Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Japan Trip March 2012

So I am back and loving it. Why? Japan is a fantastic place but I was ill prepared. Temperatures during the day hovers between 5 to 9 degrees and plunges to less than 3 degree at night. A "chilling" experience you can see. Speaking of chills, I have something to share with you guys later. 

And, I got the chance to experience snow for the first time, a brief hail storm and even tremors! You can say its the complete tour package. While my family is fully prepared for the weather, I wasn't. I only have a jacket with me and after the second day, I looked wasted LOL... 

My last trip to Japan was 10 years ago with my wife (then girlfriend) and who could have predicted that I am back with two kids in tow now LOL... For modelers like us, Japan is one place we must go and experience the shopping err... I mean the Gunpla culture. And this time, I had the HAG gang as my tour guides and thanks to them, I get to shop till I drop! 

I took a lot of random shots throughout the trip and want to share with you guys. My apologies in advance for the crappy pictures as I forgot to bring my camera and had to use my Galaxy Note as a backup. 

Yup! Giant Snow crabs for dinner! Oishi! 

My dad...

Giant cup noodles, two meals worth... 

One morning I woke up and drew the curtains open and was greeted by this wonderful sight. SNOW!!! Needless to say, I was like a 3 years old all over again. I think my dad feels the same LOL... 

A first for me, petrol kiosk with the pumps fixed to the ceilings. 

We ventured into this little shop managed by an old couple. They made these really delicious Japanese pizzas. There was this homely feeling about that place. The elderly couple were very friendly and I felt warmth even in this cols weather. As I leave the shop, I felt somewhat sad. It seems like these these folks were living by themselves. I sincerely hope their children visit them often.. 

Yes, the trains was packed. Just ask my son... But still got space for digging nose. 

1:1 Gundam at Diver City Tokyo! 

Seeing this live really made my day. I was standing from a distance and admiring it for a long time. Pretty awe inspiring... 

Mount Fuji in the distance...

AKB48 is big over there. 

The legendary Gundam Cafe at Akihabara, Tokyo

A long queue outside AKB48 store. The girls are coming!!! 

"Wasted 1" 

"Wasted 2"

"Wasted 3" 

We went to Disney Sea but I felt that the it was a wasted trip. Simply because the weather was too cold to really enjoy. I had to queue for on the average 1 to 3 hours for a ride. But the weather is so cold, I can't even stand in the open for more than half an hour! Its amazing I still see Japanese girls in skirts and not affected by the cold. 

Akihabara is a shopping paradise for hobbyists. The Kotobukiya store is there. So is Volks. And there are numerous shops in that area but they are all spread out so you need to scout for them. But if you can, go to Yodobashi-Akiba. This place is a shopping haven! Seven whole levels of electronic products, toys and modeling supplies. You can find virtually all your toys there, Gunpla, Military, Sci-Fi, figures etc. Save you a lot of time but your wallet will not be spared. Be warned.... LOL 

They even have Seven Eleven ATM machines!? 

To conclude, I had a fruitful trip. See below for the main reason... 

However, my wife and I had a "encounter" in our hotel room at the last stop. Our room was the furthest away from the rest of the guys and it was the last room at the far end of the corridor. I already had this odd feeling the first time I walk down the corridor. The first night was uneventful. But on the second night, I was awakened by the sound of running water in the toilet. As it was pretty distracting, I got up and went to check. I saw the tap running at full blast and was surprised I did not hear it sooner. I didn't gave it much thought and went back to sleep after turning off the tap. 

On the last night it was my wife's turn to be awakened,. She was jolt awake by someone's snoring. Initially, she dismissed it and assumed that it was me. However, as she lie there, she began to realize the snoring sound was as if someone was breathing with a plastic bag over the head. She immediately panicked as she thought my son might have the bag over his head. It kinda absurd but nevertheless, she jumped out of bed to check. And the sound immediately stopped.. 

Both of us did not mentioned about the incidents until we were back in Singapore. And we concurred that there was something odd about that room. My daughter was pretty restless during the three day stay and did not sleep well as compared to the first two hotels we been to. 

Thinking about it now sends shivers down my spine. But fortunately, everyone is fine. 

Aside from that "incident", we had a great time. Japan is a really amazing destination which I will definitely visit again. Their culture never ceases to amaze me and the folks are so polite I learnt to bow automatically on my second day there.

The place is really clean in fact cleaner compared to Singapore. The toilets I seen are very hygienic and clean as well. Even those in the railway interchange where you see thousands of people commuted everyday! 

Another thing I noticed was you hardly see a thrash bin in the public. I had difficulty throwing my thrash and when I eventually find one, I had to separate and threw them in separate bins for recycle. The Japanese respects the environment a lot. 

And vending machines are big business over there. They dispense hot and cold canned drinks, food, cigarettes and anything imaginable. You can find one at every street! 

Well sadly, all good things will come to an end. It was a good break and I am completely rejuvenation! Bring on GBWC (but not office work)! I am ready! LOL...  


Glad you and family are back safe, from the pix looks like you had a nice time.

BTW.. thank you for posting so many great shots... VERY GOOD REFERENCE for DIORAMA'S.


Hey! Some of the places look familiar!

I've been to some of the places that you went to. Shinsaibashi Shopping Street, Yodobashi Akiba and Kiyomizu-dera Temple (the one with the love stones) are the places I've been to.

And yeah, I know what you mean about throwing your rubbish. It was almost impossible to find a dustbin along the streets.

Glad that you enjoyed yourself there! Wished I could go to Japan again though. =/

Matt! I wish to visit Japan again too! But at a more comfortable temperature lol

Looked like so much fun in Japan. I noticed the pictures besides you and your family, most of them are taken behind girls, haha. That "hotel room" incident sounds so mysterious and interesting.

mind to share your full itinerary as i'm planning a visit to Japan too... the places looks nice indeed...

I actually like the cool temperatures of Japan. Isn't it rainy season there now? I think the best time is nearer to the end of the year, where it's really really cold. Eating Shabu Shabu during that period is the best. XD

Wa bro, im just back from reservist saw your blog, superb trip you have and your dotter is so cute!!

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