browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Konnichiwa Japan and arigato gozaimasu

Posted by on January 13, 2014

Tokyo
So, two of us arrived from Malaysia, the other two from Barnsley. United we all were, tired and weary in a strange land of short legs, black hair, slanted eyes, funny writing and a very weird mother tongue. All was not lost, Boothy had packed his trusty well worn Japanese phase book albeit it resting safely in the bottom of his bag. Nevertheless, we managed to validate the rail passes, sample our first porcelain sit down to music and board a sooper dooper train armed with our first beer to transport us to Tokyo.

All aboard the bullet train
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 002 (640x500)

When in Rome an all thatJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 003 (493x640)

With Boothy and Bryn spurned on by excitement and not their 32 hours of lost sleep, there was only one thing which would get us all sleeping comfortably in our capsule beds…………… booze and lots of it. After calling at a computer generated bar where all ordering was in Japanese on a touch screen, we scoffed whatever had been brought to the table and made a move to the next port of call. Having called into a Jail come pub, the neon lights of Shinjuku lured us quickly into an ‘all you can eat and drink’ spectacular for two hours. With the stop watches at the ready, we drank until the final buzzer and even argued another beer for the last 30 seconds. Downing a beer in 8 seconds, Claire only recollected a few extracts of the night, one of which was Danny pipping her to the post at a narrowly better 6 seconds.

Hmmm lets press all 10 options and see which we get?!?!?Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 009 (640x490)

Ok, next time we’ll get the dictionary out before you press the button
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 014 (640x326)

Just a normal after work drinking nightJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 019 (640x344)

All these were bars and we had no idea!Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 038 (425x640)

Ring for service………JUST ONCE else you will get one angry waiter
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 041 (474x640)

Yorkshire tight asses through and through
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 042 (640x431)

Two minutes left, down it and one more for the road
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No sleep for 36 hours and look at em
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wriggling into our capsules in the early hours, the booze and 36 hour stint for the weary Barnsley venturers still wasn’t enough to knock them out for a few hours. With curdling stomachs and sore heads, 4 hours later we were up and off in search of what Shinjuku had to offer.

At least only he gets to smell his farts in the nightOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The only Hilton this came close to was the Bangkok variety
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 047 (425x640)

Walking off a breako of greasy tempura prawns and weird looking soup with bits floating in it, we boarded a train to delightful Ueno, an old fashioned Japanese village scattered with temples, ornate houses and an impressive graveyard which seemed to have lots of folks buried there with a passion for skiing. Wandering around lapping up the history, it was clearly time to move forward a good few centuries and head to Akihabra the famous electric town.

He might drive a top of the range car, but he has one shite camera……….apparently retro is in
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 054 (640x467)

Temple at UenoJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 056 (425x640)

Must have been soup on the menu for lunchJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 059 (427x640)

Just how much snow is there in Japan?
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 060 (427x640)

As soon as we stepped foot off the train it was apparent this place was a tad strange. For some reason, the Japanese have a freaky fascination for anything bright and electrically generated, be it a geeky warcraft computer game, a yen chattering pachinko machine, glasses which make you see everything upside down and a sega toilet which allows you to measure up your power and accuracy against anyone else who cares to visit. Wide eyed, we tramped up and down the streets mesmerized by what makes these folk tick.

Red ice and a wafer fish anyone?
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 064 (458x640)

So loud your teeth chattered!Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 065 (640x357)

One Gay unhappy fish monger
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 071 (526x640)

Even the instructions in Japanese didn’t put him off
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 073 (432x640)

Meanwhile, Claire was fathoming out how to flush and not receive another unexpected ‘rear wesh’Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 584 (640x421)

And no, it wasn’t as easy as pushing the red button
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 075 (239x640)

After a wash it was time for a burgerOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The boys checking out the local pussyJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 081 (436x640)

Yep, totally normal evening strollJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 082 (485x640)

Dinner was looking interestingJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 087 (640x480)

After a snack of whatever it was we got, the heavens literally burst open and we were stuck in a little Japanese boozer with four old men who couldn’t speak a word of the queens. Fearing the worst, we needn’t of worried as out popped the landlord with 4 ‘universal street umbrellas’ and we quickly legged it across the road to the sportsbar for a spot of darts and some very large beers.

If only those large beers had been the death of us, unfortunately they weren’t, and a visit to a downtown 70 yen bar saw us bedded in for the night, drinking until ‘some of us’ puked and eating as much ‘Japanese tapas’ as the poor chef could make. Getting kicked out with beer still in our glasses, we weaved our way in and out of the morning joggers and salary men on their way to the office.

