Friday, June 29, 2012

Japan Trip - Day 4

So here we are on Day 4. God this write up is taking forever!! I'll try to make this quick, with lots of pictures.

So Day 4 is the day we went to see the Sumo match. The match was in Tokyo, which gave us an excellant excuse to ride the Shinkansen, which means bullet train in Japanese.

The fastest Shinkensan is the Nozomi, which links Osaka and Tokyo while going through other cities as well. From Osaka, we needed to go to Shin-Osaka station and buy the tickets from there. It was a bit confusing at first coz I had thought that the ride would be a direct trip with no transits. In the end, it didn't matter because the train only stopped at the various stations on the way to Tokyo for like 2 minutes each.

How much did the Nozomi tickets cost? Hahahahhahaa....seriously, you wanna know. All in all, 2 way tickets from Osaka - Tokyo for 2 adults came up to about 52,000 yen. Which is about RM2,000!! Hahahhaha, En Rashid almost got a heart attack when he saw the amount but he can't say I didn't warn him. I had told him earlier (like when we were still back in Malaysia( that the tickets would cost about RM500 per person one way. I guess he didn't hear the "one person one way" part. Hehehehe.

Anyhow, we bought the tickets and then headed up to the platform where the next train was due to depart. We bought the unreserved seats so for half of the way to Tokyo, we didn't get to sit next to each other. Only when people had gotten down to at Nagoya did we get to sit with each other.

This is how the inside of the Nozomi train looks like. The seats were very comfortable (well, if i"m paying RM2000, they'll better be!!) and they could recline much better than the normal plane seats. There were a lot of businessmen on board, I guess most of them transit between their home and work place using the bullet train everyday.

Piece of advice: If you wanna experience the Shinkansen but don't want to pay a bomb, just buy tickets from Osaka to Kyoto. It's much cheaper (dunno how much but should not be more than a few hundred ringgit) and the trip is only 15 minutes.

The trip to Tokyo took us a little bit over 2 hours which was pretty fast seeing how the distance is about 246 miles or 395km. Apparently the train can go up to 270km/hr so it was awesomely fast!!
Nagoya was one of the stations that we stopped at on the way. I kept thinking of my MIL and her obsession with Nagoya silk and cloth. Hehehehe..
En Rashid enjoying the view. Or maybe still thinking about the ticket price. Huhuhuu...
I think this was at Shin-Yokohama station. I dunno what's here but quite a few suits got off so I presume a lot of offices. 
Here's the view of the Ryogoku Stadium from across the street. The colorful buntings are actually the names of all the Sumo wrestlers.
At last!! My most wanted photo with the Sumo wrestlers!! These were actually from the Junior league..not the professional league. Those dudes only came out when it was time for them to wrestle.

We were actaully trying to find our seats when we came across these dudes. Sian, depa tengah nak makan lunch, alih2 ada minah tersengih2 nak ajak ambik gambar. Sib baik tak kena duduk!! Hahahha...
This is the view we had from our seats. Pretty good actually. We could see eveything. The best part about the match is that you could rent mini radios from the lobby for 100 yen to listen to the English commentators. Made the tournament so much more interesting because the commentator would talk about the wrestlers and their track records and their favorite techniques, so you would get a better appreciation for the sport.
These were the professional wrestlers from the East Coast. Or maybe they were from the West Coast. salah satu la...
Wrestlers from the other coast.
Sometimes, the referee's decision (the dude in golden robes) is not final and may be disputed by the five shimpan (judges) seated around the ring (the dudes in black robes). If this happens they will meet in the center of the ring to hold a mono-ii (lit: a talk about things). After reaching a consensus they can uphold or reverse the referee's decision or order a rematch, known as a torinaoshi.

