This was the third beer brewery I visited in my life. This time the somewhat well known out of German beers 'Bitburger'. Of course they have their own bar with fresh beer, and gotta love the warm pretzel! Also, the area near this place surrounding the river 'La Moselle' is nice to explore, with it's fresh mountain-ish air.
Here are 2 videos showing my favorite leisure activity during my trip to Japan, arcade games! If you're not particularly interested in games, then I suggest watching the first video where you can finally see my face, something that rarely happens after I closed my Facebook account long ago.
All of the stuff in the other video are shoot 'em ups by CAVE, which were found in 2 different arcades in Kyoto and Osaka. I also visited a few different ones in Akihabara (in Tokyo) where mostly modern stuff was found. I didn't took any interesting photos there (though some pictures of that neighborhood are in my big blogpost). Enjoy and until next time!
Here's a video with some smartphone footage of the Kaiyukan Aquarium in Osaka. Because everything worth viewing in aquariums is behind glass, taking photos can be a challenging task. I rarely take videos but in this case it was so much easier to let the camera autofocus behind the glass. Anyway, my favorite part has to be the divers blowing bubbles around 3:32 in, I still wonder how they do that!
As promised here is a picture log of my vacation to Japan. I know it's been several weeks since my return but I never found the time to sort out the pictures worth showing while preventing this blog from becoming too long. Also, there are some 'geeky' pictures too showing about 3 arcade trips that I may post in a different blog, as they don't represent Japan as a location.
So we arrived in Tokyo in a neighborhood called Tamashi. It's known for it's 'international offices' from overseas companies. But since public transport is so well organized in Japanese cities, we easely got to see the Ginza shopping district, Ueno park (where it looks like all of Tokyo's families are on Sundays!), Akihabara (entertainment and electronics district) and the artificial island Odaiba. The first and best hotel we stayed at, called JAL City Hotel, was the best one of the whole trip with a bath that I actually fit in (the average Japanese person is smaller than western average)!
Next are some random pictures from Odaiba. This artificial island was made around WW2 as an extra defense line for Tokyo, but was turned into a shopping/family district when peace was restored. The Joypolis pic shows an in-door amusement park complete with wild-water ride, and the balcony view shows the well-known Fuji-TV main office (the building with a ball-shaped room). Also shown are traditional meals and western McDonalds, though it has some Japanese variations too such as a Teriyaki burger.
Kamakura is a small town that merged in with Tokyo over the years, but is something of it's own if you ask me. We had easely spent an entire day here! There are a lot of old buildings and buddhist temples, and a good view on the great ocean. A lot of people are surfing here.
Next we moved out of Tokyo by bus, into the mountains of the main island. Our destination was Matsumoto, a smaller somewhat more traditional city known for it's national treasure Matsumoto Castle. Along the way we got a view of Mount Fuji (in the back of the first 2 pics), which is kind of special as a Japanese woman said it was only visible for about 30% of the year. Before heading directly to Matsumoto, we got to see the Daio Wasabi Farm, one of the larger suppliers of this spicy root that grows near water.
Next up is Kyoto, the former capital. This is well known for old buildings merged in with new ones, giving a weird unique view. Most well known is the 'Golden Pavillon' temple, which is easely recognizable by it's gold plating reflecting sunlight.
Then there's a one day trip to Shirakawago, a town left untouched from the moment it became recognized as a world heritage site. The town used to thrive due to it's clean and ready to use river water. One of the above pictures shows bottles of tea cooled by this water. The rest are old traditional homes (some are habited, and some aren't but will be kept in good condition) blended in with nature!
Next up is Nara and the nearby town Inari. Nara is known for the deer that walk freely and the 'Great Buddha Hall' with huge monument centralizing buddhism in Japan. Also noticable is how well the Japanese take care of their gardens. Inari centralizes around the Shinto religion, and is known for these red shrines shown in one of the pictures and the statues of foxes near it's entrance gate. On the way to the main shrine on the mountain, there are about 2000 small gates (called torii) that form a tunnel, all good for a hour+ walk!
Next we moved to Koyasan. Basically the Buddhist center of Japan, where the cementary buried hundreds of monks throughout the years, even the one who brought buddhism from China to Japan is still honored there! Best thing there was the hotel that took traditional style very serious, with floor 'Futon' instead of beds, and the sliding doors that separate rooms. They also served traditional food (which is all vegetarian because it's made by monks) and good tea. Don't mind the picture of the sky, haha.
And finally, we ended our trip at Osaka. The biggest truly modern city Japan has. It is mainly offices, making the day population way larger than at night. However, they try to bring that up by offering more and more entertainment to make people stay for the night. Best thing here may've been the Aquarium, which is apparently one of the more beautiful ones in the world. That may be something for another blog post someday, but for now you can see the halloween cakes (yes, the Japanese like to celebrate halloween nowadays) obviously served at the aquarium. Sorry for te lack of pictures here, I just noticed 3 of the 4 were food, haha. It was mostly entertainment stuff here, so most of Osaka may better be for another blog too.
So there you have it, my farthest vacation trip so far. There may be a lack of good pictures, but I'm one of those that doesn't like viewing an entire trip through the lens, I want to view it with my own eyes! Some stuff I missed might be on 1 or 2 themed blogs sometime, but for now, enjoy and have a great day!
Hi all! Just want to note that I'm going on vacation to Japan for 15 days, starting today. It's a trip from Tokyo to Osaka with direct flights, showing both tourist hotspots and calm hiking areas. I'll make sure to take pictures along the trip and post them here!