All entries for January 2006

January 09, 2006

my time in jap

yeah so i'm sure i've said before this is mostly meant as a dairy so if you find it very dull i'm sorry. i prolly would

but this is some of what i did in japan just in case my pc dies

Ok Iíll start with just after miusa left. Errr, its was a fair time ago Iíve mostly forgot bar the important parts. I think we did a few days of cleaning up, it was mostly winding down. People started to leave one by one and it was all very sad.

Well eventually it was leo and vasí last night in japan, they wanted to try clubbing in Tokyo so first we met up with yukina and junko and VERY briefly with miwa, and we all had a meal in a bar type thingy in shinjuku, after that me leo, vas, kanunchi and junko went out to find a fun club in roppongi, it took so long junko had to go before we found anywhere. we first went to a very weird one I hated called king and queens, they were all doing the same really dodgy dance routine and things looked very bleak. Eventually we found a place called gas panic, which my guide book dicribes as very seedy and as having lots of fights, it was pretty empty but the barman could breath fire and lost a game of pop-up-pirate so it wasnít all lost. One of the staff was from paris and spoke good English and I really kinda liked the place.

After that I picked up my stuff from the park and said goodbye to leo and vas and went off to the area around Tokyo station. I hadnít had much sleep so I fell asleep on a bench and got woken up by a policeman (I think he called me boss but who can tell?) that place picture postcard Tokyo, mammoth shops and lots a lights, and joy of joys the pokemon centre! Ah it was awesome, a little kid came up to me wearing a pokemon hood and said Ďlook me pikachu!í well impressive for a guy about as tall as my legs. So anyway I mooched around for about a day visiting the odd imperial place garden and then met up with hoong yoo for a night train. God was this ever a mistake. That thing was packed. Seriously rammed. At one point I saw a guy walking down the arms of the chairs to get to the toilet cos there were too many people sleeping in the isles. Me included, I had my head stuck under a chair hoping that when I woke up it would be too stiff for me to hit my head.

So anyway we get to Osaka ditch bags and wash a little and head off the nara. The dear park here was massive and there were loads of pagodas and temples and the like, some were pretty awesome, hoong yoo went to great lengths to let me get a great picture of the dears gonads (ha gonads is in the word auto correct dictionary) and if I can figure it out Iíll send it to you all. There were celebrations for the ubun festival going on later but we were tired so headed back to Osaka and kanuchiís place.

His sister and niece pickes us up from the station and when he found out we had to leave tomorrow his mum tooks us to a famous tempura restaurant, that was really great, a really rickety looking wood building serving really good food, and then after that they took us up (I think I was mount rekko) to see the city of Kobe at night all light up. By this time it was about 2 in the morning and the next thing I knew it was midday. God that bed was a lot more comfy that the train floor. That day his sister and niece took us to a famous noodle bar and then onto the aquarium. it was too late to see the fishes but we went on the worlds biggest ferris wheel and I got to try cheese ice cream. That night was another night train for me and hoong yoo, this time we got seats so it was better. Hoong yoo off part way along my trip so I was all alone when I got to hakata/fukoka.

The first thing I did was find capsule hotel with a bath and get clean. Then I tried to find the beach by getting bus but ended up back near the station so decided it was fate and got a train to a place called beppu where the station was so close to the beach I couldnít miss it. On the train I started chatting to a really lovely woman who told me there were monkeyís up in the hills around there, well I wasnít going to miss that. I started marching up the hill from the station and was having a great time trying to find a way to cross this river and find a way up into the mountains, anyway it is very hard work walking up hills and I donít believe that its my calling so after a few hours I gave up and headed back down to the station. That night I went for a walk around fukoka and got very lost again, it really wasnít my town, I asked a guy for directions and he said heíd give me a lift. Turns out my man Jun had spent some time in England when he was around my age and was very up for showing me the sights, he drove me to fukoka tower and we ate the most awesome ice cream ever, it had some sort of sponge cake in it and cornflakes in the bottom. Great! He said he was coiming to England in a few weeks and I gave him my number so I could show him around but I havenít heard from him yet.

