Japan trip

/EDIT i’m finally done with this! sorry i took so long. XD /EDIT

i’m finally getting down to post this after 2 days of procrastination. i just can’t stay away from youtube.com. ;p

the japan trip was great. i got to see lots of stuff which are not available in our small island. not to mention they were expensive too. but i managed to get some really sweet deals. XD let’s proceed to the main purpose of this post, shall we?

p.s. click on the pictures to enlarge them.

day 1 (4/4/06): our flight was at 1am in the morning. it would actually be wise if i slept but i didn’t. instead, i watched movies all night. narnia, memoirs of geisha and some dramas. i was so tired when the plane touched down! but i could not even take a cat nap. our first stop was the universal studios in osaka. the tour guide was okay but i think he laughs alot to himself. = (he told us that japan is a country which does not survive on tourist’s money but on their own people’s money. 90% of the people who goes to theme parks in japan are japanese). i seriously didn’t expect universal studios to be THAT crowded (i think it’s due to the spring break the students were having). freaking crazy i tell you.

look at the waiting time! 110 minutes! and that’s not the worse. there was one ride where we had to wait for 140 minutes. in the end, we didn’t ride any rides. so sad. we just walked around and took pictures. by the way, there are not many hot guys in japan. most of them look hot from the back only. :x but i won’t deny the fact that there are a handful of guys which actually do look hot, front and back. taiwan is still the best place for looking at hot asian guys!!!

we spent the whole day in the studio. my parents and i just walked aimlessly around. watched some side “road” performance and that was it.

for dinner, we had shabu shabu (the name cracks me up). it’s nothing special, really.

raw food is just dumped into a wok of boiling plain water (not even stock). but the sauce for dipping the meat in was oishi!

picture of the day:

if only real food look THIS good. yum

day 2 (5/4/06): we had to wake up at 6am in the morning. wth. it’s the same time i wake up for school. breakfast sucked because the hotel sucked?

the first place we visited was the osaka palace. on the way to the palace, we saw lots of sakura trees! (i’ve been waiting for this).

look at how thick my coat is. i was already wearing 5 layers of clothing larh. but i still felt cold. anyway, back to the sakuras. my mom actually plucked some for me to press. i stuffed it in my notebook and sat on it whenever i’m on the tour bus. lol. it’s actually turning brown now due to singapore’s weather. but hey, it’s still air flown all the way from japan :P

after that, we went to the todaiji temple.

a herd of deers welcomed us at the entrance. so cool! i’ve never actually seen a deer at such close vicinity. they will grab any food you have on hand. one even bit my coat. maybe it thought that my coat was candy floss?

next up was the kimono fashion show.

we missed most of it because we were stuck in a traffic jam. but i still managed to get some good shots! phew.

after a hearty lunch, we proceeded on to the kiyomizu temple.

it is by far the most interesting temple and the most crowded one throughout the whole trip. maybe its due to the love shrine situated in the temple.

(1) the love stone: there are 2 stones within the shrine. if a person can walk from one stone to the other in a straight line with your eyes closed, your love-wish will come true. but from the way i see it. i doubt anybody can walk a straight line to and fro the stones because IT IS WAY TOO CROWDED!!! not that i want to try or anything. it just reeks of sham. :X
(2) the entrance to the shrine
(3) all the wooden plaques with love confessions and crushes’ names. there’s got to be 1000+ plaques hanging there.

this is a sight we don’t get to see everyday:

these people are catching the water from the fountain and they believe that after drinking the water they’ve caught, their wishes will come true.

we were given some free time after visiting the temple, so my parents and i walked around. i actually ate snow cone even when i was freezing cold.

it was nice though. by the way, the japanese do not lick their ice cream because they find it rude. a biscuit stick is provided for you to scoop the ice cream. if the tour guide didn’t tell us that, i will probably eat the biscuit first before i start licking my snow cone.

oohh and my dad bought this! green tea cream puff!

this picture is specially dedicated to puff! who asked me to find him some japanese puff. here it is! haha. enjoy it with your eyes. soak it all up. and make it a new addition to your bakery! ;P

for dinner, we had scrumptious buffet.

i love the cakes! i’ve come to a conclusion that all cakes in japan tastes damn good no matter which restaurant you go to.

checked in a hotel at kyoto and i slept like a pig.

picture of the day:

the toilet bowls in japan rock. all you have to do is press a button and your butt will be sparkling clean after shitting. my dad almost wanted to buy one home.

day 3 (6/4/2006): today was the day i saw snow for the first time in my life. not falling snow but snow on the floor. it was… hard.

we took the bullet train for only ONE stop. i think that’s lame. it wasn’t exciting at all because the train does not go full speed if it stops at every stop.

then, the tour bus picked us up and we proceeded to fujikyu, a theme park located near mount fuji. thank god the queues weren’t as long. the first attraction i went for was the haunted house. i thought it was going to be like a walking thing and the “ghosts” will scare you as you find your way out ( because the tour guide said so. but he lied! ass. and i was so looking forward to it). it turned out to be some 5 minutes of crap. all we did was stand in a coffin, hear some sound effects and get “scared” by some guy with ketchup makeup. he doesn’t even have the skills to scare people. even though we were in total darkness, i knew he was coming so i wasn’t shocked when he suddenly turned on his flash light and put his face close to mine. he looks abit like billy martin though. :P

i went on fujiyama, the world’s tallest (74 metres) roller coaster, next. it costs S$14 for just one ride. but it was worth it.

this picture does not do the roller coaster any justice. it’s only half of the whole thing. i’d love to ride this again. i told that to my mom and she said that i was insane. i guess so. i’ve always liked these kind of thrilling rides since i was 4. but i couldn’t exactly go on one until i was tall enough. anyway, best part was the fujiyama was the almost 90 degrees + 70 metres plunge. like, woah!!! and since they put the climax at the beginning, the rest of the ride was just okay (for my standard). the next coaster i want to ride on will be the world’s longest (it’s in the UK, i think). enjoy stuff like these when you’re young! out of the 22 people on the tour bus, only 2 went for it. the rest were too chicken or too old (above 40).

after that, it was a 3 hour ride up to mount fuji. the higher we got, the colder it was. and i saw snow on the grounds. *overjoyed*

we did some shopping and i discovered mushroom tea. that’s got to be the best tasting tea i’ve ever tasted so far (actually it tasted more like soup).

it was time we checked in to our hotel (which wass also on mount fuji).

traditional tatami rooms with futon mattresses. suki!!! i wonder how much would it cost me to have this sort of room in singapore?

during dinner, the whole tour group showed up wearing the yukatas provided in our rooms. it was too big on me!!!


was what we had for dinner. super super fresh sashimi. melts in your mouth like the small and round xiao ding dang biscuits.

after dinner, my parents went to soak in the hot springs. i went back to the room and slept. although the mattresses were thin, it felt surprisingly comfortable. i’m glad i didn’t go for the hot spring because my mom said it made her skin even drier. phew~ besides, i’ve already experienced it once.

day 4 (7/4/2006) : we made our way to tokyo today! finally! this first place we visited was the tokyo tower.

i took this from the bottom so it’s not very nice. *sigh* but at least it’s a picture of the tokyo tower. lol.

we visited quite a number of places but none of them really interest me.

asasuka is too tourist-y for words. the shops priced their merchandise for too high a price. so we didn’t do any shopping there. ueno park’s sakura trees are almost green. so there’s not a lot of sakuras to see. the imperial park is not at all imperial. those yellow flowers are actually weeds. -_-.

dinner was alright. had a better version of shabu shabu.

sweet deal of the day:

i got this bunch of 30 elastic hair bands for only S$1.40 at a 100 yen shop. and mini-bits sells this to us at 4 for S$2. i feel so conned. i should have bought more and rent a cart when school starts. why didn’t i think of that earlier?!

day 5 (8/4/2006): ever since i was young, i would pester my mother to bring me to disneyland every year. but knowing parents, they always want something back. which is score A’s in all your subjects. and since i didn’t fulfil their wishes, i didn’t manage to go. but after 10 years and no A’s whatsoever, i got to go to tokyo disneyland!!!