The next day, feeling ‘on top of the world’ (or maybe not), we were train bound again but this time to Harajuku, home of the most fashionable district in Tokyo and also the Menje shrine. Fitting in like 4 square pegs in a round hole, not only did we tower above everybody in the suburb, but 3 hungover Barnsley lads and a lass radiating a tinge of green and a tongue like a carpet we think we certainly set our own trend for the Tokyo autumn/winter catwalks. After dragging the fellas into every conceivable shop, we called it a do and headed into the cheapest bar we could find for a well and truly earned beer.

Sake barrels – a gift fit for a king
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wedding bells at the Menje ShrineOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Write it down and make a wishJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 118 (425x640)

Green but still smilingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Menje Shrine entranceJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 124 (640x410)

A not cool person drinking a very cool drinkJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 129 (464x640)

Only for the Fashionistas
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 131 (640x436)

Not sure how the old bird on the right got in……..Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 132 (475x640)

No picture food in Japan, its all plastic food galore
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A right titJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 134 (582x640)

Knickers? A stamp? Some Sushi? A beer? A hotdog? Some socks? Everything is available via a vending machineOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Shibuya by nightOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the many love hotelsJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 161 (450x640)

Wrong place, wrong timeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A different type of beer, Dannys was frozen, Claires was pineappleOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Taking a break from the booze just for one night, we were up bright and early elbowing the kids to the ground and pushing our way to Disney Land. Boarding the Disney monorail, we yet again felt like fishes out of water in the fashion stakes as every bugger sported either Mickey Mouse ears, a Pluto nose or a Donald duck ass – It was official, the Japanese really are nuts!

Maybe Elmo would do?
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As nuts as the rest of emOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Japanese Brazilian?!?!Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 184 (562x640)

Water show, and yes you did get wetJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 197 (640x396)

Barnsley on tourOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ready for some Toy Story maniaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Swallowed up with all the excitementOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Prats in the HatsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After three…….we all love Mickey MouseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A way to a girls heart hey Danny?Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 221 (640x540)

After being thrust around by Indiana Jones on what felt like our last ‘ever’ crusade, shot by Woody in the head and dropped from the Tower of Terror, we were completely exhausted. The finale spectacular of fireworks, laser show and every Disney character singing their hearts out, was the perfect ending for our fun filled day in the Disney Kingdom.

3.45am the next day some of us (not mentioning any names) were up to visit the Tsukiji fish market. Arriving at 4am we just managed to secure the last 2 places on the tour. (Just imagine getting up at that hour and being turned away?!). With matchsticks propping Danny’s eyes open and a peg secured to Claire’s nose, we donned the fluorescent jackets and trudged our way through the working fish market to see what all this sushi fuss was really about.

I wonder if they use sweet corn for bait?Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 238 (640x610)

 $1.76m for a fish??Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 245 (640x534)

We were wondering where he would stuff his torch next……….Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 266 (557x640)

Big businessJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 285 (640x446)

Plenty more fish in the sea? In this case, unfortunately notJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 301 (640x526)

What Wasabi really looks like!Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 306 (640x403)

So, despite Claire inability to swallow raw fish without gipping, Danny lined up in the queue at 7am and treated us both to a mouthwatering (and for Claire) an eye watering Sushi breakfast. Looking in anguish as our personal sushi chef chopped, skinned and rolled up our raw and almost twitching delicacies, the familiar green tinge returned to Claires cheeks and the sushi chef was in for a viewing spectacle of his own.

Queuing up for his breakoJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 328 (402x640)

No HP sauce required for this breako
Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 324 (475x640)

Armed with a tissue in one hand, her fingers firmly pegged onto her nose with the other, and a mouthful of green tea to wash it down, she closed her eyes popped it in and wished it would just go away. A few gipps, tears and stomping of the feet later it was gone and apparently, not too bad at all. After that, in true Barnsley style and to the delight of the chef, she couldn’t wait to get it down her. Then came the sea urchin……………

Coming to a greasy spoon near youOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Peace out Sushi chefJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 327 (429x640)

And of course, he couldn’t leave without a Sushi knife souvenir….Japan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 343 (425x640)

Nikko
Fuelled up on a breako of fish, we returned to the capsules and shook the lazy buggers awake in anticipation of our next train ride to Nikko, the home of the golden shrine. Arriving at our Ryoken (basically a cute little room with futons and a hot onsen), it was clear none of us were sad to see the back of the capsules. The only thing we had to contend with now was floor space and Bryns snoring.

