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Toyota Chaser Castrol rally sport car

Japan 2015: Toyota History Garage + Mega Web Showcase, and Venus Fort mall

Date: 28th March 2015

After checking out the giant Gundam robot at Diver City mall, I walked across over to Palette Town.

Way to Palette town Odaiba Japan
Palette Town is a complex containing Venus Fort mall, a large ferris wheel, a Toyota museum and a large showroom
Diver City mall Fuji TV building
I would return to the Fuji TV building before leaving

As I walked towards Palette town, I entered through the Toyota History Garage — one of the attractions here. Continue reading “Japan 2015: Toyota History Garage + Mega Web Showcase, and Venus Fort mall” »

Walkalators Narita airport Japan

Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport, final thoughts, and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time

Date: April 1, 2015

Sigh. Time to say goodbye to Japan. On a cold early morning, I got out of my bunk bed, freshened up, used the wonder that are Japanese toilets for the last time.

I brought down my luggage, had a light breakfast and left Space Hostel. It was a bit of a struggle lifting my stuffed suitcase across steps and onto the subway platform but I figured the trains would be the quickest way to Ueno park. I planned to take the Keisei Airport Express Skyliner train to Narita Airport. It would the quickest and the most convenient option for me — even though it costs more than taking a bus to Narita.

Keisei Skyliner airport express price
A one way ticket costs ¥2470 but if you book it online, you will save some ¥200
Keisei Skyliner train seats Japan
The trains weren’t packed and the seat next to me was empty so I had lots of space

The Keisei Airport Express is not a ‘bullet train’ but it will get you from Ueno to Narita Airport — 71 kms away — in 40 minutes.

Building en route to Narita
Time to say goodbye to Tokyo’s city skyline

As the train whizzed past big city Tokyo, I was getting that feeling. It always creeps in at the end of a journey. The feeling of “Man, I’m gonna miss this place and I can’t wait to visit again!”. Continue reading “Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport, final thoughts, and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time” »

Sulphur pool Owakudani Hakone Japan

Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo

Date: 31 March 2015

After a very relaxing bath at the Hotel Green Plaza onsen, I moved on to my next stop — the host springs of Ōwakudani. But these hot springs are not safe to soak yourself in due to high sulphur content.

Lake Ashi from Hakone ropeway
Lake Ashi, from the ropeway
Hakone ropeway Owakudani station
Ōwakudani station was the very next stop
Owakudani mountain Hakone Japan
This was the view from the ropeway station
Owakudani sulfur wells Hakone
There is a lot of volcanic activity deep underground
Steam production well Owakudani Hakone
But they are making the most of it
Owakudani trekking trail Hakone
This was a hiking trail
Owakudani hiking trail Hakone mountain
But I did not venture far as I saw no one trekking… plus I had no time for trekking
Owakudani natural hot springs Hakone
So I walked towards the hot springs
Qwakudani mountain height Hakone
1050 metres above sea level
Owakudani sulphur warnings Hakone
The sulfur content is too high so there were signs asking people not to touch the water
Owakudani hot springs Hakone
Before walking towards the sulphur springs, I went inside the building housing the restaurants and souvenir shops
Black egg Owakudani Hakone Japan
I was curious to find out the significance of this black egg was
Black eggs Owakudani Hakone
Inside, you can buy eggs. You take the egg and boil it in the sulphur-rich water and the shell turns black it seems.
Owakudani sulphur hot springs Hakone
You could feel the heat as you got near to the sulphur pools… and you could smell it too!
Sulphur pool Owakudani Hakone Japan
Sulphur-rich water was murky and bubbling hot
Mount Fuji viewing point Japan
The other reason why Owakudani is a popular draw is for the viewpoint
Mount Fuji from Owakudani Japan
A view of Mount Fuji being the main draw, of course
Planes flying over Mount Fuji peak Japan
I swapped lenses to catch these two airplanes flying over Mt. Fuji
Man photographing Mt. Fuji Japan
Unfortunately, from this distance, you can’t really get a good photo of yourself with Fuji-yama in the background especially with clouds in the way

One thing I have experienced time and time again on my travels is that, when fellow tourists see me with a DSLR, they assume that I’m better at them at photography and ask me to take their photos using their cameras. I oblige sometimes but the problem is, when one reacts positively and compliments me for taking a good photo, then other tourists hear that and approach me with the same request. This went on for a while here. Continue reading “Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo” »

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