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.
- 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 narrow. HORROR BUS RIDE 9 HOURS arriving DEAD in Tokyo. [positive: cheaper than train or car]
- 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 souzu‘¹. 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 ^
Based on the fact that my last post was a delayed summary of 2017, this post might seem quick, but actually isn’t. ASOS (TALL) & other tall brands – sale, again. (and again, very lucky to grab some nice pieces) This time I also purchased items from ASOS Maternity (Tall) – which, in case I do get pregnant, I definitely would regret not having got my hands on this great stuff for such small money.
→ [see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE] »Other posts related to ASOS«]
♡ NOISY MAY tall shirt, grey-print
[size M, soft material]
♡ BRAVE SOUL pullover, pink – for men
[Size M, perfect for ‘oversize’ look]
♡ PULL&BEAR tall shirt, stripes
[size M, nice design]
♡ NOISY MAY shirt, logo print
[size M, love this style]
♡ ASOS tall t-shirt, white
[size M, stripes]
♡ ASOS tall shirt, rib design
[size M, goes great with high-waist]
♡ ASOS Maternity tall longshirt, print
[size M, ‘coming soon’ slogan]
20€ 10€ ♡ ASOS Maternity tall sweatshirt, boyfriend-style
[size M, very cozy]
♡ ASOS Maternity tall top, chevron-print
[size M, slightly see-through ]
♡ ASOS Maternity tall dress, cage insert
[size M, bodycon style] 4
♡ ASOS Maternity tall dress, colorblock design
[size M, sporty style ]
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?]
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.
- History [I love the old buildings]
- Cheap [some 30-50%]
- Easy going people [very warm “aura” throughout the whole city]
- Good Food [and beer of course. It’s the mother of breweries]
- Great Weather [maybe just coincidence but we had blue blue sky every time]
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.
- Military base of Ray Barracks [Elvis Presley served here] unused since 2007
- Friedberg castle [one of the biggest remaining complexes in Germany]
- European Elvis Festival [old-timers, greasy hair and Rock’n’Roll]
- Little Sakura [largest areas for fruits cultivation in Germany especially cherries]
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.
- cheap [er than Munich]
- dirty&dangerous [more than other cities]
- fresh [in any way – people, parks]
- steeped in history [not only the wall and “Ampelmännchen”]
- salty taste [compared to southern Germany]
- easy going [compared to snobbish Munich]
- chocolate sweet [Ritter Sport and Rausch headquarters]
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*]
As we spent more time, we also got lucky with cheap bus/train tickets – thus traveling to Prague, Friedberg and Berlin [each got their own little post]
• 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]