Nikko is a nice relaxing little village. We took a walk around the intricate temples, saw the national treasure of Japan (a wooden sleeping cat) and basically chilled out a little. Too much booze and fun in Tokyo had taken its toll on the weary travellers, so much so that when visiting a small restaurant for tea, Boothy seasoned his plate instead of his food.

Getting into character in the RyokenOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The bridge…… but is this the one on the Lonely Planet cover Booth?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dragons galore at the templeJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 360 (425x640)

Not a bad street lightJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 367 (376x640)

Don’t upset this fella by wearing your baseball cap or elseJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 371 (418x640)

Shoes off inside pleaseJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 403 (640x418)

Outside the Golden templeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ancient History preservedJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 416 (425x640)

Another Barmy JapOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Reyt burger vanJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 429 (421x640)

Smoking is just for old cowboys in JapanJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 430 (512x640)

Drunk and confused BoothyJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 448 (454x640)

Mount Fuji
Just incase you were wondering, this escapade wasn’t going to be a relaxing holiday for the 2 Barnsley boys on tour. Dannys agenda had lined up a delight for everyone, a cold, miserable sleepless night trek to the summit of mount Fuji – well, if another 300,000 folks were going to do it each year then we should.

Arriving on the train at FujiJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 452 (640x630)

Taking part in his School questionnaireJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 456 (640x519)

The sunset before the hikeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The peak behind the cloudJapan Tokyo, Disney, Nikko, Mount Fuji 461 (640x257)

Ready for off!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A little bit chilly at almost 4000ftOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sleeping it off halfway upOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just like the M1 in rush hourOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We all made it, 4am and we were at the topOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sleeping it off yet againOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Weaving our way down in the rainOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Drying out at the bottomOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Following a sleepless night on an unsheltered mountain face, a hard uphill trek, the heavens opening at the top, Claires leaking boots and paying over a quid for a piss, we were all glad to be at the bottom. Although we never actually got to see the picture perfect top of the peak we had just climbed, once it was over we all enjoyed the fact that we had done it.  But, as the agenda goes, there was no rest for the wicked, with eye bags like a group of junkies and limping like a dog with three legs, we all boarded yet another train to Kyoto.

Kyoto
As anticipated, the first evening was a bit of a wash out. Showered, tired but hungry, our rumbling stomachs enticed us into a great restaurant where we ate some cracking snap before falling into our bunk beds and listening to the ongoing chorus of Bryn’s never ending snoring.

Enjoying his cracking snapJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 007 (405x640)

Finally, delighting in the fact we had no hangover, it was time to hit yet more temples (yes basically Japan is full of em), and sample some local Japanese traditions. These mainly consist of praying a little, eating a few noodles and drinking alot. Oh dear, another night on the town it is then! Wandering in the soaring heat around the huge temple complex, we found ourselves in the depths of a ‘womens womb’ (a very very dark corridor where you basically trod on everyones heels and had to carry your shoes around in a plastic bag), drinking the local stream out of a ultra violet cleansed metal cup, and sampling the stomach churning green tea ice cream from the many hordes of souvenir stands.

Kiyomu-Clera TempleOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The only non alcoholic drink Bryn drank that dayJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 015 (568x640)

Chiming out melodies from the heightsJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 017 (640x499)

Thankfully Danny can’t singJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 022 (640x487)

A sneaky shot of the localsJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 026 (532x640)

Burning the temple downJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 035 (640x481)

Please Mr Buddha, let tomorrows hangover be mild……oh and please bring me a wifeJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 038 (640x466)

Sampling the stream from ultra violet cleansed cupsJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 051 (640x495)

Looks like Soup for tea againJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 056 (640x598)

The beautiful temple from afarOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The aptly named red pagodaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Entrance to the templeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A local Geisha on a tea breakJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 081 (505x640)

Lanterns and love hearts with prayers galoreJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 093 (540x640)

Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 098 (640x425)

Templed out, it was time for a drink and to search out some local Geishas. Mr agenda had also noted the most beautiful street in Japan was in the district so we headed over there. Regrettably, we walked along the wrong street so headed to the offy instead. It seems that the Japanese are big fans of alfresco drinking so, not wanting to ever miss out, we stocked up on some tinnies and headed to the river front with the rest of em.

