I’m back from my awesome trip to Japan. Well actually I’ve been back for a while now. Throw in to the mix a crazy time at work, broken computer, having to purchase a new computer as the old one was not able to be fixed and a BF who has broken his shoulder and is now is (crap) housewife kind of sums up why this has seriously taken me way to long to blog about this or even blog at all!
Japan was and is absolutely amazing. I loved every single minute of it. The food, the people, the shopping, the glorious weather & the ever so reliable transport system.
We were away for 3 glorious weeks of taking in the sites of Tokyo, Osaka & Kyoto. We managed to fit in so much in to our 3 weeks but here is just a few things that I though you all might find interesting.
The first day was totally exhilarating as we flew straight in front of a typhoon. We arrived really late to Narita airport and was immediately smacked in the face with high humidity and rain. Oh the rain. It came in from all directions and the taxi ride to our first hotel was super fast and super fun. Should have taken about an hour but we were there in like 35 minutes. Weeeeeeeeee.
Our first day in Tokyo was a blast. We were running around like two idiots in the rain. We went through 2 umbrella’s each as the wind has picked up and kept pushing our umbrellas’ inside out. We settled in to a little bar at around 4pm for a quick drink and to plan the nights adventures when a lovely older irish man who was living and teaching in Japan asked politely if we were staying near by. After a short conversation we were pretty much told to head back to the hotel and bunker in as the eye of the storm was due to hit in around 2 hours and he highly suggested we go back now. After finishing our drinks and kind of thinking this guy was a bit of an alarmist we went back to the hotel. Well by 6pm the typhoon had well and truly hit. The rain came in from all directions and there was just so much. Looking out of our hotel window it almost looked as though someone was holding a hose directly on it. Sirens were going off every where, all sorts of things were flying past the window, umbrellas, plants, plastic bags. The television showed hundreds of commuters stuck at the train stations as all the trains had been cancelled. There was loads of funny footage of people with umbrellas being turned inside out. People running in flooded streets and people using all types of things to shield them from the rain. We were in hysterics as we knew all too well exactly what that felt like and we were so hoping no one had filmed us two that day!Our 3rd morning in Toykyo also showed us the delights of mother nature once again by hitting us with a mini earthquake.
Highlights of Tokyo
Upset the apple cart rock bar we stumbled upon as we were planing to have “one drink” and head back to the hotel as we were moving on to Osaka the next morning. We only choose this bar because in the street it was the only sign written in english. This bar was 3 floors up so up we went. When we arrived the bar was empty. The guy behind the bar introduced himself as Nishikawa and asked us to take a seat. Then he gave us an iPad each that was filled with pages and pages and pages of songs. He gave us pieces of paper and pens and asked us to write down what we wanted and he would play for us. Our minds swam flipping through the pages. Seriously if you can think of a song Nishikawa son has it. We both wrote down tonnes of songs and handed it to Nishikawa while ordering more and more and more drinks. We chatted the night way, requested songs & ordered more drinks. What started out as one drink turned in to a full blow booze fest with us hitting KFC for a bucket of spicy chicken at 4am. Upset the apple cart was one of the most fun nights I have ever had in my whole entire night. Nishkikawa was one the most delightful man I have ever met and still have the lovely letter he wrote to myself and BF while we were there.
Monster café was in Shinjuku Chrome 3. There are actually 3 Monster café’s but we only managed to go to 1 of them….. twice. The burgers here we massive but delicious. The 2nd night we went there we were invited to stay as they are closing it for a private dance party. The cafe seriously could only hold about 10 people at max but tables were moved and the space opened to fit 15 hee hee hee. We stayed for a while and then were invited to hit another bar with a friend we made named Nobu.
Nobu could tell we were not really to in to the music being played at Monster Cafe (heavy techno dance) and asked if we liked punk music as he’s friend ran a “little” bar in the golden gai area and wanted to know if that suited us better. Ah yeah Nobu much better. We followed Nobu through back streets and ally ways and about 5 minutes later we were standing in front of Hair of the dogs. When we arrived I was floored at how teeny the bar was but was eager to get in and see what it was all about. We were introduced to Tohru, the huge mow hawked owner and asked to take a seat. Tohru then gave us a black binder filled with pages of 70’s & 80’s punk albums and songs. Tohru then said “what you like? I play for you”. Quickly flicking through the pages I piped up with “lets start with a bit of Bad Religion then perhaps some Descendents then maybe a little Misfits. This night ended up being huge and so much fun.
Highlights of Osaka
Tempozan Market place in the shinsaibashi shopping district Osaka. This place is like The Victoria Market but on crack! There is absolutely everything here. Everything from Zara, Uniqlo, Anna Sui, DHC shop, Kiehls, The Body Shop, ABC mart, Kukumin, Laline, Lush & Matsumoto Kiyoshi just to name a few. There are also pachinko parlours, restaurants, Kimono shops and lacquerware shops. The shops just go on and on and on and on and on.
America-mura shopping district. This place was pretty fun to hand out and kill an afternoon. We sat in Sankaku Koen park for a while and just “people watched”. Then it was time to hit the shops. BF went off to Chopstick tattoo for an appointment and I went and wandered on my own. There are loads of secondhand store here when I managed to pick up a few mossimo boyfriend Tshirls. Then I hit Mikazuki Momoko 320 yen shop and dropped a small fortune, then Angelic Pretty store to look at the cute little Lolita dresses, then to Loverin fashion house to stock up on note books and pretty envelops oh and a cute top that as characters from Alice in wonderland on it. It was then time to pick up the BF and head to Village Vanguard. We spent bloody hours in here. It was full of books, magazines, stickers…… oh the stickers, iPhone covers, key rings, bath salts, and just about every cute japanese nick nack you could possible think of. Check out the website yourself to see the craziness that is Village Vanguard www.vvstore.jp
Highlights of Kyoto
Momijiya Bekkan Kawa No Lori Ryokan was like living in a fairytail. We arrived extremely late to the ryokan as on the way there was a horrific car accident that closed the only road up the mountain. When we finally arrived it was dark and due to our unfortunate delay the owners of the ryokan lit all the lanterns that surrounded the grounds up. You have to cross a river on a suspension bridge before you arrive at the door of the ryokan. With this all being lit up it was truly like living in a dream. It look so magical.
After a quick check in we were taken to our room and asked if we would like to be served dinner straight away. We had our own maiko who served us a spectacular traditional kansai dinner that had seriously like 8 courses. It just kept coming and coming. And each dish was even more delicious than the last. Once the dinner service had finished our maiko asked us to retire on the balcony while she set our beds out.
I had the most relaxed and deepest sleep ever.
Because we only had such a short period of time in Kyoto we wanted to see as much as possible. Solution. Hire bikes and ride around like two crazies trying to watch where we were going, take photos and steer a bike at the same time. Skills!
Kyoto was just beautiful. We had so much fun getting off the usual tourist tracks and riding through all the back streets and looking through little gates in to the homes of the people who live there. Life just seems so simple and peaceful in Kyoto.
saving the best to last, my beauty haul see here.
There is a lot more, believe me but I’m saving it for loads of surprises… oh sneaky!!!!
Japan was truly an experience I will never forget and think about it every single day. Am I planing a return trip. Absolutely.