To The Land Of The Rising Sun Part 20- The Golden Pavilion

Hello and Konnichiwa

こんばんは

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Today we were on our way north west to see a wonderful sight, one that I had planned to see before we left Britain when I was looking at possible destinations to see in Japan, it was first on my list and I was thrilled when we finally had the chance to go, The Golden Pavilion.

We rode a bus in Japan for the first time today which to be honest, doesn’t sound that exciting but like in England, you need EXACT change for it! You pay when you get off and it’s often so crowded, it’s a sardine in a can situation….what a crazy ride….like Crazy bus! Bumpy yet we were able to arrive in one piece, a bit dizzy like but all in all, one piece!

Once again, the sun was out in full force but that sky was as beautiful as always…it’s nice to have so many great days without full force rain ruining your holiday! We headed into the grounds and waited in line to get in…I couldn’t wait to see this Golden building that everyone was talking about (Kinkaku-Ji) 金閣寺 but we had a small wander first along a path before you turn a corner…and there it is in all it’s golden glory

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Naturally, you have tons of people taking pictures all in one area so it took us a few minutes to get any decent pictures without someone walking across or anything like that but we got some at least, plus we could look at this amazing structure, built in 1397 as a retirement villa for shogun Ashikaga Yoshi-mitsu, it was converted into a Buddhist Temple by his son.

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On top, you can see a bronze phoenix and I even learned that in the 1950’s, it was burned down by a monk who was obsessed with it! It was obviously rebuild but it has a history and it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kyoto and in Japan.  A lovely scene to place such a building to be honest, a masterpiece.

Very bright….seriously, I ended up getting a headache because I stared at it for to long! So many groups taking pictures…just imagine being here by yourself, having this wonderful place to yourself….you’d feel at peace, relaxed and away from all the troubles of the world. I loved this place and if alone, could spend all day here but obviously, the tourist are a bit distracting.

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We checked about the gardens to this place as well and they were so stunning…like I’ve said before, Japan has made me love gardens and this one completes the picture…making this area almost perfect, if you had money to splash, you could build a place like this!

 

 

Next, we decided to have our fortunes told as we found a little place that gave us fortunes so we got one each and here are the results.

Matthew

VERY GOOD-

Abide time with patience, just as the tide will flow after it has ebbed. You are suffering from a trouble no one has noticed. Be paitent and faithful and abide your time and you’ll have a great fortune.

WISH-

It isn’t good to try to realize it by force. Abide your time.

EXPECTED VISITOR-

He (She) won’t come, nor write to you

MISSING THING-

It will be found in your own house

TRAVEL-

Not now

BUSINESS-

The prices are always going down

STUDY-

Banish worldly thoughts from your mind and set your target early.

SPECULATION-

Sell now: The prices are going down.

GAME AND MATCH-

Do not try now.

LOVE-

Love her deeply with faith

REMOVAL-

All Right

CHILDBIRTH-

No problem. Take it easy.

ILLNESS-

Be faithful and you’ll recover from it.

MARRIAGE PROPOSAL-

Listen to others carefully. Refrain from your insistence.

EMMA

EXCELLENT

Cherry blossoms are now at their best in the spring field. Flying are the butterflies around my sleeves.

You are succeeding in life and making a fortune as if the season were changing into spring. You may feel as if you were wandering in the beautiful field full of flowers. A good-hearted person will appear and help you. Be faithful or you’ll be ruined.

WISH-

It will be fulfilled, but always be careful

EXPECTED VISITOR-

He (or she) will come. You’ll hear from him (or her)

MISSING THING-

Before long you’ll find it.

TRAVEL-

No problem. But take care of yourself.

BUSINESS-

You’ll never lose. You’ll be able to get some profits.

STUDY-

No problem. Study on.

SPECULATION-

Just wait. Select a day.

GAME AND MATCH-

Restrain yourself. Depend on your partner.

LOVE-

Believe in love.

REMOVAL-

Make haste.

CHILDBIRTH-

Easy birth. Your baby will grow healthy.

ILLNESS-

You’ll recover. Be faithful.

MARRIAGE PROPOSAL-

Walk, don’t run. Take your time.

