Day 1 – Thurs 17/9 Departure
The journey begins when we get on the train in Purmerend. Having our friends Aart and Elly got an excellent cup of coffee with a treat, we are all going to the train station. Schiphol Airport is a half an hour. Our Boeing 747 is filled to the last seat and we leave three minutes late. In the beginning, we have a lot of turbulence.
Day 2 – Friday 18/9 Arrival Tokyo
am also a great flight of 11 ½ hours to ‘Tokyo Narita Airport. We land just fifteen minutes late. The Bandar Casino Online is fairly quiet and we meet Japanese punctuality. Each form what we get on the plane to fill out is carefully for the correctness of the data. We have no problems with our luggage and we look for an ATM for our first Japanese money. Then a ticket for the “Keisei” train “Skyliner” to Tokyo. Reserved seats in a train are quite new for us, though we have experienced something similar in China. The train takes us ‘on high speed’ in 40 minutes to the station where Sofie us with the kids awaits. Nice to see everyone again in person after 6 months. We continue with two other trains and arrive at their lovely apartment. We’re pretty tired because we all have two bad slept on the plane. The rest of the day we chat with. Then we walk around the neighborhood and we see among others the school Lucie. In the evening Sybren from work and after dinner we roll almost to sleep. We make a long night and then Saturday.
Day 3 – Sat 19/9 Tokyo Sumo Wrestling
It’s much nicer weather than yesterday. The sun is shining and the temperature is nice, around 25 gr. Today is verrassingdag in honor of my birthday. We go to a tournament of Sumo Wrestling.
We pack everything for the kids. We walk to the train and we get an explanation how it works about. However, we do not understand much of it. After 2x change we are at a huge building (like the Arena), which we can not immediately find the entrance. The wrestling matches are totally sold out today. Fortunately, Sofie has reserved in advance. Through a vast entrance on the first floor, we enter. Because we are early and have lunch, we look for one of the restaurants. The gave up competing have already begun. During dinner, we can follow the Bandar Casino Online on TV, which hang in the restaurant. The best wrestlers arrive after 15:00. At that time, you should also have picked up your reserved tickets. We have beautiful places. We see a whole bunch of spectacular competitions that usually take relatively short. It is a ritual before a duel begins and everyone is doing his utmost to bring over it all very seriously. The whole ‘Arena’ is indeed chock after 15:00. All these people must again all back by train and also because Lucie and Lauren have seen it gradually all we go back a little earlier. When we get outside there is a whole bunch of people in rows along the route from the stadium in anticipation of the wrestlers there to catch a glimpse of close to on. All in all a very nice and special experience and definitely something we soon will see if forgotten.
In ‘Kita’ (residential district of Sybren & Sofie), get Maaike and Sofie two huge pizzas we let our good taste. Today was a nice and original birthday gift!
Furthermore, we have a tiny bit acquainted with a few residents of Tokyo and noticed that the trains on Saturday also very pretty packed down. But actually, that is not surprising in a city of 13.5 million residents. The jet lag is almost gone and we need to convert what time it is in the Netherlands (7 hours later).
Day 4 – Sun 20/9 Tokyo: Park
Today Sofie I visit a supermarket (Sunday) and a bakery. Super is similar to Western supermarkets only based entirely on the fact that the public will not steal. The whole store is open and leaves again without having to pass through the checkout if you really want. The production line is not present and the cashier loads the messages about your own basket in a ready basket while scanning it. At the bakery, the bread is displayed on glass shelves and pastries in a tray. When you enter you grab a tray and tongs bread. Anything you want to grab the rod and put you on the sheet. The whole business would you give a lady at the cash register, which is all the same pliers does neatly in bags without coming to the bread with your hands.
After lunch we set off. By subway and train we go to a park. However, there appears to be a festival, and therefore there is the proper pressure. There are many stalls where you can buy edible things. There is a temple in the space previously given a performance on a stage by masked ‘scary’ figures, accompanied by drum and flute. Obviously, it is meant to inspire fear. There is a long queue wanting to be alone and in front of the temple. The temple itself you should not. Hang on racks on white pieces of paper all kinds of messages, prayers or wishes. We walk around the block, go under gates by admiring Koi carp in a pond and buy some drinks. Then we carry a piece of the city. Later at a restaurant for dinner, but first look for a money machine (ATM). You can find at a 7- Eleven convenience store or just a couch. Both are difficult to find today. Eventually we find a busier center a bank with ATM and it works. 50,000 yen per day. Through another way and another park we come back in the street with the restaurant.
