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  • *** Don't forget about this months P.L members meeting @ The Rock House on friday the 31st of August... it would be great to see you if your in town...! *** Don't forget about this months P.L members meeting @ The Rock House on friday the 31st of August... it would be great to see you if your in town...! *** Don't forget about this months P.L members meeting @ The Rock House on friday the 31st of August... it would be great to see you if your in town...! *** Don't forget about this months P.L members meeting @ The Rock House on friday the 31st of August... it would be great to see you if your in town...! *** Don't forget about this months P.L members meeting @ The Rock House on friday the 31st of August... it would be great to see you if your in town...! *** Don't forget about this months P.L members meeting @ The Rock House on friday the 31st of August... it would be great to see you if your in town...! *** Don't forget about this months P.L members meeting @ The Rock House on friday the 31st of August... it would be great to see you if your in town...!

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Guest firth1974

Lost In Translation Trip Report 2015

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Guest firth1974

DAY8.

So today decided another day of walking was in order.

And for today's visit, i was going to go and see the Yasukuni Shrine, right in the heart of Tokyo. It is located just North of the Imperial Palace. Now, this shrine is very interesting, and very controversial too. This is the shrine that honours the war dead of the Japanese, especially the dead from WW2. But this is a shrine in controversy too. There are a number of war dead here, or are convicted war criminals from WW2. A number of senior members of parliament and Prime Ministers have been associated with these convicts. I dont know the in's and out's, but i link the story to this thread, and you can read that if you wish.
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But, when you have seen one Shinto shrine, you have seen all Shinto shrines. Im starting to get a little bit "shrined out" right now.!!
After taking a look around, i came across something that i had no idea was here. Now you know i like all things war-related, well there is a museum here dedicated to the war dead with many exhibits inside. Cost was 800 Yen. There was a huge amount of (very) old Japanese men in here, and i'm assuming that they are what's left of the Japanese Imperial army, come to honour their war dead.
The name of this museum is called Yushukan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%ABsh%C5%ABkan
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There are loads more things to see with inside the museum, but they have a very strict no photo policy inside. I guess that's to stop the gloryifying of war.
Afterwards, i crossed over the road and headed over towards the Imperial Palace Gardens. But before that, i came across what i think was some kind of Judo/Karate tournment in a big old stadium. Quite interesting to watch. Afterwards, i made it to the park.
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Now this park, even though it belongs to the royal family, and is the site of a former (400+ years ) destroyed palace. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitanomaru_Park You still need to have a ticket to enter this park, and there are only 3 entrances and exits here. Its a beautiful place to walk around and well worth the visit to see some of the Edo-era history.
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No idea what this was about, but these kids were really enjoying themselves doing this dance thing..........................
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I headed back home now, as i was going to go out on the lash with a guy called Ben ( the son of a well known Jomtien bar owner), so needed to S,S,S.
So we started the night off in bar/restaurant complex in Shibuya. This place is on the 2nd floor, but all 4 floors consist of these bars, and without Ben, i would never of headed into here on my own. Found a great little bar here, that for 600 Yen, in a 30 minute period, you can have as much beer, (japanese) spirits and soft drinks as you want. And the food was good to. Then we headed down to Ebisa, which is just south of Shibuya, where he took me to another locals place. Its like a side street, that is packed with bars and restaurants down either side, and is great value. If you didn't know it was there, you would miss. The entrance is just a very small sliding door, blink and you'll miss it.Headed back to Shibuya after this, and to a british - style pub called Hub. http://www.pub-hub.com/ Very busy place, and also the local pick up joint.
Called it a night at 1am, and headed off home for sleep.
Edited by firth1974

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Guest firth1974

Good installment mate. Glad you and Ben got a chance to meet up. I figured he'd show you a bit of the local color. :)

Yeah, it was good to meet him. Had a great night, and all thanks to Ben.

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Guest firth1974

Mmm. Just over £3 for as much drink as you like for thirty minutes sounds good.

Yeah, Jap beer, Jap branded spirits and soft drinks, A good deal. We were there an hour.

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Yeah, Jap beer, Jap branded spirits and soft drinks, A good deal. We were there an hour.

I'm a bit of a fan of the bottled and canned Japanese beers I've tried and beer is usually better on its home ground.

