Not all the time.
But somehow when I am sad
My mind goes to this place
Like its own Fukushima or Chernobyl
There were once buildings of hopes and dreams
Left a ghost of what it ever was
If it shall ever come alive again
Perhaps with time, some would say
I don't mind
Somehow in its loneliness
It is rather peaceful here.
So you're a doctor right? How did i get food poisoning?
Wellll the most common way is faeco-oral....
Faeco from the word faeces? And oral is mouth..
Yes in short, shit to mouth. U took in some shit material and that makes your shit watery.. You're part of the one big shit cycle which has been around for thousands of years! *gleeful face*
My trip to Japan has got to be the most last-minute trip I had planned in my life. My friend found out that she had some annual leaves booked and didn't know what to do with it and wanted a short break, and I have always had Japan on my bucket list. I don't think she is used to impromptu travels and I had my own doubts too but realising that the said week was also the sakura week, my mind was set. We bought our ticket a week before jetting off and lets just say the 5 days to prepare was su su sumsummertime summertime madness.
I shall note here is that the most expensive bits that you will spend on in Japan is the transport and accomodation. Intercity travels can easily be done using the bullet trains (shinkansen) which are superefficient and pretty darn fast. There are cheaper ways to travel like midnight buses and all that, but if you have rather limited time and are not that well-versed in Japanese language, it can be a bit tough. One way shinkansen ticket can cost up to RM300! We got ourselves the JRP pass, which is an all-go pass you can use on most shinkansen lines (except for Nozomi line) and many tokyo trains. This costs RM900, expensive but saves a LOT. To put it easily, if you're travelling to 2 cities (e.g. Tokyo-Kyoto and back), you would have saved up already with a JRP. it's a special tourist pass that you can only buy in your own country (e.g. through HIS travel-at Bukit Bintang if you're Malaysian).
I spent 6 days in total, and travelled to Koriyama-Fukushima, Kyoto, Nagahama and Tokyo. If you're a first time traveller to Japan and wants to see the cherry blossoms, I would suggest checking japan-guide.com for their cherry blossoms report. Typically the season starts end March to early April for cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. Mind you once the blossom starts, it usually ends within 7-10 days depending on the weather. In my case, my trip was 10-15April and most of the blossoms have petered out down in the southeast (Tokyo and Kyoto). So we decided to start our trip in the Tohoku region; Fukushima.
Our first night in Koriyama (15mins from Fukushima), we decided to have our first Japanese meal. I don't think many tourists end up in Koriyama so we had quite a fair bit of attention at the restaurant we went to. They were very nice, as all the Japanese Ive met in the trip were. A man next to our table even bought us a dish of steamed fish! I don't know if it is a special gesture that means anything in Japan, but I knew that the fish was delicious. lol. The next morning we set out fresh and early for the train to Fukushima for our cherry blossoms hunting. We went to Hanamiyama Park using a shuttle bus from the train station. As soon as we reached the park, we were greeted with free flowers! how lovely. You can easily spend hours looking at the fat blooms of flowers. The park itself is a little hilly, but I thought that makes the view all the more gorgeous. The place exudes an aura of festivities with little stalls selling hot food at the rest area. Takoyaki and matcha on a chilly day? Yes, please!
Later in the evening, we made our way to Kyoto via the shinkansen. Finding an accomodation in Kyoto in April is not an easy task. The city is hogged by tourists! We only managed to secure our place 2 days before departing to Japan. If you plan to visit Kyoto around this time, I suggest you book youraccomodation early, and if you can't find any place in Kyoto, try going for the nearby cities accessible by shinkansen, for example Shin-Osaka or Nara. We managed to get a place in Arashiyama, which is a bit off from the Kyoto centre, but it is a prettyscenic part of Kyoto so we didn't mind. The first night we were there, our land lady suggested that we go to the Arashiyama onsen. Onsen is a hot Japanese bath area complete with little jacuzzi-like tubs and a spa room. The only thing is, you have to be bare naked to get in. Yes you read that correct (men and women are separated so don't get too excited). I sort of knew that beforehand, but I thought we could still pass off with a bathing suit. So there we were, 2 tourists in our bathing suits thinking we could play the tourist card. Of course not. A middle aged lady quickly fussed over me and started tugging at my towel. One lady started tying my hair. I know they meant well but goodness, I was flushing red and I wasn't even in the hot bath area yet! Skipping that part, once you're actually in the water, it was a nice relaxing experience. There must be some good minerals infused in the water because after I left, my skin felt brand new and I had the loveliest sleep that night.
