6 Days 4 Nights in Japan
This is the first blog of the year 2008. I don’t think there will be anything new that can change our lives for better living. As long as Thailand political way and old politicians remain the same, it’s really hard to imagine of brighter tomorrow. Most of Thai people feel boring of politic and re-election, and so do I. However, we can’t ignore as this will directly affect the way of our living. What we can do is to keep our eyes on what they (I refer to those politicians) will play their games. Alright, I don’t want you, who come by chance or by intention to read my article, to be serious, I will not write about this topic anymore. So, let’s talk about my trip to Japan during January 8 – 13, 2008. Some of you may be interested in making a trip to this country once in a life’s time.
For this trip, my wife, daughter, and I decided to travel with a group tour for our convenience because of time constraint and language limitation. We landed at Kanzai International Airport in Osaka City in the morning of January 9, 2008. Then we traveled by bus to Nara City to visit Todaiji Temple, where the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) statue is situated. In the afternoon, we went to Kyoto, Japan’s ex-capital and the emperor’s residence in those days, where we had a chance to visit the Golden Pavilion at Kinkakuji Temple and we also dropped at Kiyomizu Temple. Kiyomizu literally means fresh pure water. It is believed that drinking the water of the three streams confers healthy, longevity, and success in studies. But after asking some Japanese living there, I was not confirmed any way. We left Kyoto City for Nagoya City in late evening, and we stayed the first night in Nagoya.
We were waked up at 6 in the following morning to have breakfast at the hotel. We departed Nagoya at 9 and headed to Lake Hamana, one of the largest brackish lakes in Japan. The famous of the lake is the farm of eel. After a short break at the lake, we then headed to Fuji Mountain, the highlight of this trip. On the way to Fuji Mountain, we dropped at a strawberry farm where we can taste fresh strawberries. Fortunately, on that day the sky was so clear that we could have a nice view of Fuji Mountain. Someone said that in a year there are only a few days when we can apparently see Fuji Mountain, even in different shapes. We also had a chance to ski on the provided area. The second night we stayed at Fuji Nobo Kaen Hotel, where we could see Fuji Mountain in the morning. Here, we had the first experience of ‘Onsen’. An onsen is taking a bath in a Japanese famous hot spring. The challenge of taking onsen is getting naked!
On the third morning we left the hotel at 9 as usual. We went to Owakudani Volcanic hot springs. The famous of this place is boiled eggs. It is also believed that eating an egg boiled by hot spring here will extend your life for another 7 years. But eating more than 2 eggs will shorten your life! After eating an egg for each, we went down hill to cruise on Lake Ashi and had lunch on its shore. In the afternoon, we went to Shinkansen Station to take Japanese bullet train to Tokyo. We arrived in Tokyo at about 3 p.m. so we had plenty of times to spend on shopping at Shinjuku, the large entertainment and shopping area in Tokyo. On that night we stayed at Sunshine City Prince Hotel.
After having breakfast on the fourth morning, we headed to Asakusa Temple, the oldest and largest temple in Tokyo, where situated a statue of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. Within the temple shopping area you can buy the cheapest Yukata, Kimono clothes and other souvenirs. In the afternoon, it was the time of fun because we were left at Tokyo Disneyland until late evening. Compared to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA, Tokyo Disneyland is much smaller but well maintenance. Therefore, the ticket at ¥5,200 is then worthwhile in my opinion. They also have Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain where we screamed with fear and excitement.
Last day in Tokyo, after breakfast we went to Narita City and visited Narita Temple, a large and popular Buddhist temple in Narita City. On that day it was very crowded because it was Sunday. From the bus parking area, we walked through the tunnel to get to the temple. Within the temple area there is a small water fall in its park. Shopping here is more expensive compared to Asakusa Temple. The last place we visited is the shopping department store known as Aeon and Jusco. We were recommended to shop at ¥100 store where each item costs ¥105 (including 5% VAT). After spending 3 hours shopping, it was the time to fly back to Bangkok. We left Narita International Airport at about 7.00 p.m. on January 13, 2008 and arrived in Bangkok at about 11.30 p.m. The flight time is 6.30 hours.