Japan Trip #10 - Chasing snow and onsen during zombie apocalypse | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Japan Trip #10 - Chasing snow and onsen during zombie apocalypse

rbjhan

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
602
Okay I'm exaggerating a bit, but really people wearing masks everywhere was...hmm...certainly something I've never seen before :eek:
Booked the trip back in June 19, although the virus news was unsettling, I decided not to let it ruin my holiday!

MEL-TPE, CI.
TPE-NRT, JAL
Nagano, Myoko Kogen, Matsumoto, Fukuji onsen, Gero, Kyoto, Osaka

KIX-TPE, JAL
3 nights in Taipei

TPE-SIN-MEL, SQ.
Route.JPG
 

rbjhan

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
602
Last year I visited Taipei for the first time and really liked the city, so decided to do a stopover again. Plus award availability on CI is a lot easier to find than QF or JAL! :p

Both JAL & CI use Marhaba lounge in MEL, I'm very familiar with this one so skipping pictures here...
First thing I noticed is when getting close to the boarding gate, everybody you can see was wearing face masks (later I realised this is the new normal in Taiwan).

The cabin is gorgeous!
P2094769.JPG

Perhaps the best Super Diamond out there? Loved the lamp!
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Face mask is going to be a keyword in this TR...
P2094770.JPG

I like the cute little bag.
IMG_20200209_221545.jpg

Chinese breakfast in the morning.
IMG_20200210_054000.jpg
For 65K QFF, that is really good value (75K now).
 

rbjhan

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
602
Since the TPE-NRT leg was booked on JAL with Avios, I had to clear immigration and re-check in at TPE.
Tight connection is out of the question. As it turned out however, I actually left myself with too much of a buffer 🤣

Landed just a bit before 5am, and the JAL check in counter won't open till 6.45o_O
So that person you saw wondering aimlessly in the departure area, that was me...Yeah, I am never doing this again!

JAL departs from T2, but I heard the Sakura lounge was nothing special. So made the long walk to T1 Cathay lounge.
Literally no one was there!
P2104775.JPG
nothing, zero, zilch...
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This is a beautiful lounge, very much a mini Pier. I can't help but wonder how long it will remain open though...

To keep them employed, I ordered a beef noodle soup and some dumplings;)
IMG_20200210_070957.jpg
Unfortunately no shower here ;((
So made my way back to T2 Plaza Premium. This one was close to max capacity so no pictures.
 
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rbjhan

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
602
First thing I decided after the flights were booked was that I wanted to go back to Akakura Kanko Hotel.
JL802 lands at 2pm, which would be too much of a rush, plus you need to take your time with a hotel like that! So I settled for Nagano for the first night.
Metropolitan is directly connected to the station of course, but one of my favourite business hotel chains - Dormy Inn has one not far away. Easy decision really.

As promised, lots of trains. ;)
Skyliner to Ueno.
IMG_20200210_144435.jpg

Then quickly onto an Asama Shinkansen to Nagano.
IMG_20200210_161844 (2).jpg

I was the only passenger in Gran Class.
P2104783.JPG

And you really can't do Shinkansen without Ekiben!
IMG_20200210_160342.jpg
 

rbjhan

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
602
Dinner at Meijitei inside the Midori department store connected to JR station.
Miso grilled gyutan 😍
IMG_20200210_184819.jpg

Most stores close at 8pm. So I went to DonQuijote for some late night shopping...no masks available though!
It was snowing when I came out!!! Ooooooh this is going to be a great trip.
IMG_20200210_195830_MP.jpg

--------------------------------------------------------
Re face mask.
Mother was quite anxious about me going to Japan. So I promised to wear mask whenever necessary, ie when using public transport or in big cities. Problem is that by then there was none to be found in Melbourne:(
Luckily I remember JAL put masks in their amenity kits, so dug 3 out. Also got two surgical masks from my GP.
Armed with five I went!

Even in Nagano the masks were all sold out.
IMG_20200211_112355.jpg

Luckily only maybe 15-20% on the street were wearing masks, so I kept the remaining 4 for later.😜
 
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rbjhan

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
602
Zenkoji 善光寺, is one of the most important temples in Japan.
Tip: local buses do not take Suica/Icoca, unless you want to get a Nagano only IC card, it's cash only.
Takes about 10 mins from JR Nanago Station to Zenkoji.

I have no idea what this is but it's pretty!
P2114789.JPG

Niomon was completed covered up for building works.
This is Sanmon
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The Main Hall of Zenkoji.
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Snow just makes everything look better.
P2114800.JPG

Last Feb everywhere I went was like 15C :mad:
Certainly a much better start this time!
 

rbjhan

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
602
Got back to JR Nagano Station around lunch time, obviously must try soba...
IMG_20200211_115622.jpg

And studied how the expert works;)
IMG_20200211_121735.jpg

Time to head towards Akakura!!
850 Yen and 45 mins later, I got off at Myoko Kogen station.

Side note: there were a family of 4 Aussies on the train to Myoko. Talking loudly and making phone calls...:eek:
Not sure if they knew that was unacceptable behaviour in Japan...
 

rbjhan

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
602
Same as last year I booked the 部屋タイプ指定なし plan, got a western style twin room facing Lake Nojiri.
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The view is much better than the ones facing Mt Myoko!
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Aqua Terrace was completely covered in snow and blocked off when I arrived. Later in the evening it opened again.
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More like ice terrace now
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Ahhh so happy to be back here!
 

Justinf

Established Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
1,867
Got back to JR Nagano Station around lunch time, obviously must try soba...
View attachment 207223

And studied how the expert works;)
View attachment 207224

Time to head towards Akakura!!
850 Yen and 45 mins later, I got off at Myoko Kogen station.

Side note: there were a family of 4 Aussies on the train to Myoko. Talking loudly and making phone calls...:eek:
Not sure if they knew that was unacceptable behaviour in Japan...
Jeez that soba looks amazing.
 

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