So yeah, I've been back from Japan for almost a month and it sucks being back. I'm home sick and I miss it over there, but what are you going to do? I know I've been meaning to do this blog for quite sometime, it's just that I've been waiting on some pictures that my sister had and took forever getting to me. Anyways, here it is so enjoy :wink:
I get to Japan and immediately it almost seemed like I knew what I was doing or needed to do and that was to get to my hostel in Asakusa which is a district of Tokyo. I get on the subway from the airport and immediately I notice on how clean the entire place is. There's no trash anywhere or graffiti, it's crazy!
Look at that, you could eat off the floors! One of the funniest things I saw and is a testiment of how safe it is in Japan, I saw this little 6 year old girl riding the subway by herself! This little girl already knows the entire journey and I'm standing there thinking to myself "damn, this girl makes me look like an idiot for not knowing my way around here!" Hurt ego aside I kept riding the rails since it's about 40 minutes from the airport to Asakusa. People come and go on their daily routines and of course I'm not even in Japan for an hour when I see some school girls :lol:
It was a glorious thing to behold and I knew there would be more sites to see. 40 minutes breeze by and I get to Asakusa. The humid air hits me like a brick to the face and I'm not even outside yet. I have to find my way to the hostel and one thing that really pissed me off was that I couldn't find the elevator! So I end up having to drag up my luggage multiple flights of stairs and i felt like an ass doing it since no one else had a bigass suitcase on wheels. I get topside and I remember the directions I was given on how to get to the hostel. One major landmark I had to look for was the Sensoji Temple and what happens to pop up in my face? None other than the Sensoji Temple!
After walking around looking at my makeshift directions I finally find the place I'm looking for and already I'm sweating like Buford T. Justice while he chases Smokey all over Texas.
I only have a couple days before I leave for Kyoto so I spend this day just doing laundry and taking a shower before leaving the next day to do some serious shopping. I easily fall asleep at around 11pm, obviously I'm impervious to Jet lag!, and I wake up the next day bright and early to begin my day. Since I know I only have a limited time in Tokyo, my first stop is the Electric city or Akihabara. As I step off the train and head outside, I'm greeted by lights galore and the intimidating Yodobashi-Akiba (The monsterous 9 story building of nothing but all the latest electronics Japan has to offer).
It's here where I would blow a good chunk of my hard earned cash on what would be CDs (which one of the cashiers happened to notice my Pulp Fiction Samuel L Jackson BMF wallet and was greatly amsued by it even by shouting out loud "Bad Mother F&*$ker!), books, a digital camera, a couple PSP games and a Watch!
Needless to say this baby cost me a pretty penny, but I enjoy this watch every day, now if only it could do my taxes. Already in debt by almost $800 I decided that was a good time to leave and see the other sites Tokyo has to offer. The sites and sounds and people were all intoxicating. I almost thought I was in a make believe land. After soaking up the various sites I ended the night on the best Ramen I have ever had in my life :lol:
Using the Japanese I knew, I was expediently served and even impressed the waitress of this small little ramen shop that was literally a block from my Hostel. I would make many trips to this ramen shop throughout my trip as I come back to Tokyo for another week towards the end to where they got to know me very well.
I'm here in Kyoto for about a week and I know there is a ton of stuff do. My hostel here is a quaint little place that happens to be over 300 years old. It was a pain to find and even the taxi driver couldn't even find the place until after calling in satellite photos and black hawk aerial support. He only charged me around 800Yen since he couldn't find the place so it wasn't too bad. The place is very homely and pretty small.
This humble abode would be my homebase for the next week where I went to Nara and all over Kyoto. Nara was my first stop since I was meeting a friend there and if you remember from my previous blog it was where I was attacked by the man eating deer there. Kyoto isn't as big as Tokyo and there is only two subway lines so it was easy to travel around. Surprisingly I would spend a good amount of time in Kyoto Station
since there are a ton of shops there to see and lots of good food to eat like...
More Ramen! and some really awesome desserts :P
After filling my biological needs for sustaining life, I saw numerous amounts of temples that litter Japan at just about every corner such as the famous Inari Temple:
Not only did I see some really great sites but I also met some pretty cool people like my friend Yoshi!:
Seems like we both like Op Ivy 8)
And these nice geishas put on a great show:
After Kyoto I spent a day in Miyajima where I stayed at a Ryokan or a ultra traditional Japanese guest house. Even though it was $200 a night, it was still awesome and worth it. Got great food, good service and an awesome experience where I got a taste of old Japan.
"I am honored to receive your waste" ok so this toilet I'm sure wasn't in trad Japan but alot of the other place was :P
While there I did some hiking and even went to the Aquarium.
Hiroshima is right across from Miyajima and of course the first place I visited during my three days there was the Peace Park where the A-Bomb was dropped.
Here you can see the A-Bomb dome where the bomb literally exploded about 600meters above it.
After my tour of the park and the very moving A-Bomb Museum I hit up a baseball game. I just happened to catch a very exciting match up with the Tokyo Giants versus the Hiroshima Carp. Let me tell you, Baseball over there is much more hardcore than here in America. People got wardrums and banners with trumpets blaring and people chanting.
The energy was insane where even I, a non baseball lover, got into the game where I was cheering the Carp to beat those bastard Giants. Never before have I seen a baseball game that serves sushi and ramen, but being the american that I am I went for good old fashioned corndogs.
Needless to say they were the worst corndogs I have ever had but they went down with some tasty Asahi beer from a girl with a portible keg on her back!
Greatest invention ever and my beer was ice cold! Well the Carp lost 8-2 so that was disheartening, but I wouldn't let that spoil my night so I went out Karaoking with some people from my hostel and that was a pretty cool experience.
Afterwards at the karaoke place I met some nice Japanese girls and using my charm and broken Japanese they took me out for drinks :wink:
Needless to say I didn't come back to the hostel until the next morning :wink: to my other Japanese friend
All I can say is that I love Hiroshima!
From Hiroshima on my way back to Tokyo I stopped off in Himeji to see the famous Himeji Castle
Back in Tokyo for about another week I went to some of the other districts like Roppongi where I saw Die Hard 4.0 for 1800 yen. (Don't ever say movies in the states are expensive because they come nowhere near $18.)
Roppongi definitely has some interesting stuff to see like this crazy spider:
Roppongi is even home to...
No I didn't get to see Hideo Kojima, as much as I would have liked to, but it was still awesome to see the building where so many of my favorite games, like Metal Gear Solid, are made :P
Is home to none other than the Sony Building
Has a crap load of shopping to do and is filled with tens of thousands of people at once
Is where I spent the last three days of my trip with one my family's closest friend and her family. It's just north of Tokyo and about 40 minutes away so it was a nice train ride to the countryside.
Well that in a very brief blog was my trip to Japan. I have like over 900 pictures but I'm sure you didn't want to see them all, unless you're a apart of the SKS and have access to our own photogallery where you can see all the pictures from this awesome trip. I still miss Japan very much, but it looks like I'll be moving over there by this April for more school :P I can't wait because this was definitely a country that has all the greatest things I love in the world all located in one area. Hope you enjoyed this blog because it was a pain to write!