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Japan

Kobe
We got up early and caught the shuttle bus to the airport. Web flew to Osaka. We flew with Jin Air and it only took an hour. We then caught a shuttle bus to the ferry port and the ferry to Kobe airport, where we caught a train to central Kobe. We had chicken curry for lunch. Our room was small, but large by Japanese standards and the toilet had a remote control. We were so tired that we went to bed before 8 o'clock.
The breakfast was amazing and had pastries and lots of different fruit. We walked around Kobe and visited Ikuta shrine which dates back to AD201. We also saw a wedding taking place. We went to the Maritine Museum where we learnt about container ports. There was an earthquake in 1995 which destroyed most of Kobe, and Kobe's port was the first container port in the world. Next we went to Kawasaki Good Times World where I flew an airplane, drove a motorbike, and drove the world's first bullet train, and Kawasaki makes trains, motorbikes, power plants, planes and robots. We had apple, cinnamon and ice cream crepe.
We went to Nunobiki falls where we walked over 4 hours and covered over 8 kilometres. We also had an amazing view of the city from the top of the falls. We had lunch at a traditional Japanese restaurant where you sit around a semi-circular counter on stools. We had delicious curry with fish, rice and jellys. We had a strawberry crepe with cream for dinner. We were very pleased to get back to the hotel because we were exhausted.

Video games Japanese style

Video games Japanese style

Eating in Japan made easy, there are often plastic replicas of dishes outside the restaurant

Eating in Japan made easy, there are often plastic replicas of dishes outside the restaurant


Washing hands at Ikuta Shrine, Kobe

Washing hands at Ikuta Shrine, Kobe

Kawasaki Good Times, museum of Kawasaki products and engineering

Kawasaki Good Times, museum of Kawasaki products and engineering

Dining in Yoshinoya (Japanese equivalent of fast food)

Dining in Yoshinoya (Japanese equivalent of fast food)


Driving an advanced metro train, Kawasaki Good Times

Driving an advanced metro train, Kawasaki Good Times

Himeji
We caught a train to Himeji Castle. On the train journey I saw a really gigantic suspension bridge and massive skyscrapers. The castle ws really impressive and was 6 floors high with a big bell at the top. It was a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and they had just finished restoring it after 5 years of working. But I thought it was just too perfect and a pity that they hadn't just left some of the original tiles and walls. The castle had 997 tiny holes called sama which were in different shapes and they were for shooting bow and arrows and guns at the enemy. They also had stone drop holes and samurai hiding places where they would jump out at their enemy. We had really amazing seafood pasta for lunch but we had to eat it outside because the restaurant was really smoky inside. We then went to the Japanese Garden which was beautiful and tranquil, and had lots of massive carp. Mum had a tea ceremony but me and dad stayed outside and talked about Clash Royale tactics, and I fell asleep on the train back to Kobe. We had delicious seafood sushi for dinner.

Plastic replicas of sushi and sashimi, Himeji

Plastic replicas of sushi and sashimi, Himeji

Sama (holes to shoot arrows through) in Himeji Castle walls

Sama (holes to shoot arrows through) in Himeji Castle walls

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle

Getting friendly with the carp, Koko-en Garden

Getting friendly with the carp, Koko-en Garden

Kyoto
We caught an S Rapid train to Kyoto station. We checked into our apartment which had a kitchen, microwave and washing machine and was very modern and was sparklingly clean. We had chicken and vegetable curry in Coco Ichyban for dinner. We visited the Pokemon Centre which had massive statues of pokemon which you could take a picture with and it had an expansive selection of pokemon toys.
It rained all day long and it was the first rain for 9 months other than Chang Rai. We walked to Nanzen-ji which is a Buddhist temple complex which our Lonely Planet guide tells not to miss, although I thought it was just some buildings and was very boring, and even my mum and dad were disappointed. The garden at the temple was very small and just a normal garden plus you had to pay to go in, and we didn't bother paying to go to the 2nd floor of the unimpressive temple gate. We walked back to dry off and had Yakisoba, which is a noodles dish with squid and vegetables, for lunch. We walked down the covered shopping street which had fans and other Japanese souvenirs. We then spent ages in the pokemon centre to decide, and finally I bought a cuddly Pansar.
We bought a bus pass and went on 8 different buses. First we went to Fushimi Inari Shrine which had endless rows of red tori gates. It was so crowded, but the further you got up the mountain, the more the crowd disappeared. We walked through massive bamboo gardens where it was very peaceful. We went to the train station and bought bullet train tickets for the Nozomi, the fastest bullet train. After that we had buffet pizza, which had a delicious dessert pizza which was coconut, pineapple and mango. We went to Sanjusango-do Temple. We were very tired so only mum went in the temple to see the 1000 life size Buddha statues. We next went to Kiyomizu-dera Temple. This temple was very colourful in bright red, and llots of people were dressed in kimonos but we didn't stay very long because we were very tired and I fell asleep on the bus.
We caught the bus to Arashiyama where we went to the monkey forest. The monkeys in the forest were Japanese macaques which were friendly, gentle and cute and we saw lots of baby monkeys because they had just been born in spring. We fed the monkeys apple slices and peanuts off the palm of our hand. We walked to Arishiyama Bamboo Grove but it was very crowded and it wasn't as goos as the bamboo grove yesterday. We caught the bus back to Kyoto. We went in a restaurant where you had to order on a computer. We had pork katsu and cold green tea for lunch. After lunch we went to the Imperial Palace Gardens which were very unimpressive. We just managed to walk back after three jam packed days.
We were quite tired so we had an easy day. We walked to Gion where we saw some Geisha whio paint their faces white. Their shoes are big slabs of woodwhich make quite a noise on the pavement and they wear traditional kimonos. We had Indian which was really nice because we had massive naans and we hadn't had Indian in a long time. We did some shopping and I bought a bullet train pen and my mum and dad bought a traditional Japanese print.

