Sunday, April 22, 2012

Discover Japan Part 2 || Touring Tokyo City

As we were leaving Narita Airport, our tour guide introduced himself and gave brief history of Japan.. I dozed off while he was explaining since it was a late night for me the night before.. i only managed to sleep after supper was served and little Adam went to sleep.. i reckon it was around 2 in the morning..

I woke up went my little nephew shouted.. "Adam!! look!! Disneyland!!" followed by Mr. David's agreement.. little Adam was shouting as well.. excited as he can ever be.. that was a good indication that he would enjoy this trip.. eheheheheh.. 

Eye of Tokyo

After that I couldn't sleep anymore but all my nephews went to LalaLand uninterupted.. during the journey we were greeted with rows and rows of cherry blossom trees.. it was a breathtaking sight.. most of the trees was blossoming with white-pinkish and some more darker coloured petals..Mr. David explained to us that we were lucky because today was the highlight of the cherry blossom.. so we arrived just in time to see the cherry blossom..

A cherry blossom is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, particularly the Japanese Cherry, Prunus serrulata, which is sometimes called sakura after the Japanese. Many of the varieties that have been cultivated for ornamental use do not produce fruit. Edible cherries generally come from cultivars of the related species Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus.
"Hanami" is the centuries-old practice of picnicking under a blooming sakura or ume tree. The custom is said to have started during the Nara Period (710–794) when it was ume blossoms that people admired in the beginning. But by the Heian Period (794–1185), cherry blossoms came to attract more attention and hanami was synonymous with sakura. From then on, in tanka and haiku, "flowers" meant "sakura." The custom was originally limited to the elite of the Imperial Court, but soon spread to samurai society and, by the Edo period, to the common people as well. Tokugawa Yoshimune planted areas of cherry blossom trees to encourage this. Under the sakura trees, people had lunch and drank sake in cheerful feasts.
Every year the Japanese Meteorological Agency and the public track the sakura zensen (cherry blossom front) as it moves northward up the archipelago with the approach of warmer weather via nightly forecasts following the weather segment of news programs. The blossoming begins in Okinawa in January and typically reaches Kyoto and Tokyo at the end of March or the beginning of April. It proceeds into areas at the higher altitudes and northward, arriving in Hokkaidō a few weeks later. Japanese pay close attention to these forecasts and turn out in large numbers at parks, shrines, and temples with family and friends to hold flower-viewing parties. Hanami festivals celebrate the beauty of the cherry blossom and for many are a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful view. The custom of hanami dates back many centuries in Japan: the eighth-century chronicle Nihon Shoki records hanami festivals being held as early as the third century CE.
Most Japanese schools and public buildings have cherry blossom trees outside of them. Since the fiscal and school year both begin in April, in many parts of Honshū, the first day of work or school coincides with the cherry blossom season.
The first stop we made in Tokyo city was Yoyogi Mosque or Tokyo Mosque..

Tokyo Mosque
At the Mosque entrance
The Tokyo Mosque, planned since 1908 was finally completed in 1938, with generous financial support from the zaibatsu. Its first imams were Abdurresid Ibrahim (1857-1944), who had returned in 1938, and Abdulhay Qorbangali (1889-1972). Japanese Muslims played little role in building these mosques. to date there have been no Japanese who have become imam of any of the mosques with the exception of Shaykh Ibrahim Sawada, imam of the Ahlulbayt Islamic Centre in Tokyo. The Mosque was destroyed in 1986 because of many years' wear and tear effect and building land was donated by Tokyo Turkish Association to Turkish Republic on condition that a new Mosque is built. Chiefs of building site were Tsuruki Furukawa and his assistant Teiji Omata of Japan and Mustafa Iskender of Turkey.

Tokyo Mosque miniature

Inside the solat area
Colourful Turkish tiles
water fountain at the waiting area
showing off his new shoes

our shoes


this is the picture

There were showers went we arrived at the mosque.. the cold wind was blowing and it made us shivers.. I only stayed at the ground floor of the mosque since we had to walk outdoors to enter the solat area..anyways i had to look after little Adam who is excitedly jumping up and down and playing with the water fountain at the reception area.. The reception area was decorated with lots of colourful Turkish marbles.. seriously beautiful.. the guide/person incharge there were very friendly that he's willing to make and served us tea.. i don't think that is their usual practice for any visitors.. so we just rejected politely..

walking outside the mosque

at the balcony


cherry blossom

3 of us

Mr. AZ with Urawa REds car sticker

After everybody's ready.. the person incharge suggested us to take pictures of the mosque with the beautiful sakura background.. he even left his post to show us the place which is at the back of the mosque.. to be near sakura trees with blossoming flowers was beyond my imagination.. i couldn't express how lucky i felt.. the petals was beautiful.. Subhanallah.. Snapped a couple of pictures then we took off.. Mr. David explained that Sakura is only to for viewing not to touch and worst to pluck.. so that's a no-no during cherry blossom..

Next stop is Shinjuku or better known for it's red-light district.. it is also well known for large varieties of eateries.. this is where we're gonna have our lunch.. an indian cuisine..

one of the lane in Shinjuku

giant sized oysters

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

Opened in 1996, the Shinjuku branch of Takashimaya consists of 15 floors, including a food department in the basement and 3 restaurant floors. It is the main store of the "Takashimaya Times Square" complex that also houses a Tokyu Hands branch and Kinokuniya book store with a large foreign language station.

