Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winter Break

For Winter vacation we traveled to Sapporo, and then Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and finally to Kobe. 17 days to travel Japan! It was definitely a fullfilling trip.
Sapporo had lots of snow and great food. The Hokkaido milk and ice cream was fantastic. I miss it already!

Tokyo was very busy and packed with people. Never before in my life have I ever seen that much porn in 1 city. I got to see Tokyo Tower! it's always been one of my childhood dreams to see Tokyo Tower. Why? because don't cha know!? that's where Sailor Moon lives! and we were lucky enough to see Mt Fuji. On my last night in Tokyo we got stuck on the last train leaving Shibuya station. HOLY CUPCAKES. It's insane how many people they can cram inside that train. It was so tight in the train that I could feel the air getting squeezed out from my lungs. What an experience that was. I also saw a drunk business man touching himself on the train, and then fly across the train because he was too drunk to keep his balance when the train stopped.

Kyoto was by far one of my favorite places, the temples and shrines were breath-taking. I wished we could've stayed there longer. Unfortunately quite a few temples and shrines were closed or under construction, but we still got to see a bunch of stuff. Fushimi Inari Shrine was fantastic and definitely worth the hike to the top.

Now.. as for Osaka and Kobe.. I can't say I did much. Not that they weren't great places, however I got some kind of stomach virus or food poisoning and.. yea.. that was very uncool. It was also very uncool to find out that a bunch of toilets at Kyoto Station did NOT have toilet paper! They weren't out of toilet paper, the bathroom stalls did not even have toilet paper holders. Needless to say while in Osaka I got to know their public toilets very intimately. We orginally planned to sleep at an Love hotel and Manga Kissa while in Osaka, but we were only able to do the Manga Kissa. My friend and I even ended up taking a nap inside the bathrooms for a bit since we did not have a hotel room and since we had to leave the Manga Kissa at 6am. Nothing was open and we couldn't find a nearby McDonalds and it was cold! so yea, into the bathroom we went!

We were only in Kobe for half a day, it was where our ferry to Oita was leaving from. Not much to say but we did happen to catch an awesome street performance by a local musician named Satoshi Yajima, I bought his CD and got his autograph!

So what did I learn from this trip?
-I knew a lot more Japanese than I realized, but there's still many more things to learn
-It's probably not a good idea to eat free mayonaise left in the hostel's fridge...
-Tokyo is not as expensive as everyone says, food is really affordable and you can easily spend only $3 for food per day. 99yen cup noodles work wonders!
-Always O_O carry toilet paper with you
-Even though everyone we met along the way was super nice and helpful, Kyushu folks are by far some of the nicest folks you'll ever meet.