EnglishFrenchJapaneseKorean
Powered by Translate
Stay in the Loop: (newsletter signup form)

Traveling to Japan... My 2012 trip

General discussion (non-Usagi Yojimbo related) about all things Japan -- Feudal Japan, Samurai, Ninjas, Anime & Manga, Chambara films, Japanese Pop Culture, Otaku, martial arts, history, sushi, giant robots, Godzilla... anything Japan-related!

Moderators: Steve Hubbell, Mayhem, Moderators

Traveling to Japan... My 2012 trip

Postby maichan » Tue Oct 09, 2012 13:46 +0000

My wife & I are headed for Japan in a few days. We'll be staying with her family in Kamakura (Kanagawa Prefecture) and Ise (Mie Prefecture). Nothing definite is planned just yet, but my sister-in-law says she & her husband will take us to a Ninja house!

I'm not sure what our internet connectivity will be, but if & when we have a connection, I'll try to post something while we are there. And if not, I may give a review of our trip when we return.
Last edited by maichan on Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:25 +0000, edited 1 time in total.
Michael, a.k.a., Maichan

My Usagi Collection
User avatar
maichan
Hatamoto<Special Retainer>
 
Posts: 1955
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 23:04 +0000
Location: A little Minka, somewhere in the countryside...

Re: Traveling to Japan...

Postby bwbollom » Wed Oct 10, 2012 0:05 +0000

Have a great trip! Hopefully you'll have a ton of fun. I haven't been to either of those places personally, but everywhere I've been here in Japan so far has been great! You should be arriving at a good time too...the weather is very nice right now and the leaves are just starting to turn fall colors!

I don't know if you've been to Japan before or how much traveling you plan to do outside of those 2 areas, but I can't recommend Kyoto highly enough! Looking at Google Maps, it's only about 2hrs and $40 by train to get there from Mie! Osaka is pretty awesome too, and I hear great things about Nara. Even if you just stay in Kamakura and Ise, I'm sure you'll have a blast!

Post photos if you can...I'm always looking for new and interesting places to explore!
User avatar
bwbollom
Shugyosha<Student Warrior>
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 19:12 +0000
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Traveling to Japan...

Postby maichan » Sun Oct 14, 2012 15:33 +0000

We arrived in Japan late Saturday.
Spent the first day doing some local stuff in Kamakura.
I'm just cutting and pasting my trip from one forum to a few others (makes posting easier).
I collect minicars (diecast cars) and like taking pictures of local vehicles, so please excuse that aspect of my photos. I still try to get other things in there too, so hang tight and hopefully you'll see somethin you like! :lol:

Okay, first day in Japan was just to get settled in. The day was wet and drizzled so not much in the way of photos...

Image

Here is one of the local fire stations near where I'm at in Kamakura.
Image

A local hobby shop. They had mostly plastic model kits, RC, and some train stuff (KATO, Tomix, Tomytec).
Image

Lunch was at MOS BURGER. Sorry if you expected something more exotic. But Mos Burger is my favorite place for hamburgers with a Japanese twist.
Image

I had the Tonkatsu Burger with fries, and my wife had the Teriyaki Burger.
Image

Image

The Mos Burger character has a custom look for the city of Kamakura - sunglasses, flip flops and a surfboard.
Image

As for minicars, the first stop was a local shop called Hiko7. They carry a nice range of all the latest 1/43 scale models from Ebbro, Kyosho, and expecially RIA's. I found some Sunkus Kyosho blind box cars for a friend, but nothing for myself yet!

Image

Image

A few street spottings too...
This is a Toyota WiLL Cypha
Image

I think this one is a Daihatsu or Suzuki, but I'll have to make sure...
Image
Michael, a.k.a., Maichan

My Usagi Collection
User avatar
maichan
Hatamoto<Special Retainer>
 
Posts: 1955
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 23:04 +0000
Location: A little Minka, somewhere in the countryside...

Re: Traveling to Japan...

