JAPAN

PLACES TO VISIT

Asakusa

Fishmarket and park and Shibuya

Ueno park and the imperial palace

Kyoto and  Kiyomizu temple

Kyoto Golden Pavilion and Ryan Ji

Nara

 NIJO castle and  TOFUKU Ji temple

Nikko

HAKONE

Tokyo

                                     

 

To prepare for our trip, we went to the Tourist Office Japan, 4 rue Ventadour in Paris 1st.


Phone: 0142962029 Website: http://www.jnto.go.jp/


Besides buying a Japan Rail Pass we had no documentation on board except Tokyo and Kyoto and a cold reception.

With the current price of the euro, buying the rail pass was useless after audit.


You do not win, you lose and perhaps most importantly you can not take the Nozomi super express train.


a recommendation: take yens before leaving for the life of every day.

 

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

We chose to travel with Japan Air Line for schedule: starting at 6:05 p.m. and arrival at Tokyo Narita 14H

after a trip of 12H and a jet lag of 8H.

 

Thursday, November 8, 2007

 

At Narita, we went to the office to get the JR Japan Rail Pass carnet 7 days. We did it start as of November 12.

Then we bought our ticket limousine bus (3,000 yen per person)  to go to our hotel.

This is a very good solution because you arrive at the door of your hotel.

Shinkansen train also costs 3000 yen, but you arrive at Tokyo Station and you will either take a taxi or take the subway.


For one day of arrival, hard, hard!! mainly because of the luggage.

We were surprised by the warm welcome when we arrived at Tokyo Nikko Hotel in Tokyo bay.

A maid took care of our luggage and we had explained the functioning of our bedroom. Given the service,


we proposed a tip she refused, almost offended. Our first lesson of Japanese etiquette
 

 

 Tokyo Nikko Hotel

the reasons to stay at the Nikko Hotel :
 

- Not adjacent motorway

- A walk along the seaside at the foot of the hotel

- Metro Station between Meridian and Nikko hotels

- Restaurants and rooms have views over the Rainbow Bridge

- The friendly staff

 

the Rainbow bridge

Friday, November 9, 2007

 

Today is our first day visiting and we begin by exploring our neighborhood Daiba.

 

the class photo of a group of schoolchildren

the Statue of Liberty and Twin Towers

 

From April 1998 to May 1999, France has lent his copy of the Statue of Liberty for the year of French culture.


Following the success, the Japanese have made a replica. After, we started to take the subway.


We are on the new line Yurikamome serving the island of Odaiba. First surprise, there is no Pass


with other subway lines in Tokyo, so they explained with great devotion, because the Japanese do


not speak English, we must take a ticket to Shimbashi and buy a pass to the distributor of


the Ginza line. It seems easy, but arrived at our destination, we surveyed many corridors before


find our distributor. It was too late to visit the fish market and we went to Asakusa.

 

The Flame of Philippe Stark

the door of Thunder

 

Nakamise Dori

 

Nakamise Dori

 

Kannon Temple

 

Kannon Temple

 

5 floors Pagoda

Upon exiting the subway Asakusa, one sees the flame


Philippe Stark, and then we followed a group of


tourists who led us to the door of Thunder, input


Nakamise Street, a shopping street that ends with


Kannon Temple with adjacent 5-floors pagoda.


Click on images to see a movie.
 

 

 

Tan Megumi, Yamamoto Akitoshi, Hoshikana Misaki,

Kurita Hutoshi et Kakizaki Satoshi are young english students

of the school Kaneyama at Mogami, Yamagata .

They interviewed me. And we understood because

after their teacher photographed us, I

asked to send me an email with this picture.
I am very happy and I congratulate them. Encourage them

sending them an email (in English if possible).

 

To see the video of the tourist district of Asakusa

 

 

At the Akihabara station, we visited the district of

electronics. We were little concerned, except that

we have seen tiny laptops

Panasonic brand, a brand that seems popular

in Japan.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Today it's raining and we bought a round trip ticket to Shimbashi. We learn that tickets are

different for the outward and return. In Shimbashi, we still lost to find our distributor

 1 day Pass ticket and we asked for help to charming Japanese. In the morning we

visited the Tsukiji fish market. Today, more needs to be there at 5 am to attend

the fish auction. Tourists are not welcome.

 

the fish market

the fish market

 

the fish market

 

they sharpen the knives for the next day

 

The street with sushi restaurants

After the morning fish auction, individuals come to market

to benefit from good prices.

 

In the afternoon we went in the Shibuya area to observe the Japanese youth. Unfortunately

it was raining ....

 

the crowd even in the rain

the crowd even in the rain

 

Hachiko dog

We were at Shibuya with bad weather.

The crowd was so great that we were obliged

to ask where was the statue of Hachiko,

 a meeting point in Shibuya ..

 

We then visited the Sony building located in the Ginza area, where we attended a

demonstration of an MP3 player called ROLLY, sold only in Japan currently. we wanted

bring it to our grandchildren but the documentation was available only in Japanese.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Today the weather is better and we will visit Ueno Park and the Imperial Palace.

 

The owl of Ueno Zoo

 

 
the great Panda of Ueno Zoo in a Japanese landscape

 Ueno Park -Cherry trees alley

 Ueno Park

 

lanterns, chinese style

 

 Ueno Park

 

 Ueno Park

 

 Ueno Park

 

shopping street at the exit of Park

From April, the Japanese come picnicking under the

cherry blossoms. Ueno Park is the place of museums.

We visited the zoo for the giant panda and the museum

Shitamachi where we view japanese life around 1920 .

We just walked in the street Ameyayokocho

and have been impressed by the street vendors.

 

 

We took the subway to get to the Imperial Palace.

 

 

 

 

 

The East Gardens were closed. Only a small part of

gardens was open. A little disappointed!

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Monday, November 12, 2007

This is the day we went to Kyoto with the Shinkansen train. We had to book our seats for Kyoto.

The second class comprise 5 seats (3 +2) by row, while the first class have 4 seats (2 +2). There is a

limited space for luggage at the end of the wagon. Of course we have compared with our TGV and we find

that our train is better suited for travelers with luggage. In Kyoto, we booked a room for

4 days at Hotel Kokusai in front Nijo Castle. We very much saw Mount Fuji from the train, but

did not have the reflex to take the picture because we were sure to see him again during our future visits, including

to HAKONE.

 

 

 

Shinkansen train

sushis to taste

 

the gentleman who cooked our sushi

While waiting for our room, we went to the

sushi restaurant. We have appreciated and have

kindly received a lesson in handling

chopsticks. in late afternoon, we took the bus

to get to the Kiyomizu Temple, located on a

hill and offers views of Kyoto. Given

the late hour, we thought be alone. It was not

the case. It was the Mont ST Michel in August

 

the street that goes up to Kiyomizu Temple

Mont Saint Michel in France

 

Kiyomizu temple

 

Kiyomizu temple

 

Kiyomizu temple

 

Kiyomizu temple

 

Kiyomizu temple

 

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We took the bus 12 to go to the Golden Pavilion. Splendor! We then walked for 20 minutes

to get to the Ryoan Ji where is the most famous Zen gardens of Japan. We preferred the wet garden.

We returned to the hotel before returning to Gion where we visited the street Pontocho, and Gion Corner.

 

 

Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion

 

Golden Pavilion

 

the street which leads to Golden Pavilion
 

Golden Pavilion

For us it is the most beautiful place in Japan!

A monk set fire in July 1950 and was

rebuilt to the original. This temple was rebuilt in 1955.

 

pagoda in the Ryoan Ji Temple

 

wet garden in the Ryoan Ji temple

 

dry zen garden, Kare Sansui

 

dry zen garden, Kare Sansui

 

dry zen garden, Kare Sansui

the weekend, the Zen Garden is taken by assault by cohorts

of Japanese who come to practice meditation group.

Things to see as us a weekday.
 

 

Pontocho street

 

Gion Corner

 

the arcades in Gion

 

Gion Corner

 

Gion Corner

These Kyoto districts must be visited at nightfall to

enjoy the atmosphere. We were however very

surprised to see many women in traditional costume.

Notice the shoes, it requires a training

to walk well.

 

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Today we used our JR Pass to get to Nara. On arrival, we entered the office

of tourism where the person speaking English gave us a map in French with sites to visit.

 

deer freely in Nara Park

the walkway leading to the Todai Ji Temple

 

Todai Ji Temple

 

Todai Ji Temple

 

The bronze Buddha

The Todai Ji Temple is the largest wooden building in the world

with 57 m wide and 50 m high. The Buddha bronze statue

 was completed in 751 by the Korean Kimimaro.
 

 

Kasuga Taisha sanctuary

 

Kasuga Taisha sanctuary

 

Kasuga Taisha sanctuary

 

Kasuga Taisha sanctuary

 

Kasuga Taisha sanctuary

 

Kasuga Taisha sanctuary

 

Kasuga Taisha sanctuary

We saw many children in costumes.

It was the Shichi-go-San celebrating children of 3.5 and 7 years.

We saw mostly small children.

Family photograph them in large

sanctuaries of the city.

 

When we arrived at Kyoto Station, we booked for the Shinkansen back to Tokyo.

 

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

In the morning we went to Nijo Castle located across from our hotel. Photography was prohibited inside

the castle but we were able to see paintings and a reconstruction of the Shogun, his family and his followers.

We appreciate all the gardens around the castle.

In the afternoon we went to JI Tofuku temple to discover three Zen gardens.

 

NIJO Castle

NIJO Castle

 

NIJO Castle

Several shoguns have resided since its construction in 1603,

until the abdication of the last of them in 1867.

Since 1893, the castle belongs to the city of Kyoto.

Too bad photography or video is banned

inside as it is worth visiting.

 

 

garden of NIJO Castle

 

garden of NIJO Castle

 

garden of NIJO Castle

 

garden of NIJO Castle

 

garden of NIJO Castle

We strolled at least two hours among every garden

surrounding the castle.

