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Japan - July 2008

a travel blog by lance_q_nguyen

10-days Best of Japan tour.
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Flight to Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

Day 01
06 Jul 2008 - Sydney - Tokyo

Departing Sydney at 10:30am - Flight JL772 (JAL) to Tokyo.
Island Guam as seen from the airplane window.
Arrived ! Narita Airport ... and the waiting airport taxi (not for us).
Staying at International Garden Hotel Narita.

Olivia's Notes -

Day 1 : arrival at Narita airport in the evening
Buffet dinner at Hotel Narita Garden

permalink written by  lance_q_nguyen on July 6, 2008 from Tokyo, Japan
from the travel blog: Japan - July 2008
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Nikko National Park

Nikko, Japan

Day 02
07 Jul 2008

Travelling to Nikko National Park

Togu Shrine & Temple

Nikko National Park & Kegon Falls & Lake Chuzenjiko

Tokyo Night View

Olivia's Notes:

Day 2 : Leaving Narita area, headed to Nikko National Park where
is located at Tochigi prefecture. We had lunch first before
we started our walking tour to visit Nikko Toshogu Shrine temple.
It's Japan most lavishly decorated shrine complex and mausoleum
of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate.
Nikko has been a Center of Shinto and Buddhist Mountain worship
for many centuries. Nikko National park continues to offer scenic
Mountainous landscapes, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs.
Finished the walking tour, we moved up to the Mountain side
to visit the Lake Chuzenjiko, which is a Volcano lake. You could
play ice-skating during winter time on the surface of the
Lake Chuzenjiko. Then we continued to visit the Kegonwaterfall.

- Dinner at "Wako" Japanese restaurant which served "tonkutsu",
deep fired pork cutlet, Chicken and prawn with miso soup.
Almost everyone enjoyed shopping at 100yen shop. Hotel Tobu at Tokyo

permalink written by  lance_q_nguyen on July 7, 2008 from Nikko, Japan
from the travel blog: Japan - July 2008
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Exploring Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

Day 03
08 Jul 2008
Asakusa Temple - Shops and Stalls - Edo Museum
Ginza - Imperial Palace - Shinjuku - Tokyo

Olivia's Notes -

Day 3 : Asakusa sensoji temple, (Kanno temple) which is the oldest temple
in Tokyo. In front of the temple, there is a shopping street named
"nakamise dori". U could find traditional handicrafts, fake
samurai sword, cotton kimono, traditional "sembei",
rice cracker and good luck charms, etc.
- Edo museum, it display the Edo period, olden time in Japan and
the Meiji period, modernization of Japan.
Passed thru' the "nihonbashi", japanese bridge, we could see a lot
of replica display at the museum. Such as the samurai houses
model and things were used in the Edo period (1603-1867).

- lunch at Ginza area, local japanese restaurant "kusiage cusine"
- Ginza, Tokyo brand name shopping area, same as NewYork
5th avenue. Toys Park, also named toys museum which is a 7 floor
stores located at the main street, Ginza. U could find all kinds
of toys right there.

- Some of our members used their free time followed me to visit
Panasonic show room at Ginza. The place U could experienced
the home theatre, latest model of electrical appliance and the
massage chair.

- Imperial palace, home of imperial family. It opens for public on
Dec23 and Jan02.
We took pictures in front of the double layer bridge which
is the offical entrance gate for the royal family.
- Shinjuku area, it houses a lot of department stores,
underground shopping malls, entertainments area at "Kabukicho", (night-life district), not only men could drink and chat with pub-girl.
also places for women to drink with handsome guy.

- shabu shabu buffet dinner at "Kabukicho" (beef hot pot)
Hotel Tobu at Tokyo

permalink written by  lance_q_nguyen on July 8, 2008 from Tokyo, Japan
from the travel blog: Japan - July 2008
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Travel to Hakone

Hakone, Japan

Day 04
09 Jul 2008
Travel to Hakone, Lake Ashi, Fuji Visitor Center,

Owakutani Volcano Hot Spring, Hakone Peace Park, Jiragonno Fuji No Yakata

Olivia's Notes -

Day 4 :Leaving city headed to countryside.
Hakone National Park
- take the cruise across the Lake Ashino-ko.
From the pier, we could see the "sekisho, Edo checkpoint" in
the Edo period for the security reason in order to control people
bring in weapons and bring out women.
- lunch at lakeshore, "Kohansho" japanese restaurant
It seemed the meal to be prepared by your old grandmom,
after that, some of U tried the "wasabi" ice cream.
Did U feel interesting?
- Owakudani, hot spring valley, it contains sulphur minerals.
Don't U remember the "kurotamako", the longevity black eggs.
According to the Japanese said, eat 1 black egg, U will get 7 years
longer life.
- Peace Garden, (heiwa koen), where is in front of the Mt. Fuji,
and it is Nichirin sect, branch of Buddha religion. White pagoda
which houses a piece of Shakamuri Buddha's bone.
Its a gift from India. Here also is a memorial garden for the
people died during WWII.
- Mt.Fuji area, Yamanashi prefecture which is famous for
white crystal and kingdom of fruits.
Visited the Crystal factory before we arrived hotel.
- buffet dinner at hotel and enjoyed the hot spring spa
before or after dinner.

