Thursday, 8 January 2015

Daily Trip Report - Day Four. A Night Stroll And A Date.

There is no way we can get away with not changing clothes or showering after a hike back here in Malaysia. We'd be too sweaty and stinky if we don't!

But after spending 5 hours walking around Mount Takao, in the cold but sunny Thursday on Nov 27th last year, it was no problem (I don't think we stink that much that day)... to walk around in Shinjuku and entering Yodobashi Camera.

Anyways, as usual... the list of trip posts that I had done, from Day One to Day Four so far :
Day Three - A Trip To The Post Office
Day Four - Morning Run By The Sumida River
Day Four - Mount Takao

But first, let's get a train station stamp!
Then it was walking around on the toys section of Yodobashi Camera if I remember correctly. Son wanted to compare prices of some item that he wanted to buy.

He's rather a savvy buyer. Most of the items that he bought, he got it on the second last day of our trip and that meant we had already visited a few different shops to compare prices!

Later, we had dinner at Yayoi-Ken (where else?) which had a branch just a few metres away from the hotel we were staying in Asakusa.

By the way, Yayoi-ken has branches in Singapore, Thailand and Australia. None in Malaysia yet.
 Son had the saba set. 590 yen for the set.
 I chose to eat kaki furai for dinner that night. Fried oyster set. I forgot how much it was... I think around 800 yen?
Zaini had the sanma set. For 790 yen a set.


Later we ditched the Son as he wanted to rest and watch some movies and both Zaini and I head out again for a night stroll.

Starting from our hotel, we were stopped by a couple (Japanese man, Caucasian woman) who wanted to go to Kappabashi and Nakamise-dori.

At 7:00pm, we told the couple that the shops in both streets are closed by that time which was met with incredulity. Anyway, they later asked for the directions to Sensoji.

This incident happened to be the second time I was stopped for directions that day. I was stopped earlier that morning, by a vending machine vendor; who was asked for the direction of a hotel by a Taiwanese tourist. LOL
From Asakusa we made our way slowly and just walking and walking, without any fixed destinations to go.
 Just soaking in the sights at night.
 Which can feel totally different from daytime.

Pretty soon we reached Ueno.
 And found a Halal restaurant! It's located between Asakusa and Ueno.
 Ueno Station.

There's a sports outlet store located near the stairs for the elevated pedestrian bridge towards Ueno and we spent a few minutes there.

I couldn't decide on what to buy (there were so many to choose from! LOL) so we went out empty-handed.

Wanting to pee badly, we enter Marui so I can use their toilets.

And somehow, managed to buy three skirts there! Ahaha!!!

We continued our stroll to Ameyokocho and even went into the adult shop there. Hur hur.
Then we continued on and got to Akihabara.
Most shops were already closed by now but some were still open. Like these two. ;-)
It wasn't even 10:00pm yet and I felt pooped!

So instead of walking back to Asakusa, Zaini took pity on me and we took the train back. Phew!

Need to save a bit of energy as I wanted to do another run the next morning before meeting a friend who promised us a whole lot of fun gallivanting around her favourite places. ^^

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Daily Trip Report - Day Four. To Mount Takao We Go!

Day Four of our vacation in Japan in November 2014 was a Thursday. After two days straight of wet days, we were blessed with a sunny day on Thursday so the plan to hike/walk/sightsee up Mount Takao which was earlier planned for Day Three was shifted to Day Four.

Up to Thursday, the daily trip recaps are as follows : ^^

Day Four for me started with a short one-hour run/walk/stroll along Sumida River.
After our breakfast, we set out to Kuramae Station and took the Toei Oedo Line to Shinjuku Station. From Shinjuku, we took the Keio Line to Takaosanguchi station.
I've already blogged about the trip to Mount Takao on my other blog (link here) but I'll put different sets of photos and narration here. ^^
Before our trip, we actually made plans (or rather Zaini did) to hike up to Mount Jinba but seeing that it probably would be too taxing for Son; although we have great faith in him, and the fact that I'm nursing from what looks like a looming knee injury and two very tight calves not to mention that I'd be doing the Fujisan Marathon later on Sunday made us ditched the plan and chose Trail 6 (Biwa Waterfall trail) for our ascent and the descent was a mixture of Trail 4 (Suspension Bridge trail) and Trail 2 (Kasumidai trail).

The total elevation if we were to go up to Mount Jinba was 857m, with a total distance of 18.50km (one way) but as we decided to only go up only to the observation deck of Mount Takao, we only covered a total of just a little over 10km (ascent and descent) that day, with elevation of 599m.

Just a tad higher from Broga Hill, in Malaysia which we hiked on the last Sunday of 2014 (link here) ^^
Stepping out from the train station, we were greeted with this huge board showing the different trails available for visitors.