Overall, a great place to visit but to be honest, the most you’d probably spent here is an hour or a bit more as apart from the Pavilion itself and the gardens, not much else is here to keep you occupied once you’ve past the golden building which by the way is worth the 400 yen entrance fee alone but after a while, you run out of things to do which isn’t bad because it means you can fit in another activity or two during the rest of the day, which we intended to do as our next stop was going to be… Kiyomizu-Dera

To be continued.

Autism Vlog- Daring To Dream

This is a video that I recorded where I talk about wanting to propose to my girlfriend but was afraid to do so because I didn’t think she would want to be with someone who had Autism but regardless, I planned to propose to her and here’s how I did it, I hope you enjoy.

To The Land Of The Rising Sun Part 19- Fushimi Inari- Taisha Shrine

Konnichiwa (こんばんは) 

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After our trip around the Imperial Palace, we grabbed lunch at a place called Mos Burger

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It looked like the Japanese version of McDonald’s or Burger King but to be honest it was the first place we saw after leaving the subway and we were quite hungry…wasn’t that bad actually BUT THEY PUT ONIONS ON MY BURGER, UNFORGIVABLE!!!!  We decided to go to a well known spot in the city called ‘Fushimi Inari’ famous for it’s mountain trail and it’s seemingly endless shrine gates!

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We headed to the train station and boarded the JR Nara line to Inari Station and it got a little bit confusing once we got to the station as it was the quietest little place we had ever been to, it looked quaint and peaceful, minus train passengers but even they weren’t noisy but the station did have music playing….nice music which fits in with where we were going really.

 

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I like how some Japanese streets look, just looking down this straight you see the past mixed in with the present and it just goes well together, a country that can embrace both past and present without one being left behind, I’ll be honest…it was nice to feel pride for your past with the shrines, castles and monuments and the always changing world of tomorrow all around you, a metropolis of culture, all from one street!

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We entered the shrine and all around was us activity, from little shops to areas of prayer, it was wonderful. It was here that we decided to make a purchase. Meet the fox that we bought and named Kagami.  17311117_10155292395556019_410750230105162926_o

850 yen well spent if you ask me! We got another one as a souvenir for a friend back home and then headed towards the mountain path as we would do some praying once we got back down from from the hillside, might as well get the hard bit out of the way first! The entrance way was crowded with people wanting to brave the climb but not many coming back down on the other side we noticed! We heard that a fair amount of people give up before reaching the top of the path but I knew I would make it….I climbed Vesuvius after all! Emma on the other hand…we would have to see!

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Nice picture to see before you climb the mountain path! Could give you nightmares that face!

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Here we go!

 

When you start off, it’s like your in an tunnel more than passing under many gates! They go on and on for as far as you can see and beyond that but it was so amazing that you want to keep going and see if they truly do go all the way up or not. The path was full of people with smiles as we all took photos and admired the scenery as we made our way along.

Emma was actually very excited about what we were doing which was rather odd considering she normally she hates walking up big hills but I think the atmosphere and the gates were helping the matter…nothing to do with Kagami the fox we had just bought or anything! However, the smiles and excitement would soon fade as we soon discovered….the path gets much steeper and more stairs began to appear…frequently.

We came to a point where the paths split and we saw the one we would return on as well as the one we needed to take to get to the top, it didn’t look that bad to me but my wife was thinking a little differently to me.

Exhaustion sort of began to set in, more for Emma than me as I was used to walking up big paths and such….do it all the time back home so this wasn’t that challenging to be honest, growing up in the Yorkshire Dales can do that to you though, your surrounded by hillsides! Emma was slowing down but wasn’t going to give up…the only thing that was aching on me were my ears….from Emma’s constant moaning! I kid!

 

At various points on the climb, we would reach a summit and assume that we had made it to the top, only to find out that we still had a long way to go! Emma would get slightly disheartened when I kept telling her that we still had a ways to go but we did start to notice that the higher we went, the less people were about

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Also, we were eventually able to get a great view of Kyoto from the hillside and it was a really nice look out to the area that stretched into the distance. I always think that once you make it high up on a hill or mountain, to get a good look at the area around you, the countryside and as far as you can see, take it in!

