Thursday, 29 January 2015

Osaka, Universal Studios and Sendai

Wednesday we left Kyoto to travel to Osaka for Universal studios. Chris Jurd left our little group to fly home, goodbye Chris, have a safe journey home. We travelled by Shinkansen to Oaska. I need to share how diligent I was downloading google maps to get to each hotel from the subway and JR stations, in my diligence, I accidentally downloaded the directions to the Wrong Best Western hotel. The receptionist at the wrong hotel was lovely and explained to us how to get there, not a good thought as it was where we had just come from. This Best Western hotel was chosen because of a bus that went to Universal studios. Upon arrival to our hotel we were abruptly told we could not book in until 3 pm and was told the bus only runs on weekends. So after depositing our suitcases, back from where we had come to go to Universal circle for the train. We did not arrive at Universal studios until 2.30pm, the Rush was on for rides, adventure and especially Harry Potter world.

Jaws ride, 40 min wait, did I mention how cold it was the wind was blowing a gale, slightly unpleasant.
We booked our place for Harry Potter world, at 1540hrs, thought to self, we are set, so we had some lunch and proceeded to Hogsmead village at designated time.
Note the crowd !
Jurrsaic Park, wait for ride 70 mins.

Japanese World.

This girl s the line for the lolly shop in Hogsmeade Village, note....just to get served foe a bag of lollies, 120mins.
Lovely monster in lolly shop window.

Owls for sale
Photo opportunity with Mrs Woodpecker.
This is where my hopes were shattered, the 1540hrs scheduled time was to enter Hogsmeade Village the ride itself was a waiting time of 3 hours, that is what we had left at the park, so needless to say, no rides were taken, due to the waiting time and cold, I would hate to be at Universal Studios in summer, the cold did not keep the people away.
Upon arrival in Sendai, we had a quite afternoon with some R & R, in the evening we had French cuisine at this delightful restaurant.
These two wonderful men were our waiter and chef, for the evening, we did not speak Japanese or they English, but we all managed and had a great time and a wonderful meal.
Just a little of what we sampled. Fromage.
Smoked duck.
Meat terrine.
Seafood parcel, delicious.
Seafood pasta, sorry forgot before photo, delicious as well.
Smiley face, olive oil and balsamic.
Our little group.
Friday bought us snow in. Sendai 
Before just as snow was falling
Same spot a few hours later
Esme had to do a snow angel
Goodbye Sendai, back to Tokyo, Ginza district.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Miyajima Misen, Daisho-in Temple

Australia Day Monday the 26th Jan we all braved the rainy weather and took the ferry across to Miyajima Island, the rain was steady all day, slightly cold, but we were all determined to maximise our sight seeing efforts on what this island has to offer. The deer roam freely on this island and are very friendly.  The ferry below was our lift across to the island, this ferry ride was also included in our JR. a Pass.

Not a great photo of the temple gates with the rain, but an amazing site, Miyajima has been voted one of three most beautiful scenic spots in Japan. the temple gates are made of camphor wood.
A local getting shelter from the rain.
Just love these little hedgehog creatures.
You could get a rickshaw to the top, instead of climbing the 90 mins, cable car can get you down,only   7000 yen.
The shopping streets
The temple gates, as you can observe, wet and slightly cold.
The temples built over the water.
Amazing hexagons everywhere, not sure what this symbols means, appears to something spiritual, as they were all over the place.
A rounded bridge, hard to walk on, note the tide coming in, it did not take long before it was filled with water.
Mizo Bosatsu who wear red bibs, this depicts parents who have lost children and take good care of Jizo images as though these are their lost children. Usually these statues are Buddhist monks.
Some sashiko?
More sashiko, not really this is gold dots, very similar to sashiko.
We left Hirsohima to travel to Kyoto on Tuesday, some of the wonderful window dressing in Kyoto shopping precinct.
We visited the Golden palace
This is our last day with Chris, she will be travelling home on Wednesday.
Our last night dinner in the Gino district of Kyoto at Ultra Chop restaurant.
A very enjoyable antipasto shared.
Lamb cutlets from NZ.
Seafood Pasta
Chop curry.
Another visit to Yuzawaya and more great fabric bought.

We leave Chris and Kyoto , off to Osaka and Universal studios.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Hiroshima Peace Park

We travelled for 5 hours to get to Hiroshima, arrived just after lunch, checked into our hotel then visited the Peace park, what a great afternoon, the park, museums and memorials were heart wrenching, such a tradegy, 140,000 lives lost, a huge percentage were children, August 6 th 1945, now 70 years on. "have we learnt our lesson".
Replica of bomb dropped onto Hiroshima, an identical one was dropped on Nagasaki, the Americans dropped the atomic bomb to end the war, it worked.
Inside the museum, buildings from Hiroshima.
Collections of pottery, coins, glass bottles etc from bomb site.
This monument reminds me of a covered wagon.
This is a memorial fountain, inside this building is like a resting place for all lives lost in the bombing of Hiroshima.
A diorama of the bombed site.
A memorial to all the children lost, note all the paper cranes, hanging, these cranes have come from all over the world.

This booth was open, so that you can deposit your paper cranes.
The atomic dome, used to be the council chambers.
More paper cranes.
Our wonderful dinner at Caffe Ponte, some Moët and mulled wine, a great evening with DH!  Chris and Esme.
An interesting pet, a raccoon.
DH's entree, prosciutto from another hanging leg.
My snails.
This was in the toilet, how wonderful was this restroom for sitting and some reelection.
Today we are off to Hiroshima castle.