»Walking along Asakusa River [Tokyo]«
(plain shot, no filter – simply lucky with sunlight and clouds)
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 Sato – Resort/Amusement Park, Mie- Prefecture]
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.
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]
The last (and maybe longest) extra part of our long trip to Germany [follow the link] – Prag. Very close to my hometown (eastern Bavaria area) just a short 2.5h drive away.
Thus it’s not my first time. Actually I have been there 3 times. For following reasons.
I truly was hoping to be able to visit this wonderful city again with my husband. Time was limited and we did (same to Berlin) a 1 night 2 days trip. But I dearly recommend to stay at least 2 nights (or better 3) to soak in and experience the whole city up to its core.
• Climb the watch-tower, eat some delicious ‘Gulasch‘ with sliced dumplings [in Germany they are round balls], definitely get one of the great breakfasts and WALK. If you stay at a hotel within the center, everything is in walking distance. Even the castle on the other side of the river is not far.
Take a pic at John Lennon wall and then drink one of the delicious beers at the John Lennon Pub [it is a tourist magnet but somehow the whole story has its charm] escape to backstreets and immerse yourself into nightlife [for non-party people I recommend a stroll alongside the river – you both fall in love again all over again]
• For rainy days you could go to a sex-toy museum, the ultimate ♡little mole ♡ (comic by Zdeněk Miler) and other souvenir shops, become an alchemist and discover the underworld, become a child again at the Hampleys (huge toy-shop) or simply visit the national marionette theater ♡ ……
[now you maybe understood why you definitely should stay more than 2 days]
Here is another extra part of our long trip to Germany [follow this link] – Friedberg. Located near Frankfurt (which you might be more familiar with) just a short 15 min drive away.
So why there? I hear you already asking – very simple. It’s a tiny historical gem and provides way more nature than Frankfurt could ever do.
So I do recommend a visit during spring or summer – a once in a lifetime chance to actually see huge fields of Sakura blooming (outside of japan) and walking through fields of apples, cherries and other delicious fruits. As well as seeing Old timers and a revival of Rock’n’Roll during the Elvis Festival.
As a special I wanted to post some pictures of the place we stayed (friend’s apartment) I love the colorful combination of ones own personality visualized ♡
So this is one extra part of our long trip to Germany [follow this link] – Berlin. “Die Hauptstadt” (the capital) which sometimes even Germans forget about (Munich has a pretty strong image globally and is denominated “capital of hearts” fyi)
It was a very short 1 night 2 days trip – thus pictures are limited. But here are some keywords you can expect in this city.
Overall the rainy weather made us visit some great inside places.
→ Computer-game Museum! (very recommended though a little expensive) → Chocolate Fabric → Comic Stores → Sightseeing Tour
(regarding the last point, I do recommend: simply buy a day-ticket and hop on/off the Line 100! you’ll see all important points like the gate, checkpoint charlie, Reichstag, Zoo and many more)
So this time fortunate circumstances made us able to stay some weeks in Germany – together! Which is not easy for a couple like us.
On the one hand it was pure stress (especially for me, preparing everything – you may have read the post about our Korea – Wedding Ceremony which happened just right before this trip) on the other hand I am so happy my hubs got the chance to actually get a taste of what it means to live in Germany. [bottom-line: he liked it *woot woot*]
• had fun enjoying nature – my hometown is located within Bavarian national park, wild animals and nice mountains. [the orange circle on this topographic map]
→ alpine slides¹ are so fun in summer. We also visited the upside-down house and this very nice Treetop walk. While donkey, bee and wolves greeted us occasionally.
• were able to visit Oktoberfest – a festival citizens rather avoid. But hey, a first is a must.
→ skyfall¹ gave us a taste of James Bond. 80m free-fall. Actually the view (seeing the alps) was worth it.
The rest was walking around; Oktoberfest got too touristy, pricey and not fun compared to 20 years ago.
• could enjoy family time – my cat MOMO loved him, as did my best friends child ♡
→ the town my brother lives is quite rural, but hey, you get real skeletons in monasteries and an airplane museum right next to it.
¹ ger: Sommerrodelbahn [if you like long words]