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Finally however, we came across one last pair of stairs and as we reached the top, well it said top of the mountain so what more proof do you need! We realised that we were finally at the top of the path, we had made it! Emma was so relieved and happy that she had made it…I was excited as well…it was another thing I could cross off my checklist

Now, we had to walk all the way back down and for me, Emma kept nagging me about a promise I had made her…on the way up we had past an ice cream place and I might have…bribed her to keep going by promising her some ice cream when we past it again on the way down

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I am loving Japan so far, the sights and culture of Tokyo were amazing and Kyoto has been so far as well! I shall always remember the times that we both had here for the rest of my life and I really hope I can do this again someday. I love how a magical place can be nestled away like this, it makes it special. Small Japanese towns look so peaceful, yet are full of life it just makes it ever so more astonishing to explore everything that I can for as long as possible.

We boarded the train back to our hotel after a long day and decided to head out and try a curry house for once and oh my goodness, it was the most amazing curry ever! I tried a cheeseburger curry…what even is that but it’s food of the gods! The cheese was stuffed inside the burger and I honestly thought it was better than Udon Noodles, Tempura or even Ramen…the richness of the sauce and the tenderness of the burger weirdly worked together and the rice was nice as well! Seriously and I hate curry but this was immense…made me want to try curry back home again, it was that good…Emma had a seafood curry and loved it as well, she needed it after all that walking she had done.

We plan to see the Golden Pavilion tomorrow, more soon!

 

To The Land Of The Rising Sun Part 18- Storm The Palace!

We decided to head down the road towards the Imperial Palace, it only took about 5 minutes to get there and since it was our first day in Kyoto, we didn’t want to head to far way until we were a bit more familiar with the area. The heat was scorching like any other day…but it was the first day of September and it’s always boiling over here at this time so I did often venture over to any Vending machine and purchase many drinks to stay cool, many of them were this drink!

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Emma decided to wear a really short skirt due to the heat but was unsure whether it was too short and she asked me my opinion but I wasn’t that sure so I just said to do what makes her comfortable, funny thing is that decision would come back to bite us later on during the day.

We arrived outside the gates to the palace yet were unsure whether we were allowed in or not because of our experience in Tokyo, whether we had to book in advance to go in but we saw many people just walking in so we just followed suite and walked inside the grounds and were given a tour guide speaker with headphones!

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We followed the guide and listened to all the history of the palace and learnt that it burnt down quite a lot throughout it’s history as well as how each building was built and what each building entailed, what it’s purpose was, I found it all fascinating, as much as when we had explored Hampton Court or Kensington Palace in London. It’s nice to enjoy palaces on two different continents for different reasons, both for the history they represent but the differences between them both are fascinating enough as well, like how they were built, what historical figures stayed there etc.

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It was free to look around, Kyoto Palace. It’s a nice place full of history and culture and it’s free, not bad! Cost you a bit to see Buckingham Palace I’ll guarantee! The palace looked amazing! every gate and wall and building got so much attention, I would move inches at a time before taking a picture or two of something…so much detail in everything here and I know Palaces in London have detail to them as well but Japan’s just has that ‘something’ that makes me prefer them more.

Even the tatami mats in the waiting rooms for the palace guests of the past looked so majestic and awesome. Every building just looks so cool, I struggle to describe them because not one building looked boring or uninteresting…all looked explorable, like so much effort was placed onto each one. All the gates looked intimidating, not just there for show, it reminds you that this was once the place where all the major decisions for the country were made…where history was made!

 

Emma next paused as we saw the garden part of the grounds and oh my goodness, these places just look like something out of a fairy tale.

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So much greenage here, the lush grass and wildlife and so much beauty to be found all around, it’s funny how you can find a garden that makes you contemplate life, to reflect and feel relaxed with everything but a garden can do that weirdly enough…so peaceful and tranquil.

 

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Why has this country made me love gardens so much? Because they all look so beautiful! You tell me that you couldn’t feel relaxed by a place like this! It was about this time that an American gentleman came over to us and apologized to us both but he had to point out that my wife’s skirt was slightly up! How red her face went after that, I laughed of course, I really couldn’t help it. Never have I ever seen such honesty from a stranger, oh well…we had to go back to the hotel shortly afterwards…so Emma could change!

