Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yokohama Day 3 - Oct 27, 2013

We had a lot of places on our list of possible things to do while in Yokohama and with a whole day free, Penne wanted to see the Doll Museum. We headed back through Chinatown for another choco panda since it was on the way. Inside the museum was the history of dolls in general as well as the history of dolls in Japan. There was a display with movies showing the making of a traditional Japanese jointed doll versus an antique French bisque doll. Under the display case were drawers full of the doll parts as they went through various stages. Definitely Penne's favourite part. As we were about to leave we stumbled across a room where they were making part two of a 3D animated short "Harbour Town". The artists were working behind a wall with peepholes so we could watch but not disturb. All around the room were characters and models used in the first short.

After the museum, we tried to find the subway but went too far and found a lovely French patisserie called Pavlov. Inside was a recreation of a little French parlour. We ordered the tea and cake set and were rewarded with a set of three tiny cakes that were as lovely to behold as they were on the palate. I had the house tea which was a unique style of Earl Grey, while Penne had the mixed berry rooibos which we could smell before we even took the lid off the teapot.

We finally found and caught the subway to Minato-mirai where the Landmark Tower, Cosmos World amusement park and many other sights are situated. With 8 floors of shopping, we headed straight for the Pokemon Centre. What we encountered was madness! There were people everywhere engaged in combat on their DS's and not just children. There were grown business men there as well. After having a wander around inside we went back out and found Moe Garden with Ghibli wares for sale. They accepted credit cards, so I waited outside while Penne did some shopping.

To finish off the day we headed back to the anime store Katsunori showed us yesterday to pickup a couple of extra things.  We ended up having pasta for dinner, was surprisingly good but still a distant second to Mum's home cooked pasta.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Yokohama Day 2 - Oct 26, 2013

We didn't bother setting the alarm this morning, because with the time difference, we knew we'd be up in plenty of time. Even with an earthquake at 2:30am we were awake around 7:30 local time, so we went and had Sukiya for breakfast before heading out to meet Katsunori. It was chilly out so we rugged up but with Typhoon Francisco of the coast, it didn't stop the wind biting and the rain making things miserable.

Walked to Chinatown, ate choco panda, played Mario Kart, Virtual Gundam and a bunch of other games.  Tried to catch a bunny but Penne's love is worth no more than 500 yen this time.  Ate nikuman for lunch from one of the seemingly hundreds of vendors offering the same things.  Walked to Yamashita park amidst gale force winds but the Hikawamaru Museum was closed due to the typhoon.  Walked back to the station and went to Yokohama, where Katsunori showed us Animate, 4 floors of anime, manga and cool stuff.  Very hard not to spend more money than we did.

Last on the list for the day was to visit the Ramen Muesum at Shin-Yokohama. It cost 300yen to get in and was well worth it! The top floor is basically the gift shop with a large slot car set at the back, which you can play for 200yen for 5mins, but the real treat is what lies beneath. Down a few flights of stairs awaits a beautifully recreated multi-level street scape of Japan from the 1950's. Each shop has a unique style of ramen to try. We decided on trying the Kamone Shokudo ramen, which was delicious! They even had matching glass soft drink bottles from the 50s. There is so much more in this place to tell but it's best seen for yourself.

We're going to try catching up with Katsunori again at Akihabara at the end of our trip. For dessert after a really long day we bought some McDonald's choco pie on the way home.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Our day started earlier than we anticipated due to rather firm beds and our body clocks being out of whack. After breakfast we collected our rail passes from the airport and caught the N'EX (Narita Express) to Yokohama. It was certainly a comfortable ride and allowed us to take in the wonderful Japanese countryside.  I find it amazing how even the scrub can be well kept and pretty.

We arrived at our hotel in Yokohama, the Washington Hotel, a little early so we had 2 hours to kill. We took to the streets to look around and eventually found a mall with lots of shops. We spent pretty much the whole rest of the day walking around. We found all kinds of stores but one of the highlights was Freshness Burger. Just check out the menu on the image below.

There were a number of trips out walking around, but we ended up back at the mall every time. PChii finally got to eat a taiyaki, a fish shaped waffle with your choice of filling.  It was delicious. PChii had an azuki one, while I had custard.

In the evening after dinner we found a Russian bar and had a few drinks and chatted to the bar staff.  We noticed they were missing some currency from all the different ones they had on display that were donated from other visitors. An Australian dollar and 50c coin now fill the gap they had.

Tomorrow we meet up with the exchange student we housed earlier this year. Can't wait!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

We made it

It was a long plane trip, but not the longest I've ever done.  There were two groups of ISA exchange students going home on the same flight that certainly kept the cabin lively.

Upon arrival we find Tokyo to be cold(ish) and wet. Awesome.

We checked in to the Narita Skycourt and managed to get there just in time before their restaurant closed. Had awesome katsudon for our first meal :-D This place is a little gem, really happy we got to stay here again. Now we're ready for some sleep. Tomorrow Yokohama awaits!

Don't arrive early

So we caught the red eye flight to Cairns to ensure no unforeseen circumstances would stop us from catching our flight. We arrived at the Cairns International Terminal to find check in wasn't open yet. After sitting around for a while check ins opened. However at the same time a fire alarm went off and a voice over said to await further instruction. This alarm sounded for a good 5mins with no one caring too much. We made our way to the front of the check in line and the alarm changed sounds and was accompanied by an unintelligible voice over. A few more minutes past and we finally see people being directed out of the terminal.

A nice sit in the shade outside for 10mins and we were allowed back in.

Let's try checking in again...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lock it in

Look out Japan we're coming back in about 2 weeks!

Keep an eye on this blog for updates on our journey.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Back to the Japan - Part 2

Looks like we'll be heading back to Japan later this year!  At this stage we're considering going for 2 weeks, starting at Osaka and going south.

More info later as we figure it all out.