The next day was a full walking day. We started off at the Arashiyama bamboo forest and made our way to Kinkkaku ji (the Golden pavillion) and the Ryou-an ji (stone temple). Then we went through the Philosopher's path to Ginkaku ji (The Silver Temple). This is where I decided that someday I will walk through this path with my ever-so-wise husband in his yukata (me in my kimono of course) while we read off haiku to each other. Hehe. We had a Kyoto kaiseki lunch mostly made of a lot of things soybean; tofu, soy sauce, soymilk and some neatly-presented sashimi and tempura. Near Sunset, we went to Kiyomizu Dera, a magnificient wooden temple. We were lucky that we get to go during its night opening times, because the evening lighting makes the place all the more mysterious and majestic. We later took a taxi to Gion which was not far off. Gion is famous for its geisha and maikos (geisha-in-training). It is raher difficult to spot them as they move very quickly. You can notice that their obi sash is longer, and they also paint their faces leaving a bit of normal flesh at the back of their neck. It was exciting to spot them and unashamedly, I was one of the tourists running after them to take paparazzi shots. Hihi.
The next day in Kyoto, it was raining pretty heavily. We decided to take it easy today. We spent the morning at the Nijo castle. You can see the many wooden rooms for the many royal ocassions happening allll the way back then. Kind of reminded me of a naruto-like building. For the afternoon, I booked for a tea ceremony and kimono-wearing activity with WAK japan through viator. I thought it would be nice to learn some of the culture in depth. It was nice to see how a whole civilisation was built on the concept of being peaceful with each other.
The next day we attended a matsuri (festival) in Nagahama. The Nagahama-Hikiyama festival features children kabuki, and celebrates the children's mental growth. The children involved in the play and music were so adorable. We also traipsed along all day in our kimono that we bought in Arashiyama much to the delight of the locals. We had many little old ladies coming to us to compliment our sloppy job at tying the kimonos ourselves. Some even took pictures with us! A grandfather also took it upon himself to explain many things to us in English and even bought us sweet potatoes, mochi and matcha. What a sweetheart!
We went to Tokyo later in the evening to check out the electronic district of Akihabara and have tea at the L'Occitane Cafe while watching the world passes by at the Shibuya crossing.
Japan has left me inspired and this is definitely not the last time I will be visiting.
Ichi go ichi e: One meeting, one opportunity.
Sayonara Japan, it has been a pleasure!
Yummy food, beautiful romantic sceneries, unique culture, kyeopta people and my lovely chingus. need i say more?
eh song triplets? <3 i="">3>
I've been super curious about the Japanese culture. and the idea of autumn/spring in Japan with cherry blossoms all around is hard to resist.
just a cute old couple hihi
This is more of a revisiting rather than a first visit since I've been to Istanbul and Pamukkale but I remembered going there and thinking, ok i need to go here again for my honeymoon >.<
capadocia, i havent been!
4) New Zealand
Big fan of the LOTR and ..everything green :D
yo i'd live here. i would actually fit in one of these houses
5) Norway/ Iceland/ Greenland
Specifically for dog-sledding and aurora-hunting. What dreams are made of I'm sure!
how wildly amazing is it to camp the night cosily under an aurora-lit sky?
need to keep myself trim for this, them poor dogs
I chose Brazil/ Machu Picchu over Jordan last summer. This country seems like it has plenty to offer, from the magnificent Petra, to the peculiar Dead Sea to finding ship wrecks while diving in the Red Sea. I also would not mind another night at the desert <3 p="">3>