The Experiences Of Mrs Stump

Mrs Stump works in a local supermarket because he needs money to live….Mrs Stump however has a habit where he will say something controversial at the most inappropriate of moments

Let’s say it’s a Monday morning and it’s rather busy as the store only has five open tills and the queues are long. Mrs Stump is trying his best to put on a smile and be positive but at every turn, events seem to get in the way and test this. Here are some of his lovely customers who I am sure will all be kind, patient and understanding!

Let us begin with two customers who arrive at the same time, Mr Stump assumes that they are together, Mrs Stump should ask though but her mind goes off with an important topic.

Mrs Stump: I’m just saying…Brexit is a stupid idea…I voted remain and would do so again…to not isolate ourselves from our European cousins is horrendous and could make or break the next couple of generations….what right do we have to make that decision for them, do we leave them a mess to clean up or a proper united continent that is stable and safe for us all.

Customer 1: Could you serve me please?

(Mrs Stump begins to scan items)

Mrs Stump: Do you have your points card

(The second customer hands over a points card, Mr Stump scans it assuming they are together, the first customer sees this)

Mrs Stump: Are you two together?

Customer 1: No…I couldn’t afford mine and her shopping

(Mrs Stump finishes scanning the items and rounds up the total, the first customer hands over a points card) 

Mrs Stump: Then why did she hand over her card to me when I was serving you?

Customer 1: Do you know what your doing?

Mrs Stump: Do you?

Customer 1: Excuse me?

Mrs Stump: Well you clearly watched her hand me a points card and said nothing about it, now your biting my head off because I can’t scan yours….what did you expect would happen?

(The purchase is complete but Mrs Stump is unable to take off the other customer’s points card)

Mrs Stump: Have a good day sir!

(Customer 1 leaves. Customer 2 hands over points card like nothing had happened, a bit grumpy)

Mrs Stump: What just happened?

***

Later in the day, Mrs Stump begins to think that her day can get better when a customer on her phone comes onto her till. She immediately begins to roll her eyes at how this could turn out.

Customer: Hello

Mrs Stump: Good Afternoon, would you like any bags?

(Customer says nothing)

Mrs Stump scans the small shop and rounds up the total.

Mrs Stump: And that will be 42 quid please, would you like any bags?

Customer: Cash card please

Mrs Stump: Excuse me?

Customer: Cash card…please

Mrs Stump: Would you like to purchase a cash card?

Customer: CASH CARD! CASH CARD! CASH CARD!

(Customer points to debit card)

Mrs Stump: Ok, calm down…why didn’t you say so.

Customer rolls eyes, pays and leaves. Mrs Stump mimics her face as she leaves.

Mrs Stump: Seriously, what is today?

Mrs Stump was a little agitated by the day she was having, she had apparently been receiving all the grumpy customers that had nothing better to do than make life hard for someone trying to earn a living. The thought of her naughty customers made her roll her eyes that it really did not take much to agitate some people.

Mrs Stump: It’s like some people come into a supermarket with a superiority complex, just to make people who work here miserable or something, like they have nothing better to do and this makes them feel good or something, kind of pathetic really!

After lunch, Mrs Stump felt more confident and was ready to put the start behind her and finish off strong! She had many nice customers throughout the day but this was to be short lived as a rather large angry looking man came onto her till.

Mrs Stump: Hel-

Customer: God, don’t you know how to greet a customer?

Mrs Stump was taken aback by this, she hadn’t even said a whole word and was already been shouted at, this was a new record.

Mrs Stump:…Hello sir

Customer: Hurry up, my time’s more important than yours.

Mrs Stump: (under her breath) True…McDonald’s is just down the street

Customer: Did you say something, speak up!

Mrs Stump: Do you need any help packing?

Customer: No…I can do a better job than you anyway!

Mrs Stump begins to scan items but as she is doing so, she can hear groans from the customer as he mutters under his breath .

Mrs Stump: Is everything alright sir

Customer: YOU JUST CAN’T THE PROPER HELP AROUND HERE!

Mrs Stump remains silent as she finishes scanning items and rounds up the total.

Mrs Stump: 62.80

Customer: Why is it so expensive?

Mrs Stump: Well you did buy 3 bottles of whisky and a brand new DVD

Customer: Your so useless, retard!

***

Boss: Mr Stump, you have received a complaint!