Not the most beautiful street in Japan but a nice one all the sameOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cooking up Octopus ballsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Doing it local style
Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 110 (640x438)

Only wish we never found the boozers afterwards……..Parents look away at the next few snapsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can take a lass outta Denby Dale but……
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One for the road – or at least the road to the next pubOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Oh dear, is that beer in those bowls?
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Oh dear oh dearOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Its gotta be hometimeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s definitely home timeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As you can see, another eventful night in some random Japanese bar. Remembering very little the next day whilst sat in McDonalds devouring our big mac breakfasts, the only real recollection was the fact that the bar bill was mistakenly only about 10 quid and apparently Bryn had become entrapped by some strangely even more drunk than us Japanese fella who he ‘thinks’ he might have paid off.

After a whole day nursing hangovers from hell, we had a day of lost time to make up for according to Dannys agenda sheet so yet again it was off to yet another temple but this one was Golden.

The Golden TempleOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Golden Temple and beautiful Japanese gardensOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The not so beautiful ‘zen’ rock garden which, we actually paid to see……….crock of shite but still, memorable
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Bamboo groveOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 211 (436x640)

Dazed and confusedOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All aboard the snazzy train, but we didn’t actually get on this one for once!Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 217 (489x640)

Bit better than Barnsley InterchangeJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 218 (385x640)

Then for a spot of Cormorant FishingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tied to leads they catch the fish, wring its neck, get the fish out then send it in again – RSPB look away!Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 247 (640x376)

The fire lights the wayJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 251 (530x640)

Just like training a dog to catch really….Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 256 (533x640)

Pulling one inJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 261 (640x472)

All this fishing made us hungry so off to catch the sushi train we went. Being a man of culture, Bryn couldnt wait to tackle the roast beef and yorkshire pudding sushi as well as the duck a la orange. Culture vulture indeed.

Halt that train! Roast dinner coming your way BrynOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leaving the resident snorers in bed again, me and Danny hit the Fushimi-mari-taisha temples. A huge winding complex of red and black shrines twisting through the hills (and the bloody mossies!).Walking and walking as far as we could before almost fainting with blood loss, we found refuge in the local Mos burger joint whilst awaiting for the Barnsley venturers to turn up in Nara.

The biggest one of the dayOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sweaty work this walkingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Like a row of dominoes, thousands and thousands of emJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 302 (425x640)

Temple on temple, this place was pretty amazingJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 306 (425x640)

And the exits as good as the way inJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 309 (474x640)

Nara
Raring to go after a good nights kip, the Barnsley boys on tour strutted through the train station with a new lease of life. Nara was a beautiful little spot and Danny had planned just what we all needed…………a Nightingale Walking Tour. The tour, enjoyed by all, wove us from temple to temple and took in the best sights Nara had to offer. Home to the Tadai-Ji temple, the largest wooden building in the world, it was hard not to appreciate such a sight. It also offers the opportunity to literally crawl through the buddhas nose. Sizing up this chance of a lifetime, we all decided that due to the recent beer consumption, none of us would make it out the other end alive. Roaming and coursing havoc throughout the day were of course the resident Deer population of the town. These beggars literally roam the streets uncaged and unfenced, a bit like the sheep up on the tops. With a liking for not only Claires ass but also her sunglasses (like those bloody sheep all those years ago), it was more of hindrance than a novelty.

Free as a bird
Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 317 (418x640)

Caught in the act………..biting her butt from the rear
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Careful sunshineOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the Temple gardens, thankfully not zen
Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 319 (440x640)

THE biggest wooden building in the worldJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 336 (640x425)

Us outside THE biggest wooden building in the worldOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Us outside THE biggest wooden building in the world again
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Walking down from a view point after a free cold drink courtesy of the BuddhasJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 345 (425x640)

Another blighter on the looseJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 346 (409x640)

Lamps to light the way, except it was day timeJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 357 (425x640)

Another uncool man with another very cool drinkOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The day took its toll on the walking tour guideJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 372 (640x285)

Boothys bride to be at the Geisha show back in KyotoJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 376 (640x443)

Koyasan
Goodbye lovely Kyoto hello Koyasan. This time it was a rural train ride through the countryside and rolling hills up into the mountains. The journey was scenic but somewhat tarnished by Claire’s desperate need to pee. Screeching into the station, it was a mad dash to the bogs then onto a very steep funicular which transported us even higher as the normal train couldn’t.  Staying at a Buddist temple, this was sure to be an experience and a half. No meat, no eggs and no clothes in the Onsen, should be a laugh if nothing else?!