I'm eating the Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki

I'm eating the Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki


At the start of Torii (shrine gates), Fushimi Inari-Taisha

At the start of Torii (shrine gates), Fushimi Inari-Taisha

Among the bamboo, Fushimi Inari-Taisha

Among the bamboo, Fushimi Inari-Taisha

Bamboo grove, Fushimi Inari-Taisha

Bamboo grove, Fushimi Inari-Taisha

Ready to board Nozumi (fastest bullet train in Japan), Kyoto to Tokyo

Ready to board Nozumi (fastest bullet train in Japan), Kyoto to Tokyo

Tokyo
We killed time until 10 o'clock. We then caught a bus to the station and caught the fastest bullet train to Tokyo. The train lent every time we turned a corner and it didn't actually feel very fast although we were going at 300 kilometres an hour. We had fried chicken and hamburger in sweet and sour sauce. We checked in to our hotel which had a bunk bed and was a lot nicer than we'd expected. We walked to Akihabara which is the geek area and was the home of manga and anime (Japanese comics). It is also the Electric Town because it sells lots of electronics. It also has lots of cranes which are almost impossible, but we did get some free gos.
We spent the day exploring different parts of Tokyo on the subway. First we went to Shibuya to see Shibuya Crossing whihc is famous but I've never heard of it. Next we went to KiddyLand which is a 5 storey toy shop. It was a very wierd toy shop with 4 storeys of Japanese stuff which I probably wouldn't want even if it was free. We were going to eat at a Thai restaurant but it was smoking, so we found a chinese restaurant 1 floor down in the same building which was lucky. We had peking duck and sweet and sour pork for lunch. We went to Shinjuku where we went to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Offices observation deck which was 45 storeys high but still seemed a bit tame compared to Taipei 101. Next we went to Ikebukuro where we went to the Mega Pokemon Centre where I bought a massive plushie Hawlucha EX. We saw a Japanese boy band live on stage with all screaming girls in the crowd. By the time we got back we were shattered.
We caught the subway to see sumo wrestlers training. Some of them were really fat and it was also really exciting watching them wrestle. We then went back because we were really shattered because we got up at 6 o'clock to see them. We had delicious prawns in chinese fried rice. We walked in the rain to the Tokyo National Museum where we saw sharp katanas and massive suits of samurai armour. We also made some fans with Japanese caligraphy that we painted with a black marker. The Japanese word that I chose was protection. We alos used a computer which you controlled by moving your hands in the air.
We caught the monorail which weaved between the skyscrapers and the mini statue of liberty to Odeiba. We went to the robot museum where we saw ASIMO the most realistic human robot in the world, and when he first ran out it really looked like a real person running. There was an amazing game where you had to save the world by moving the world towards the future without hitting any obstacles on a massive video screen. We went inside a real space craft which had come back from space and we saw a toilet with vaccuum suction pipes and the food which was tiny and looked disgusting. We also learnt that chimpanezes have photographic memories which means they can do some things better than humans. Next we went to the water museum. We played a game to build earthquake proof pipes. My mum also felt an earthquake in the night, but me and dad slept right through it.
It was out last day in Tokyo and our flight was at midnight. We went to Ueni zoo which was very old and I thought all of the cages weren't big enough for the animals. The giant pandas had a baby 3 days ago so we couldn't see them, but we did see giant panda balloons amove one building because it is very rare. We saw an amazing street entertainer who did really good miming and magic, and it also really funny when I got picked out of the crowd to help him. We were really pleased when we made it on to the plane. Japan is my favourite country and the only one I'd live in. We have 5 days left to shop in Malaysia and have tasty food before I get home.

Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo

Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo

Arashio Sumo Stable morning practice, Tokyo

Arashio Sumo Stable morning practice, Tokyo

Largest Pokemon Centre in the world, Tokyo

Largest Pokemon Centre in the world, Tokyo

Another day, another fantastic lunch set in Japan

Another day, another fantastic lunch set in Japan

Thomas chooses to write 'protection' on his Japanese fan

Thomas chooses to write 'protection' on his Japanese fan

Samurai Armour, Tokyo National Museum

Samurai Armour, Tokyo National Museum

Asimo, robot demonstration, how robots will change the future

Asimo, robot demonstration, how robots will change the future

Street entertainer, Ueno-koen

Street entertainer, Ueno-koen

Posted by edandsuet 17:00

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