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Japan 2020 - The Idiot Returns

love_the_life

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Joined
Dec 21, 2012
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Did you try Nama chocolate (by Royce) - they come from Hokkaido but are available in airports as well and not sure if in stores in the rest of Japan as I have never looked. Unfortunately the store they had in SA is no more though I think Chatswood is still open. They are soooo yummy.
 

Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
875
Did you try Nama chocolate (by Royce) - they come from Hokkaido but are available in airports as well and not sure if in stores in the rest of Japan as I have never looked. Unfortunately the store they had in SA is no more though I think Chatswood is still open. They are soooo yummy.
Yep, brought some boxes home. Good way to get rid of some Yen at the airport.
 

Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
875
Old mate happy to have his photo taken with his cats. Cat at the front a lot fatter than it looks in the photo
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To the end of the path and decided to keep walking to Kiyomizu-dera
Route takes you past Kyoto Zoo

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Lake behind Lake Biwa Canal Museum, with zoo grounds in the background
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Maps at this stage took me through some backstreets and was getting a little sceptical, however soon threw me out onto a main street and able to pick up a pizza bun from a konbini.
Turned on to a side road and eventually came to the Sanmon of Chion-in
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And a delicious little snack

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Continued on and through Muruyama Park
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Walked past the below and something triggered that I had been here 4 years ago, so gave me my bearings as I knew I was quite close to Gion
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Ladies okayed me to take their photo

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Narrow streets leading up to the entrance of Kiyomizu-dera. Along these streets quickly passed an Australian family who we should say were completely unaware of their surroundings
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Must...Fly!

Established Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
3,835
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Really enjoying this TR, well done. I'm taking a first time (and also solo) trip to Japan in April, so can see some of myself reflected here. Equally not a big fan of seafood, so that too!
 

Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
875
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Otawa Falls from the stage of the main hall
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Walked down the steps to the falls to wait my turn and take my drink. Not many people there, however majority of those that were were simply there for the photo opportunity, wouldn't actually drink, just have a photo of them pretending to. All very orderly, no one else on the stage when anyone went up there. Even for myself, everyone respectufully waited until i was done until they stepped up and took their turn.
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Walked back up the steps and continued my walk.

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Main hall unfortunately still under repair, guess I'll just have to come back once it's done
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Koyasu Pagoda, where the trail takes you to and then a ramp down to Otawa Falls. So, no need for to have walked down then back up the steps previously
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Walked down the hill to the subway station, couple of stops, change of trains then picked up my bag and a quick trip to Shin-Osaka. Change to the Midosuji line and I was on my way. Until I realised I was going the wrong way. no dramas, was only a couple of stops till the end of the line, stayed on as the train simply went back the other way. Was a little concerned though as it was nearing 5.00pm and rush hour.
Wasn't too bad, off at Namba and searched the backstreets for my hotel.
Business Inn Sennichimae. I'm pretty easy with hotels as long as they're clean and safe, as this one was, however this may have been a little too basic even for me, mainly due to the thin walls. Friendly staff, great location, about $90 a night, but wouldn't stay here again

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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
875
Kushikatsu Daruma restaurant a couple of blocks from the hotel
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Went the 12 piece set, plus a beef tongue and a lotus root. Cabbage provided if you wanted to put more sauce on - no double dipping! Only thing I just couldn't stomach was a deep fried frankfurt
Side dish is a Doteyaki, beef tendons with daikon radish. Very nice until a mouthful of 100% fat.

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A long walk very much in order after that
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Ended up in America-mura and reliving of my youth in a pinball parlour

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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
875
Hotel provides breakfast, however only available from 7.00am and I was out and about by then.

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I was off to Kyoto for some unfinished business from 4 years ago when I was unable to get to the top of Fushimi Inari.
Packed on the Nara Line train like sardines, however after the first stop from Kyoto Station was able to breath again as 80% of the school student passengers got off.
Only 1 stop more until the Inari Station, walk across the road to the entrance to the shrine

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The start of the trail
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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
875
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Fortunately didn't come across any monkeys
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About where I got to 4 years previously
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At the 'crossroads', get some views over Kyoto. Also have a choice to make which route you take to the summit, left or right. I went left. My advice to anyone deciding to walk to the summit - go right.
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Danger signs - you start to walk downhill
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Eventually you start to head upwards
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And up
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And up
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Nearly there
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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Joined
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Messages
875
And the reward at the top of the mountain

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And the view from the summit
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One of those stupid things i just had to do. Worth the effort? Not at all, but now it's done.

