Dazzling Ginza for Shoppers

Last update:2016-11-23 13:45:35

Prior to Ginza, we stop by at Ueno to check out Ameyoko. The bustling shopping street is crowded with stores offering a bit of everything from clothes, sporting apparels, shoes, chocolates, fruits, seafood to dried food. I read somewhere that Ameyoko is one rare place in Japan which allows price bargaining (negotiating) wow…

WingShark's Note:
Flights from Singapore to Tokyo Now:hellowings.com/h/KNYn7
Flights from Kuala Lumper to Tokyo Now:hellowings.com/h/Jar4L

But don’t quote me, we didn’t try and we didn’t buy anything.

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Sensoji Temple in Asakusa

Last update:2016-11-23 13:44:59

After the delightful sushi breakfast at Tsukiji Fish Market, we made our way to Asakusa district (pronounced as Ah-sock-sah) to visit the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo. Asakusa Sensoji (金龍山浅草寺), also commonly known as Asakusa Kannon Temple has a rich history dated back to the 7th century.

The charismatic temple built in 645 A.D was one of the few places in Tokyo which survived the air raids during World War II. This means we are treading a sacred place serving the same purpose today as it did more than a millennium ago! Amazing!

WingShark's Note:
Flights from Singapore to Tokyo Now: hellowings.com/h/NiUVS
Flights from Kuala Lumper to Tokyo Now:hellowings.com/h/oCxo

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Magical DisneySea on a Rainy Day

Last update:2016-12-26 17:35:36

I visited Disneysea on a 100% forecast rainy day; thinking that the rainwater would make the Disneysea experience more authentic. yea right. Well, the truth was that we couldn’t change any of the planned itinerary; but on a hindsight, every cloud has a silver lining!

WingShark's Note:
Flights from Singapore to Tokyo Now:hellowings.com/h/fPgx
Flights from Kuala Lumper to Tookyo Now:hellowings.com/h/TrBSH

Advantages of a Rainy Day

  • The queues are shorter for rides
  • The queues are shorter for the cafes/restaurants
  • You can take really cool photos with an umbrella (just kidding)

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The Magnificent Todaiji of Nara

Last update:2016-11-23 13:41:26

Todaiji Temple (東大寺), situated at a short walking distance from Kofukuji, is probably the most famous Buddhist temple in Nara. The imposing temple and its massive Daibutsuden (The Great Buddha Hall) house one of the largest bronze statues in Japan to honour the Buddha Vairocana. Todaiji Temple is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For some reason, the Sika deer will not venture passed Nandaimon gate.

WingShark's Note:
From Kansai International Airport(KIX) to Nara, the journey is approximately 2 hours, operated from 7:40 am to 9pm. So don't forget to add Nara to your itinerary of visiting places around Osaka!
Flights from Singapore to Kansai Now: hellowings.com/h/cMRXi
Flights from Kuala Lumper to Kansai Now: hellowings.com/h/CSeju

UNESCO Listed Todaiji

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Oh Deer Nara !

Last update:2016-11-23 13:40:52

Nara (奈良) was once the ancient capital of Japan and it is today a famous tourist destination, well known for its temples, shrines and gardens. The compact city can be easily reach via the efficient transportation network from either Osaka or Kyoto under an hour. Hence there is no reason to skip Nara when you are visiting Kansai region.

WingShark's Note:
From Kansai International Airport(KIX) to Nara, the journey is approximately 2 hours, operated from 7:40 am to 9pm.
Flights from Singapore to Kansai Now: hellowings.com/h/cMRXi
Flights from Kuala Lumper to Kansai Now: hellowings.com/h/CSeju

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9D8N Tokyo + Hokkaido: Self-Drive

Last update:2016-11-23 13:39:42

Never did I expect that I will be visiting Japan again this year, 3 months after my previous trip to Osaka.

Before I start, I would like to share my awesome all-time-low exchange rate (100Y = 1.088 SGD) changed in end June 2015. As I type, the exchange rate is surging back up to 1.15 range due to the crisis in Greece.

Well, this trip has been pretty different from all my other trips free&easy trip to date as I was more flexible on the budget whereby we did not choose the cheapest option, especially for accommodation.

The budget of SGD $3,000 was set for this trip (actual figure: $3,315) – with $941 being set aside for my air tickets. Another $1,136 was for 7 nights accommodation and 7 day car rental where my friend chose all the accommodation which turned out to be an average of $126/night per person. For the second time ever, (with the first being at Sofitel Krabi last year), I stayed in a 5 star hotel with L’occitane toiletries.

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Lake Akan on a Rainy Day

Last update:2016-11-23 13:39:04

Visiting Lake Akan was the second most disappointing thing that happened to us this entire trip (50% due to rain and 50% due to the marimo exhibits).

After our visit at the [Kushiro Crane Reserve], we drove about 1 hour 20 mins from Kushiro to Lake Akan. The weather wasn’t on our side that day as it was raining throughout the entire drive. Furthermore, we were rushing to be in time for the hourly Lake Akan cruise which would bring us to see the Marimo (green moss balls).

We literally ran to the counter to purchase the tickets (1,900Y) for the cruise ride. Any second later, we would have missed the 15:00 ferry and not have enough time to wait one more hour for the next cruise.

The cruise had a capacity of about 100 to 150 but there were barely 30 people during our session. I guess the rainy weather probably turned away a lot of people.

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Asahidake Hotel Deer Valley

Last update:2016-11-23 13:38:13

According to the plan, we were supposed to visit Lake Abashiri and Sounkyo (Daisetsuzan National Park) before arriving at our hotel in Asahidake.

After our disappointing Lake Akan experience, we decided to give Lake Abashiri a miss too as the weather wasn’t looking too good either. We headed straight to Sounkyo despite the rain but it wad bad too.

Left: Expectation; Right: Reality

Lake Abashiri

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Furano & Biei

Last update:2017-02-03 13:53:11

Summary of our day trip to Furano/Biei on a beautiful July morning:

We started from our accommodation at Asahidake.

(1) Seven Stars Tree セブンスターの木

(2) Furniture Slope (Random wood shop we spotted along the way)

(3) Blue Pond

(4) Kanno Farm

(5) Farms Chioya (Beef Stew Lunch)

(6) Roller Coaster Road

(7) Farm Tomita

(8) Curry Omurice @ Yuiga-Dokuson 唯我独尊

(9) Furano Glass Forest

 Furano glass forest Furano Glass Forest

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Otaru: Canal, Museums, and Much More.

Last update:2016-11-23 13:25:48

After visiting Shiroi Kobito Park (the place which produce the delicious white chocolate biscuit), we headed on to Otaru, which was a 30 minutes drive away.

Otaru is one of the recommended destinations for tourists to visit as a day trip from Sapporo as it brings about a charming vibe with its low-rise conserved buildings. However for this trip, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed with my visit to Otaru – mainly due to its overcrowded streets filled with tourists. The entire town has been infiltrated with endless gift shops, eye-catching banners in English and a lot of people.

We visited on a Saturday, where the locals could possibly contributed to the crowd, and the available carparks were very almost packed (and expensive at the same time). Parking cost approximately 300-400Y for 30 or 60 minutes.; can’t exactly remember. If I didn’t recall wrongly, we parked at the parking area for a hospital. Everywhere in Otaru is within 20 minutes walking distance so I don’t think it really matters.

 Otaru town Sapporo

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