Mrs Stump: Really, what for?

Boss: We were told by a rather angry customer that you didn’t help them pack their bags, is this true?

Mrs Stump: I’ve had so many customers in the last half an hour, I might have forgotten to ask every single customer that question, I apologize!

Boss: The customer had a bad arm

Mrs Stump: Was it broken?

Boss: Yes.

Mrs Stump: Oh, I remember them, I asked her if she would like help and she never responded….not to mention that she had her husband with her so I thought he was going to help her.

Boss: Did you offer help?

Mrs Stump: Yes…I think but the husband could have done something.

Boss: That’s not for you to think

Mrs Stump: If he was behind this counter, he’d be in f****** trouble

Boss: Also, they complained that you said Donald Trump shouldn’t be the President of the United States.

Mrs Stump: Bloody hell!

You’ll get them next time Mrs Stump, you’ll get them next time!

What If…Atheism, Rain And The Beast

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Well today was a bizarre day to say the least people! Sunday’s are meant to be relaxing, aren’t they? Well today, I woke up to the sound of heavy wind whistling outside and rain pounding the ground and windows…where did the sun go? Anyways, it’s been 3 days of bad weather which sucks as we were having some really nice sunny days but they seem to have gone for now…hope they return soon because it just doesn’t feel like Spring has arrived yet.

9AM

Anyway, my wife goes to church every weekend and she asked me if I wanted to go along with her since the weather was so bad outside and I couldn’t go hunting for Pokemon! I decided to go along and give it a go…I’m willing to give it a go at least once…even if I don’t believe in God, maybe I can be convinced to be more open minded on the topic…”maybe”…I can already imagine the ”his soul is damned” etc God gave us free will didn’t he?

I am an atheist and I have my reasons, like people have their reasons for following religion, I just personally don’t feel the need to go to a building every weekend and praise and worship something that I have never seen or met before, I just think that we are in control of our own destinies….maybe something is out there, I just haven’t found it yet but I just don’t think I can believe in a lord that made Autism a thing….not so fun never finding the confidence to make friends and be looked at by others without a label on my forehead…..not to mention all the stuff happening in the world…maybe I just don’t like being told how to look at something or how I should act in my life…not saying I’ll be atheist forever, just right now!

We also had a thought about going to Scotland in May and what sights we would try to see…still debating over trying a deep fried mars bar, Haggis and wearing a kilt but lets see where the days go before deciding anything like that.

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We also keep going back and forth about starting a family in the near future…it’s a big decision for us to make but I can easily see 2018 as a great time to welcome our first child into the world, that’s not a spoiler by the way 😉 Getting to hold a baby though opened my eyes to what it could be like and I’ll be honest…I liked it….made me feel excited for all the challenges being a parent entails….shall discuss it more after church.

11 AM

Church…I’ll be honest, it just wasn’t for me…I got bored very quickly by all the hymns and prayers…felt the stares of others as I was an unfamiliar face whereas my wife had been coming here for years…I have nothing against religion, just because it’s not my cup of tea, doesn’t mean I hate it! I respect it for what it does for people but I personally have never found a reason to make it something I could get behind yet! If we were all the same, life would be dull.

I felt like an alien in there, like I was watching a ritual that I just didn’t understand but all the ‘God is mighty’ and ‘God is Amazing’ made me think I was at a pep rally for 90 minutes!  At least I gave it a go but I’m not sure as of right now if I would again, just don’t feel confident enough to do so!

1PM

Still bloody raining so I decide to write another chapter of my trip to Japan which you can read here Part 17- Let them eat Cheesecake!!!! which was fun, something that I like to do to unwind on a day off work! After this, we decided to head out and see the new Beauty and the Beast film starring Emma Watson or I was being dragged to see it!

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so dark!

Great movie…I normal hate the live Disney movies and prefer the cartoons but this is the first live one that I have loved and would happily see it again and again! Now I can go Pokemon hunting in peace, knowing that Disney delivered once more…..and it has finally stopped raining, I don’t have to swim home!

…Sundays!!!!!

To The Land Of The Rising Sun Part 17 Let Them Eat…Cheesecake?!