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And down I went

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Couple of stops on the train to Gion, short walk to Nishiki market and a quick wagyu sushi

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At this stage made the decision to make a visit to Himeji. On the shinkansen to Shin-Osaka would have 2 minutes to make the transfer, or would be waiting another 45 minutes. Able to make it with about 5 seconds to spare and on to a Helly Kitty themed train.
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About 30 minuted from Osaka to Himeji. A quick snack at the station 711, egg salad sandwich. Starting to get a bit addicted by this stage. Had also heard good things about the 711 maple pancake, decided to give it a crack. Bad move, another addiction.
Out of the station and Himeji Castle at the end of the wide boulevard

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Leisurely 10 minute or so stroll

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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
875
Zoo sits in the grounds

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I didn't go into the castle complex itself, happy enough to get some shots from afar. Some of which I'll bore you with now.

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Strolled back to the train station, stopped for a coffee along the way. Waiting for the train, shinkansen not stopping at Himeji came through, amazing power and wind rush. Tried to get a photo - result below
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Bit of a rest back at the hotel, dinner at a nearby okonomiyaki restaurant
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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
875
Jumped on a train and a couple of stops to Tsutenkaku Tower
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Plenty of Billikens around
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Went up to the observatory, no decent photos from there
Lift doors

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Bit of a display of the development of Glico Man and also of Pocky Sticks
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Also a diorama of Luna Park and the original Tsutenkaku Tower
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Another lift door
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Decided to walk back to the hotel rather than take the train. Stumbled upon some sort of street festival along the way. Plenty of stalls selling food, grabbed a photo in between the hordes

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Noel Mugavin

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Joined
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Messages
875
After getting home I did my research, the stalls and the festival were part of Toka Ebisu and I happened to stumble upon Imamiya Ebisu Jinja Shrine, where people were praying to Ebisu - the god of good fortune.
I had seen many people carrying bamboo grass around during the day and this was the reason
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Thought went through my mind to go with the crowd and enter the shrine, but my aversion to crowds swayed me against it.
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Kept on walking, little readjustment needed as I had strayed off course, but got there in the end

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Unfortunate placement of the straw

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After my long day of walking thought I deserved a convenience store dessert

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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
875
Up early again, back to Kyoto and Arashiyama.
A nearly deserted bamboo grove
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Very quiet main drag. Breakfast at a Family Mart, tried their maple pancakes, not a patch on the 711 version.

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Togetsukyo Bridge
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Over the bridge
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Where I was headed, bit of a walk uphill, physically unable to do it on my previous visit
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A few information boards here and there along the walk
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Views of Kyoto from the park
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Monkeys pretty much wander wherever. You go inside to feed the monkeys, lady at the entrance there to stop the monkeys going inside.

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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
875
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Didn't stay too long, not the hugest fan of monkeys and always in the back of the mind that one's going to take a dislike to you and have a crack

Back to Kyoto Station and to Osaka
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Meandered through Kuromon market

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Lunch at Oretachi No Curry Ya. Love Japanese curry and my first crack at it this trip. Order at the ticket booth, ended costing quite a bit more than expected, so I obviously messed up. No biggie.
When serving, the owner/cook stopped half way and asked me if I wanted medium size. I replied yes, and he showed me my tickets and said mistake. I replied 'daijobou'. Anyway he seemed to take a huge amount of rice he had on my plate and scraped it back in the rice pot and served me what you see below. As i'm eating, he grabbed my tickets, walked around to the ordering machine, then came back and gave me back 700 yen.
Happy with that, great curry as well
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Had to give these a go - very, very nice

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Bit of a rest at the hotel, before out and about again for dinner
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