 You served me for 8 whole years and uncountable miles, but now your shite so goodbye trusty walking bootsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Journey to the cloudsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mr ‘afraid of heights Boothy’ do NOT look down!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Its like Fuji all over again
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

View from our room over the Koi carp pondJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 411 (640x407)

Amazing placeJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 426 (640x447)

Strolling around yet another graveyard…….but why do they all eat soup??!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 438 (425x640)

Impressive at sunsetJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 447 (640x415)

Calling Japanesa OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sat down for dinner – this place was an experience to fondly rememberOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If Boothy had remembered his boxers, Claire would have remembered the whole experience for a different reason
Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 459 (474x640)

Hiroshima
A great city with a heart breaking past, this was a must see on the agenda and it didn’t disappoint. Hiroshima was a short train journey away and after another weeks allowance of Buddhist veggies for breakfast, we were glad to finally get to the backpackers. Scorchingly hot, we boarded a tram to the national museum where our eyes were opened and we learnt more than we ever did in 6 years of History lessons. An absolute eye opener, we all enjoyed the displays and information which were, to put it bluntly, quite frank and a little upsetting. Outside the museum, the park and epicenter of that fateful life changing bomb has been transformed into a great park and memorial grounds, preserving the atomic bomb dome which now stands of a painful reminder of that day.

Paper cranes, a sign of peaceJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 468 (425x640)

Sad but trueJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 471 (640x322)

Memorial gardens with the Atomic Bomb Dome in the backgroundJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 481 (640x475)

Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 486 (456x640)

Now a world UNESCO heritage siteJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 489 (422x640)

Following an eventful day, it seemed only right to join the locals down the Okonmiyaki shop and knock back a few local beverages.

With the Salary menJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 496 (640x425)

CheersJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 502 (640x398)

Miyajima
Another train, another 45 degree day. This time though, we had a ferry to board which took us to the Miyajima floating shrine not to mention the worlds largest rice spoon. Sauntering about in the un relentless heat, we sought refuge in an ice cream cafe and basically, after Boothy had been chatted up by a friendly old deer, called it a day.

The floating shrine, except its not floating at allOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Paddling out to the shrineOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Boothys friendly old deerOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

THE biggest rice spoon in the worldOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Osaka
Back to where we finally started and the trip would sadly end, Osaka. Having found our digs, which basically seemed to be some fellas flat which he shoved some bunk beds in, me and Danny did some window shopping in the mind boggling shops whilst Boothy and Bryn checked out the local aquarium to see what exactly it was they’d been eating. Tomorrow was the first day of the Summer Sonic music festival, the main reason the trip to Japan even happened. It was nice to sleep in the same bed once again for more than one night and funnily Osaka felt a bit like home.

Train to Osaka taking its toll yet againOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wandering around the streets
Japan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 515 (425x640)

Fitting in with the crazy localsJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 516 (425x640)

An electronic pen ordering system.whatever nextOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Having spent a night on the town in Osaka, we were up early to catch a train to the Summer Sonic Music Festival. A festival of all festivals we had 2 days of absolutely scorching, mind blowing heat with little else than a beer and a water fan here and there to cool us all down. Nevertheless, we bopped to the Stone Roses, Linkin Park, Metallica, Bullet for my Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins, Fall Out Boy, Stereophonics, and the unforgettable Muse. Sadly it was the opening songs of Carly Rae Jepson than sent Claire into a spin and saw her narrowing missing a bust nose as she somersaulted to the ground in the mid day heat. This was closely followed by Danny part way through Bullet for my Valentine, and even poor old Boothy took a turn for the worst, but we think that might of been when it was his turn to go to the bar. Despite the terrible terrible heat, we had a blast and those crazy ass Japanese sure know how to have a good time.

Green is mean
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cooling down in the water fanOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hulk Hogan taking a break from the mosh pitOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Too hot but still JapaneseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Waiting for the Stone RosesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Legend, still at it but looking a bit oldOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Metallica FansOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Muse on stageOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bullet for my Valentine, before Danny took a turn for the worstOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Grooving at the silent discoOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After 2 days of boozing and enjoying ourselves too much, we had one final day and one final night in Osaka before we sadly waved goodbye to our pals and caught the plane to South Korea. Strolling Osaka trying to find last minute magnets and souvenirs, we quickly found ourselves back in a boozer and soon stumbled into a well trodden Karaoke bar.  An end to a night of all nights, we blasted the tunes out, sang until we couldn’t speak anymore and pissed off all the neighbours at the break of dawn as we stumbled home. Well, being the birth place of Karaoke it would of been rude not to………………

