Japan

Day 4. Hakone day trip.

The plan for day 4 was to go to Hakone. Typically at least two days are recommended for the trip, to include an overnight stay at an "onsen" resort, but we did not have this much time. The weather forecast was pretty promising with mostly sunshine and no rain.

We woke up pretty early in the morning and rushed to the Odakyu terminal in Shinjuku. A special Hakone free pass (2 days) is available for 5000 yen that includes transportation to and from Hakone and all transportation types within Hakone which makes it worthwhile. For additional 870 yen (one way) a seat on "Romance Car" express could be reserved. We took the Romance Car option for our trip.

Inside of
Inside the romance car. We got our seats at the very front of the first car, right behind the operator.

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Day 3, Kamakura: Hasedera, Daibutsu, part 2

After we were sitting in the restaurant the weather worsened. The light rain that started about the time we entered the restaurant became stronger.

The closest building was Kyozo Sutra Archive

Kyozo Sutra Archive
These are rotating bookracks called rinzo. Important Buddhist sutras are kept there. By rotating the rinzo it is said you get the same merit as reading all the sutras.

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Day 3, Kamakura: Hasedera, part 1

We woke up in the morning pretty early (due to jet lag) and found out that the weather forecast was not particularly nice, all cloudy sky and rains. Regardless we decided we'd try to go to Kamakura as planned. Did not even have a breakfast to arrive there before main tourist masses.

Purchased a "Kamakura free kippu" which allows you to get to Kamakura on JR and then use local Enoden street-train line to travel around there without any limitations (1970 yen for one person).

Traveling from Shinjuku need to be careful to take trains bound to Zushi on Shonan Shinjuku line, this is roughly every second train in this direction, otherwise need to change trains at Ofuna station. Total travel time was around 55 minutes.Then proceeded to Enoden train platform.

People lining out
Enoden platform, people lining up to enter the train.

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Trip to Japan, days 1 and 2. Akihabara, Sakura.

So we finally have been to Japan. The trip we dreamed about for so long finally happened.

We started our preparations long ago. Acquired plane tickets in early November 2009 in exchange for frequent flier miles. Then in January we got our Japanese visas.

The Japanese visa process turned out to be quite easy, after I called Japanese consulate in Nashville, they sent me list of documents to provide (nothing special really, the usual form with questions, passports, photos, description of a visit) and asked to send the documents to them. No need for interview in person, not even a visa fee.

We booked our hotels in early February, two months before our trip and even then a lot of good hotels were already sold out.

So on April 4th finally the day came and we went to the airport. There was a bit of worry since our flight was delayed for an hour due to missing crew but all worked well in the end and we arrived to Atlanta in time to board next flight to Tokyo.

п⌠п╢п╣-я┌п╬ п╫п╟п╢ п░п╩я▐я│п╨п╬п╧

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Tenshi no Sato visit

Just a few days ago we returned from Japan. A trip we long dreamed about. More complete everyday reports will follow too, but we wanted to start with pictures closer to the end of our visit.

On April 18th we visited Tenshi no Sato, famous VOLKS Dollfie place. It is located in a beautiful garden, only open on holidays and weekends and you can only get there with an advance reservation. At most 100 customers can visit in a single day. We wanted to describe it while our memory is still fresh.
This is also the place where our Hina-chan was born.

пё п╡я┘п╬п╢п╟ п╡ я│п╟п╢

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