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Monday, May 19, 2008

EDITED 19 MAY

ok here are the list of things that we've found from both the net and the guide books. feel free to strike off or add in! argh i spent 3 nights doing this! first time i studied in years, and it's to be a tour guide...


TOKYO
(cy pls intro more!)

i was thinking of having a free day to walk around the area that we're staying. like just to settle in a bit before we head on to our intensive shop-play-eat trip. either first day or the last day or we could take it easy for day 4 which i only planned for jiyugaoka coz i don't know what else to plan it with. worth noting: the guidebook advises shopping at convenience stores all around tokyo. things like onigiri(105yen) for breakfast, hard boiled eggs (50yen), purin/pudding(105yen) are sold at convenience stores such as 7-11, OK, ampm, lawson, etc.


DAY 1

ASAKUSA
  • senso-ji and asakusa-jinja: they're all in the same compound. dedicated to bodhisattva kannon (basically guan yin). 求签 for 100yen, 烧香 also 100yen. basically it'll be about the same for all the temples/shrines we go to but senso ji and asakusa-jinja has free admission.
  • nakamise dori: one of the oldest shopping areas in japan. buy souvenirs eg. hp chains, tidbits eg. ningyo-yaki, senbei, age manju and dango. more for consumption than for bringing back to sg though i brought the ningyo-yaki home before. there's also shin-nakamise dori and dempoin dori.
  • lunch recommendations from guidebook and wikitravel: tendon (tempura-don). daikokuya, sansada (guidebook) and aoi marushin (wiki travel).
  • kappabashi dougugai: between ueno and asakusa. sells restaurant wholesale stuff including wax/plastic models for the food, utensils, etc.

DAY 2

UENO
  • ameyayokocho/ameyoko: market street. basically sells a lot of stuff ranging from shoes to tidbits and dried goods to fresh seafood like tako, ikura, etc. when i was there, we bought the wasabi peas home and also the matcha flavoured senbei (remember? the ones i brought for you guys, green and white). bargaining is accepted and some stall owners even speak a little bit of chinese/hokkien. there's a shop that sells 4000yen's worth of chocolate in goodie bags at 1000yen each bag. of course you can buy the loose ones but it'll be more ex.
  • ueno koen: famous for museums, sakura and ueno zoo which had pandas (the last panda like just died like 2 weeks ago!). there's also toshogu jinja.

AKIHABARA (AKIBA)
  • erm. it's otaku heaven.
  • there are vending machines that sell ramen in cans. perfect for the otaku in you.
  • i think we can take night shots, it looks quite nice with the lights.

DAY 3


NIPPORI
  • yanaka/nezu/sendagi = yanesen: historical neighbourhoods of tokyo. attractions are - asakura sculpture hall, yanaka ginza, kannonji (观音庙), yanaka reien (cemetry park), etc. 4 routes that we can take from the link above. travelocity also has a walking tour or yanaka with eating/break spots recommendations eg. saboh hanahenro with bento boxes at 1200yen, set lunch at 1000yen. then there's shops that sell baskets and a lot of the buildings are at least 100 years old. apparently we can walk from here to ueno or vice versa. i'm wondering if we should split up textile town and yanesen because it requires a lot of energy to do the walking tour and then go textile shopping.
  • nippori textile town: buy buy buy fabrics and diy materials! no cards accepted therefore bring loads of cash and probably a luggage bag. most talked about store is tomato that is 5 storeys worth of fabrics, with the first storey selling bargains at 100yen per metre.

DAY 4

JIYUGAOKA
  • sweet forest: it's a theme park with a collection of dessert shops. in japan theme parks are not just for roller coasters and pirate ships. they are for food as well. the shops in sweet forest has 8 different shops (like a HK sweets shop, creperie, limited edition sweets shop, souffle shop...) in which all the chefs have been overseas and some even has awards. there's a baking needs shop downstairs! *GASP*
  • crystal 100yen shop: apparently this one is exceptionally classy in the swamp of 100yen shops in japan.
  • there's also a traditional dessert shop which sells traditional sweets with matcha, coffee, etc.
  • thanks nature: they have a free shuttle bus that runs on used cooking oil!
  • towel museum

DAY 5

KICHIJOJI
  • ghibli museum: 1000yen admission, tickets to be bought up to 3 mths in advance (from 1st oct onwards). 15 mins from kichijoji station but there's also a bus service.
  • inokashira koen: first park founded by the emperor for the public. they say its a good place to see sakura and momiji, both of which are the wrong season. roar. i think there's also a temple, kichijoji in there.
  • shopping streets: yuzawaya (8 stories worth of daily necessities, fabrics, toys, stationary, for the DIY peeps), lattice (300yen shop, clothes 1000yen), onao (tradional paper and related souvenirs)
  • momo paradise (1700yen) / momo para nabe zo(1890yen): all you can eat shabu shabu. ok wiki travel says they are in kichijoji but the website doesn't say so. but they have many other branches in ikebukuro, shibuya, and ueno area. [edit]place found in kichijoji. apparently theres a time limit for de buffets. refer to link for more details on menu.
  • cat cafe calico: cafe with cats for cat lovers who don't/can't keep cats at home. see their resident cats, erm and a dog.