It was slightly late, we were tired from our trek but we had found our destination and were thrilled when we opened our bedroom door for the first time. The staff were very friendly to us and gave us all the information about the hotel that we needed such as restaurants, when cleaning is done and that we get a newspaper every morning…in Japanese but the thought is there!

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Our hotel looked a bit more classier than the previous hotel to be honest, our bedroom looked much nicer and we even had a desk! a flipping desk! Awesome, it was great for writing up all my notes from our days out, food etc the bed was a double which Emma was thrilled about! and we had more space for our stuff etc

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Merchandise!

Japanese toilet that can warm your seat and has many other features that made me want to take this thing home with me! A toilet like this would be a life saver for many people! I had always wanted to see one in person and it doesn’t disappoint….can’t believe I’m going on and on about a toilet!

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We had only just arrived and unpacked and I was still a bit ticked off about how long it had took us to get to the hotel from the train station…you can read about that escapade here- Lost in Kyoto it was late in the afternoon and we were tired and hungry….fortunately I wasn’t annoyed enough to not go out and find a place to eat so with that said, we departed back down the path we had come from until we got to the main road and then headed up for about 10 minutes, passing a University before we came across a place called Papa Jons which we thought was to have Pizza etc well it said that in the guide book I had bought in Britain…alas it was a bakery that served cheesecake, so we had cheesecake for dinner instead

I was ready for anything after a whole day of wandering like a headless chicken in the middle of a desert! It was nighttime now and we were sleepy so after our food, we began to make our way back towards the hotel when we came across a set of stores, so we decided to check them out

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Awesome!

So many manga books, so little time! I even bought one…even though I can’t read Japanese…it’s still in it’s packaging to this day…probably will keep it that way until the book comes out in English! Basic stores over here just look more exciting than the ones back home, probably because most of them have a cartoon feel to them, like if you’ve watched anime, than chances are you’d be reminiscing a lot by walking into a store because it looks exactly like one, it just has more vibrancy to it here and it just makes a better experience for the shopper! Or it does for me anyway!

Since we basically just had dessert for our dinner, we stopped off at a 7/11 and picked up some small Japanese food items to try out in our hotel room, here are some of them

Never had a rice ball before or melon bread, both are great by the way! Give them a go if you ever get the chance to do so because it would be so worth it. After we had eaten and relaxed, we headed to bed, knowing that tomorrow we would properly begin exploring the area and seeing sights and such, we couldn’t wait!

 

 

Why I Love To Travel

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Hello there, I’m somewhat of a traveler or have become sort of one in recent years…not your typical Brit who voted to leave the EU under false pretenses or anything like that…no idea why I said that…we shall have to see what happens in the coming years…not that we have a choice!

Anyway, I have since discovered that going abroad and seeing a new country every single time is a fun thing to do, so many places that I probably wouldn’t have gone to normally….I didn’t think Belgium was ever going to be on my destination list….yet now Bruges is a place I’d love to go back to someday because it holds an important event in my life now! Japan was a place so far away, I assumed it was always to be out of my reach and price range

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Travel is something that I just love to do, the feeling of exploring a brand new place every single time is wonderful to me, an amazing prospect to see a bit more of the planet every time. I am not one of those people who can go to the same destination year in and out….nothing wrong with it but I would feel like I could always be seeing a brand new place instead

Not counting places we’ve been to in Britain, here is a list of the countries I have visited in recent years.

  • Italy
  • Tenerife
  • Holland
  • Belgium
  • France
  • America
  • Japan

 

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This was all in the space of say 6 years and I was in University for 3 of those years! I feel a bit more wiser and confident about myself for seeing so many different places, taking in different cultures, foods and even weather….never been boiling hot yet have it rain at the same time! I find it funny how I’ve been abroad many times, yet never explored my own doorstep! Here are a few places I haven’t been to yet

  • Wales
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Ireland

No idea why I have never been to any of these places yet…been to Isle of Man and Jersey though…better than nothing! The next place for us to explore this year is going to be in Britain…not sure for how much longer but it’s Scotland! I am sure that I will have a wonderful time exploring Edinburgh and the lush Highlands…hopefully it won’t be pouring it down with rain the entire time, get enough of that here as it is!