OK, itu copy paste je dari Wiki..but just to let you know it happened once during the tournament. Both wrestlers fell at the same time and the referee could not decide who won (dia main tunjuk je la side mana2 dulu). Dah habis diskus kat tengah, in the end, the judges decided to have a rematch. Best giller!
 Butt action!!!
These were actually advertisement from the various sponsors. Before the last match, I think there were like twenty of them brought into the ring.
The Emperor's Cup. Dapat ambik gambar je pun jadi la.
I can't recall the names of these sumo wrestlers. I think those cut outs are actually size. You can see how comel En Rashid is compared to them. Hahahha...oya, the dude on the right has a hairy butt! Just saying.
The mural outside the stadium. Some dudes from Australia helped take this picture for us. Thanks mates!!
Bye bye Tokyo. We'll come and visit you again next time. For now, it's back on the train to Osaka.
Muka puas hati sebab 1. dapat bergambar ngan ahli sumo 2. dapat naik bullet train
Proof that we paid a bomb for the train ticket. Hehehehe...13,240 yen was one way one person. Kali la sendiri berapa semua kitaorang spend.
The nozomi train.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Plaza BB Dalam Kenangan...

BB Plaza nak kena roboh?

Hmmm..walaupun dah bertahun sebenarnya tak ke area KL kat situ, tapi area Lot10 and BB Plaza tetap menjadi tempat nostalgia waktu remaja.

Tempat tu la dulu tempat dituju time girls outing ngan kekawan asrama dulu...Kowie, Nira, Fara, Amoi...Peej, ko takde sebab ko duduk Kluang...kalau ko dok Klang, maybe ko bleh join. Hehehe..

Tempat ni dulu aku pi double date ngan x-bf aku, Mr. F. Bukan double date la...dia bwk best friend dia, aku bawak adik aku. Hahaha..siap bodyguard. Yang kelakar, adik aku tak impress ngan Mr. F..sebab apa ntah aku tak ingat. 

Tempat ni dulu tempat nak shopping baju T yang time tu dianggap cukup branded. BUM, Quicksilver dan yang sewaktu dengannya. Rasanya Tshirt BUM aku tu ada lagi kot.

Tempat ni memang banyak kenangan. Rasanya anak2 aku pun blum pernah aku bawak jejalan ke sana. Maybe aku kena bawak satu hari...sebelum diroboh.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Japan Trip - Day 3

The weather for day 3 was much better. The sun was shining and it was nice, thanks to the cool breeze.

Our first destination was the Osaka Science Museum. It was walking distance from our hotel so it made sense to visit that first then head out to the other attractions further away. It took us only 10 minutes to get there, thanks to the numerous signs pointing the way.

Again, this was a free attraction with the Pass. When we got there, we saw many kindergarten children going on a school trip. They looked so cute in their tiny uniforms, lining up with their caps and bags on.

One word of caution, the museum does not have a stitch of English in it!! Like all the exhibitions were written in Japanese. You could read the heading, which was in English but the description was all in Japanese. This frustrated En Rashid to no end. Hahaha.

Since we were unable to read any of the descriptions, we moved through the museum rather quickly. There was a section of the museum where you could try out things hands on. Even that, I had to wait for the kids to try them first to understand what to do.

