Monday, April 30, 2012

Discover Japan Part 7 || Asakusa, Odaiba Waterfront

Today is the last day of our Japan Trip.. Today we focused more on souvenirs shopping.. already made plans with Mr. David..

the landmark of Asakusa

We checked out late in the morning..I think its around 11 o'clock.. The 1st place we went to Asakusa.. According to Mr. David.. this is THE place to shop for souvenirs.. and according to him we should not worry if we didn't get enough souvenirs.. As the shop at the airport would sell the same thing with the same price..

people walking\around looking for souvenirs

one of the alley
sakura already gone

Asakusa is a district in Taitō, Tokyo, Japan, most famous for the Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon. There are several other temples in Asakusa, as well as various festivals. Asakusa is on the north-east fringe of central Tokyo, at the eastern end of the Ginza subway line, approximately one mile east of the major Ueno railway/subway interchange. It is central to the area colloquially referred to as Shitamachi, which literally means "low city," referring to the low elevation of this old part of Tokyo, on the banks of the Sumida River. As the name suggests, the area has a more traditionally Japanese atmosphere than some other neighborhoods in Tokyo do.
I did get a couple of things to give to family, friends and collegues.. but it is quite expensive compared to souvenirs from other countries..

Palette Town, Odaiba 
one of the colourful Tokyo eye
in the mall
water fountain
sky-light ceiling
a fair being held
can't remember the dolls' name

Then we went to Odaiba Waterfront.. it is a combination of malls at the waterfront area.. But nothing of our interest.. so we just hang out and walk around the mall.. but we didn't get anything..
Odaiba is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, Japan, across the Rainbow Bridge from central Tokyo. It was initially built for defensive purposes in the 1850s, dramatically expanded during the late 20th century as a seaport district, and has developed since the 1990s as a major commercial, residential and leisure area. Odaiba, along with Minato Mirai 21 in Yokohama, are two of the only places in the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan area where the seashore is accessible, and not blocked by industry and harbor areas.

at the aquadecks

Then it was already time to go to Narita fro our flight home.. Happy times do fly expressly.. But the day was a dissapointing one.. I mean it's quite of a dissapointing way to end the perfect holiday.. Have to plan better next trip.. hehehehee...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Discover Japan Part 6 || Kawagoe (Little Edo), Harajuku

Today we travel back in time to the Tokyo in the old days.. we went to a place called Kawagoe also known as Little Edo.. The weather was nice.. cool air with a little bit of sunshine.. just nice for walking around for look-look, see-see..

little Adam & Opah

little Sara in action
Little Edo
flowers everywhere
 Kawagoe is a city located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, and is about a 30-minute train ride from Ikebukuro in Tokyo. As of July 1, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 343,926 (142,898 households). The total area is 109.16 km². Kawagoe was founded as a town Kawagoe-machi on April 1, 1889, and became the first city in the prefecture on December 1, 1922.
The city is known locally as "Little Edo" after the old name for Tokyo, "Edo". Kawagoe castle was the headquarters of the Kawagoe Domain and occupied by close aides of the Tokugawa shogunate. Most of the buildings were dismantled in the 1870s but some remained or were relocated.
Harajuku is also a fashion capital of the world, renowned for its unique street fashion. Harajuku street style is promoted in Japanese and international publications such as Kera, Tune, Gothic & Lolita Bible and Fruits. Many prominent designers and fashion ideas have sprung from Harajuku and incorporated themselves into other fashions throughout the world.Harajuku is also a large shopping district that includes international brands, its own brands, and shops selling clothes young people can afford.
more flowers
old-school bus
old post office
traffic jam
lamp post
one of the shop

The bus driver dropped us somewhere in the parking area in one of the backlane.. According to Mr. David, we'll be walking from there.. As we go along the main street, Mr. David explained to us the history of Kawagoe.. The historical landmark is the bell tower also known as Bell of Time..

one of the alley
Bell of Time in the back
little Adam
Mr. AZ
Map of the area

The Bell of Time is a bell tower originally built by the order of Sakai Tadakatsu between 1624 and 1644. The present structure goes back to 1894, a year after the Great Fire of Kawagoe. It is a three-story tower measuring 16 meters in height. The tower has been telling time to the city's residents for 350 years and has been deemed as a symbol of the city. Currently, the bell can be heard four times a day (6 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m.)