it was fun. the rides reminded me of movie world in gold coast. they’re about the same. the only difference between them was the queues!!! we waited forever under the sun just to ride the haunted mansion ride. it wasn’t scary. i mean, the movie wasn’t even scary. eddie murphy shows can never be scary. (i realised i said scary 3 times in 3 consecutive sentences)

day 6 (9/4/2006): speaking of scary, two really freaky incidents happened in the hotel room we stayed that night after disneyland. it was haunted. seriously!!!

incident 1: my mom always puts a packet of coins in her jeans pocket. but after a few minutes after we settled down in the room, she discovered that it was lost. she checked her bag but she still couldn’t find it. so she thought that she might have dropped it in the restaurant or something. but i told her if a huge packet of coins were to drop, wouldn’t it make a loud thud? she assumed that she didn’t hear it drop because the restaurant was noisy. so i went to take a shower while my parents sat on the bed, watching tv and eating snacks. then, i heard my mom said, “it’s here!” all of a sudden. when i came out, my mom said that the packet of coins was on the bed that she was sitting on. but the strange thing was, my mom didn’t go near the beds when she discovered that the coins were missing. we just ignored this incident and thought it was just a miracle.

incident 2: this happened in the morning. my mom threw the remote control on the bed in front of her after switching on the television. my father and i actually saw her doing that. just as we are about to leave for breakfast, we realised that we can’t find the remote. so we removed the jackets that was on the bed. but we still couldn’t find it. and so, it happened that 3 of us turned away for a moment. when we turned back, the remote was sitting on the bed. just like that. O_O
my father analysed the whole thing and confirmed that it was the doing of some spirit. it was the first time i’ve experienced such a thing but i wasn’t really scared on anything. just amazed? lol.

anyway today was the end of our tour. but my father extended 3 more days to explore more of tokyo. so after breakfast, we went to check in at our hotel in ueno. then, we went to shibuya!

shopped around. went to hmv and bought some cds which are not yet released in singapore because singapore is so damn slow!!! the manga shops in japan are like so big larh. man, if only the mangas were in chinese or english. i would probably grab as many as i can.

day 7 (10/4/2006): breakfast was on our own today. we went to macdonalds, my favourite place to have breakfast. and guess what i saw:

wahaha! sneaky me. i actually pretended to take a picture of my mother. :P the one in green really looked like oliver james. by the way, they’re not japanese. they’re americans on holiday. oh how i envy them. i bet they’re younger than me but they can already travel on their own. and i had to persuade my mother to let me go on a holiday on my own when i’m 20 instead of 21.

we went to shinjuku after breakfast but there was nothing much there. i think we spent the most time at kinokuniya. i still prefer the kino at orchard. it looks more stylish.

then, we went to akihabara. the place where they sell all the electronic stuff. the handphones in japan are all 3G. so shiok. my new phone is not even 3G. only a semi. lol. and there’s this gundam figurine shop which sells really cheap gundam stuff.

one normal box only costs around S$9 – S$20++. whereas singapore sells them for S$30. sweet deal for my brother because my dad bought him one.

picture of the day:

if we have this in singapore. my keys will each have a different colour + design. i wanted to make one on the spot but the template they have does not suit singapore keys. *sigh* wasted.

day 8 (11/4/2006): we spent the day at ginza, the most expensive place to shop in japan. the tour guide once told us that 10,000 yen (S$140) can’t even buy us a piece of tile lying on the streets of ginza. so we just went to look at show houses and stuff. i did buy a bag from GAP though (my mother paid for it. lol). it was on offer! 60% off.

day 9 (12/4/2006): today’s our last day in japan. we did our final shopping around ueno. bought some strawberries at the fruit stall. they’re the best i’ve ever tasted in my life. big, super red and sweet!

and green tea frappucino from starbucks tastes so gooood.

i’ve uploaded the rest of the photos at my dotphoto album. there’s 177 photos so enjoy viewing them. lol.

i know the 2nd half of this post seems kinda rushed. but i just want to get it over and done with. youtube beckons. :P


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