Postby Maka » Sun Oct 14, 2012 19:38 +0000

Very cool. Thanks for posting pictures! Peace, maka
User avatar
Maka
Daimyo <High-Ranking Lord>
 
Posts: 2991
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 20:10 +0000
Location: California

Re: Traveling to Japan...

Postby Jet_Jaguar » Sun Oct 14, 2012 21:18 +0000

Thanks for sharing these pics! Never been to Japan, but I hope to go someday (I did go on a trip to Northern Italy earlier this year, my first real international trip aside from a couple of brief ones into Mexico; it was great!). I have an online friend in the UK who is 1/4th Japanese who really enjoyed going over there a couple of times to visit her Japanese relatives.

I have another online friend who lives in the Netherlands whose last name is Mos, I'll have to show her that picture of Mos Burger! :D
"It doesn't matter whom you are paired against;
your opponent is always yourself."

-Nakamura (via Joe R. Lansdale's Mucho Mojo)
User avatar
Jet_Jaguar
Shugyosha<Student Warrior>
 
Posts: 1281
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 21:37 +0000
Location: TX, United States

Re: Traveling to Japan...

Postby bwbollom » Mon Oct 15, 2012 19:57 +0000

Very cool photos! Thanks for sharing them! It looks like you're having a great time. I hope the trip is fun and you find lots of good stuff for your collection! Mos Burger is one of my favorites too! Don't blame you for going there first :)
User avatar
bwbollom
Shugyosha<Student Warrior>
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 19:12 +0000
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Traveling to Japan...

Postby maichan » Thu Nov 22, 2012 23:36 +0000

Sorry for the long delay, but after getting back from Japan, it's been hard finding time to do everything that needs to be done...

I'd like to get back to sharing my adventure and the places we visited, so, back to my trip....

Day 3 - Monday - we went to Tokyo to do some sightseeing. I have wanted to visit Tokyo Tower after 5 or 6 trips have finally made to effort to see it!

The view as we left Shinagawa Station. We would take a bus to get to the Tower.
Image

We made it to Tokyo Tower! Tokyo Tower is a radio/television signal transmitting tower. The tower has two observation decks. The 2-storey Main Observatory is located at 150 metres (490 ft), and the smaller Special Observatory at a height of 250 metres (820 ft). The height of Tokyo Tower is 333 meters (1,093 ft), it is the second tallest structure in Japan.
Image

Looking toward Tokyo Skytree the new communication tower, which is now the tallest structure in Japan - 634.0 meters (2,080 ft) - you can barely see it in the distance.
Image

Looking towards Odaiba and Rainbow Bridge.
Image

After spending time looking at the terrific view from the observation floors we went back to the lobby for a quick lunch at the food court. We chose Pizza La. My wife had some pasta and I had a BLT. This was one of the best BLT's I've had - the bread was fantastic!
Image

After eating lunch we grabbed another bus and headed over to Tokyo Station. I've been to Tokyo Station on each of my visits, but I've always been underground where the actual stations and platforms are... and vast shopping areas - I've never had the chance to see the old Station building. The building recently just finished a major renovation. This is known as the Marunouchi (west) side. The 98-year-old Marunouchi side of the station has been restored to pre-war condition. This part of the station is also includes hotel. What was really surprising to me were the number of tourists here taking pictures. It was like being at the White House or Buckingham Palace! There were a lot more people than you can see in this picture... a LOT more. :lol:
Image

Image

And all the taxis - WOW!!
Image
Last edited by maichan on Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:14 +0000, edited 1 time in total.
Michael, a.k.a., Maichan

My Usagi Collection
User avatar
maichan
Hatamoto<Special Retainer>
 
Posts: 1955
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 23:04 +0000
Location: A little Minka, somewhere in the countryside...

Re: Traveling to Japan...

Postby maichan » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:55 +0000

Day 4 - We are staying at my in-laws home in Kamakura. Kamakura is about 50 km south-west of Tokyo. Kamakura was once the capital of Japan, and there are many shrines and temples located within it's borders.

