Sunday, November 18, 2012

Japan Nov 2010 - Tokyo

Tokyo is next! The capital city of Japan.

We took a shinkazen back to Tokyo and start to hunt for our hostel - Weekly Mansion Ueno. It is a simple one, affordable priced and good location. Compared to the one we stayed in Osaka, this is slightly smaller and run down. Tokyo isn't a cheap city, so this is still within expectation.

Another nice bento at train station

Ueno is a pretty nice place to stay. A shopping district with many small stuff to explore. Ueno consist of cultural places, museums, arts, zoo, urban shopping, etc.

Ueno map

This shop is somewhat unique. You pay 1000yen, he will drop all sorts of candy and cookie into the bag! Its random! I remember watching this in travel documentary. But seeing it in life is equally fun!
1000yen candy shop

Met up with a colleague who also stayed in the same hotel for dinner together! Ramen is always the choice! 

The next day, we headed to Meiji Shrine!

Map and simple explanation of Meiji Shrine

Barrels of wine
French wine
Bourgogne Wine collection - Friendship between France and Japan

It must have been a popular family portrait destination. Look at those lovely girls!

It is also a popular wedding ceremony place! We witness like 3 couples during our hour long stay around the shrine.

Wedding couple in their traditional costumes

After Meiji Shrine, we walked around Shinjuku and Harajuku. These are very places with younger crowd. And on the way, I bought oden. Oden is like Singapore's yong tau foo, but it is available in ALL convenience stores and it tastes lovely! 

Since this oden treat, I am hooked on Oden. I had it EVERY night. It's not cheap, its about 300yen for 3 items, SGD$5.00.

Crepes are Harajuku's specialty with its young crowd. How can we not try one? As usual, I had chocolate banana, always my favourite combination. Its about 500yen each, SGD$8.00.

Never go wrong with Choco Banana
Dinner at Shinjuku is a problem. Not that it is lack of restaurants, there is TOO MANY restaurants to choose from. Sadly, the one we chose didn't taste very well. 

I had my Oden again, anyway. :) 

Next day, rise and shine, we had to Tsukiji market! It was a walk from the metro station, but nothing difficult with the comprehensive road signs. Check out the logo at the road sign! You can't get lost even if you can't understand english, japanese or chinese!

Tsukiji market is famous in Tokyo for its fresh seafood. Its a must visit, though I may or not may go back. It isn't cheap. These are the 3 very popular stores for satisfying the taste bud. 

It took the 4 of us very long to decide if we want to queue. After struggling, we decide that we should at least try. Here we go!
I want this!!

Really fresh!

Best I ever had. 
It cost me 2500yen, about SGD$50 for these. But it is the best I ever had.

After that, we tried to figure out how to we get close to catch glimpse of Mount Fuji without going all the way to Hakone. We randomly checked with train station managers, and we got suggestion to go to Lake Kawaguchiko.

We first have to travel to Shinjuku station where we take a train to Otsuki.

At Otsuki station, take the train location at the next station (get off the station and walk like 2 mins). We reached the railroad that is supposed to bring us nearest to Mt Fuji.

Road map of stations to Lake Kawaguchiku

Very cute train

Lake Kawaguchiku - 河口湖

From the cable car
We took normal trains, change trains and trains and ended up in a small town. Walked a little following the road signs to Lake Kawaguchiku. From there, there is a cable car to bring you up, and take a peek at Mt Fuji (if the clouds do not crowd around it, which unfortunately happens during the trip).

Breathtaking view from the top

A flyer on the cable ride. This is how it should look like. :) 

Mt Fuji is supposed to be at my back! But the clouds.... sigh....

 We stayed for a while, and left after the cold was too much and we need to catch a train back.

Good bye Lake Kawaguchiko!

Our last full day in Tokyo is spent in Disneyland.

Disney is self explanatory. So just short fireworks here. :)

Last day, we just do our last minute shopping in Ueno.

Japan - a place I'll revisit, anytime. (given enough budget)

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