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Welcome to Kyoto

11 Feb

After another very long train trip we finally arrived in Kyoto at 13.00. I’m very glad that there won’t be anymore train trips that long any time soon!
The first thing I noticed about Kyoto while traveling in on the train was the amazing mountains surrounding it. Although you don’t notice that as much once you get into the city as there are so many skyscrapers to block the view.

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We spent the next hour or so trying to find accommodation.  Thankfully a very nice elderly gentleman pointed us in the right direction or it would have taken us a lot longer. After we organised out accommodation for the night at the new miyako hotel we only had to have some lunch before it was time to check in.

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We spent the next few hours enjoying the luxury of having a bath and then decided to have a look in Aeon Mall that was just across the road from us.
We grabbed some snacks from the local suppa (supermarket) for dinner and then made out way back to the hoteru (hotel). We are some dinner while watching tv that we did not understand and then called it a night at about 20.00. We were utterly exhauted!

Hannah x

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The Trek to Sapporo

10 Feb

We woke up and realised it was the day we had to check out. Wow!  That came quickly!
We spent the morning packing.  I had a little bit of trouble fitting everything but managed to get it all in with tetris like packing skills.
We decided to head to the Ghibli museum first and see if we could get a ticket in. We organised tickets before we left Australia but the tour we were meant to go on was cancelled because of “heavy snow” in Tokyo… The most snow that I saw on the day we went to Ghibli was in the photograph below, can you spot it!?

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Like most people we were told that the only way to get tickets to the Ghibli museum was to order them through a travel agency.  However this is not true. There is a Lawson shop across the road from the museum which sells tickets at 4pm daily.  If you were unable to get a ticket and wish to see the wonders of this museum I definitely recommend doing this.  They are only 1,000 yen for a ticket too.

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A friendly face welcomes you as you enter the museum.  I didn’t get many photos as many areas taking photos were banned but I managed to get a few on the roof top.

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After this we hiked back to the train station with our big backpacks on and organised our tickets to get to Sapporo. We went back to Tokyo station first then boarded the train to Shinaomori at 18.56. From Shinaomori we took a quick local train to Amori and then jumped on the train to Sapporo at 22.42. It was snowing at Amori and we weren’t even close to Sapporo. It was going to be freezing!

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We arrived in Sapporo at 6.07 and then had to wait around at the station for a few hours before we headed to Hotel Clubby to see if we could drop our bags of before we went exploring.

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We had some breakfast at 9.00 and ran into a Canadian ex army guy/fisherman who was also travelling.  We all went to a arcade across the road and played a few games before we haf some lunch and he left. I think people really miss having English speaking people around them when they are travelling by themselves.
At 13.00 we were able to check into our hotel and I had a much needed shower and fell asleep. Lock and I set out for separate adventures that night.  I went out for dinner where i chatted to a lovely Japanese couple who were also trying to avoid the blizzard.

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Lock on the other hand went out and met a nice Japanese girl who followed him everywhere,  accidently stumbled across an anti nucleur war riot and then found a nice piano recital at the top of a 35 floor building! What an adventure!

After dinner I was still exhauted from getting no sleep on the train so I crashed.

Hannah x

Joypolis is a must!

10 Feb

Today we ventured to Shibuya. It was raining quite heavily when we left so we grabbed some umbrellas and headed off.  We stopped off at a bakery for a late breakfast/early lunch.  I had a pastry and a hot chocolate.

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The Aussies and Lock wanted to check out a soccer rink that wason the roof top of a building. but it was closed because of the rain. Lock and I were going to meet a few people back at khaosan Tokyo ninja so we said our goodbyes to the guys and headed back to the accommodation.
We met up with Nate from America,  Sylvia from Australia,  Henrique from Brazil and Kim and Jemin from Korea.
After waiting for a while for them and thinking we might have missed them everyone finally grouped up in the basement and we headed to Joypolis.

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The first thing I did was watch a 3D Sonic movie which was about a haunted house.  While it was in Japanese I still picked up on the storyline. The first actual ride I did was a car racing game in which you actually sat in a car with a screen infront of the windscreen that was on a moving platform.  It was pretty awesome.

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I chickened out of the second ride which involved being strapped onto a board and spinning around a lot. There were so many interactive things and all of this was crammed into a 4 story building. 