The trails that we chose are pretty easy and we just strolled up and down Mount Takao in relative ease. Nothing too challenging here so any casual day-trippers can visit Mount Takao and that's why it's so popular with visitors.
We started our walk from the train station, up to the cable car station first. A bit of climb but on tarmac.
Passing through a row of shops selling souvenirs and also restaurants.
Further up, near the fork where the Mount Takao/Mount Jinba trail goes up, was a shop selling produce and pickles and offering free samples. Just like the others, we made a stop to taste some but as we were just starting our hike, didn't buy any. Not yet, anyway.
We were greeted by this "fellas" as we were approaching the entrance of Trail 6.
And it's time to enter the trail-head of Trail 6 (Biwa Waterfall trail), which was about 500-600m from the Cable Car Kiyotaki station.
There were a number of checkpoints along the trail, that showed us where we are located at the trail and some information on the flora and faunas that can be seen at the spot.
Awesome and interesting trail.

I think it was good that we chose Trail 6. It was rather quiet with just a handful of other fellow hikers using it.
There were plenty of steps to be taken going up this trail. Natural stones trail. Some that we walked on to get up a stream. Steps up a bit more hilly trail too.
 Up that way to the top of Mount Takao!
 Steps. Steps. And more steps. Hahaha
 Finally we reached the end of Trail 6! Yeay!
And we picked Trail 5 to get to the observation deck on the peak of Mount Takao.
From here, we had to contend with much bigger crowd. Solo visitors. Visitors in groups. Dates. And even those following tour groups.
Everybody of course wants to view Mount Fuji, which can be seen from Mount Takao.

It was much more crowded here  as not only those who hiked up gets to this point, those who use the cable car will of course head here too.
After lingering and relaxing, enjoying some snacks and taking loads of photos, we made our descent by the 4th Trail (Suspension Bridge trail).
 Rather easy trail with no steep incline/decline so it was rather kind to my wonky knee.
Plus we got to walk on the suspension bridge.
At the end of Trail 4, we got to the entrance of a temple. With lots more people around.

We went up for a bit for a look-see, look-see but decided to head down using Trail 2 (Kasumidai Loop trail) which fortunately for us, had less hikers.
Manhole cover!

You know it's not a serious hike when you just put on you running shoes and not a hiking boot/trail shoes. Heh heh.
Down we go, back to Takaosanguchi Station!

Oh my poor, creaky knees. Hahaha
Pretty clear path.
Saw a row of these further down. Wasn't sure where the path leads to, so we decided not go in further but instead track back our route and proceeded our walk down.
Almost there!
 A small shrine caught my eye.

 We got to the road and from here it was just a kilometres (I think) away from the train station.
 We made a stop (again) at this shop, and the two boys had a feast with the pickles samples (again!).

We later bought some persimmons to eat while walking down to get to the station. 250yen for 5 pcs of persimmons.
 Oh! Oh!

The cable car's arriving! ^^

A stroll by the street that had the souvenir shops and restaurant and we reached the train station.
Scrubbing away all the much from our shoes at an area just in front of the train station, before boarding our train.

We spent 5 hours at Mount Takao that day.

5 hours would be needed to just hike up all the way to Mount Jinba! Just one way. So we probably needed more than half a day for Mount Jinba.

We'd definitely consider another trip, but next time, we want to visit the white horse on Mount Jinba too!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Daily Trip Report - Day Four. Morning Run By The Sumida River.

By the way, the list of posts for this year's trip :

So we're now at Day Four. Man... I am so long winded about my trip reports. Hahaha

The start of our Day Four of our vacation to Japan in late November 2014, which was on Thursday ; was Me waking up a tad earlier to head out for a morning run before our planned hike to Mount Takao later.

With the weather report reporting a sunny Thursday, after a very wet Tuesday and Wednesday; it was sure a relief to be able to go out for a run. I guess others felt the same way too because I sure bumped into a lot of runners during my short run along the Sumida River.
It's a straightforward route.

Donning my new Under Armour jacket to keep the chill out, along with a new CWX tights (hehehe), I headed out from the hotel and headed towards Sensoji but then just decided to turn left somwehere and just run towards the river so I didn't run pass by the Kaminarimon Gate this time.
 Edo dori. Edo street. With Tokyo Skytree in the background. ^^
 Sensoji towards the left but I decided to turn right towards Komagatabashi.
 And crossed the bridge to run over at the other side of Sumida River.

A runner spotted. :-)
 And ran towards this view. Tokyo Skytree. Asahi Beer Hall. Sumida River.
From the bridge, I ran down the stairs and ran by the river bank/terrace. Plenty of interesting stuff to see.
A houseboat docked by the river bank.
Was impressed and intrigued enough to see all the wall murals depicting the Edo time there, of what was Sumida River way back then.
Another scene, on the wall.
And more runners spotted. Plenty of them too!

Further up, I saw some interesting reliefs on the handrail of the river terrace.
A relief of the houseboat.

And because I was in the vicinity of Ryogoku area, there were some Sumo moves reliefs on the handrail too. Way cool!

After about 40 minutes of running, I ditched my plan to run and the cross a bridge to get to the other side before returning to my hotel and instead made a u-turn and trace my earlier track. 
 Crossing the Azumabashi.
 To get to this place. Just across the road is where you can get on the water bus.
 A glimpse behind, for this view again.
Almost done now. A short run, just over an hour. Well, actually I didn't do much running that day as there was sure plenty of slowing down and stops to take photos.

Done with my run, then it was breakfast with the family after I had my shower before setting off for a trip to enjoy Mount Takao's fresh cool air.

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