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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

Nara


31st of October 2014

Round and round the islands...up and down the bridges!

We started our journey from Hiroshima towards Kobe and when we reached at Onomichi, we left behind us the Honshu island _the big Japanese island in which we had spent the previous days_ and crossed over to the islands Mukoujima, Innoshima, Ikuchi, Omishima , Hakata, Hitsuishi and Shikoku. Our trip covered the whole north part of Shikoku, before we crossed over to the islands Yoshima, Iguro and Hitsuishi. After going all around those islands, we returned back to Honshu and from then on we continued our journey towards Nara. During the trip we crossed many bridges (Onomichi Bridge, Innoshima Bridge, Ikuchijima Bridge, Tatara Bridge, Omishima Bridge, Hakatajima Bridge, Shimanami Kaido Bridge, Imabari Bridge, Awajishimaminami Bridge and Awaji Bridge). It is actually the only way, if one wants to see it all.



Treasure hunting!

Our promenade to Nara Park​, which lasted for about two and half hours, was a treasured and unforgettable experience for me.





We visited Todaiji, one of the most famous and historically most significant temples in Japan and also a real landmark of Nara. The temple was built in the year 752 and it is the major of all the provincial Buddhist temples of Japan.



The main parlor in Todaiji, the Big Buddha Hall is the largest wooden building in the world and it hosts one of Buddha’s largest bronze statues. The height of the Seated Buddha is 15 meters. The visitors will meet also a few fawns from the nearby park of Nara.





While walking at the park, we could see maquettes all around, leading us into the narrow paths, in which we were discovering more and more sanctuaries, more and more temples and sights. At some point we found ourselves in front of stairs lit by lovely small lanterns. I start stepping down enthusiastically and urge Christos to do the same! Following the steps, we reached down to a natural lake where we found a road for pedestrians only, with lots of little shops selling local tidbits.





On the road to the hotel we tried a Japanese Sakura burger and with our appetite satisfied we reached to our lodging, to the Wakasa Hotel.


Where have the beds gone?

The hotel was traditional, we had to take our shoes off and wear slippers only. Christos walked inside the room and stopped at his tracks astonished. The room was completely empty with the exception of a small table right in the middle of it!

           «Where have the beds gone??» exclaimed Christos, while I was pretending the surprised one.
           «I have no idea what on earth has happened!» I say. «Do you think they will let us sleep on the floor?»
           «Is that why you gave them 18.000 yen?» Christos points out smiling.

I go to the reception laughing too _thinking how so very much Christos had appreciated the Japanese culture and tradition_ and I am asking them to prepare our room for sleeping.

           «I’m coming right now, madam», says the polite young man. «We prepare the beds every evening for                          you and we put them away again in the morning!»

 




Magical Ryokan

The Wasaka Hotel in Nara was a typical Ryokan and our room had a very specific Japanese style. A typical Ryokan is a traditional lodging of Japanese Rhythm and is ideal if one wants to get acquainted with the Japanese customs and the local cuisine. One night in a Ryokan offers relaxation, local specialties and a pampering bath in naturally therapeutic waters. The buildings are usually very traditional , they have beautiful gardens and dreamy views of the surroundings. The central idea is to offer a special, traditional atmosphere to the visitor, regardless of the modern facilities. It is an amazing, once in a lifetime experience that should not be missed by anyone, while in Japan.

 
1st of November 2014

The…odd couple out!

Inside the hotel we could move about with the traditional kimonos and the slippers we were provided with. When we got to the dining room for breakfast, we realized that all the guests of the hotel were dressed traditionally, honoring the Japanese custom, while we were wearing our normal clothes, ready to leave right after having our breakfast. I feel that all heads are turning towards us! We are the…odd couple out! At the table where we sat, there was a special traditional pot for each guest with some sort of strange… soup boiling into it. There were ten to fifteen small bowls in the middle with lots of unknown tidbits into them and a big traditional plate with rice. A very polite lady was trying to explain what there was in each bowl. We tried to eat them but it was impossible. They were far too exotic for our taste! Christos managed to eat a little rice, while I had the great inspiration to put the rice into the soup! With lots of efforts we both managed to eat something after all.

 

 

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