Kawaguchiko Giragon hot spring Hotel

permalink written by  lance_q_nguyen on July 9, 2008 from Hakone, Japan
from the travel blog: Japan - July 2008
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Mt Fuji - Green Tea - Bullet Train

Shizuoka, Japan

Day 05
10 Jul 2008
Trip to Mt Fuji - 5th Station (Shizuoka)

Green Tea Farm

Bullet Train Hamamatsu to Toyohashi

Olivia's Notes -

Day 5: Visited Mt.Fuji visitor centre to know more about how
Mt. Fuji developed so beauty and streches between Yamanashi
and Shizuoka prefecture.
- Climbed up to 5th station of Mt. Fuji, at 2305m by coach.
- 3776m in height, it opens only beginning of July to end of August
for people to climb up from 5th station to the top.
- lunch at "Fukuroi" restaurant where is famous for green tea farm in
Shizuoka prefecture.
- after lunch, we visit the green tea farm
- took the bullet train, "shinkansen" from station "Hamamatsu"
to "Toyohashi" and our bus driver was driven by himself all the way
to hotel Nikko in Toyohashi city.
- took the hotel shuttle bus from station "Toyohasthi" to hotel,
Before we had dinner, everybody was rushed to make shopping
where's next to the hotel.
- enjoyed buffet dinner at Nikko Hotel

Nikko Hotel at Toyohashi

permalink written by  lance_q_nguyen on July 10, 2008 from Shizuoka, Japan
from the travel blog: Japan - July 2008
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Kyoto - Gion

Kyoto, Japan

Day 06
11 Jul 2008
Toyohashi - Kyoto

Kimono show - Nishinjin showroom
Heian Jingu Shrine, Golden Pavillion
Gion Corner

Kyoto Holiday Inn Hotel

Olivia's Notes -

Day 6: Leaving Toyohashi city to Kyoto
- lunch at Nishinjin Kimono show room, restaurant "onomiyasu",
enjoyed the kimono show before lunch.
- "Kinkakuji" temple, the Golden Pavilion is one of Japan's best
known sights. The original building was constructed in 1397
as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.
His son converted it into a temple after he passed away.
It was burned down in 1950 and reconstructed in 1955.
- Heian Shrine which was commemorated the 1100th anniversary
of foundation of the Heian capital. The majestic Vermillion
"tori" gate straddles the street and indicates you are nearing
the shrine.
- dinner at hotel Kyoto Holiday Inn

Hotel Holiday Inn at Kyoto

permalink written by  lance_q_nguyen on July 11, 2008 from Kyoto, Japan
from the travel blog: Japan - July 2008
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Osaka, Japan

Day 07
12 Jul 2008
Visit Kiyomizu Temple, which houses Goddess of Mercy Statue.
After this visit, proceed to Nara by coach.
Visit the Deer Park and Todaiji Temple (great Buddha Temple).
Continue to Osaka to visit Osaka Castle.

Olivia's Notes -

Day 7: Kiyomizu temple(clear water temple) it houses goddess of mercy statue
- passed thru' the shopping street and pottery lane to the main gate
of the temple.
- in front of the main temple, there is a verandah which jug out from
the hill slope. It used 139 wooden pillar to support this verandah.
(no nail at all)
- besides the main temple, there's a shrine temple for people to
worship the marriage. Over there, there is a pair of lover stone
for people to check the possibility of their marriage in the year.
- free time to make shoping at the taditonal handicraft street.
On time back to the meeting place, which is opposite to "spiderman"
- lunch at Osaka Castle
Visited the watch tower after lunch.
We could see the whole city view from the watch tower 8th floor.
- Nara Deer Park, about 1200 deers enjoying their living around.
People said that they are the messenger to God.
- Todaiji temple(great buddha temple), one of the world's largest
wooden structure.
About 15m height bronze Buddha, made in 743.
Due to the civil war and fire, the size of main hall was miminize to
two third of the original.
- Osaka city, the most popular area for shopping, entertainment
and eating in "Shinsaibashi" and "Dotombori"
- barbecue buffet dinner

Hotel Osaka Righa Royal

permalink written by  lance_q_nguyen on July 12, 2008 from Osaka, Japan
from the travel blog: Japan - July 2008
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Kobe - Osaka

Kobe, Japan

Day 08

Driving to Kobe harbour.
Visiting the Japanese Sake Brewery.
Back to Osaka and walking around Shinzaibashi area, also seeing Kobe China Town.
Sunset dinner and a night walk on Osaka streets.

Olivia's Notes -

Day 8: Kobe is The Entrance for foreign country to make trade.
Because of the good quality water and rice grain,
there're over 2000 Sake brewery in KOBE.
- visited one of the famous Japanese Sake museum "Kikumasmune"
- we had wine tasting after watching the video about the process
of making japanese sake. Everyone got a sake cup as a souvenior.
- visited the earthquake memorial park at harbour side.
- We could see the Kobe Tower from the harbour side shopping mall.
- buffet lunch at "monsac" sshopping mall
- Visited China town in KOBE
Usually China town is very dirty but, when U visited the one in Japan,
it must changed your mind, so clean and tidy.
- back to hotel for a break and then we met again to have a
Chinese style hot pot buffet dinner at 33/F.
The place we could enjoyed the sunset while we had dinner together.

Hotel Osaka Righa Royal

permalink written by  lance_q_nguyen on July 12, 2008 from Kobe, Japan
from the travel blog: Japan - July 2008
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Mementos from Japan

Osaka, Japan

The Good, The Best, and The Strangest from Japan

permalink written by  lance_q_nguyen on July 14, 2008 from Osaka, Japan
from the travel blog: Japan - July 2008
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Chiba, Japan

permalink written by  lance_q_nguyen on July 14, 2008 from Chiba, Japan
from the travel blog: Japan - July 2008
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