We took the bus into into downtown Kamakura.
This view is at the end of the Wakamiya Ōji, the city's main street. You can see the shadow of the large Tori located here. In the distance you can see Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, a Shinto shrine.
Image

Downtown, close to Kamakura Station, there is this shop...
I always want to visit and eat here, but my wife wanted something more traditional today. :lol:
Maybe we can try it next time we go into town.
Image

Image

Anyway, we had to continue on our way... here is a local Koban station. These are like mini-police stations and are found throughout most cities (something we could use back home in California). Koban Stations also serve as information stations - so if you need to know where someplace is, stop by a Koban station and ask for directions!
Image

Then we went to city hall to take care of some things.
Image

Once we were done at city hall it was time for lunch and we headed over to the main shopping alley.
This toy store has been here a long time and carries some unique items relating to Kamakura and the Enoden train.
Image

Since Kamakura is a major tourist destination, it took a while to find a place to eat where we didn't have to wait. We picked this noodle shop...
Image

...and I had some Udon with tempura ebi (shrimp).
Image

After lunch we headed back home to rest up. Later a friend was picking us up and we would go to her home in rural Yokohama for dinner.
This is the narrow twisty road that leads to her home - only enough room for traffic one way!
Image

Yokohama manhole cover. Every city has it own uniquely designed manhole covers.
Image

I love where our friend lives - it is a neat little corner of Yokohama close to nature.
There are small farm plots like this...
Image

And a woodland where we went for a walk before returning to her home for dinner and conversation. The woods are actually private property, but the land owner must keep it open to the public and maintain the trails. Occasionally trees are harvested for lumber.
Our friend is a dog lover. She has a (really big) Bernese Mountain Dog and a Bichon Frisé. We were joined by another friend with a West Highland White Terrier.
Image

Image

Image
Michael, a.k.a., Maichan

My Usagi Collection
User avatar
maichan
Hatamoto<Special Retainer>
 
Posts: 1955
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 23:04 +0000
Location: A little Minka, somewhere in the countryside...

Re: Traveling to Japan... My 2012 trip

Postby Antizombie » Sat Nov 24, 2012 13:36 +0000

I have really enjoyed reading this thread. Thanks for posting all this stuff
Antizombie
Shugyosha<Student Warrior>
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 20:56 +0000

Re: Traveling to Japan... My 2012 trip

Postby maichan » Sat Nov 24, 2012 14:53 +0000

Thanks! There's more to come as we were there for 2 weeks!

Day 5 - Wednesday was Ginza day, and time to meet with a good friend.

We would take a train from Kita-Kamakura station to Ginza.
Image

First stop was Bic Camera where I shopped for some minicars...
Many of the big electronics stores are good for more than just electronics. Many of the Bic Camera and Yodobashi stores have toy & hobby sections
Image

Then we went to find something special for a friend... My friend lives in Germany and is a big fan of a certain Japanese movie star, and so I wanted to go to Ginza to find something cool....

A short walk, and what did we see....

Yes, yes, there HE is....

GODZILLA!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

He still walks the streets of Tokyo! I think he just headed towards the Wako building to destroy the clock tower again... :lol:

In the plaza where Godzilla is there are many hand prints of famous Japanese movie stars, including Shintaro Katsu (known for his role as Zatoichi the blind swordsman), and Toshiro Mifune (who played in many Akira Kurosawa films including the Seven Samurai).
Image

Shintaro Katsu
Image

Toshiro Mifune
Image

After our visit with Godzilla and the Samurai I did some more minicar shopping and then it was lunch time. My wife wanted to visit a Ramen restaurant that she used to eat at when she worked in Tokyo, but it wasn't where it was supposed to be. A quick inquiry at the local Koban and we were pointed in the right direction.
Image

Image

The Wako building is located at the northwest corner of the district's centrally located Ginza 4-Chome junction of Chuo and Harumi Dori.
Image

Image

On the opposite corner is the Nissan Gallery (this used to be Nissan's headquarters before they moved a few years ago...
Image

Here's a Ginza manhole cover...
Image

And a few more famous Ginza landmarks...
Image

Image

Then we headed to Akihabara to meet my good friend, Dr. Maehara. The weather was bad.... raining.... and I had my hands full, so no photos of Akihabara at night. But, I can tell you there were many cool sights!