That night I overslept again cos it really was too comfy in the capsule. Then off to Kyoto. I didnít get there till about 3–4 ish so I didnít really achieve much this day just went and looked around the the shoping in the centre, the walk was beautiful, Kyoto is the most bizarre city ever. Every other building is about 500 years old. The next day I did the tourist ting properly, got a bus pass and temple map and went around seeing as many shrine and castles as I could. I saw a shop with a sign saying ĎSOMETHING!í it was so awesome I had to buy it (turns out something is cheese). That night was also the night of the ubon festival so I headed out to see the great signs burning on the hill side. Oh and I had fun buying watermelon instead of drinks itís way better.

Ah I nearly forgot, the beach, I went to the place which is ment to be one of the 3 best sights in japan. Youíre ment to see it by bending over and looking between your legs, there was no chance I was gonna do that. But then these old women started taking the micky out of me for not so I did and nearly fell off the cliff (well not that nearly but it was closer than I really liked). There were some nice temples around but my feat really hurt so I just went for a swim.

The next day I headed to Hiroshima. Itís a really lovely city, in the centre there is a huge covered section where you can walk between goliath department stores. Of course I went to see the peace park and museum and some of the things in there are horrendous but Iím sure you could have worked that out of yourselves. The funniest thing about Hiroshima is the castle, I donít know if any of you have ever seen ĎFarther Tedí, itís a very British type of comedy about an Irish priest and his very dumb friend, anyway in one scene heís holding up a toy cow and says Ď this cow is small, those in the field are far awayí. Marvellous. Hiroshima castle is like that, I saw it over the trees on the top of a hill and thought oh dear Iíve got a hike on my hands, I get there, its tiny. About 20 metres across if that, puny.

Next came Nagoya and yukinaís family they were super lovely to me and insisted on giving me about a million presents before I left (including a knapsack to carry food in which I used about a week ago when we went to see warwick castle, thank you very much). But before that I had a fun day walking around the city trying to find a cash point that took my card, and another nice day at the zoo with yukinaís little brother. He was well cool showing me all the goats and rabbits and stuff. There are some crazy animals in the world you know, like flamingos, they lay eggs and give milk. Then I went to see the castle, that was a really fun day and I bought my sister some monkey bogeys in the zoo shop. I am grateful to yukinaís family for having me, they put me up with hardly any warning and sorted out trains for me and fed me very well, I didnít know how octopus spaghetti would be, but it was gorgeous, huzzar.

Then Tokyo, again, for a few days so I could catch my plane on time. By now I was getting well into just walking around loads. I spent a lot of time watching this really cool arcade game and playing the odd round of street fighter versus marvel superheroes. I met a few cool guys at the youth hostel but they were mainly only staying one night. I went to Akihabara, the electric district with all the crazy discount shops and the like, and I went to Asakusa, which is were we saw the fireworks from, and has a mammoth temple (if you get the eyewitness guide to japan and look on pages 82 bottom left, I took a photo on my phone exactly the same as that one, only better) and lots of shops old style around it.

Then I decided I needed another day at the beach and went to Atami. It was really packed so it wasnít that great but quite awesome views.

The next day my guide book said I should to go to Uneo. I looked around the park and it was very pretty but trees are trees and Iíd seen quite a lot of them lately so I went to the big museum there. This place was great, there was chest, taller than me, and it was totally covered in shiny green beetle shells, also there were lots of people falling asleep all over the place as there seems to be every where in japan (ok so I know Iím not the most awake of people but I was getting better)

The next day was my last, I went to harajuku again because I really liked that place. I spent most of the day shopping there, and Shibuya (which is my new favourite word by the way). I was getting all sentimental but anyway. I kept getting lost but there was a bus driving around playing that weird Spanish song that I can never remember the name of so I ran after that for about a quarter of an hour (there was lots of traffic Iím not super human) and ended up in shinjuku. As I had to get a train at 7 am anyway I stayed up all night at a club called zest in harajuku, there was free pool (billiards) so I played myself at that for a while and then a group of girls came over and played with me, they were all drunk, and invited me to a party they were having here tomorrow, which would have been ace only I was going home tomorrow. After that it was about 2 am and the train station opens at 6 so I went and sat outside it playing pokemon, I had a nice chat with a police man, and a load of people who looked like a film crew came along and were posing in front of the train station. I think there was going to be a big gig there tomorrow, they were building a stage just over the bridge and I think I might have been an orange range bus that went by with loads of screaming girls chasing after it.

So anyway, I got back fine and everything and even got upgraded to business class on the way home despite not having changed my socks on 3 days.


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