DAY 6


SHINJUKU
  • basically a shopping district.
  • takashimaya: 15 storeys!! also known as times square. restaurant on 13th is recommended for tonkatsu (pork cutlet), set meal for 2 is 3000yen but apparently can serve 3.
  • nakamuraya: first curry rice restaurant in japan. apparently long queues for their cream bread.
  • momo paradise: yup the all you can eat shabu shabu place. but in shinjuku, there's a 90min limit (don't know if it applies in kichijoji as well) and it seems more pricey at 3600yen. discount coupons available at the door.
  • tocho: tokyo metropolitan gov tower. free observatories for both day and night skyline views of tokyo. if weather is good, you can see fujiyama. directly behind is central park, where there's kumano jinja and relatively big number of homeless people in cardboard houses. different from shinjuku koen (imperial gardens).
  • skyscraper district: in nishi-shinjuku (west shinjuku). most places in japan don't have very tall buildings because of earthquakes, that's why it's like an attraction. the link is very interesting! it's 35 years of fixed point photography. watch shinjuku evolve! another photog link here.
  • shinohara furin hompo: making 风铃. it's not in downtown shinjuku. i don't know if you guys wanna go. it seemed interesting but after thinking it might not be advisable since we're not very well verse in japanese and the sensei might die teaching us.

DAY 7


HARAJUKU
  • "go to harajuku and see the freaks" - my sister (no offence intended!)
  • another shopping area.
  • cafe crepe: first creperie in harajuku.
  • wired cafe 360: free internet access, design related books, harajuku observatory.
  • maisen: supposedly best tonkatsu (pork cutlet) in japan.

IKEBUKURO

DAY 8


TOKYO TOWER
  • it's actually taller than effiel. i think it'll be nice both in the day and at night. ok so we'll have to plan how to work that out.
  • tokyo curry lab: apparently the best curry in tokyo for 1000 - 1200yen. 2nd lvl of tokyo tower. supposedly entrance to the tower is free, unless you wanna go to the observation floors, which is supposedly not the 2nd lvl.
  • zojoji: main temple of the buddhist jodo sect in kanto area. i think entrance is free, but going to the cemetery is 300yen.
  • maybe we could go in the morning to the tower, take some pictures, then walk around the area and come back again at night for more pictures.

ROPPONGI
  • nightlife district, foreigner-friendly because surrounding districts have a lot of embassies and there's a large expatriate community. think it looks better at night too.
  • mori tower: with tokyo city view and if going to mori art center, the admission is included.


NOT IN LIST (because i don't know if you guys wanna go or if it's worth going)
  • YOKOHAMA: biggest chinatown in the world. very tourist-y. maybe good for photographs? at night? they sell a lot of "chinese food" though not very chinese. they have bao, mooncake like stuff, etc. and shinyokohama raamen museum: erm yah ramen theme park. admission 300yen then you go choose which restaurant you want to eat from. there's also nissin cup noodle area when you can customise your own cup noodle at a fee. then they will seal, package in this children inflatable swimming float like thingy.
  • GINZA: shopping district. according to cy it's the ex ones. which i think so too (burberry, LV, hermes, chanel, dior, cartier, ahhhhh you get it)
  • HAKONE: if we were to go and make it worth, we'll have to go for about 2 days 1 night. it's famous for the scenic views (lake, fujiyama) and onsens. attractions include active volcano selling boiled eggs (kuro tamago/black eggs); little prince museum, hakone jinja, ashinoko (lake ashi) with views of fujiyama.
  • SHIBUYA: another shopping district. we can choose between the few bah.
  • AOYAMA & OMOTESANDO: shopping again, prada,
  • TSUKIJI: world's largest fish market, eat sushi for breakfast, buy fresh wasabi, look at tuna auction, basically wholesale stuff.
  • ODAIBA
  • NIHONBASHI


ahhh! finally!
i don't know if it's a good enough plan or not because i'm trying to keep places close together in 1 day. pls let me know if you think it's too rush esp cy and intro/strike out and tell me about rearranging the schedule if need be. everything i have here is based on my knowledge from the net and the guidebook and i really don't know if it's a good plan or not.

