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// OCTOBER 2014
To Tokyo and even further...
Narita
Nikko
Nagoya
Ise
Hiroshima
Yoshino
Koya
Osaka
Kyoto
Yokohama
Tokyo
Nara
Kamakura
Seoul
Tokyo
Narita
Nagano
Joetsu
Inawashiro
Shirakawa
Itsukushima
Imabari
Niihama
Sakaide
Onomichi
Yoshima Island
Ako

Nagano
 

27nth of October 2014
Life experience!

We leave Excel Hotel Narita, which hosted us for two days, first thing in the morning. Today we cross Tokyo in the daylight. A one life experience!

One of the most beautiful metropolises cities in the world is spread in front of our eyes. Impressive bridges, off land, high tech, peripheral road nodes which take your breath away, many cars, heavy traffic and sometimes jamming. We feel some sort of relief when we eventually are heading towards Nagano with final destination the Jigokudani  monkey park.

The journey through the Japanese Alps is stunning. We keep seeing sky rocketing, magnificent sky rocketing mountains, on the left, until we reach at the skiing center which hosted the Olympic Games of Nagano in 1998.

We arrived at Jigokudani under heavy rain, while the temperature had fallen rapidly from 24 degrees to 15. We left the car at the parking, payed 500 yen and walked to the marked path which led us to the pool with the warm springs. The pool is located into a valley surrounded by steep slopes covered by birch trees.





We saw small waterfalls on our way down the river. After reaching at the bed of it, we started climbing steep steps which go all the way up a hill with impressively high pines that reminded us of sequoias. We reached at a building, we paid entrance 500 yen per person and then continued to a path where the air had started to smell of sulphur, while steams were coming out from several places around us. At that very point, the first makako monkey appeared in front of us, climbing on the label which was welcoming us. Further down, we saw many more of those monkeys. They were swimming into a pool with warm, therapeutical water.


 

We go back. Basically: “Do we, really?”

We continue towards Inawashiro Lake, where our hotel is located. On the way, we see for the first time sea between China and Japan. It is getting dark. We have put all the correct information into the gps, but it doesn’t guide us properly, so eventually we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere. Our hotel is at a town named Aizuwakamatsu at the Fukushima area, next to the Inawashiro Lake. We passed by the entrance of the city, but since the night had already fallen we did not understand it. We ended up at another hotel, where we asked the people at the reception to put into the gps the address of own hotel. The employees, although in general they were very willing to help us, refused to do that categorically. They called our hotel and asked the people there to wait for us at the station of the town, so as to guide us back. This was pointless! If we could find the station, we would find the hotel too!! Eventually, we talk the map they gave us, we returned back to the car,  Christos found his orientation and finally we managed to reach our hotel.


Some technology!!!

As far as the gps, the funny thing was that we didn’t have the possibility to take it off the car, so as to reprogram it, because it was embodied. More over, as soon as the car was starting, you could not change the direction. You had to stop it again first thing and then make the changes. And it wasn’t just that! The English menu had only some futile information and all the important things were appearing in Japanese. Amazing technology!


Christos The “Samurai” !

We arrive at the Tagoto Hotel, where we spend our first night in a traditional ryokan. Wooden floors, old building, but renovated, a different feeling. We take off our shoes and wear slippers. Meanwhile, we notice that the lady at the reception was all dressed up like a geisha!
 


The owner of the hotel in an effort to please us ended up giving us a…headache, because as soon as we entered the room he kept asking us how we would like our breakfast the next morning. After a long time of fruitless negotiations, since it was almost impossible to understand one another, we informed him that we had decided not to take any breakfast. Christos was extremely entertaining when he wore the traditional clothes and played the role of “Samurai” by doing all sort of funny things in the room.

At last, I thought, we are beginning to be ourselves again. Of course, at the hotel they were not speaking English. Not a word, really!
 

Country: Japan
Date: 2014
Route: Japan - S. Korea
Cities: Narita, Nikko, Nagoya, Ise, Hiroshima, Yoshino, Koya, Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama, Tokyo, Nara, Kamakura, Seoul, Tokyo
Duration: 15
Cost:
Population: 126.311.000
Rating:
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Country: Japan
Date: 2014
Route: Japan - S. Korea
Cities: Narita, Nikko, Nagoya, Ise, Hiroshima, Yoshino, Koya, Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama, Tokyo, Nara, Kamakura, Seoul, Tokyo
Duration: 15
Cost:
Population: 126.311.000
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Japan
Date: 2014
Route: Japan - S. Korea
Cities: Narita, Nikko, Nagoya, Ise, Hiroshima, Yoshino, Koya, Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama, Tokyo, Nara, Kamakura, Seoul, Tokyo
Duration: 15 days
Cost:
Population: 126.311.000
Rating:
comments
VIEW