoors - explored Shinjuku Today: YOKOHAMA - Cup noodle museum πŸ’•πŸœ Super interesting and fun!!Got to make your own cup noodle -Red Brick Warehouse πŸ‘©πŸΎβ€πŸš’πŸ‘β˜ŽοΈπŸ– Old warehouse that has been renovated into a restaurant complex. Very pretty,overlooks river - Cosmo world amusement park 🎑🎒 I never realised how slow Ferris wheels were.. The other rides were sick though - The humidity is draining the life out of me. My soul makes up 90% of every drop of sweat πŸ˜ͺ🌦 . Only scientifically-proven way to replenish soul is to consume large amounts of ice cream and to buy cute skirts from air conditioned shops 🍦 #science - Realised the reason for getting stared at is most-likely because I'm one of the five dark-skinned people currently in Japan. βœ¨βœ¨πŸ’ƒπŸΎπŸ’ƒπŸΎSnap a photo w/ all five to win a prize! Limited time only! πŸ’ƒπŸΎπŸ’ƒπŸΎβœ¨βœ¨

22 July 2017

After the museums I explored Meguro and stumbled upon the Meguro Riverside Festival which had food stalls. I had come 30min before closing so some of the food (gothumba and octopus balls) were not that fresh and made me feel sick. But the Asahi and gyoza were delicious. Can't believe how cheap beer is here! 🍻🍻Around $3 for a can of decent beer. I also had pork ramen for late breakfast which was soo yummy!! I went to Shibuya crossing-eh. I don't think CBD Tokyo interests me all that much (except for animal cafes and shopping πŸ¦‰πŸΉπŸ±)
Today has been my best day so far!! To avoid the hustle and bustle of over-crowded weekend CBD, I ventured out into the outer burbs and had an absolute blast! I started off at the Parasite Museum -which is just as weird, interesting and Japanese-y as it sounds- and then went to the Meguro Arts Museum where they had a German wooden toy exhibition! It was crazy awesome mainly because I was able to play with a whole bunch of different toys and see some really well-designed and detailed toys. Playing w the toys was definitely the highlight lol.

21 July 2017

After yoyogi park I started to explore Harajuku. I stumbled across a hedgehog cafe which was a nice experience. For around 15,00yen (approx$16) you got to play w the hedgehogs and feed them for 30min. I also did some shopping in harajuku. I didn't spend long there as I was quite tired/ hot but may go there tomorrow. I really appreciate the train system here. It is so efficient,punctual and so easy to use. I hope the rest of Japan's rail system is just as good. It is also so orderly!! Everyone queues up before entering the train and everyone is so courteous. Today I was looking at a map to find the right exit to take at the train station (there are literally around 15 possible exits in Shinjuku) and a stranger approached me to help me- was so lovely of them.
Today I went to yoyogi park and saw Menji Shrine. It was sooo nice. I spent around 3hrs at yoyogi park just strolling around and people watching. It was pretty warm but when around the trees it was a lot cooler. The shrine was nice as well- they have this well/fountain type thing where you pour water over your hands w a ladle..I don't know why but I think it's a blessing type thing. I also got to witness a few people praying at the shrine which was quite nice to see.

20 July 2017

Went to asakusa which was nice and also went to an owl cafe. They had around ten owls and a few other animals (meerkat, hedgehogs, ferret/otter?,guana, small dog. I found it a bit unethical. - I also moved to my next hostel in Shinjuku. My dorm is much smaller than my previous ones but it is just as clean and modern. Went to a games night held by the hostel which was pretty fun

19 July 2017

Went to Ueno Park (didn't rain lol) and it was awesome! Within the park there are multiple museums but I just went to the Museum of Nature and Science. It was massive and super interesting but also tiring. There are two buildings within the museum and covers things from scientific inventions to evolution to soils within Japan (much to my excitement lol). There was also some live music and market stalls in Ueno park. I tried a matcha kit Kat and chilli Cheetos and a lychee electrolyte drink-all were delicious!

18 July 2017

First day in Akihabara. It was an okay day but nothing overly exciting. I hadn't planned the day and ended up just walking around aimlessly. This area is best for people into anime or gaming. I decided to go to Ueno Park but got caught in a thunderstorm and got completely drenched!!! Once I decided to go back home though it had stopped raining πŸ˜”