Here, we saw a lot of unique crafts and trinkets being sold.. I was attracted the most with one of the umbrella.. Cute designs would appear when the umbrella got wet.. I was going to buy one for me until I came on to my senses.. "I am not going to use the umbrella..Somemore it's hard to take it back.." So I decided not to take it..

the unique umbrella
you're hungry is it?
posing for the camera
me with my nephews
trishaw japanese style
artist at work
Then.. we get to taste the most unique ice-cream flavour.. The Sakura ice-cream!! it was nice.. it has this pear-ish taste.. but i do like it.. even little Adam.. infact the whole lot loves the ice-cream.. Me and Mr. AZ decided to share an ice-cream between the 3 of us.. In the end me and Mr. AZ only tasted once.. little Adam wallop the rest.. interesting part is.. the ice-cream didn't melt as bad as it is in our country.. the ice-cream still have it's shape till the end of our Little Edo tour..

ice-cream shop
sakura ice-cream
pear-ish taste
sharing the ice-cream
he wallop the whole ice-cream
writing the menu of the day
more flowers infront of the shop
red tulips
walking along the street
infront of one of the shop
waiting while we shop
one of the junction
the blue sky
our bus for the day
After Little Edo, we head to Harajuku.. looking forward to see all those interesting-funky-gothic-anime-dressing teenagers.. The Yoyogi Park where the bus driver dropped us was fulled with locals.. even Harajuku Station were packed.. but still no teenagers that caught our eyes.. all were normal dressing locals.. We walk all along the Harajuku Street and back to Yoyogi Park.. Only there at one corner we saw a couple of kawaii girls..

On the way to Harajuku Street
Harajuku Alley

old school motorcycle

Kawaii Girls
Harajuku ("meadow lodging") is the common name for the area around Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo, Japan.Every Sunday, moi young people dressed in a variety of styles including gothic lolita, visual kei, and decora, as well as cosplayers spend the day in Harajuku socializing. The fashion styles of these youths rarely conform to one particular style and are usually a mesh of many. Most young people gather on Jingu Bridge, which is a pedestrian bridge that connects Harajuku to the neighboring Meiji Shrine area.

At one part of the Yoyogi Park entrance, stand a group of teenagers dress-up as the rock-n-roll era and dance to the music from a beat box.. bahahaha.. cuteness!! My nephews even mention that they would like to try this approach in Malaysia.. We'll see.. hihihihi..

rock-n-roll era
Mr. AZ & little Adam
watching the show

From Harajuku, we just drive past Tokyo Tower since everybody was not interested to get down.. It's not that we were not interested.. but I think we were already tired.. and hungry since we only had our breakfast that day.. and it was almost 4 in the evening..

We decided to have and early dinner that nite.. Mr. David brought us to a Pakistani Restaurant at Ikebukuro called Marhaba.. At first the waiter was very rude to us.. I mean the whole time he served us with an annoyed face.. He only turned warm when we were paying  the food.. Only after he cleaned up our table.. too late mister!! But the food was superb!! I really love the hot and spiciness.. yummeh!!

the Restaurant
going through the menu
waiting for the dinner
That night we had to buy little Adam diapers as we have used up all the diapers that we brought.. Luckily Mammy Poko is from Japan.. And we get to buy a 30++ Mammy Poko diaper pants with Mickey Mouse designs for 1000+ yen (around RM40)..

Mammy Poko pants made in Japan vs. Malaysia