A Vibrant Energy In Osaka

Prior to this trip, people told me that a few days in Osaka would be sufficient.  As a tourist after visiting the city, I’d agree.  Osaka isn’t really a boring city.  I am sure if I lived there, I would have fun there.  It also gives off a fun, youthful, and vibrant culture to it.  Not to mention there is a lot of shopping and good food there.

But Osaka is like any other city with its own foods and shopping.  However as a tourist, you would definitely have enough time to visit all the important attractions within 3 days.  Mind you, I was there for about 2.5 days… but from my research online and from my guidebook, I felt I have covered the major attractions that I had to see.

And Osaka is a convenient stop for you to travel to other major parts of Japan – Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe to name a few.  And the nightlife there seems to be pretty happening on any given weekday. Continue reading A Vibrant Energy In Osaka

Let’s Drive: Tokyo (Japan Part Four)

Out of the four posts in this series of posts of Japan, this title is probably the most misleading as I didn’t drive around Tokyo.  After Nagoya, I returned the car near Shibuya and took public transportation for the rest of my stay here.  As you may know, Tokyo boasts some of the most expensive parking and finding places to park isn’t easy.  Even just driving here from Nagoya was a headache for the last two hours as I spent most of my time stuck in traffic.

Read part one: Izu Peninsula, Hakone and Gotemba

Read part two: Mt. Fuji and Fuji Five Lakes

Read part three: Nagoya Continue reading Let’s Drive: Tokyo (Japan Part Four)

Let’s Drive: Nagoya (Japan Part Three)

This is part three of a four part series blog post.  The first talked about my days in Izu Peninsula, Hakone, and Gotemba.  You can read it by clicking here.

The second part talked about the climb to Mt. Fuji summit and Fuji Five Lakes.  You can read the second part by clicking here.

This blog post will concentrate on Nagoya.

You can read about the 4th post, on Tokyo, by clicking here.

Accommodations

Nagoya – Dormy Inn Premium Nagoya Sakae.  2-20-1 Nishiki, Naka-ku, Nagoya Station / Downtown, Nagoya, Japan, 460-0003.  Booked through www.agoda.com. Continue reading Let’s Drive: Nagoya (Japan Part Three)

Let’s Drive: Mt. Fuji and Fuji Five Lakes (Japan Part Two)

This is a continuation of my Japan trip.  For more information on my climb to Mt. Fuji summit, read below.  For part one on Izu Peninsula, Hakone, and Gotemba, read here.  For part three on Nagoya, read here.  For part four on Tokyo, click here.

Accommodations

Mt. Fuji Station Hotel.  2-7-12 Matsuyama, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi, Kawaguchi-ko / Sai-ko, Mount Fuji, Japan, 403-0016.  Booked through www.agoda.com.

Similar to the Hotel MyStays; it’s like those very good budget hotels that aren’t terrible but is quite small but honestly it has everything you need, and it’s tidy and clean enough that you don’t have to worry about a thing.  Please note that this hotel was booked for the days we were suppose to visit Fuji Five Lakes AND Mt. Fuji, but this hotel is not exactly in any of the locations.  It’s still some driving distance (around 15-20 mins) from the lakes, and definitely far from the Yoshida 5th station at Mt. Fuji (more on that in 2nd post).  Also has parking. Continue reading Let’s Drive: Mt. Fuji and Fuji Five Lakes (Japan Part Two)

Let’s Drive: Izu Peninsula, Hakone, Gotemba (Japan Part One)

This is a series of four blog posts because of the number of different places I went to for my Japan trip, and I want each post short enough to keep you from getting bored but long enough to provide you as many details as I could.

This first post will focus on the western parts beyond Tokyo – Izu Peninsula, Hakone, and Gotemba.  The second part will focus on Mt. Fuji and Fuji Five Lakes, especially focus on Mt. Fuji since I feel it deserves a more special post.  The third part will focus on Nagoya, and the fourth post will focus on Tokyo.  The Gotemba was mainly going to the Gotemba Premium Outlets, and we actually went on two separate days.  So it was outlets, Mt. Fuji and Fuji Five Lakes, then a revisit to Gotemba again. Continue reading Let’s Drive: Izu Peninsula, Hakone, Gotemba (Japan Part One)

Hokkaido in November

Quick tips about Hokkaido:

Jr Train Map

  • The people here do not speak any English… like at all.  You’d expect the hotels to know English, but a majority of the staff couldn’t speak the language even one bit
  • As yen continues to depreciate, the value there keeps getting cheaper.  I was extremely happy with what I was getting for food and for shopping for the price I was paying
  • So yeah it’s a food paradise
  • Since public transportation is quite expensive, and since the weather can be a bit harsh in winter times, I would actually recommend renting a car if you have a group of three or more.  4 days rental was quoted at 29,000 yen including insurance
  • If you are traveling short distances and going with 3 or more people, you can consider riding a taxi too
  • Felt very safe the entire trip
  • If you want to see the autumn leaves, you should go there around Sept / Oct.  If you want to go for skiing / snowboarding, you should go there around December to February
  • Sapporo is a great city, but to appreciate Hokkaido’s scenery, you really have to go outside the city to other parts of Hokkaido

Continue reading Hokkaido in November