A beautiful Sunday morning with lots of traditional weddings going on at the Meiji Jingu Shrine 明治神宮. Coincides with a crysanthemum flower show and the 7-5-3 children festival. Lots to shoot!
A bridge co-joining Harajuku Station to the entrance of Meiji Jingu Shrine.
A long and pebbly walkway. Well… its more than a walkway actually. Probably wide enough for several horse carriages to move through at the same time. But this is now strictly used by walking pedestrians only. Vehicles into the Meiji Jingu vicinity take another pathway.
Started the day at Tsukiji. Actually, we went Shinjuku first to get our tickets changed for Hakone.
Famous soba joint at Tsukiji outer market. It was recommended in both Taiwanese Tokyo guidebooks we had, so it is hopefully good. And it was! Just nice and piping hot for the cold weather. Obasan in charge of the tempura is grouchy though. Curtly reminded us that we can’t order tempura without having soba. The sign above her already said so. DUH! The soba is really tasty! Slurp Slurp! Hoped that her service was as palatable though. Oh yeah, its kinda pricy! Paid around 1500 Yen for two bowls of soba soup with Ebi tempura.
Hot soba with wakame (seaweed), negi (spring onions) and ebi tempura
Massive Christmas Deco at T3 Changi Airport. Its a ball-shaped dome which opens up like an umbrella periodically and plays music.
Another deco for xmas in the transit area. Lotsa tourists stop by on the way to their boarding gates for some quick shots.
Stewardess serving refreshments on SQ638 to Narita. Its a overnight flight. So no dinner served as it was 2345h when we boarded. Our first A380 experience! Chose a seat which doesn’t have a seat in front of it in exchange for more legroom turned out to be a mistake. With no foot rest extension from the seat in front (cos there isn’t a seat in front!), I kept slipping downwards while sleeping. And the meal table is wobbly. The screen is stowed away on the left of the seat. But I could do with the extra legroom. Oh well… you win some, you lose some.
Japan, also known as the “land of the rising sun”, a place where we always wanted to visit over recent years but due to commitments were not able to put a trip together. With the economic downturn and dropping of fuel prices, 2009 just felt like the right year to make our virgin trip to Japan. And on Aug 11, the sign came, when Singapore Airlines dropped airfares for many of their routes for the end of the year. It was a deal hard to resist, and so we took the plunge and booked at 8 days 7 nights trip to Tokyo for S$625/pax in November. Because it was our first ever trip to Japan, we decided to not rush and spend most of the time exploring Tokyo and maybe taking 2-3 day trips out of the city.
The next 2 months after that was spent researching our itinerary and searching for an affordable place to stay(a decent 3/4-star hotel or a backpacker’s hostel). Since we will be out most of the day, needed a place which was convenient to do laundry, we short-listed Khaosan Tokyo Guesthouse (albeit the small rooms) which costs around S$80/night, and decided if we make an overnight trip out of Tokyo we could put our luggage in the lockers in the train stations. Unfortunately, the rooms for November could not be booked until mid-September, and so maybe it was a blessing in disguise as we stumbled upon the Weekly Mansion website, which costs around S$110/night and had better locations.
Finally, we decided to do an overnight trip to Hakone/Kamakura. Since we were not going to be in the hotel long for this trip, we decided on getting an affordable hotel rather than an elaborate one with lots of facilities and services. We ended up choosing Hakone-no-mori Okada which costs around S$150/pax which is considered decent as the prices of hotels in Hakone can be as high as S$300/pax.
And so our adventure begins…