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It has been fun seeing the vast cities of Bruges, Paris and Amsterdam, exploring the Italian countryside, getting lost in the giant theme parks of Orlando, taking in the culture that is Japan and relaxing by the poolside, beach and lazy rivers of Tenerife but I feel like I still have so many places that I want to see at least once in this lifetime, I think I’m addicted to travelling…should do it for a job or something! Never am one for staying still for too long…hell I wander off in the supermarket when we go shopping….I still play Pokemon Go! I like to be on the move, see new wonders and try new things all the time.

Travelling makes me happy, that’s all there is to it really, I always feel really overjoyed to go away for a week or so and do something exciting everyday, heck even going for a walk through the town or city we are staying in is exciting to me! I don’t always need to climb a volcano, go to the beach or the big tourist attractions…Sorrento was amazing by itself! All I need is a camera, nice weather and an upbeat attitude to have a good time somewhere new!

Going to a new place every time has an allure to it, a new patch of grass….a new range of countryside, a different culture, it’s always interesting and you learn something new all the time, sure it’s good to go back to a place you have visited in the past, I’ve been to Tenerife and France twice and enjoy both places but as for right now, I wouldn’t mind seeing Denmark, Germany, China, Canada and Egypt as destinations someday!

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To The Land Of The Rising Sun Part 16- Lost In Kyoto

Hello and Konnichiwa!

こんにいちは

We had arrived in Kyoto, our second destination on this wacky thing that we have called an adventure but this chapter will not include an escapade around a Castle, shrine or historical landmark of interest…..no, this time I will talk about a rather…annoying part of the honeymoon that almost caused a serious fallout between the two of us! An event that we were not prepared for and were…to be honest, useless at figuring out, resorting to begging for help…we got a little bit lost and had no idea how to get to our hotel!

We found a tourist information place and asked where about our hotel was and that we could board a bus at a nearby station that would take us straight to the hotel, sounded too good to be true but we went ahead and looked for this station on the map before attempting to find the correct train to board but thought we’d step outside for a moment to read the map properly because we got a bit confused by the train map.

Leaving the train station, we were under the impression that we were to board a bus that goes all the way to the hotel but we had to get to another station first which I thought would be no problem because we had rail passes but…most of Kyoto is served by a subway…meaning that our passes were useless and yes, Kyoto had some trains above ground but they were privately owned and the rail passes did not work on them. Having no choice but to pay, we boarded the subway a little bit ticked…well I was anyway! So with that done, we headed off towards the station…or so I thought we were because as we were soon to find out…we had boarded the wrong subway train and were going in the wrong bloody direction!

Getting a bit fed up, we got off at the first station and boarded another train heading in the right direction and after 15 more minutes, we arrived at the right place HOWEVER….we messed up again….or I did! As we tried to exit the station, we needed to go through some gates that needed the tickets you purchased to board the train, I reached into my pocket for them but…only found one of them! I never found the second one, probably because it had fallen out of my pocket! I panicked and didn’t know what to do so we went over to the barrier and saw that no one was there, no guard or ticket person to help us out, just a button to push so we did and someone responded….in Japanese (What was I expecting in Japan?) We of course responded in English and I have no idea if she understood or not but the gate didn’t open so I assumed that she hadn’t…we felt stuck and had no idea what to do as no one else was around…however we saw one old man appear and he approached us….probably thinking two tourists are lost and he tried to help. To this day, I’ll never really know if he understood a word I said as I explained the situation but I used hand gestures to explain that we had lost a ticket and he spoke to the woman on the intercom and the gate opened….thank god! We were so thankful for that!

Next, we exited the station and came up onto the street, only to have no idea where we were on the map at all or which way we needed to head next but we didn’t ask for directions because I assumed I knew what I was doing….so we headed one way and kept going for about half an hour down a very long straight road along a massive wall that went the entire way….I assumed that we were going around the city’s palace and I knew on the map that the hotel was not too far from it so we just had to follow it until we found the turn off but after a while, in the scorching heat of the day, the suitcases began to weigh us down as we had made them heavier with all the stuff we had bought in Tokyo. We found a path that went inside the palace grounds but it didn’t lead anywhere that we thought was helpful….looked lovely though.

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I was getting crosser by the minute because I was tired, hot, lost and angry that so far, Kyoto had been a disaster for us…Emma took over after seeing how angry I looked and she asked someone for directions who could speak English and it turns out that we were heading in the wrong direction! Turning around, we spent the next half and hour going back where we came from, only this time we turned down the other way at the end and followed the palace wall up another straight for say ten minutes before we saw the name of a street on the map that was very close to the hotel but I paused and sat own on the ground for a moment, fed up that my arm was beyond sore from hauling the case for so long, I actually thought I had pulled a muscle!

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We started to argue for a while, blaming the other person for everything and almost imploded but I took the blame and said that we shouldn’t fight because we’ll get to the hotel and it would be worth all the struggle to get to it…making up, we continued down the small street and walked past many houses that looked quite cool, nothing that I see back home at all. A mystic feel to it, the houses as you could see the sliding doors….the style of the houses…so Japanese and so many vending machines!

After a moment, we arrived at a crossroads, not sure how to choose the right way to go but at that moment, we saw a little blue bus come by and turn up the road and we saw the name of the hotel on it! We rushed and followed it, seeing it turn in so we went around the corner and there it was! Our expedition was over!

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I never knew getting to your hotel would be such a challenge!

 

To The Land Of The Rising Sun Part 15- さようなら Sayonara Tokyo

The morning came and we sighed as we finished packing our suitcases after having breakfast in the restaurant downstairs. After doing so, we slowly checked out of the hotel and walked towards the nearest train station. Feeling excited about the next chapter of our journey, we started to talk about what we could be doing for the next week but remembered all that we had done so far as well.

We were satisfied that our week in Tokyo had been well spent and that the next week will be still just as good as well. True, Kyoto wasn’t as big as Tokyo but it had another view of Japan to explore but could be just as fun as well.

We arrived at the station and boarded our train to go to Tokyo Station, it was busy as always but part of me felt that I would miss this busy rush everyday as it added an atmosphere to everything that you do, like it makes your day out worth it as you have to work hard to get to it by crawling and rushing through the busy place that was Tokyo Station.

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We waited for our Bullet train to arrive after making our way through the maze of a train station and as we waited in the waiting room as we had arrived a little bit early, therefore we explored the shops for a little bit, rather than just sit and wait and watch the clock tick away. As we looked around, we saw a store that sold food so thinking ahead, we went and saw some good lunch options, including this-

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Bullet Train Bento

We both got ourselves a Bento box to enjoy as we traveled from Tokyo to Kyoto and were satisfied with our choices but weren’t sure if they came with chopsticks or not but I went back and was assured that they did have them so we were satisfied, very much so.

Finally, we saw our train come into the station and it was a satisfying moment for me as I have ALWAYS wanted to go on one of these trains….boarding it was amazing as i saw the inside of the train for the very first time and it looked so spacious, compared to a fast train in the UK, I have often found them to be squeezed in sometimes, yet on this train I had all the space in the world.

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The train departed and we said our goodbyes to Tokyo as we gained speed and before long, we couldn’t see the metropolis and more of the outskirts as we moved along south. I knew that Tokyo was a massive place so it would take a little bit to fully get away from the city yet I was glued to my window as I was going to explore the Japanese countryside but it was time to have some lunch as well so I opened up my Bento box and this was what I found inside!

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The pork cutlets were delicious as was the rice and beef croquette…I had always wanted to try a Bento box…nothing to do with watching anime or anything…..still annoyed I haven’t found any noodle subs anywhere yet!

The seats were very comfortable and it would have been easy to fall asleep in all of this but I was to excited to do such a thing! I even went and explored the rest of the train at one point. We both thought it was cool to see the train guard bow every time he entered and departed the carriage and that you could buy cola from the trains vending machine which might not seem much but the cans just looked strange, compared to what you normally get.

It was hard to take any photos during the journey as the train moves that fast, everything just zooms by that nothing would have been visible in the photo, that and most of the time, we were going in and out of tunnels the majority of the journey. The announcements for stations were pretty cool as we had a bit of music before each one and we saw that we had to slow down quite a bit before we arrived at the station which was quite cool as we had to slow down for about five minutes before we finally came to a halt at a station.

A couple of hours later, we heard the announcement that we were approaching Kyoto so with that said, we got our stuff ready and before long, we pulled into the station, we had now arrived in Kyoto!