Final Japan Post: Tokyo Imperial Palace Gardens and Souvenir Shopping

On our sunny, last day in Japan we headed to the Imperial Palace to see the East Gardens which were open to the public. We caught the Toei line to Kudanshita station then walked through the picturesque Kitanomaru Park, passing by the Budokan Hall where a ceremony was being held. Advertisements

Visiting Mt Fuji, March 2015

If you have a free day in your itinerary, I highly recommend considering a day tour to Mt Fuji. We booked one through japanican, namely the Mt Fuji Golden Tour, for our third last day in Japan. The tour included 4 stops and a bento lunch on an air-conditioned bus.

Asakusa: Okonomiyaki and Testa Rossa’s Silky Milk Pudding

With only three full days left in Japan, we decided to take it easy for the day and head to Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. The temple was few minutes’ walk from Asakusa station and like our last visit in 2009, was packed with tourists and locals. There were even two girls at the entrance looking after other people’s kids (who were placed…

Shinjuku Gyoen Splendour Plus Harajuku Gyoza and Crepes

The sun finally came out on day 9 of our Japan trip, which was perfect as we made our way on foot from the hotel to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. The admission fee was the best Y200 I ever spent. You can ask for an English map at the gate, which is helpful in planning your…

Kamakura’s Big Buddha and Hasedera Temple

Our first full day in Tokyo started off with buffet breakfast at Stella, BW’s restaurant located on the first floor. Their breakfast range had more variety than Hearton’s in Kyoto, but their seating area was small so there were a few mornings when we had to wait. Our plan was to head to Kamakura to see the…

Onwards to Tokyo – Ryogoku and Disneyland

We caught the Shinkansen to Tokyo arriving around 12pm, then changed to the Chuo rapid line for our destination of Shinjuku. Navigating the bustling (and huge) train station and streets of Shinjuku with luggage was a little stressful but luckily our hotel, Best Western Astina Shinjuku, was just a few minutes’ walk from the station.

Moss and Sand Gardens of the Silver Pavilion and an Afternoon of Sweets

Grey skies and rain set the tone of our sixth day in Japan, as we took the bus from the hotel to our first stop, the Hello Kitty Koubou shop in Northern Higashiyama. The shop was tiny but full of Hello Kitty goodies from handbags, pencil cases, hair accessories and very cute (if you can afford it) kimono-clad…

South Higashiyama Sights, Sweets and Inoda Coffee

Our first stop on our 5th day in Japan was Kiyomizudera. It’s probably the most well known temple in South Higashiyama, and looked pretty much the same back on our first trip in 2009 as now, just with a heap more tourists.

Fushimi Inari and Nara’s Very Hungry Deer

Day 4 in Japan saw us heading South from Kyoto to Nara, stopping by at Fushimi Inari Shrine on the way. We took the JR Nara line local train, as the rapid train bypasses Inari Station. When we got to Inari Station, all we had to do was follow the stream of tourists across the road…

The Golden Pavilion, being Zen and Tofu Doughnuts

You can’t go to North Kyoto without visiting Kinkakuji aka the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, and that was our first stop on our 3rd day in Japan. We started the morning with Hearton’s warm buffet breakfast and then headed to the bus stop.

Arashiyama Temples You Need to Know About – Part 2, March 2015

Jojakkoji was our final temple of the day and it was the most accessible, as it’s located amongst the cluster of temples just North of Tenryuji. As it’s built hallway up a mountain, it’s known for its views overseeing Arashiyama. Unfortunately when we went, the main hall of the temple Hondo, was closed for renovations.

2009 Flashback – The Monkeys of Arashiyama

One of my most vivid memories of my first trip to Japan in 2009 was our visit to Iwataya Monkey Park, located in South Arashiyama. The park is a good break from temple-hopping, especially if you’re partial to furry creatures.