The kids trying out the games there. En Rashid had already moved along and was calling me to hurry up. Ala..nak main gak game2 ni.
Somehow I feel this camera is more powerful than the camera I have. Maybe mine should belong in a museum. Also, see...everything written in Japanese. I told En Rashid, I shall go home and learn Japanese, then come back here and read every goddamn description there is!!
Somehow this TV reminded me of my late Tokki and how we would turn the knob trying to find a clear TV reception. I miss those days.
This is the Osaka Science Museum from outside. The museum actually had many floors but we skipped everything seeing how we couldn't read at all.
Right next to it is the National Museum of Art. We didn't go in here because 1. En Rashid is not a fan or art and 2. It wasn't free, only discounted using the Pass.
Notice anything funny? The pumps are hanging from the ceiling. I just thought that was so cool I had to take a photo.
Our next destination was the Osaka Museum of History. We had skipped this the day before because it was closed. The museum is just 5 minutes away from the Osaka Castle.
Again, like the Science Museum, everything here was written in Japanese too. However, there was still so much to just see and observe. That piece of architecture up there is actually.....
...part of the decoration on the roof of the Naniwa Palace. You'll have to enlarge the picture to know what I'm talking about (just click on it).
This showed the atmosphere in the palace's main hall. All the dayang-dayangs and what-not. They had people with titles such as the Imperial Curtain Attendant. I guess her job was to make sure the curtains matched the emperor's clothes or something like that.
You could see the Osaka Castle from the museum. Rupanya ada moat...tak perasan pun the day before.
Leather shoes. They look sturdy and rather comfortable.
This is a Bunraku puppet. Giller ngeri kalau jumpa tengah malam. Why must they paint the face like that? Freaky!
This was an activity that I did at one of the kids section. Dah takde keje kan, main camtum2kan pasu artifek. They had the real vase displayed nearby. It was impressive, the amount of artifacts they had intact.
These are actual kids' toys made from clay. Notice the dogs? Like WTH?
We spent quite some time at the museum. Actually I did viewed most of the displays; after a while En Rashid just sat in a corner playing on his iPad.  
So then it was time to find food. We wanted to try out some authentic Japanese food but before that, we just had to try some delicious waffles from Manneken. We bought the set deal which allowed us to sample every type of waffle they had. Even the green tea waffle was delicious.
Then we went in search of this restaurant we had read about in one of the guides. We finally found it after 30 minutes of walking in the wrong direction. Grrrr. But the food was worth it. It was totally filling, partly because the rice was the "kanji" type.
En Rashid waited until I had finished the whole thing then asked me "sedap tak?" I was like "sedap!" Then he said, "You do realise you just ate eel?"


Rupanya yang tempura panjang tu belut rupanya. Alahai, sib baik cakap lepas dah habis makan. Kalau tengah maka, mesti terkeluar balik.

Ngada! Time pelahap semua sedap. Dah tau belut, tetiba rasa geli lak. Padahal sedap je...hehehehe.
This is the restaurant that we ate at. Very simple decor, and the waitress was very friendly. Not so good English but I was able to communicate with my basic Japanese.
After filling our tummies, we decided to head out to see the Botanical Garden. It was quite a ride on the subway getting there and from the station, we had to walk quite a distance. We passed a few fields; here some elderly people were playing croquet.
Entrance to the gardens was free thanks again to the Unlimited Pass. I didn't take many pictures because sincerely, my camera does not do the flowers justice. Just take my word for it when I say the flowers were beautiful!!
This was in the rose garden. The place was exotic! And smelled so nice. We spent a few minutes just sitting under the shade, admiring the flowers. There were just so many types of roses.
En Rashid made an observation; there were two type of people who liked to come to the Botanical Garden...photographers and old people. Photographers, for obvious reasons...old people, because they could die in such a peaceful place. Hahahaha...I would like to stress that we did not fall into any of those categories.
These swans were magnificent. And they followed me, hoping for some bread I think. Sad to say I didn't have anything to feed them with.
The obligatory romantic photo of the day.
Beside the gardens, was the osaka museum of natural history. We didn't go because 1) En Rashid had had enough of museums already and 2) it wasn't free (but discounted with the Pass).

After walking for so long, we decided to head back to the hotel for prayers and a quick nap. We then headed out to the Dotonbori area to catch the night life in Osaka.
This is us on the Dotonbori River Cruise, another attraction that was free with the Pass. It was a great way to see the whole Dotonbori stretch without getting tired.
This was our guide, a funny man. He made us wave to every passerby on the street. Hahaha. The commentary was done mostly in Japanese but he did say a few things in English to accommodate us.
This is the landmark for the ticket counter for the cruise. It pretty hard to miss.
The neon Glico "running man" signboard.One of the popular landmarks of Japan. I think it was related to a candy or something but they used the running man for other national interests too.
The famous takoyaki. There was one stall just beside the river cruise ticket counter so we headed there after the boat ride. It took a while for them to get cooked but boy was it worth it. Sodapnya!! Even just looking at the photos and my mouth is watering. Yummy!!
En Rashid in front of the shop. Muka puas hati sebab dapat beli takoyaki. We ate while strolling along the other side of Dotonbori, taking in the sights and sounds. It was a very good day for us; we did a lot of sightseeing and we ate to our hearts' content.

Day 4 coming soon.