Japan – Day 12 (The End of the Road)

Day 12 of our trip to Japan dawned and the realization that the 3 weeks of adventures in Asia was soon to come to an end.  Our flight was to leave in the evening but with the transfer time from Roppongi to Narita, some last-minute shopping at the airport, and the necessary 2-hours-ahead-of-departure arrival at the airport, we had to leave in the early afternoon.

One of our group had some last-minute electronics purchases to make so he headed to Shinjuku early in the morning while I and my other cohort stayed in Roppongi.  Here is a view of the Roppongi Hills shopping center from the ground that morning.


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Japan – Day 11 (Part 2)

After Harajuku, we hopped on the Yamanote line for Shinjuku.  I had visited the area briefly with one of my traveling companions a few days earlier and it was easy to believe that Shinjiku station is the busiest in the world (over 3.5 million people pass through each day!).  The station itself is huge and this time we exited in a different direction than we had previously.


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Japan – Day 11 (Part 1)

We three awoke on Day 11 to the realization that it would be our last full day in Japan before 2 of us headed back to San Francisco and 1 back to Taiwan.  As it was the last day, we decided to do a bit of shopping and, of course, see more of the sights of Tokyo.  Since it was such a nice day (if a bit cold) and a Saturday as well, our first stop was Harajuku to see the youth fashion scene and visit a few stores.


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Japan – Day 10 (Part 1)

The rain of the previous day had moved away when we awoke on Day 10 so it was a good day to be out and about in the city.  One of my companions had gone for a walk and taken the key to the apartment with him and the other was still asleep.  Both could be in their respective states for a few hours so, rather than waiting at the apartment, I decided to head out to our day’s target location on my own: Ikebukuro.

My first stop was Nishiguchi park since:

  1. It is near the rail station,
  2. The Animate store wasn’t open yet, and
  3. The park features in one of my all-time favorite anime series, Durarara!!

Sadly, I didn’t see a Dullahan riding a motorcycle or any flying vending machines (Durarara!! reference) but I did see things I recognized from the anime nevertheless.  I’ll add some screenshots for illustrative purposes later.


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Japan – Day 8 (Part 3)

We caught a cab outside of Ginkaku-ji and drove south to Sanjūsangen-dō.  We had planned to visit before catching our train the next day as it is near Kyoto Station but taking cabs around the city in the morning had saved us a lot of time so we could fit it in.  Since the historic sights around Kyoto are spread across the city, we would normally just take public transportation to visit them but since we only had 1 full day in Kyoto, we wanted to make the most of it so we splurged on cabs.

Back to the main thing: Sanjūsangen-dō.  The temple has a few distinctions, namely that it is the longest wooden building in Japan and that it contains 1000 individual Kannon statues in 10 rows of 100 columns.


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Japan – Day 8 (Part 1)

Day 8 dawned clear and cold on our traditional house in Kyoto and we slowly thawed out before heading out for our first stop of the day: Kiyomizu-dera, the Pure Water Temple.  Fortunately, it is MUCH easier to hail a cab in Japan than it is in San Francisco and it’s a lot more likely that the cab drivers understand English as well (even if the cabbie says he doesn’t speak English, he can figure it out), so it’s a nice situation.  I just need to remember this won’t be the way things work back home. *sigh*

We were dropped off at the base of the temple area lined with souvenir and food shops.


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