 

Tofuku Ji Temple

Tofuku Ji Temple

 

temple's garden

 

temple's garden

 

temple's garden

 

temple's garden

 

temple's garden

 

temple's garden

 

temple's garden

Tofuku Ji temple is mostly frequented by the Japanese.

We mostly filmed and photographed the three Zen gardens.

The dry garden Zen requires 1 hour of work every morning

for redesign. Among the people who guided the

tourists, we had the pleasure to discuss a Japanese

who spoke perfect French. He told us that some

students were learning French but not provided news
to the tourists by shyness.

 

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Friday, November 16, 2007

 

At 10 o'clock, we took the Shinkansen to Tokyo but unfortunately we have not had a chance to review

Mount Fuji. In the afternoon we went to Shinjuku and went up to the 45th floor of City Hall where

you can see Mount Fuji on clear days.

 

shunjuku area

view from floor 45

 

view from floor 45

You have a bar at the top of the tower. The pastries are

very good. No Mount Fuji on the horizon.

On the ground floor of City Hall we made inquiries

to Nikko and Hakone with the information desk tourism. 

 

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Today, we will use our JR Pass to get to Nikko. On arrival, we followed a group of Japanese
who boarded a bus. Luckily, this bus was going to the lake
Chuzenji and the fall Kegon taking a
spectacular mountain
route one way to go and return. In return, we stopped at the bridge Shinkyo
to access the Toshogu temple.

Chuzenji lake

Chuzenji Tori

 

Kegon Fall

The frustrated lovers threw themselves on the 99m

Kegon waterfall.

 

 

Shinkyo bridge

access to  temples

 

5 floors pagoda

 

temple entry

 

 Toshogu temples

 

 Toshogu temples

 

 Toshogu temples

 

 Toshogu temples

 

 Toshogu temples

 

We found that Nikko was a major step

during our trip to Japan. The mountainous landscape

seems protected and temple architecture differs with

all places visited before. Here is the Baroque

dominates.

 

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Sunday,November 18, 2007

Everyone told us: YOU MUST GO TO HAKONE!!!! That may be true but does not do it on a Sunday.

Early morning at Tokyo station, we took the JR Shinkansen to Odawara. Then, we changed

company and purchased the Pass (4700 yen per person) which allows to use all public transportation in the Hakone area.

We took a first crowded train between Odawara and Hakone-Yumoto. From there we took another train

reciprocating and always crowded to Gora. We waited in line to grab the cable-car brings us to Sounzan.

Again a huge queue to board a cable car, and history repeats 2 more times to board

in the cable and come to Togendai at the lakeside Ashinoko and take a boat cruise.

On landing at Moto Hakone, and after 6 hours of transport and queues, we took the first bus

Hakone-Yumoto and got home tired in Tokyo.

We were there to see Mount Fuji. There sun was shining brightly and we saw nothing. Very disappointed!!!

 

the crowd out of the station Sounzan

the crowd again

 

the view from the cable
 

the view from the cable

 

the view from the boat

When the boat stopped at Moto Hakone, we have

not had the courage to undertake any visit and

we took the bus in the other direction to use

trains for Odawara and Tokyo. This is the only day

missed on the entire trip.

 

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Monday, November 19, 2007

We were too tired to take a train and see Mount Fuji. We then tried to see this mountain

from Tokyo Tower. The weather was clear but clouds were present where would be the Mount.

We insisted and we returned on the 45th floor of City Hall without success.

 

Tokyo Tower

view from the tower

 

view from the tower

Tokyo tower measuring 333 meters dating from 1958.

The last observation platform is located at

250 meters and does not offer a more spectacular

view than 150 meters. French, one feels obliged to

visit and compare with our Eiffel Tower.

A vague resemblance!!

 

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

 

 

We walked around the neighborhood of Daiba until the start of our limousine bus to Narita at 14:30.

Daiba is a place to walk the weekend for the residents of Tokyo

 

the flame of freedom

the big wheel

 

Fuji Building

 

 Tokyo beach

 

 Tokyo beach

 

the wooden path to the Tokyo beach

 

We will keep a great souvenir of our stay at the Nikko Hotel where we had a beautiful tribute

the restaurant for our last evening. Unforgettable!

and finally an overview of fireworks display we saw every Saturday night at 19pm from our room.

 

 

Click on the image to see video

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CONCLUSION

- The use of transport is complicated for a Paris metro user.

you pay according to distance and that is the reason why we bought a day pass.

Economically, it would be better to buy Pasmo, we put 1000.2000 or 5000 yens

 for a Pasmo card and you pay based on the distance and is valid while supplies.

The metro is deep and several companies operate lines.

You sometimes have escalators to go up but very rarely to go down.

the corridors are very long. It takes a long walk.

This is a country very clean and you have free toilets everywhere, not as in France

where we are among the last of the class.

The Japanese are charming when they are requesting in the street, but please speak

foreign languages so that we can come back to visit your beautiful country.

 

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