Tag: japan

Kagawa and its Gem, Ritsurin Garden

[2018.04.01] We took a break from the pilgrimmage circuit on our 3rd day to drive out to the neighbouring prefecture north-west of Tokushima, Kagawa 香川. It was a decision that did not sit well with the mister when he finally realised the distance involved….

Shikoku Henro by Car I: Temples 09 – 16

[2018.03.30-2018.03.31] With little effort, we managed to complete 11 temples on the first day, of which 8 were covered in the previous post. Under usual circumstances, we would have wanted to visit the temples in the numbered order, but in cases where it didn’t…

Shikoku Henro by Car I: Temples 01 – 08

[2018.03.30] After a good night’s rest, we were ready to embark on this unique spiritual journey. As a general rule of thumb, the temple stamp offices 納経所 operate from 0700hrs to 1700hrs daily. Since it was our target to arrive at the first destination…

Sakura Season in Tokushima: A Photo Gallery

Here is a compilation of sakura we saw in Tokushima as we visited the 23 temples on the Shikoku Henro. We were very fortunate to have been in the prefecture when sakura was in full bloom there given how short-lived sakura blossoms are (once…

Prelude: The Shikoku Henro by Car, in IV Parts

Being homebodies, one of our favourite past-time at home involves travelling of another kind – watching travel programmes on the TV. Quite by chance a decade ago, this favourite Taiwanese travel programme of ours introduced Shikoku 四国 in Japan in a brief one-hour episode. Interested,…

NBH-108 Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari in Kyoto is famous for one signature sight – seemingly neverending rows of Torii that counts in the thousands. This shrine is perhaps one of the top 3 most-photographed spots in the former capital of Japan. Says much, especially when Kyoto itself…

More to Matsumoto

On the 5th and final valid day of our Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass, we made a quick day trip to Matsumoto (松本) primarily to see the famous Matsumoto Castle (松本城). Notwithstanding, while a day trip is sufficient to explore the city, it is not quite…

That Magnificent ‘Crow Castle’

Castles in Japan are tourist magnets, akin to churches for Italy and fjords for Norway. Think Osaka Castle (大阪城), Nagoya Castle (名古屋城), Himeji Castle (姫路城)… and I think you’d get the drift. While not quite resembling an ancient citadel of the Western world, they pretty much function in…

NBH-021 Great Buddha of Kamakura

Great Buddha of Kamakura is another of my favourite nanoblock design, although it took us years before we finally made this day trip out of our numerous visits to Tokyo. The real bronze statue, standing at 13.4m, was an awe-inspiring sight. At the back…

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, Revisited

A vacation of several firsts this was – our first driving trip, the first trip the mister took to planning entirely on his own, and the first time an itinerary was drawn up based on a driving route instead of places we wanted to visit. It…

NBH-003 Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go

As promised, this is the mister’s favourite at the moment. I think it has a lot to do with the memories he has of the trip we took, not so much of how we slogged to get to our very remotely-located minshuku, but how…

NBH-007 Kaminarimon

This was the first Sights-to-See nanoblock I purchased back when I was in Japan a couple of years back. Loved it because of its very Japanese-styled architecture including a gigantic paper lantern that is the 雷門 (Kaminarimon) and it reminded me of how much…

Concert-Going in Japan

* As of 13 Oct 2015, I am locking comments on this post. This blog is first and foremost a travel blog. I really do not wish to answer any more questions on concerts in Japan either through comments or emails. Hope everyone understands….

Braving Osaka As a Lone Female Traveller

… and returning home to the mister in one piece. This was the primary aim of the missus’ quick week-long trip without him by my side. Work exigencies (and extreme bad luck at balloting) had dictated that he remained in Singapore to earn his…

Tokyo for a First-Timer Part II

Tokyo (東京), like any other metropolis in the world, offers activities diverse enough to satiate the voracious appetite of any type of traveller. Eating, marathon running, shopping, sightseeing, trekking… you name it, Tokyo offers it. At this point, I’m just going to address the…

Tokyo for a First-Timer Part I

I don’t profess to know Tokyo (東京) extremely well – don’t think we even covered 50% of this awesome metropolis despite having been there 5 times the last 5 years – but with the good fortune of having a friend who brought us around…

Epilogue – 2013 冬の北陸旅行記

We are back from our tour of Western-Central Japan! It was cold, but we had fun! And brought home 3,400 worth of pictures to prove it. Admittedly, I would not have planned for this trip if not for my considerable proficiency in the native…

Nagoya, in a Nutshell

It used to be that Nagoya (名古屋) could not evoke any sort of interest in us. That would have totally explained why despite it being one of the five SIA Japan destinations (the other four being Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Fukuoka and Osaka Kansai),…

Planning – 2013 冬の北陸旅行記

Planning for 2013 冬の北陸旅行記 (Winter in West-Central Japan) commenced way earlier than expected, a little more than 7 months ahead. It may even appear to be needlessly excessive (as it did initially, to me) considering these aren’t even very popular tourist destinations in Japan…

Beautiful Spring Blooms of Central Japan

[2009.05.03] It was unfortunate that we chose to make this short trip to Tokyo during Japan’s Golden Week, notorious for crowds everywhere one turns. Incidentally it was also a great time to make day trips out of Tokyo for some spring blooms viewing. Since…

10 Things About Tokyo

Tokyo is the capital of Japan, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family. There are about 12 million people in the official metropolitan area alone. 2 airports serve Tokyo – Narita Airport (成田空港) and Haneda Airport (羽田空港). Narita handles most of the international…

Tokyo Extravaganza D6: Yokohama, Revisited

It was a Monday, and very likely a public holiday in Japan because E didn’t need to report for work (can’t remember it now, it being almost 5 years later). Instead he gamely went along with us to Yokohama (横浜) despite it being a…

Tokyo Extravaganza D4+5: A Walk in the Park, Mostly

And the park in question here? Yoyogi Park (代々木公園), one of Tokyo’s largests parks located adjacent to Harajuku Station (原宿駅) and Meiji Shrine (明治神宮). The discovery of how interesting a mere park could be convinced the mister and I that 1) we should most certainly…

Tokyo Extravaganza D3: Asakusa & Odaiba

Asakusa (浅草) is located on the north-eastern side of central Tokyo and is most famous for Senso-ji (金龍山浅草寺), an ancient Buddhist temple. Senso-ji is dedicated to the Bodhisattva Kannon, is apparently the oldest temple in Tokyo and clearly one of its most significant, given…

Tokyo Extravaganza D2: Imperial Palace & Tokyo Tower

Not many tourists to Japan know this little snippet but with some prior planning, anyone could apply to attend a free tour of the Tokyo Imperial Palace (皇居). This is also the only way to tour the interior of the palace grounds apart from…

Tokyo Extravaganza D1: Harajuku & Shibuya

Finally, we were properly according some time to explore Japan. Apart from this being our first time together to the Land of the Rising Sun, it was also landmark in it being our first self-guided vacation (past trips to Bangkok and Hong Kong do…

First Permanent Capital and City of Vitality

Without a doubt, the cities I am referring to are Nara (奈良市) and Osaka (大阪) respectively. Nara, formerly known as Heijo (平城), was Japan’s first permanent capital, established in 710. Due to its historic status, Nara is replete with historic treasures and cultural significance….

Kyoto and Its Rich Cultural Heritage

And Kyoto, the old Imperial Capital of Japan, was up next. Resources (from books to reviews from friends) reveal that Kyoto is one of the most, if not the most beautiful city in Japan because of its rich cultural heritage. They were not in…

In Search of The Elusive Fuji-San

After a quiet and peaceful night sleeping at an Onsen Ryokan in Hakone (箱根), we left early the next morning in search of the elusive Fuji-san (富士山), otherwise more commonly known as Mount Fuji. The plan was to have the coach bring us up…

Of Ramen and Hello Kitty

It’s a wonder what one night of good rest could do to a person. From the grouch I was the day before I transformed into someone in considerably better spirits the next morning. That was until I saw the rain. What a mood dampener……