Friday, February 3, 2012

Part 2: Winter In Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto) - 25 to 31 Dec 2011

Day 5 (29 Dec 2011): Tokyo City Tour - Ginza - Shinjuku

Started wonderful morning by admiring Mt Fuji from my room..

Admiring Mount Fuji from my room
Then we checked out and started our itinerary...Here I come...Tokyo - biggest city in the world with 13 million population! It is about 140km of distance from Mt Fuji to Tokyo.

Started our tour from Edo Period. First destination - Asakusa Kannon Temple (aka Sensoji Temple). 

Early in the morning of March 18, 628, when the capital of Japan was Asuka (present-day Nara Prefecture), two fishermen, Hinokuma Hamanari and his brother Takenari, were fishing in the Sumida River. Suddenly sensing something, they pulled up their net to find a statue of Bodhisattva Kannon. When Haji no Nakatomo, village headman of Asakusa, heard about this, he immediately realized that the object was a statue of the important Buddhist deity Bodhisattva Kannon. Taking vows as a Buddhist priest and remaking his home into a temple, he spent the rest of his life in devotion to Bodhisattva Kannon.
   In 645, renowned Buddhist priest Shokai Shonin built Kannondo Hall upon visiting the Asakusa district during his travels. Following a revelation he received in a dream, Shokai decided that the image should be hidden from human view, and this tradition has remained in place ever since.

At the entrance to the temple, is the kaminari-mon or “Thunder Gate”. This monumental Buddhist structure with a giant red paper lantern is a popular photo opportunity. The lantern is painted in red-and-black tones suggesting thunderclouds and lightning. Statues of the gods of thunder and wind sit on either side of the gate. 

Two black characters with white lining read 'Thunder Gate' (from top to bottom)
A shopping street of over 200 metres, called Nakamise, leads from the outer gate to the temple's second gate, the Hozomon. Alongside typical souvenirs such as yukata and folding fans, various traditional local snacks from Asakusa area are sold along the Nakamise. The shopping street has a history of several centuries.
Asakusa Nakamise Shopping Street

kimono, yukata...

Folding Fans
Traditional Local Snacks
At the street, I managed to capture quite a clear view of Tokyo Sky Tree

"Tokyo Sky Tree" will appear in the Narihirabashi/Oshiage area of Sumida Ward, Tokyo in 2012. Boasting a height of 634m, the tower will be one of the world's tallest.

Tokyo Sky Tree

Next we proceed to Ginza, the highest-class shopping area in Japan. At Ginza, there is biggest Burberry Store.
Burberry Store in Ginza
Burberry Store @Ginza
The Ginza store of the Nagoya based Matsuzakaya department store chain offers goods and services on ten floors. Matsuzakaya has a history that reaches back to the year 1611.

Next shopping area - Shinjuku.

Shinjuku (新宿) is one of the 23 city wards of Tokyo, but the name commonly refers to just the large entertainment, business and shopping area around Shinjuku Station.


Bidding farewell to our bus driver for few days...
We checked in one of the luxury hotel in Tokyo - Keio Plaza Hotel. Located in Shinjuku, in the very heart of the Tokyo metropolis, the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo extends top rated services and facilities, features that guests come to expect of a world class hotel.

Keio Plaza Hotel

Day 6 (30 Dec 2011): Tokyo Disneyland - Narita

Today will be whole day full of fun with Mickey and Minnie in Tokyo Disneyland!
  • Ticket Price (1 day passport) : 6200 yen (~RM247.00)
@Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo Disneyland Parade
It's a small world ride:

After a whole day of tiring back to dreamland, we took another 1 hour ride to a Japanese BBQ restaurant, which is upstairs of Hanamasa Prospec Discount Supermarket.

Posing with Kobe Beef
Then we proceed to checked-in our hotel which is 5 mins away from the Narita Airport - Narita Marroad Hotel. A busy night to start packing to depart back next day...*sob*sob*..

Marroad International Hotel Narita

Day 7 (31 Dec 2011): Narita - KLIA
Big farewell to Japan as we proceed to the airport for our flight back home....I will come back to Japan for sure! *sob*sob* 

Our food in the flight...delicious...yummmy
Delicious Meiji Ice cream


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