Danny hitting the comic book shop in OsakaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dunno who they were but we stoppedOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The bright lights of OsakaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It had to finish on a Portugal rematchOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Third man was requiredOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Laying down the law
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Don’t go in………you just KNOW you’ll singOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Righteous brothers belting it outOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You were warnedOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here they go againOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Voice of an Angel (being hung)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking at these now, we realise we drink far too much
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

6am Octopus balls all around for the singersJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 526 (640x425)

Kobe
After a night on the tiles it was the final day of our whistle stop tour around Japan. Exhausting, expensive and a whole heap of fun, it was sad it would be all over very soon. To finish on a high, we all headed over to Kobe for a taste of the famous Kobe beef to celebrate Bryns birthday. Cooked to perfection and washed down with a drop of red, it was a perfect ending to a perfect trip. The Barnsley boys would be travelling back to tarn the following day and were no doubt relieved that they would finally get a full nights kip and their wallets would get a well earned rest. Japan is as expensive as hell but jeez was it interesting and a real good laugh. Sad to say bye to a couple of true mates, we were off to catch a flight and thankfully not another bloody train to Seoul.

A very excited DannyJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 582 (425x640)

Kobe chef making his magicJapan Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Osaka & Kobe 540 (425x640)

Vegies look away
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gettin it darn thiOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Japan, you’ve probably cut 6 months off our travelling time due to your over priced beer and numerous opportunities to enjoy it but, we might just see you again some day.

Our route on this post:


Destination Arrival
1 Kansai Airport, Japan July 26, 2013
2 Tokyo, Japan July 26, 2013
3 Shinjuku, Japan July 26, 2013
4 Ueno, Japan July 27, 2013
5 Akihabara, Japan July 27, 2013
6 Shinjuku, Japan July 27, 2013
7 Harajuku, Japan July 28, 2013
8 Shibuya, Japan July 28, 2013
9 Shinjuku, Japan July 28, 2013
10 Tokyo Disneyseas, Japan July 29, 2013
11 Shinjuku, Japan July 29, 2013
12 Tsukiji, Japan July 30, 2013
13 Shinjuku, Japan July 30, 2013
14 Tokyo, Japan July 30, 2013
15 Utsonomiya, Japan July 30, 2013
16 Nikko, Japan June 30, 2013
17 Utsonomiya, Japan July 31, 2013
18 Tokyo, Japan July 31, 2013
19 Shinjuku, Japan July 31, 2013
20 Otsuki, Japan July 31, 2013
21 Kawaguchi-Ko, Japan July 31, 2013
22 Mount Fuji, Japan August 1, 2013
23 Kawaguchi-Ko, Japan August 1, 2013
24 Otsuki, Japan August 1, 2013
25 Shinjuku, Japan August 1, 2013
26 Kyoto, Japan August 1, 2013
27 Arashiyama, Japan August 4, 2013
28 Kyoto, Japan August 4, 2013
29 Nara, Japan August 5, 2013
30 Kyoto, Japan August 5, 2013
31 Osaka, Japan August 6, 2013
32 Shinimamiya, Japan August 6, 2013
33 Gokurakubashi Station, Japan August 6, 2013
34 Koyasan, Japan August 6, 2013
35 Gokurakubashi Station, Japan August 7, 2013
36 Shinimamiya, Japan August 7, 2013
37 Osaka, Japan August 7, 2013
38 Shin Osaka, Japan August 7, 2013
39 Hiroshima, Japan August 7, 2013
40 Miyajima, Japan August 8, 2013
41 Hiroshima, Japan August 8, 2013
42 Shin Osaka, Japan August 8, 2013
43 Shinsaibashi, Japan August 8, 2013
44 Kobe, Japan August 14, 2013
45 Shinsaibashi, Japan August 14, 2013
46 Kansai Airport, Japan August 14, 2013

3 Responses to Konnichiwa Japan and arigato gozaimasu

  1. Booithy

    Well worth the wait, I can almost taste the sea urchin. Probably the maddest, hottest, wettest, beeriest, wtf-est (and best!) hol ever!

    And did mention we (nearly) met Aerosmith after you left?

    See you in Rio! x

  2. BigTP

    Good blogging Japan looks mega fun. Looking forward to the Aussie blog.

  3. Cynthia

    Finally it arrived but I can honestly say 1 of the best.Highlight —-the thought of Clara going to fish market We must go to PadstowLove you lots Mumxxx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *