Last few days…

When it’s holiday season Tokyoites go to Kamakura/Enoshima for a day trip. However as we are Australian we go for a few days before we head home. Yes… this means taking our luggage on board trains and taking up most of the room!

Enoshima

Wildlife…

Sunday - Tokyo

Believe it or not there are snakes in Japan. Here is proof- this was taken in Hibya park in midtown.

We’ve also seen lots of these

Day 3 - Togi to Wajima

Many of these in our ride

Day 3 - Togi to Wajima

We also saw goats and an Emu. Yes it was an emu – I saw it myself. I was cycling at the time so I didn’t stop to find out why it was there.

There were also a lot of little dogs – even in the markets!

Sunday - Tokyo

Congestion Status

Sometimes when the other blog author is posting, I am doing useful things like washing the few clothes that I have. Fortunately, Hotel Niwa has recently made that experience better.

Congestion Status

Without leaving my room. I can now find out if the washing machines and dryers are available! Hotel Niwa is great for having a washing machine. I hate hotels that want to charge $3 to wash one underpant.

Congestion Status

More importantly, I can find out if the massage chairs are occupied.

Congestion Status

Also, if the breakfast room (which we don’t normally go to) is busy or not.

Glitch

Normally, it’s coffee at Glitch. I am on to my third loyalty card!!

The Railway Museum…

Railway museum- Saitama

This ticket provides the user access to discount travel via Shinkansen to the railway museum in Saitama and back to Tokyo. To get the ticket you need to know Japanese – clearly we do not but we have a friend who does!

Railway museum- Saitama

We’ve been to a number of railway museums around the world, so it was great to visit this one. We’ve watched “Japanese Railway Journal” on NHK, so add that to the reasons for attending. For fellow train lovers… it was a great visit.

Railway museum- Saitama

As you expect, when in Japan it’s an ekiben for lunch. Then a short ride for a mini Shinkansen

Railway museum- Saitama

… and lots of trains to climb on!

Railway museum- Saitama

Railway museum- Saitama

Railway museum- Saitama

Railway museum- Saitama

Railway museum- Saitama

Railway museum- Saitama

There is also a train turntable which goes t ice a day and the train horn is blasted

Railway museum- Saitama

There is limited English on the signs in the museum, but there is a guide available. Definitely worth a visit if you are a gunzel! It was a great day.

Wall art…

Friday

It’s hard to find what we know as street art which we see down the back lanes in Australia in Tokyo. However this is my favourite art piece in Tokyo. I was pleased to see it was not covered with advertising on this visit!

Gardens

The gardens in Japan are wonderful. You can find all types of gardens, highly manicured meticulously presented to the historic.

Friday morning we visit the Nezu Muesum.

Tokyo

Tokyo

It’s an amazing place of collected Japanese and East Asian art works dating back centuries. It’s also know for its amazing garden.

Tokyo

Tokyo

At this time of year the lilies were in bloom in the pond – so it was perfect to visit. As did a number of other tourists.

Friday

Tokyo

They are designed to enable you to explore the small details, as well as views. It’s a great place to rest.

Tokyo

Tokyo

The museum is located in Omotesando, which is an expensive neighbour, and you can see amazing buildings.

Friday

Inside the museums the displace was of the we’ll know Japanese screens of irises, and associated works by the illustrator and associates.

But there are great coffee shops in the area too! I highly recommend this museum if you are in Tokyo.

Friday

Loop ride…

Back in Tokyo… and we set out to do a loop ride and visit places we’ve never been too. You might think… you’ve been there so many times its not possible – but given the size of Tokyo it is possible!

You’ve always got to start the day right… with a coffee

Day Kanazawa - Toyama- Tokyo

Tokyo is always changing, and new buildings pop-up. This in an example of that

Tokyo

Surprisingly we saw another Brompton!

Tokyo

Can you spot Mt Fuji in this photo? It’s taken from a free observation deck. As it’s spring here a local told us “you are really lucky to see the top at this time of year, as there is usually a lot of cloud”. But I will add minutes later cloud covered it up…

Tokyo

Back streets of Tokyo have some great little shops – take this one Golden Retriever Bakery

Tokyo

We also came across a cafe which has a sister cafe in Melbourne…

Tokyo

… and back to the hotel.

Tokyo loop ride

Trams

Yes, there are trams in Japan. Although, like the rest of the world most of them have been pulled out.

Toyama Trams

One spot this is not the case is Toyama. Toyama is an industrious area to the north-west of Tokyo and s centre for the pharmaceutical industry in Japan.

Toyama Trams

In early August 1945 the city was almost completely destroyed, which explains the wider tree lined streets and the presence of three tram lines.

Toyama Trams

Toyama is a pleasant city with a population of around 420,000. Its density and layout ensures that it is easy to get around. Although, like Adelaide walking can often be faster than the tram.

Toyama Trams

Much of the rolling stock is postwar vintage – making it as fun ride – like the St Kilda tramway museum.

A further light rail system operating to the port area opened in 2006 – in a first for Japan.

Toyama Trams

Simple food…

What I love about Japan is the variety of food you have the opportunity to experience, as each city has their own specialty.

Day 7 - Wakura onsen - Kanazawa - Toyama

In Toyama they are known for small glass shrimp, which is only available from March to November. There is a small shop inside the train station which is famous for its dishes made with this seafood, called Shiroebitei. To order the have a vending machine on the inside, which makes it easier. This was pretty cheap for around 11,000 yen (approx AUS $15). The small shrimp are fried and sit on a bed of rice with some sauce drizzled over the top. Most importantly the taste was fabulous!

Ice cream…

While in Wakura Onsen we went to the Noto Milk Factory. We first came across it on Sunday when we arrived… and there was a very long long line. The font looked good… (yes this does help!)

Day 5 - Amamizu to Wakura onsen

but more importantly the ice cream tasted great. I enjoyed matcha ice cream and Kym tried three different flavours, coffee, strawberry, soy sauce (yes you read that correctly) and salted milk.

Day 7 - Wakura onsen - Kanazawa - Toyama

One the last day the person serving us gave us a small taste of another flavour to try as we had been in for three days running. Definitely a great product – and cheaper than home!