With a history of over 100 years Isetan is a veteran among Shinjuku's department stores. The Shinjuku store is Isetan's flagship and consists of 10 floors, including restaurants on the top floors and a food department in the basement.

We walked along the Shinjuku street, backlanes and more small lanes.. it was lined with loads of entertainment outlets and eateries.. since the rain were more heavier, my mom wanted to bought the typical japanese umbrella.. the one that is see through.. so she walked proudly with her new umbrella.. heee.. cute!! along the way we saw that most of the entertainment outlets were full with people.. they were playing some sort of slot machines.. I even saw couple of men and women with an office attire.. ahahah.. i guess they wanted to released all the stress at work..

private eating area

Then we had our lunch at and indian restaurant.. the food was marvelous.. I couldn't recall the name of the restaurant.. from what iremember it was on the 7th floor.. I didn't get to take the food pictures.. too busy stuffing my stomach.. mind you.. my last meal was 1 hour before landing.. i guess around 6 hours.. the buffet was great.. hot and spicy food.. the star of the buffet was their naan bread and the coleslaw..For the coleslaw instead of mixing mayonaise they also powdered ground nuts..seriously sedap!! little Adam had their rice and chicken curry.. he loves it by the way..

crossing at Shinjuku
mysterious lane between 2 buildings

at a shrine

pink sakura buds

close up of Sakura

2 colours of Sakura

it's raining sakura petals!

pink Japanese rose
After the lunch we walked somemore in Shinjuku.. as we arrived at our bus, the bus driver told something to Mr. David.. that Mr. David said that we were lucky agian this time.. he led us a small lane between 2 buildings nearby.. at the end of the lane.. there it was.. a shrine.. but that wasn't the lucky thing.. it was the sakura tree.. 2 colours.. 1 according to Mr. David is the whire petals which id the local sakura and another one is a darker pinkish sakura.. a breed sakura.. a very much breathtaking sight.. my mom was speechless and happy.. she requested to take as many pictures of the sakura as possible.. the most breathtaking sight was when the wind blows and it blew away some of the sakura petals that it was a snowing like moment.. little Adam was the happiest.. he played catch the petals with my nephew..

little Sara in the bus

pure white sakura

 Next was Ginza.. according to my dad.. this is the higher end area.. where all the people dress nicely and with brands.. and most of the shops are high ends brands.. the nephews were longing to go to 7th floored Uniqlo shop.. ahahah..too bad that the bus was parked away from that building.. if not we had to wait for them shopping at Uniqlo.. they kept on chanting "Welcome to Uniqlo!" the Uniqlo way.. hheheheeh.. stayed there for awhile.. i managed to people watched along with my niece and nephew.. eehehehe.. it was great!

it takes 2 men to put on little Adam's jacket

the road in Ginza


Shinsaibashi, commonly referred to as Ginza, is a busy shopping area extending from Shinsaibashi Station on the city subway line.  Department stores such as "Daimaru" and fashion buildings such as "Parco" and "Crysta Nagahori", as well as some of the most famous luxury brands including Chanel and Gucci, have shops in Shinsaibashi. Most of these stores are concentrated along the Shinsaibashi-Suji Street shopping promenade that's nearly 600 meters long. There are also casual boutiques, shoe stores and ast food shops, so it's fun to stroll along, taking in the sights and sound of Osaka. In "American Mura", the younger generation is attracted to the many brand shops with fashy signs and also the secondhand clothing shops. There are novie theaters and live houses, so there's plenty of people coming and going till late in the day.
Tokyo city from Rainbow Bridge

Since we still have lots of spare time during our finals days, Mr. David suggested that we slot in couple of today's itinerary to that spare time.. so that we can rest for the day.. we agreed and off we go to Tokyo Disney Resort area in Urayasu to checked-in to our hotel which is Hilton Tokyo Bay Hotel.. WE managed to grab a good rate since the Japanese just ended their Spring Holiday last week, according to Mr. David.. it seems that we made the right decision..

playing at the kids area at the hotel

the guys catching on their sleep at the hotel lobby

The checking-in process was a breeze.. and we were informed by the hotel that Narita Airport officials already call them to confirm that our missing box were already located.. it was left at KLIA by mistake.. mistake?? are you sure?? the box would be flown-in that night with a JAL flight and the box would be delivered to us the latest by tomorrow evening.. all expenses paid for.. that to luggage insurance.. ehehehehe..

1-8, Maihama, Urayasu-shi,
Japan 279-0031
Tel : 81-47-355-5000
Fax : 81-47-355-5019
watching Mickey train and Mickey bus passed-by

can't wait to meet Mickey real live

Our room was super!! spacious for the 3 of us.. with view of Disneyland and Disneysea.. little Adam was very very excited to watch Mickey bus and Mickey train to passed his view.. he sat at the window till late.. i even have to fed him there..

panoramic view from our room

That night was a very early night in.. but we woke up just in time to watch the magnificent view of Disney fireworks.. such a breathtaking view..

NEXT || Part 3

1 comment:

beautifulLIFE said...

aida!!! i miss japan!!!bestnyaaa!!!!!best gler tgk all the beautiful pics!!! eh disneyland?