Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Two weeks in Japan (part 2)

Part two starts with a daytrip to Japan's former capital Kyoto. We visited the Ginkaku-Ji temple and garden.
At first we missed our get-off
point at the temple. After a while we concluded that we should go back a few km. A local on bike who was initially a little irritated because we were standing in the way, was very kind to help us. He was one of the very few Japanese who spoke properly English. The plan was to walk along the 'path of philosophy' to the Nanzen-Ji temple. But halfway we decided to get of the track and take the bus back to te centre of Kyoto due to the high temperature rising till 36 degrees Celsius. At Kyoto station we visited another temple and also the Kyoto Tower which is about 130 meters high. A new record in comparison to the Tsutenkaku tower (103 m).

The Kyoto station was also very impressive. a high rised building with many escalators. One after another going sky-high!
The next day was another day in Greater Osaka. We visited the famous Kaiyukan aquarium. The theme of this aquraium is 'The ring of fire', because it shows the species from all around the Pacific Ocean. A great watertank filled with 5,4 million liters of water and their famous residents: 2 Whale Sharks and 2 Manta Rays.
Later that day we visited another tower: the Umeda Towers. Another new height has been reached: 173 m.
The view was were taken from the floating garden between the both towers.

Later that evening we also took a break at Namba parks before getting dinner. A park that has risen on the roof of the shopping mall in Namba. More pics are coming up!

Further impressions of these days.

Sea Otter and Manta Ray

Whale Shark and Japanese Spider cra

Nemo's and Umeda Tower

Umeda Tower at distance and Namba Parks

Two weeks in Japan (part 1)

It's been quite a while since my last post. So here's a new post about my last vacation to the land of the rising sun and the origin of Otaku....Japan. Having been in Hong Kong earlier this year (May), I thought it would be a nice extension to explore the Farther East. We started the journey with a flight from Amsterdam to Osaka in the Kansai Region. Many people will think about Tokyo first, but the Kansai Region is also interesting, because of the well-known cities as Kobe (Kobe-beef and unfortunately also the 1995 earthquake) and the former capital of Japan, Kyoto, which has far more history than the nowadays Tokyo metropolis. The first flight towards Osaka Kansai International Airport was a comfortable one with a KLM Boeing 777-200ER. Although having flown for many times in widebodies like 747-400, it was actually my first flight in a triple seven.
We were staying at a hotel in Nipponbashi nearby the busy district Namba. We discovered that it w
as located in the middle of Den Den Town, a shopping area for electronic equipment, games, anime and a heaven for Otaku which is comparable with Akihabara in Tokyo.
Our first activity was visiting the Tsutenkaku tower in Naniwa ward. It gives a
great view on the southern (minami) section of Osaka. It wouldn't be the last tower we are going to visit.
We also visited
the Osaka Zoo for the time being till we could check in at 15:00 later that day.

The next day we went to the famous Osaka Castle. It provides a great view.
Unfortunately the world famous Himeji Castle, one of the few original
surviving castles in Japan from the 17th century, was under renovation at this time which will last till 2015! The southern districts, known as Minami has the Shitennoji-temple. The narrow streets has the well-known electricity- and telecommunicationpoles and cables. Well, that's for now. More reports are comin' up soon!

Are you g
oing on a vacation this summer?

Great view from the Tsutenkaku Tower

A rollercoaster in the middle of the city! Only possible in Japan!

All pictures taken with Sony-Alpha A-300 + 16-80 mm Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar.