Japan/4

5 Dec 2015 – Tokyo

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Sun: interesting late evening stroll thru’ the charming old geisha district here in Kanazawa. Of course most of the buildings are new and did not see a single geisha. With most locations closed and in the dark, difficult to capture pix.

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Checking out the interesting night scene at the Kanazawa station as it seems like it is the main attraction with a huge mall there. PP bought nice leather bag there. Also must be the most well-stocked railway station with brochures, flyers, maps etc for visitors at the info desk!

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Mon: to catch our trains and here is where one monkey heads to Osaka an the other two to Tokyo. Thus ending 2015’s 3Monkees annual get-together. PP & I took off at 0921hrs and arr Tokyo 12.28hrs. Like that trains in Japan are on-time to the exact minute.

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En route to Tokyo by train and our longest single journey for this trip – just app 3hrs.

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PP stayed at the Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa and kindly shared the shower and an extra bed for a short nap…

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Thank you Yoshie for showing us around for the afternoon

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Like the angle and lights of this building as we were crossing the road at Ueno to catch the subway.

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Tue: up dark and early to catch the 0330hrs bus JPY1,030 S$12 and only passenger from Skinagawa Goo (next to Grand Prince) to Tokyo International Airport Haneda.  The holiday decorations and  outdoor observation deck is lovely, especially when it is so peaceful and quiet, being the one person outdoors!

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Feeling blessed and fortunate to view Mt Fuji en route to HKG. Having 3 seats to myself, managed to lay flat to nap on this HK Express flight 3+hrs S$195.

Reflections on Japan:

Would certainly like to return another time. The people there are most civilized, courteous and gracious, places are clean, trains and buses on time; only wish that I could speak some Japanese but that did not stop me from enjoying this trip thoroughly.

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Random weddings caught on my camera – such breath-taking grace and beauty.

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Appreciations to KK, a seasoned Japan-traveler who arranged this wonderful itinerary with a variety of different accommodations to let us experience this adventure. Thank you.

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Foods were beautifully presented and delicious.

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The company and views are in no need for words…

Edited with reflections –

PP – I was most ill prepared for this trip having been very busy at work and not having time to look at the schedule organised most beautifully for us.  Will now read the travel book to catch up on the trip.

Thanks to the itinerary, we were able sample the different Japanese lifestyles and their different cuisines – this could also be known as the culinary tour of Japan – I have eaten my way through the 9 days in Japan.  This is my second trip to Japan the first was back in the early 90’s.  I have observed much less smoking in Japan – yeah!!!!  The people are even taller than before.  But they are all just as polite as before. 

Having lived overseas most of my life I am not as delicate in my movements. As most of their dwellings are smaller than what I am used to, I feel like a wrecking ball inside the house.  I only took out one paper screen but managed to repair the screen. 

The toilets are amazingly high tech.  It senses your presence and turns on the exhaust fan, keeps your bottoms warmed with warm and on occasion hot seat.  Where the flush is located is a game of hide and seek!

Thank goodness for JR railpass.  Having messed up one sector of our trip we were able to obtain tickets with no extra charges.  The same pass also worked on the subway lines run by JR.  Well worth the cost.

Would I go back?   Absolutely!!  May have to work on my knees – may be more weight loss will help.

Wonderful memories of a great Japan adventure from the two ‘old geishas’.

2. It was a novel experience for me to travel in Japan in the company of two ‘old geishas’. But instead of looking after me, they argued with me! Next time I will know better.

Having had the good luck to visit Japan quite a few times in recent years, in the company of friends who know the country well, gave me confidence to organise this trip. Although my travelling companions were at times argumentative, they were most sympathetic when I stupidly dropped my wallet (later found and retrieved from the police post).

Apart from sightseeing, eating, and trying to keep warm, all three of us spent a significant amount of time having senior moments (‘Now where did I put that……?’). I will not divulge who won this game.

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