The telephone reservation Sofie (in Japanese !!) succeeded. The cook had counted on us. Shoes and upwards. A 6 seater Japanese table will be waiting on the 1st floor. Sitting on a pillow on the floor. Tis ff get used to your body stiff Holland. Apparently the reservation including the menu, for every 10 to 15 minutes each receive 3 different mini baked or fried dishes. For example, a fried shrimp on a stick, some fried vegetables on a stick and fried mini crayfish. Still another combination. Tasty and surprising. An ice cream. Cheap ‘t was not. Over € 180, – for 4 people and a children’s menu. Nice and cozy ‘t was.
Day 5 – Saturday 21/9 Tokyo Odaiba Island
Sybren remains with the kids at home and Sofie goes with us on the road. The first route goes to the famous intersection with the diagonal crosswalk. It’s nice to really see this often photographed and filmed crossing in. It’s all a bit smaller than expected and the car is a lot less than expected. Many people photographing and filming the crossing and walk with selfie sticks across. We walk a short distance to the shopping area and Sofie buys sunscreen because the sun is doing his best. Furthermore, it is just the Kalverstraat with much publicity and many people. But it was fun to make.
We take the metro to “Odaiba Island. In the artificial island, however, we deal with a special train on tires without operator. It’s pretty busy, because there appears to be a Mexican festival. There are quite a few people and decked with painted face coming here. Most stalls as food and drink. What stands out is a copy of the Statue of Liberty. Very special. We also have, when we were in the train, seen a copy of the Eiffel Tower (here on the island). There is a Mexican dance and singers and plenty of Mexican food. We get the steak and tacos taste good.
Then we go back and towards the ‘Skytree Tower’ http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/index.html of Japan’s tallest building. It is a television transmitting tower of a total of approximately 630 m. High. We have to search long for the entrance, because it is very poorly marked. When we stand in line, we hear of an officer who speaks English very troubled that the “cheap” tickets are sold out for the whole day, but the more expensive ones are still there. It saves 800 yen per person (approximately € 6, -.), But in return, so we still can and can skip a giant line for the elevator. In no time, we are at 350 m altitude with a lift that is 600 meters per minute (36 km / h). The view is beautiful, although it is still some fog in the distance. However, it could have been much worse in rain or fog. We buy a ticket per person for more than 1,000 yen (€ 7.50) to go to the 2nd floor at 450 meters. Also a great view here, but much less crowded. The space is also smaller. All in all still a special visit, because here you come as a tourist, but one time in your life.
Tokyo is huge metropolis, but it does not have the aggressive look that other cities like Rome, Madrid and Paris. Probably it’s the commitment and respect of men for each other and the environment. Anyone who has a job / position, though it is the most trivial job, do it with full dedication and passion and deadly serious look. Your card, for example, tackled by a friendly smiling lady, for anyone who comes her with two hands. Then scanned with dedication and a valuable treasure you get the card back. Then she points with a hand gesture that you can continue. And for everyone! Special. And she is not alone. At the station are eg males almost begging to watch out when you get off the train (so you can not) because that station is the distance from the train to the platform, which is larger than normal.
Day 6 – Sunday 22/9 Tokyo Shinjuku Gyoen park
Today, the “Shinjuku Gyoen ‘park on the program. It lies on the edge of a busy center with offices and nightlife. It is quite a large piece by train. At the last station, we buy a lunch stock and it is a walk through the traffic to the park. Free is not it, but once inside it’s a completely different world. A large park with various landscaped areas. The weather is nice and it was fairly busy. Wherever it may be, people sit on the grass to dress or not to eat. We also look for a spot on the grass in the shade and picnic. As the shade on the grass grows, more and more people sitting around us. Mechanical music and radios are not allowed and there are not too. No mess or other things that anyone could interfere. Very relaxed and plenty of room. After a while, we walk to the Japanese section, which is also very beautiful. At one time there sounds through speakers the music ( “Netherlands, Netherlands … oh ..blah, blah … champion … and we love on-than-you …. For its actions and zijn..etc”). According to Sybren, they play always as something finished. A glance at the clock tells us it is 16:20 pm. A glance at the map says that the park closes 10 minutes later. A thick line of people going towards the exit. It looks like the end of a football match ….). The return trip takes almost an hour. Nice relaxing day.
