Sunday, 19 April 2015

Daily Trip Report - Day Five. Heirin-Ji

We're already looking for flight tickets for our next trip to Japan (to celebrate my 40th birthday, no less) and here I am still struggling with last year's trip report. Ahahaha...

Anyways, as usual here's the summary of 2014 Autumn trip so far. Only up to Day Five. And just the morning part of it too!
The Summary
Day One - Touchdown
Day Three - A Trip To The Post Office
Day Four - Morning Run By The Sumida River
Day Four - Mount Takao
Day Four - A Night Stroll and A Date
Day Five - An Important Date!

Continuing from the last trip report, where we met up with a friend, Ru and she took us to a couple of her favourite spots.

First, we visited Herinji Temple in Saitama (click here for the website. It's in Japanese though).

I am not going to write much about the temple but if you want to read more about it, do check out Ru's post Heirin-Ji here and here.
We got off at Niiza Station and proceeded to walk to the temple. One can opt to take a bus or a taxi but we chose to walk and enjoy the sights getting to the temple.

Quite interesting sights too, I might add. Normal, everyday but interesting nonetheless. ^^
 Plenty of vegetable patches!
 Even crossing the road using the pedestrian bridge was interesting. Hahaha
 Just follow the crowd.

A wide pedestrian path too.
Awwwwww.... Didn't see any though. Shoot!
Less than 30 minutes later, our stroll took us to the outer gate of the temple.

Despite being a weekday (we were there on a Friday), the temple had quite a number of visitors. Most were elderlies.

Entry to the temple is 500yen and it's really 500 yen well spent. We didn't spend a lot of time there but maybe another time; when time permits and we visit Heirin-ji again, we'll spent hours and hours there.

It's spectacular during autumn but I'm told it is equally nice during other seasons too. Maybe next time, we'll be there for Spring? ^^

But for the the time being, all I have to share is the photos of Heirin-ji during autumn.
Yes, there was a big crowd that day but we still have a sense of privacy to enjoy the sights and scenery and at certain places, it was rather quiet.
I can't remember exactly how long we were there, maybe just a couple of hours; walking, stopping, taking photographs, avoiding the crowd... ^^
Oh yes, we went up this stairs.
Thank you again Ru for bringing us here. It was lovely!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Tango Ultra Marathon

Something I posted a few hours earlier over at my other blog : Life, In My Own Backyard.

About an ultra-marathon event in the northern part of Kyoto, a day before my birthday this year.

I figured, what a great way to celebrate my 40th birthday than to finish an ultra marathon in such a scenic route! The International Friendship Tango 100KM Ultra Marathon, no less!
The International Friendship Tango 100KM Ultra Marathon, an ultra-marathon in the northern part of Kyoto and will be held on Sep 20th, 2015 this year for the 15th time. (Click here for the Japanese link).

It has two categories.

100KM with a 14-hours cut-off and littered with killer inclines. The clincher is the hill section towards the final section of the course. 18,000yen registration fee.

60KM with a 9-hours and 30 minutes cut-off and much kinder (i.e. flatter route) compared to the 10OK category and with 13,000yen registration fee.
Photo credit : Tango Ultra Marathon 2014 website.
The International Friendship Tango 100km Ultra earned the silver label recognition from the International Association of Ultra Runners (IAU) in 2014 and aims to invite runners from overseas, as there are no borders in running.

Registration for the ultra marathon has already been open since Mar 20th to Jul 24th and will close when the capacity is full. The number of participants are capped at 4,000 runners; with 2,600 runners for 100km category and 1,400 runners for 60km category.

Information on registration can be found at their English page. Click here.
 Course and elevation map.
 Cut off time and CPs
Area map
Access Information. Click for bigger image.

For anyone interested in joining, do get your accommodation sorted early because I find plenty of hotels around the area have been fully booked.

I do hope I can join this. We're struggling a bit, finding an affordable accommodation near the starting line.  I really can't afford a resort hotel paying thousands, when I won't be staying there except to sleep. ^^!

The hunt continues and until we find our hotel, I'm signing up yet. Just to be safe.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Daily Trip Report - Day Five. An Important Date!

Oh dear, I sure have missing for a long while from this blog, haven't I?

Not really an excuse because I still managed to update my other blog regularly; but training for the coming 3-days 100km Solo Sabah Adventure Race in April plus some freelance work that comes in regularly has not given me much time to spend looking and editing through our Nov-Dec 2014 trip photos. Sorry! ^^!

Can I "brag" a little?

I managed to do an 80K run at Watergate 16-hours which was held from Jan 10-11, 2015. Then a half-marathon a week after that.

Another 80K run within 48-hours on the Valentine's Day weekend; and Hubby and I still managed to run errands, cheer son at his school's cross-country run and then continue to complete our run. (I was short of 20K because I actually planned to hit 100K that weekend)

And I managed to do 50K at Gunung Nuang Ultra on 1st March. I was the second last runner in my category to complete the 2500m+ elevation endurance run but who cares. I finished what I planned to do. ^^

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
Day Four - A Night Stroll and A Date

Day Five was an important day for us. We finally was meeting Ru of Rurousha blog fame. Two fellow jungle women were finally meeting up! Yeay!

Day Five was a Friday. I started the day with an hour morning run and then came back to quickly get ready and eat breakfast before our agreed meet-up time at 9.00am (well, I think it was 9.00am, right Ru?)
I was still eating breakfast when Ru came by. Whaddya expect from a jungle woman? Ahaha...

We hadn't set any plans for our Friday date and Ru suggested that we visited a temple in Saitama and later to Todai.

So off we went to Niiza to visit Heriniji Temple.

But first, manhole covers found in Niiza :
Cool, eh?
There are bus service from the train station (JR NIiza station) to Heirinji temple and would take around 15 minutes but we decided to walk. It was a 30 minutes of fun! Lovely to walk past the neighbourhood and enjoy the scenery of the area.
Broad pavement. No worries.
A sneak peek of Herinji Temple.

I'll be posting a post on Heirinji Temple and then the famous gingko tree at University of Tokyo which Ru had so kindly took us for a tour around.

I just hope I won't take two months for another blog post here! 

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. ^^

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