Dr. Maehara took us to a Shoshen Book store, and several hobby stores where I bought some books and more minicars. After shopping we met with Dr. Maehara's brother - also a doctor. He brought along his wife & daughter. Dinner was Okonomiyaki!
We had a good time exchanging gifts, eating good food and talking.
Image
Michael, a.k.a., Maichan

My Usagi Collection
User avatar
maichan
Hatamoto<Special Retainer>
 
Posts: 1955
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 23:04 +0000
Location: A little Minka, somewhere in the countryside...

Re: Traveling to Japan... My 2012 trip

Postby maichan » Sat Nov 24, 2012 18:32 +0000

Day 6 - Thursday October 18 we took it easy...

This was the typical breakfast at home at my in-laws in Kamakura... sometime eggs, sometimes ham or sausage... always toast, always a salad...
Image

After breakfast, we decided to go into Yokohama for a little shopping.
We can walk from home to the local train station, and this is a view of one of the local backstreets...
Image

Here is a Kamakura manhole cover...
Image

Here are the local railroad tracks that we have to cross to get to the local railway station.
Image

The local station is called Kita-Kamakura. From there we can go directly to Yokohama.
Once we got to Yokohama station, we spotted this cool old train!
If I lived in Japan, I would become a Train-geek (Densha Otaku) real easy!
Image

Before shopping we stopped off for lunch at a small Udon (noodle) restaurant near the train station.
Image

We did some shopping at Yodobashi Camera, where my wife & I each bought some new watches (Casio G-Shock), and I bought a bunch of minicars and diorama accessories.

Like I said, this was a quiet day & I didn't take many pix. The next day we would take the Shinkansen to Nagoya....
Michael, a.k.a., Maichan

My Usagi Collection
User avatar
maichan
Hatamoto<Special Retainer>
 
Posts: 1955
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 23:04 +0000
Location: A little Minka, somewhere in the countryside...

Re: Traveling to Japan... My 2012 trip

Postby Maka » Sat Nov 24, 2012 21:16 +0000

Thanks for sharing your pictures again Maichan!

My parents used to live by Tokyo Tower (I could see it from their apartment's street) back in the late 80's. My dad visited the Tokyo Skytree during my mom and his visit two weeks ago. Unfortunately his camera stopped working so he didn't get any pictures. My mom and he were also able to visit the Petronas Towers in Malaysia (I think) 7 year ago.

Love the Japanese hands of fame. :) And the Okonomiyaki looks so good! Mmmmmmm. :)

Peace, maka
User avatar
Maka
Daimyo <High-Ranking Lord>
 
Posts: 2991
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 20:10 +0000
Location: California

Re: Traveling to Japan... My 2012 trip

Postby bwbollom » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:23 +0000

Thanks for sharing the stories and photos! It has been fun following along!
User avatar
bwbollom
Shugyosha<Student Warrior>
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 19:12 +0000
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Traveling to Japan... My 2012 trip

Postby plasticplayhouse » Sun Nov 25, 2012 21:54 +0000

That looks awesome, thanks for sharing!
User avatar
plasticplayhouse
Shugyosha<Student Warrior>
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:45 +0000

Re: Traveling to Japan... My 2012 trip

Postby Jubei » Mon Nov 26, 2012 21:49 +0000

Great photos, really appreciate your sharing them along with your insights.

I have to ask though, what is Okonomiyaki? It looks delicious..........
User avatar
Jubei
Shugyosha<Student Warrior>
 
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 13:00 +0000
Location: The Bright Sunny South

Next

Return to 日本の話題 - All Things Japan!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest