Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The last day in tokyo

So today we are here for our last day! It is so sad and frustrating but we are still glad to go home at the same time.

Today was all about shopping so today I wont be posting anything besides this!

Thanks for following my trip this time again!
I am truly humbled and grateful!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Takaoka and back to Tokyo!

So as said I went to Takaoka which lies in Toyama prefecture near Kanazawa. I went there to meet my Japanese "mother".
   We went together with my girlfriend and my mom was so happy to see us as were we to see her!
She was still the same super energetic gal she always has been and that I remembered. Unfortunately she had still a lot of work to do and we only had one night there so we stayed at the house to wait for her and in the evening we went to a great Spanish restaurant where they served some AMAZING tapas and food. We ordered and ate a lot!
   Well mom had work in the morning and was coming back first at 2 p.m. so we slept until a bit before twelve.

After a quick shower I popped into the local supermarket to get some ingredients to make cinnamon rolls (Finnish style). We barely had made them ready when we already had to leave to the train station.
We said our farewells and left towards Tokyo.
There we met up with my girlfriends sister and went to Akihabara to browse the stores for anything interesting. I bought some retro games for my brother.

After a while we started to get hungry and we wanted to go eat some BBQ since it would be our last chance for it now here in Japan!
We searched and searched and when we started to be super hungry we quickly returned to our Hostel and checked the internet for answers to our troubles and found a good place just 5 min.'s away so we we dashed there!

It must not be left unsaid: I so F*cking LOVE IT ! We ordered, grilled and munched our stomach full!

Tomorrow will be our last full day here and we have to be very smart in using it to its full capacity!

Cheers! And as always, thanks for reading!

Monday, April 6, 2015

past passing days here in Japan

So I have been a bit busy here in Japan during the evenings so I have not had time to write.

Well about the hanami on the 4th... We arrived around three o'clock in Toyko that day so we made our preparations as quick as we could and I was really looking forwards to it.
When we made it there it was already near 6 o'clock!!!!!!! Well we saw people leaving the park and the event had clearly ended and I got super depressed thinking I had missed my chance to meet a few youtubers I wanted to meet.

Well we walked back to the station and I connected to the internet to check the event page. Thank God that there was a after party planned at the Hub, a british style pub chain here in Japan.
We made our way there and lo and behold there they were! The people I had been longing to see where there. I got there and said my greetings and we chatted a while and it felt very absurd yet awesome.
   The evening went by nicely whilst socializing and drinking.

The next day we woke up early for no real reason. It was the day we were to meet a couple I had talked with on Couchsurfing, to go do an Izakaya tour.
We were to meet at the Kaminarimon police box at three so we had plenty of time to go and eat breakfast and to eat lunch and then we also circled around Ueno for a while to kill the time.

After that we met up with this REALLY NICE couple. They were so super friendly and fun!
They had even gone so far as to meet us at a location that was most convenient for us and even done some beforehand research of the places!
   The first place we went too was a small one where we had to stand, but for us it is nothing wrong with that. We drank and had a really nice chat with our host and the patrons at the bar.

From there we went to a nice Izakaya which was owned by a husband and wife team :)
The husband was working as the chef and the wife was the server etc. They were quite old but it only gave the place a even better and homelier atmosphere!

From there we went to a standing bar where we had just a few drinks and I tried for the first time in my life something that was called a Wine highball. I have tasted a whisky highball before but this was surprisingly good. Highball is a drink where you mix the alcohol base with soda water and pour it on ice.

From there we went to our last place which was underground so you could really say it was a underground bar hahaha :) But it was fun and above all not so expensive. Actually none of the places were expensive.
We had so much fun that night and we are so grateful to our host!

Today we are going to Takaoka to meet my Japanese mother!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Hiroshima and Miyajima

So I was a bit lazy yesterday and didn't write any blog but today will be about the only two days we had in Hiroshima.
Yesterday we after arriving and checking in to our J-hoppers hostel we didn't waste any time and went straight to the Atomic bomb dome, the peace park and the memorial museum.
The weather was really lovely and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom over here.
   I didn't know that the dome and museum was undergoing some restorations so it was a bit sad that we only got see the main exhibition at the museum. But as always it was really impressive and it always leaves you silent afterwards.

From there we walked the shopping district for quite a while and finally made our way to my favorite place: Okonomimura. There we went to eat Okonomiyaki "pancakes". The smell was mouthwatering and it was very entertaining to watch it being prepared in front of you. We struck up a conversation with some of the patrons of the shop and had a good time alongside the delicious meal.

From there we walked to the peace park to have a couple of drinks and to watch the sakuras since they were just SO beautiful!

Today we woke to a rainy weather which was a bit depressing since we only had two days in Hiroshima and today we were going to Miyajima. Well the weather may not have been the most optimal, but the scenery was just as great. The only thing that really bothered was just the wetness and the puddles on the ground. We walked to the Itsukushima shrine  and patted some deer on the way.
They were totally soaked so it was a bit like patting a wet dog, not so pleasant though cute.

The surrounding nature was very beautiful and the cherry trees against a mountainy background was really something to see. The mountains were clad in clouds and looked just so amazing. It is sad that we in Finland don't have so many mountains.

After we started to get wet we started to leave back to the hostel since we were not in the mood to do anything else this day anymore. Tomorrow we will go to Tokyo and to the Tokyo Youtube Hanami!
Looking forward to that!


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Arashiyama and Fushimi

Today we took our sweet time to leave since we had a lot of laundry to wash. We used the coin operated washing machine here at our hostel. It's so nice that you can wash your clothes here so you don't have to bring a ton of clothes with you or optionally buy them here. After washing we went and ate before taking the next train towards the Saga-Arashiyama station and from there we walked to the Tenryu-ji temple to see the temple buildings and gardens.
   I've always loved that place because of it garden and surrounding mountain.
The Cherry trees were amazing and I was so sad that my battery died, AGAIN, before I had time to take any good pictures. Luckily my girlfriend has her camera!
We walked around and moved next to the entrance to the Bamboo groove just near by the temple.  It was a long path with tall bamboo trees on each side. It was really pleasant to walk along it even tough there were quite a lot of people there.
   As we were ready with our pleasant stroll, we returned to the train station and went back to the central railway station and ate some curry udon that, unnecessary to say, was delicious.

We continued by train from there to Fushimi and from there on we walked to the Fushimi Inari Taisha. It is famous for its many Torii gates lining up to the mountain and around it.
We got to enjoy it during the evening. It was so mystical and beautiful when it was lit up!
We walked up, around and down the mountain and we were beat when we returned back to the hostel. *phew it was a fun climb but the only sad part was that my girlfriend tripped and broke a lens on her camera. But we got many good photos!
If you ever have the chance, do visit it during the dark hours as well, since it's open 24h this is possible. I highly recommend!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Biking in Kyoto

Today we went Biking in Kyoto. We rented bikes from our hostel and made our way towards Nijo castle. It was really nice now during the cherry blossom season. The gardens were very nice and the girls also liked them.
We walked around the main building and then the garden. I liked that they had some stalls, selling various thing, at the temple grounds. I especially liked that I got to have some sake and plumb wine tastings at one of the stalls. It was good and I ended up buying one bottle of Umeshu or plumb wine.

From there we biked to Kinkakuji to see the famous golden pavilion. It just is always a pleasure to see. I really liked the scenery now during the sakura season. I am so glad we came during this season.
We walked around and enjoyed fully the scenery. 

After that we made our way towards the Silver pavilion or Ginkakuji, The temple had already closed so we just walked down the philosophers path with our bikes, towards the Nanzen-ji temple. 
The cherry trees were blooming and everything was a wonderful green color around us, just to serene and peaceful, even though there were a lot of people. 

At Nanzenji we just took some pictures and walked around before returning back to our hostel.
Tonight we were a bit tired so that's why my post is so short as well., 
So until next time!


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Journeyman's day in Kyoto with friends

Today after waking and making ourselves ready we went to the coffeekan near the station to have breakfast. Today we were going to sight-see with my friend whom I met when I was travelling Nagoya the last time I was in Japan. I met him trough Couch surfing. Back then he showed me around Nagoya but this time he came here, to Kyoto, with his coworker from India.
   First we went to Sanjuusangendo temple to see the hall with the 1001 Buddha statues in it. The weather was a bit rainy but we didn't mind since we were in a company. If I had been alone it would have probably been a bit worse.
   We strolled through the yard first which I must say, is much more beautiful now in spring than it was during summer. Though summertime is not so bad at all.
   After seeing the breathtaking statues and awed at the disciplined detailing n the statues, we left to have lunch. We ate curry together at CoCoIchibaya before walking to the station. Everyone got so tired after eating, so after we got to the bus to go to the next location, we were all sleeping inside the buss.
   Next up was the Toji-in temple where the founder of the Ashikaga bakufu, Ashikaga Takauji and the next Ashikaga shoguns after him, were buried there.
   It had a really nice Japanese garden and a small rock garden. The entrance was 500 yen but well worth it thanks to the garden.
   From there it was just a 8 minute walk to the more famous Ryoan-ji temple. The temple is known for its magnificent rock gardens and it had a real nice garden surrounding the main building. A lot of sakura trees and other beautiful plants. To bad that my battery died on my phone so I had nothing to take photos with. But I got to take my video footage  with my GoPro at least.
   We walked and talked and had a good time and after leaving Ryoan-ji we went together to the shopping streets near kawaramachi. There we strolled around and gazed with wonder at the multitude and diversity of products that were sold there. Truly something very Japanese could be observed over there.

After that came goodbyes. We parted there with my friend and continued then with Wilhelmina and Hilda towards our hostel. We went on our way to the Kyoto Navi shopping mall to shop and from there we went to a near by Japanese restaurant to eat Shabu-Shabu. It is a food where you have a pot with boiling stock in it and you put vegetables there and you have thinly sliced cuts of meat that you quickly dip in the boiling soup with your sticks, and swirl it around until cooked. the meat is then dipped in sauce or into a raw egg and eaten with rice. It was sooooooooooooooooooooo good!!
Last up was a quick food shopping at the super and then back to our hostel.
Tomorrow well rent bikes and go to new places in Kyoto.