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There were 3 different virtual rides.  One was on a boat,  one on a plane and one a jungle. We went on the first 2. These were actually pretty scary, well at least for me they were. The ride consisted on a vehicle that you hop into which then moved into a dark room and a projection of your surroundings appears.  The vehicle is on a moving platform and air, water and movement is used to make the ride realistic.
I refused to go on any of the horror rides,  especially the 3D ring one.  The guys and Sylvia went on it.  Samarah is played by an actor and she chases you down a hallway and you have to run away. glad I didn’t go on it!

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On thing that Tokyo, specifically Shinjuku, has a lot of is host and hostess bars.  There was a quiz at Joypolis that checked what type of host or hostess you would be and took your photo.  For us out was completely random as we couldn’t understand a word of Japanese in the quiz. We did however get some pretty funny photos from it!

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There was an indoor roller coaster which I accidently went on.  It flipped upside down but only went for a minute.  I screamed the whole way but somehow managed to get the high score on it.
We had a great time here!  I would definitely recommend this to anyone visiting Tokyo. Micheal Jackson even loved it!

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Hannah x

Gotta Catch ’em All…Pokemon!

8 Feb

Today we went to the Pokemon Centre in Yakohoma! It was afternoon by the time we left khaosan Tokyo ninja.  The pokemon Centre was a lot smaller than I thought it would be but it was definitely worth a look. Apparently my favourite pokemon Eevee is also very popular over here. There was so many Eevee things. I brought an Eevee toy and some hair clips.

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After that we had a look at a few other shops. Jump shop was right across the hall from the pokemon Centre and mainly had One Piece bits and pieces. There was also a shop next to it that called Moe Garden and it was full of Ghibli anime things,  also worth a look. 

After we finished looking around it was dinnertime. We found a Hard Rock Cafe and decided to go there.  There was such good music playing! I had a veggie burger here.  Oshi cutta! It was delicious!
Hannah x

Disneyland is AMAZING!

8 Feb

I woke up excited like a child on Christmas morning today as it was the day we went to Disneyland!
We left Ninja and boarded the train to Disneyland after grabbing some sandwiches at the train station. There wasn’t any that I was keen on so I decided to wait until later.  I did however see a very odd combination sandwich.

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On our way to Disneyland we ran into a bunch of Japanese cheerleaders who had just been to a competition.  They were lovely and took a photo with us. 

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When we arrived at Disneyland I immediately turned into a child, singing all the songs I recognised in English even through they were in Japanese. I immediately wanted to go to the Alice in Wonderland area and did so. I went on the tea cup ride which was a lot faster than I thought it would be but want really scary at all.  Lots of fun though.

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I then looked around at a few rides and waited around for the guys who went to get food.
Other rides then followed: Snow white, a carousel, Its a small world cruise, peter pan, toy story etc.

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Hannah x

Lazy day!

8 Feb

After anice big sleep in, we got up at 1ish and met the other Aussies down in the basement of Khaosan Tokyo Ninja. We planed out the rest of the day.  I wanted to go and buy a cosplay and then go to Akihabara to join in with the crowds that cosplay on Sundays.
We traveled to Harajuku so I could drop into Bodyline to get a cheap cosplay.  I ended up buying 2!

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The boys then wanted to go and get some food so we stopped into a little organic restaurant to have some lunch. I ordered a vegetarian organic pizza. It was quite nice. 

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As we left this place it had gotten very cold so I decided not to change into my cosplay as I could do that in a few weeks when we went back to Tokyo. The others wanted to go to Shinbashi and see the big crossing they’re that is in so many animes and movies.  The crossing was huge!  And the buildings around it made it look like a Japanese version of Time Square.
We went back to Khaosan Tokyo Ninja after this as tomorrow was the big Disneyland day and we all wanted early nights.

Hannah x

Electric City!

5 Feb

The second day we were in Tokyo we met some other very “high fashion” Aussies who helped us figure out the washing machines. They invited us out for dinner and karaoke.  We had some dinner at Hooters which was much more classy than its American counterpart.

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I had a teriyaki chicken burger which was quite nice. After dinner we went to Akihabara and visited the sega tower to play some games. The drumming game was awesome! It even had the mario song to play along to. I won the game which I was very happy about.

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After this musical experience we decided to go to kareoke as we haf missed the last train back to our accommodation.  We went to big echo which had a huge range of English songs to choose from. We sung a bit of Vanessa Carlton, Bullet for my Valentine and many many more until the next train came along.

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There was even a cute cutout of Miku in the foyer as we left. I just had to get a photo.
I slept so well when we got back to tge accommodation.  It was a very fun night.
Hannah x