kansai schedules to be up another time! ><"

artsyfartsified
1:00 AM

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

UPDATED 13 MAY 2008 TUESDAY

okay peeps. i'm here to do an update on our japan trip.
i think we have to plan how many days we're going to go, but we'll set it at about 2 weeks? non? so we'll dedicate 1 week to tokyo, and cy will have to bring us around! and then another week to the kyoto, osaka and nara area.

i'm going to list down the attractions that i thought would be good to go and then you'll decide if you guys wanna add in or take out anything alright? going to japan will NOT be the same if you don't go to temples and shrines. so i'm more towards the cultural aspects of travel but i know you guys wanna eat your way around / shop your way around.

tokyo (cy pls intro more!)
- asakusa (it's like the old town of tokyo. attractions: sensoji, dempoin dori)
- akihibara (otaku heaven)
- yokohama (2nd largest city of japan. world's largest chinatown)
- nippori textile town (ITS A TOWN that sells fabric!! MUAHAHA. apparently on the other side of the nippori station is a place that is retained like the old EDO/tokyo called yanaka *check here and here*and seems quite charming to me. wanna go? depending on how much time we have lah? hehe coz i have a feeling i might use up 1 day at the textile town.)
- ghibli museum (we should marathon all the ghibli animations one of this saturdays! i haven;t watch howl's moving castle leh!! stay over again! =D)
- tokyo tower? do you guys wanna go?

* there's this fish market (tsukiji fish market) that they say is a great place to go for sushi breakfast. hahaha. i don't know if you guys wanna go around the mt fuji area. which is hakone. it's more scenic and it's famed for the onsens (hot springs) which again i dont know if you guys wanna go. i've been there and it's quite a beautiful place, but it does depend on the weather and because i was there in spring, i'm not sure about it in winter.

kyoto/osaka/nara (because they're very near each other)
- kiyomizudera (UNESCO site. the old town like streets leading to the temple has a lot of great stuff!)
- gion? (we might be able to see geishas?)
- todaiji (in nara koen with wild deer! ahaha.)
- osaka castle (i haven't been in there, only outside and at night. but the city lights from the castle look like HDB in sg!!)

* we might want to go down to koens (garden/park) or even down to himeiji. himeiji castle looks more spectacular than osaka castle but it's 1h away from osaka and kyoto.

we need an open jaw ticket which will allow us to arrive in tokyo narita airport and depart from osaka kansai airport. seems like there's budget hotels for backpackers that have branches in tokyo and kyoto areas and they've got quite good reviews. check them out here and here. and there's this bus service that operates at night. so its bed and bus and you'll be travelling overnight which i think might help save accomodation and time. read more here.

of course we would wanna go shopping! so in tokyo we're looking at either shibuya, shinjuku or ginza and i'd definitely wanna go buy fabric! in osaka/kyoto area i'm still not sure but will check out more.

i also think we shouldn't pack the itinerary too full since we'd wanna be able to walk around the place and explore. non?

PS. all the names of the attractions are links. click to find out more.

artsyfartsified
1:00 AM

Thursday, May 08, 2008

UPDATE~ UPDATE~
tis blog is rotting...!

current mood: i feel like puking...
reason: i overate. 
前因后果:me & yt went for dinner...1st stop...Din Tai Feng. our orders-- 3笼xiaolongbao, 1笼prawn shaomai, & one dandan noodles for me. each long has 10 dumplings ah...so in de end we had like 40 dumplings to share....
we still managed to finish everything...& not feel like puking...was just nice...
den...we went for dessert...cos i have been craving for cake...sooooo...
2nd stop...NYDC. our orders--1 2xchocolatecheesecake & 1booboo
by rite can finish one la...cos u know de miserly servings that NYDC gives...
so i was expecting my cake to be like tis

(topview)











but wen it arrived...O_O













i dunno y de waiter suddenly decided to be extra generous n gave me a serving tats double de usual size....
usually...i would be happy la...but...after 20 dumplings n a bowl of noodles...

now i wanna puke....@_@

anyways...de dinner was to celebrate de end of our stopmotion project...! YAY~!
let u guys take a preview look at our work...completed after being zombies for wks...
i'll upload de video wen yt passes me de final copy
photos~photos~


















tis is half of our set...supposedly de bedroom..coffin-bed..!
yeps...tat bunny is our main character...his name is Kumasagi cos he's a cross between a panda n a rabbit...n he's a vampire




































de other half of our set...living/dining room...


















yesh de roses are handmade too

artsyfartsified
1:26 AM

The Art People

 daniel
   mistywulf
     seasheep~
        evinrude~
             Miss Lestat
                +zinc+
                      honou
                         Ah Wu
                              CHIOBU
                                  hhengheng


Palaver



















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