Travel – Nagoya / Nagashima

This post is a follow up on my Nagoya/Osaka trip. Introducing some 2 great spots we went to while visiting Nagoya. Rain and low temperature made us escape to a great secret spot in Nagoya [which we otherwise would have skipped 100% for sure]Toyota Museum.

Maybe you are like me, expecting cars and robots (which you of course will find) BUT 60% is past history and thus new information (at least to me) – they started with textile machinery ! It’s a very active museum and honestly I did enjoy it way more than the Ghibli one.   Definitely worth its money and time you spend there!!

Another  to-do-list spot was  Illumination.  Around this time of the year Japan doesn’t give a damn about electricity issues/bills and lights up nearly anything.
Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination, which is said to be one of the largest in the whole country, is located a 30min drive from Nagoya near Nagashima Spa. What appears as a nice flower field within a Resort during summer, is lit up with millions of tiny bulbs in winter.
[negative: they charge you 2500 yen entrance which includes 2×500 yen voucher for the souvenir area — it’s not the world, but I hate to be forced to buy something.]



[Nabana no SatoResort/Amusement Park, Mie- Prefecture]


Travel – Nagoya / Osaka


Finally I can put a  beside one of the points of my japanese bucket-list. Finally I was able to ride with a Shinkansen (those long-nose high-speed trains) Being in Japan for many years, why not riding one earlier, you might ask. The thing is.. tickets are pretty expensive.

Our trip was typical japanese as well – 3 days/2 nights – Riding Shinkansen in the morning to Nagoya→ visit people→ stay overnight at his uncles house→ visit other friends the next day and then ride another Shinkansen to Osaka→ arriving at midnight→ staying at a hotel near the station→ go visit the city and some friends and then instead of wasting money for another hotel→ ride the night-bus back home for Tokyo.

[Shinkansen ride gives you a nice view on Mt. Fuji as well.]

There’s the saying ‘learning by doing‘ and I did learn a lot.

  1. Having lived in Argentina for some years, where land is huge, airplane tickets expensive, train-network scarce and thus buses quite comfy (you easily can ride 12h without sore back or leg pain.) Well, I thought Japan – the land of service – might provide the same service, but we ended up in a regular bus where seats were designed for small tiny Asian people. My husband and I being 180+ couldn’t even put our legs under the seat in front of us for a stretch, as those were  way to low and narrowHORROR BUS RIDE  9 HOURS  arriving DEAD in Tokyo. [positive: cheaper than train or car]
  2. Osaka (and also Nagoya) is way more my style than I ever could have imagined. The people seem ‘real‘ – less FAKE than they behave in Tokyo. Talking to them actually made me feel a real person is standing in front of me and not one sort of  ‘silent souzu¹. Sad thing, I can’t eat wheat stuff so the food Osaka is famous for [Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki and Udon] was out of range for me, but according to my husband – delicious.

Some tips for those who have not been on the road.
• Riding Shinkansen will be made easier for you in future; because of Olympics (and many foreign visitors) coming up in 2020, they try to implement the IC-card system also for this type of transportation [up to now you have to buy separate tickets for those trains at designated machines – not really difficult but always able to improve]

• There are really nice spots to visit in Nagoya and Osaka. Your Tokyo IC card will work for their train/bus system as well. Prices are slightly lower. Having not as much time as expected plus weather messing with us, we went to do speed-sightseeing….

Nagoya castle, some nice town buildings & gardens, shopping area in Osaka plus two more exciting things which I will write about in a separate post ⇒ [Illumination in Nagashima]

¹ Souzu. An endless bowing/nodding thingy ^

Random – Wakasu Seasidepark


With this post we are following my real-time life again. Last week we went for a spontaneous drive to a park called Wakasu Seaside-park. An unknown jewel located only 20min drive away from home and my new fav. spot to go.
There’s a huge park for BBQ and tents, cycling/jogging area and a fishing spot that leads right onto the sea. From there you are able to see  Fuji on clear weather, as well as watch airplanes starting their journey.
You are also able to walk alongside the newly opened (2012) Tokyo Gate Bridge – literally walking on the sea, but it might be a long way to go (bike is recommended)

We were lucky enough to catch sunset alongside clear blue sky, Mt. Fuji in its best light.
The park itself is free, only the parking lot is about 500 yen – quite affordable regarding the fact you can stay all day (closing time around 9pm)

[funny sidenote – the artifical Island everything is located on is called -yume no shima– (island of dreams) but it is basically 100% built on GARBAGE —- Japanese people know how to sell stuff, or where would you rent your apartment? on the island of garbage or dreams?]

Random – Odaiba Renewal


In case you have read my quite long post about Odaiba, you are aware this name goes hand in hand with Gundam fans [me and my husband included]
2017 has been a promotional year for Unicorn Gundam RX-0 (→  based on a novel from 2006 and thus not to confuse with that weird unicorn-hype most of you might associate the word with)


If you are a little into Gundam you know unicorn is bigger, better and more flashy than its standard model most of us know as RX 78-2. So the life-sized previous 18m are now a whooping 20m in height, with attack-mode transformation.
No matter if you are a fan or not, you definitely should come and visit. Odaiba itself remains one of the upcoming places to date and spend a whole day with friends, your lover or family. No matter if it’s rainy or not, you definitely wont regret coming here.

Random – Ghibli Museum


One of my ‘last year‘ posts. Finally oh finally we could make it to go and see Ghibli Museum…..BUT… I was somehow disappointed. You’d expect [especially after closing down the facility for nearly half a year to pimp it] that there are huge Totoro statues or figurines, stuff that kinda -wow-s you…I’d actually expected a tiny version of Ghibli-themed Disneyland kinda thing.

Well, the actually purpose of its creator to ‘make you feel the atmosphere‘ gets transmitted, but overall it was too short for the money and kinda too serious, so I do recommend a visit only if you like museums or have a little baby-child to bring with you (they do get a neko-bus to play with)  OR  if you like parks, as the museum building itself is right in the middle of a huge and relaxing green spot with lake and everything.

-You’ll get to see a 10min mini-movie (Ghibli-style heart-warming story)
-Your entrance ticket is a tiny 35mm film gauge cut-out (random Ghibli movie)
-Location (very nice park and area to have a full-day date)
-Get insight on old scripts and how movies were made (history-wise very interesting)

No pics allowed
No touching allowed (staff that looks closely on every move you make in every corner)
-The movie you saw is only to promote merchandise (again they want money from you)
-It’s quite full and you have to get tickets 3 MONTHS before your visit
-Nothing to actually touch and no kinda real-life sized figurine. Very “serious” for older visitors (only kids -12 get to play with the huge neko-bus)
-Cafe and Shop totally overpriced and waiting time about 1h minimum

[Inokashira Park, Mitaka]

New Item – Pokecolo

It’s not really an item, but one of the cutest games out there.
»Pokecolo by Cocone«
(You need a japanese IP account for Googleplay to be able to download it.)

But be careful! It is like a walking gambling app which will drain all your money if you won’t pay close attention. I simply recommend – never pay, be patient. I also didn’t invest anything and got all that nice stuff.

You can communicate with others on BBs, through 1:1 message, and play gatcha.
[the previous “Pokemini” which was and English version of this game is OFFLINE and will NEVER COME BACK] but certain minis now use Pokecolo and there’s even an english BB available.