Tomorrow is another day of travel. Then we all go to the “Shinkansen” bullet train http://tokyo.nl/shinkansen to Kanazawa. So should suitcases are packed and sorted out things to them.
Day 7 – Monday 23/9 Train ride Tokyo to Kanazawa
Today it is my birthday. We do not much special because given to the departure signal 10 is half. All packed and dropped traveling. First with the city train to an end point and then to just before eleven in the ‘Shinkansen’. A futuristic train interior is not as futuristic. He’s going to be fast. We have two stops. Kanazawa is a lot quieter than Tokyo. We walk the 400 meters to the hotel and notify us. After some hands and feet and the fear that our voucher from the travel agency would not arrive, they prove there anyway. However, in the name of Sybren. Well retrospective sense, because he has booked the rooms. We order lunch at the hotel as we can go after 15.00 in the room. Sofie, Sybren, and kids go to the room and we go a lot to the city on foot. We visit the “Omi Cho-market http://www.kanazawa-tourism.com/eng/guide/guide1_3.php?no=2 which consists mainly of fish and vegetable sales. Then we carry a little bit further and see a temple. We also take a look at some sort of V & D and then we pass another temple. Here are hundreds of lanterns in the shape of a square aluminum lantern with a candle. There will be what will happen but before it starts we leave to meet Sophie and due to go eat. They treat (for my birthday) us a nice meal in a Japanese restaurant and we eat all kinds of Japanese appetizers. Yummy. Back at the hotel, we have to prepay the room but then we also have some. A gig large 2 bedroom. bed. Nice spacious room and what is not insignificant: air conditioning.
Day 8 – Thurs 24/9 Kanazawa explore city (market, castle, park)
Het ontbijt…… Japans geklungel. Waarom? De ontbijtzaal is te klein om iedereen van 11 verdiepingen te laten ontbijten. Bovendien is hij erg ongelukkig ingedeeld. Er zijn tafels met stoelen en Japanse tafels waarbij je op de grond op een kussen zit met je benen onder de tafel, dit keer wel in een gat. Echter……… je moet wel je schoenen uit. Maar als je wat wilt halen moet je wel slippers aan, want daar lopen ze met schoenen. Vandaar Japans geklungel. In een land met zoveel vernuftige vernuftigheden……… Enfin, er zijn veel warme gerechten en ook veel wat onbekend is. Maar ook broodjes, toast, gebakken ei en yoghurt. Al met al voldoende, maar het gedoe erom heen…. brrrr!
We vertrekken lopend via het station en de ‘Omi cho market’, naar het Kanazawa park met kasteel. Het park is behoorlijk groot en het kasteel lijkt nagelnieuw en ziet er zeer fraai uit. Erg Japans. We horen geluid van binnenuit, maar weten niet waar de ingang is. We sjouwen wat verdwaasd door het park, totdat we aan de andere kant van de weg de echte oude tuin tegenkomen. Hierin mooi aangelegde vijvers, doorkijkjes, steen, verhogingen, architectuur en oude bomen. De oude bomen worden vertroeteld door ze aan alle kanten te ondersteunen met palen. Of dat nou bevorderlijk is voor het aanzien…. Enfin, de bomen hoeven hun eigen takken niet te dragen. Daarna stappen we op de ‘loop’bus. http://www.hokutetsu.co.jp/en/en_round Deze rijdt de stad in de rondte. We stappen uit in het ‘Higashi Chaya District’. Dit is het gebied waar de Geisha’s, voornamelijk in vroeger tijden, hun diensten aanboden. Het wordt drukbezocht door toeristen en wij zijn daarop geen uitzondering. Helaas lopen we al een groot deel van de dag in de motregen, maar daar komt langzamerhand verandering in. Het is gewoon regen! De kinderen zijn moe en moeten nodig verschoond, hun ouders hebben trek en een plek waar dat allemaal opgelost kan worden is niet voorhanden. Zij gaan allen terug met de bus naar het hotel. Maaike en ik wandelen door de stad en langs de rivier terug. Onderweg een uitstekende kop koffie met chocoladecake, wat boodschappen gehaald voor morgen en op het station eten we een pizza. We zijn aardig gaar wanneer we weer op de kamer zijn. Morgen hebben we met z’n allen een huurauto. Sofie en Sybren hebben al wat bedacht voor de ochtend en voor ’s middags hebben ze een ‘onsen’ https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onsen gevonden.