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Guest firth1974

DAY 9.

Seeing as my travel card has run out, and i've been to most places on the other side of town, ive decided to pay a visit to Shinjuku, by way of Harajuku and the Meiji Shrine. Its a very pleasant walk and really shouldn't take anymore than 1 hour from start to finish, but i did stop a few times, especially at the Meiji Shrine, which is approx half way between the two.
It is a lazy Sunday, so not many people or cars are out and about right now.( That will change later though). Its turned into a nice sunny day and the walk has done me some good. The Meiji Shrine is basically just another shrine, and they are all the same, but today, here at this one, there were about 4 different couples having their wedding photos done, all dressed up in their traditional dress. According to a tour guide, at least one of the couples had got married this morning in the temple grounds, and i could only imagine how much that must of cost them!!!
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This is all Sake, i believe that the emperor has donated all this to the temple, but i could be wrong there......................
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So, after walking out of the park and shrine area, you come to the Yoyogi area, which just seems t be nothing more than a commuter area, and straight after that you are in Shinjuku. This seems to be the home of the Tokyo Goverment/Council so is very well looked after. So once here i headed to the Tokyo Metropolitian Government Building. In tower 2, you can take a lift up to the 45th floor (in either the South or North tower) for some all round great views. The good thing about going up here is that it is free, open everyday until 22.00pm.
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The North Tower............................
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Even though this is the area for all the local Government, they really do have a very big homeless problem around here.......................
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And this is Shinjuku, home to Tokyo's busiest train station, and an absolute nightmare inside to navigate. This station must be at least 5-6 times as big as Clapham junction (reported to be the busiest station in the UK), and at least 15 times busier than Clapham junction. It is pure madness, just sitting here and watching all these people going to wherever it is they are going to........................
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This guys i believe were protesting and singing something about being anti-war and anti-nuclear. 1 girl was singing, and the girl on the left was miming the whole song to the crowd that had gathered...................................
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On the way home, i just happened to come across my friend Ben in the middle of Shinjuku, and he doesn't even live in this area. Seems he is going to be renting an apartment here soon, with a 360* view's from this penthouse, all for the princely sum of 150,000 Yen a month. Thats only £850 a month(bills are separate), but that seems cheap to me.
Headed off back to the hotel after meeting him, as i wasn't feeling to great. In fact i felt so shit, i didn't even bother to go out tonight, which was just as well, as i spent 3 hours that night puking up!!
Edited by firth1974

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Your day time trip report works for me, don't worry about the night time exploits till you feel better mate.

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Sorry to hear you were not well. Great report though.

BTW, had a drink with Ben's dad last night and told him I'd bring you around next time you're in town. You've been warned! :)

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Guest firth1974

*Looks for mushroom shaped cloud*

Yup, think it's safe to go out mate.

Been all around Hiroshima today, such a beautiful place, and very moving too. The Children's museum was particularly distressing!

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Guest firth1974

DAY 10.

Still suffering from whatever bug it is that i've picked up, i still feel like shit today! Decided that today i would have a lay in considering that i was still feeling sick, and i swear to god, i did not hear the girl from housekeeping knocking on my door to see if she could come in. She certainly knows how to pick her moments. Just as i got out of bed to head to the shower ( butt naked), in walks the housekeeping girl. I dont know who was more surprised, me or her. But there i am bollock naked in front of her. She makes her excuses, and after a quick look up and down, she leaves. TBH, the state i was in, i dont even think i could of got it up.
To make matters worse, (right by the door on the floor is a double plug socket), as she tried to open the door, the door knocked into the adaptor for my iPhone, and now both pins are bent to f**k!! Time to buy a new charger.
After showering and dressing, it has now gone midday, so i feel its a bit late to be going to most places, but considering im quite close to Haneda airport, ive decided to head over there, and check out the ANA terminal for my flight down to Hiroshima tomorrow. Thankfully the weather is good right now, and i've got my camera with me, so ive snapped a few photos of the planes. He at Haneda, its great if you like to plane spot. There are 2 domestic terminals, and 1 international terminal, and all 3 terminals have public access to the roofs, and are completely open observation decks. You can see everywhere from up here. Back in England, you have nowhere now, as BAA have closed them all down, and now you have to stand outside the airport grounds to get photos. Here it is different.
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Here at Haneda, as i said, there are 2 domestic terminals. 1 is for ANA, and the other is for JAL. The smaller other airlines share space in both terminals.
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This is taken from the top of the JAL, looking towards the ANA terminal.
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Im still feeling like shit, so im heading back to the hotel. Seems the weather is not going to let me go out tonight, as its now started to piss down (quite heavy) now. Luckily, we have 2 restaurants in the hotel, and because of the rain, im shit out of luck again, for a table, so im going to have to make do with a takeaway pizza from the ground floor restaurant. Its not bad, just needs more filling on it. Early start tomorrow, as im off to Hiroshima, so i'll update on that later.

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Guest firth1974

Seems you're coping the best way you can with being under the weather, good on ya mate. Hope you feel better before you go.

Im feeling better now. Day 10 was 3 days ago now. Im trying to catch up now with the TR.

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Guest firth1974

Good to know mate. :thumbsup:

Yeah, its not easy you know. Takes me the best part of an hour just to do each day.

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Guest firth1974

Keep it coming Chris. It's most interesting as I am totally without knowledge on Japan.

I'll do my best Dave. Anything i don't cover you want to know, just ask.

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Guest firth1974

DAY 11.

So, Tuesday morning im up at the crack of dawn, to set off for the airport. Seems that last nights rain still hasn't finished yet, and the sky is as grey as its going to get. Looks like i'm going to get wet on the way to the train station!! Luckily, the station is only a 3-4 min walk away from the hotel, so it shouldn't be too bad.
To get from Shibuya to Haneda is fairly straight forward on the train. Cost of the ticket is only 580 Yen.(Roughly £3).
Now, if you have ever seen in movies or on Youtube, videos like this one...................................
................................where the guards are pushing you into the train as hard as possible, then you have a rough idea what its like on the rush hour trains, carrying a wheelie case and a backpack. Its just not done!! If i had been squashed in anymore, i would have cracked a rib!! You have to change trains at Shinagawa, which is just as bad, onto the Keiyu line, and that takes me straight to the airport.
Arrived at the airport just gone 9am, and realise my flight isn't until 13.30pm!! Shit!! Misread my flight details the night before. Haneda is an interesting airport. I have never seen so many restaurants in one place before as you see here. Spread out over 7 floors!!
Nobody in this airport seems to be travelling with large bags or suitcases. How strange. Now i'm thinking, how do i check in. All the desks aren't the same as we see every time we fly. There is no where to put your bags. I join the Q that says ticket sales, as i cant see for love nor money anywhere else to go. The girl checks me, no problems. Gives me the usual bow and wishes me a safe journey. How very nice. Not too much once you get airside, so if you want to eat, eat before security. I wish i had!!
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It gets so busy here in the terminal, being the busiest domestic terminal in the country, that there are 4 different and separate security areas!! Now, that is a busy airport!
Everyone loves Pokemon in Japan, so much so that they cover every inch of an aircraft in its characters. A strange sight to see.
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The flight to Hiroshima is the usual non eventful flights we all have. But i have now finally managed, after 6 days in tokyo, to actually see Mt.Fuji. There is is, popping right out of the top of the low laying cloud. (Photos of Fuji are on my phone, i'll add them later).
Even though we are over 600km away, the flight takes a little over 1 hour to get to Hiroshima airport, and when i say Hiroshima airport, i mean an airport that calls itself that, but is actually 45km away from the actually city!!
Desperately looking out the window on landing to see if i could see anything of the rash that happened here a couple of months ago, when an Asiana flight hit a structure on its approach. Nothing to be seen, but the actual jet in question, sat quietly to one side of the main apron, with its distinctive tail colours covered over. At least it hasn't been painted out in black paint, yet!!!!
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There is an airport bus to the city, cost is 2340 Yen for a return ticket, takes you straight to the bus station. Whilst on the bus, driver informs us that after the station, the bus will drive down Peace Boulevard. Now thats a stroke of luck, as my hotel (Mitsui Garden Hotel), is on that street, and the bus stop so happens to be 20 meters away. Lucky me.
My single room isn't too bad, at least it is bigger than the one is Shibuya.
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And the view from my window, as im on the 22nd floor, isn't too bad either!!!
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