Thursday, February 21, 2013

Japan: A quick trip report (Day 1-2)

Wow, it's been nearly two months since I came back from Japan. I just can't believe it, time sure has flown by, and I thought it was about time I went through my pics (there's about 5k of them) and post a small trip report about what I did and my experiences while over there. Since we had a 2 week trip, I'll split the trip report into little posts so it's not too long (and I won't break blogger).

I had planned this trip to be part culture, part research part geek-dom (you'll see what I mean), and I definitely got what I planned for. After a nine hour late night flight, getting in at the ripe time of 6am, we nearly got lost in the airport as we tried to find both the phone rental counter (this really helped last time to have a phone on us with a plan for unlimited internet, just so that we could use the maps in case we ever got lost in Tokyo... which did happen on occasion), and then trying to find an international ATM (yeah, stupid me forgot to get some Yen out before leaving Australia... not a mistake we'll make again since this is mainly a cash-based society).

The first few days were spent jumping around, which I had planned because we had wanted to see so many places in such a rushed time. So, the first place we ended up on our journey was Odaiba. For those that do not know, Odaiba is a man-made island, and is becoming a very popular tourist site. For us, it also has a very interesting theme park called Sega Joypolis, which is an indoor aracde/theme park. This was also where we got our horror fix with three (yep three) haunted rides. One of them you just sit down with headphones on in a pitch black room and listen to a story (which I couldn't understand a word of), but that's the scariest thing I have ever heard. The other highlight was being chased through a haunted maze by Sadako (she is the horror villain of the Ring books/movies, the American movies translated her name to Samara). That was fun, I think the entire tour group were laughing the whole way through... I don't think that's the effect you want for a horror maze. Odaiba also has a statue that the American's would be very familiar with, sitting right in front of their bay. I later found out that they also had the flame sitting in the middle of the island, I took a picture, I just don't know where that picture ended up.

 The next day was an early start as we had to catch a bus to the foot of the Mt Fuji. Most people who go to Mt Fuji have the intent of climbing it, or going to the lakes that surrounds it, we had a different desire. Our desire was to go to the theme park that sat right at the base. Fuji-Q Highland is just a small theme park, but it has about six rollercoasters that have at one time appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records, they still hold one record for the steepest drop, and I love rollercoasters.

Another reason for this stop was that both my brother and I are big anime fans, and one of those animes are Evangeleon. The hotel beside the theme park had a particular room of interest, just have a look at the figurine that was in the corner of the room. There was even a challenge where we had black lights and had to find a secret message (luckily my brother can read Japanese) and we managed to get some badges for completing that challenge.

The things that I learned on this part of the trip:

  1. Always have cash in the currency of the country when you arrive (duh *slaps forehead*)
  2. Carrying big suitcases up and down the stairs (yep, Japan doesn't have that many elevators) can give the legs a workout, but also make them really, really sore
  3. Just because something is in a capsule machine doesn't make it suitable for children. Stay away from machines that have smiling women on the side of them, you can find some things that you don't want to see (yeah, you can get anything from a capsule machine)
Stay tuned for my other posts on Kyoto & Osaka, Tokyo & you can't forget Disneyland, which I promise will be coming.


Laura Clipson said...

I love anime too, and I'd love to go to Japan one day! I'm quite interested in their culture, too. I look forward to reading the rest of your posts :)

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