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Posts Tagged ‘japan’

What more can one ask?

Yet again, I’m playing paparazzi (evil grin :-)) Took the picture in one of my lunch breaks fall of last year. It was at the amphitheater in front of Meidai’s main library. Sigh, the fall leaves were wonderful! then lo and behold, I heard the pleasant strains of a guitar being played. The best thing was – the guitar player was quite good looking (well from afar anyway. don’t know if the same will be true up close!) hmmm…. and don’t ask me who he is, coz I simply don’t know ;-).

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NATURE VS. MAN

I wonder who wins… Nature is the ultimate artist. The way it shapes the land and colors everything. I just wish I have a smidgen of talent to give it justice. Some people do have it though…

In the photo: An Ojiisan at Kamikochi, Nagano. Trying his hand at immortalizing one of nature’s masterpiece.

So, who do you think won?

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The ScRibbLeR at Kamikochi, Nagano. A day-trip with friends for Kouyou (紅葉). Kouyou literally means colored leaves or autumn foliage. Autumn is the time for Japanese to go to the countryside and the mountains to enjoy nature as the leaves turned from green to red, yellow and orange.  It’s a really interesting period and a much awaited one. Weather reports will usually include the best time for it. It’s a breathtaking sight and a wonderful opportunity for camera enthusiasts (like yours truly and a bunch of my friends).

Photo taken by Ronel (I think) or it could be Chi-chen 🙂

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July 28 (Saturday)

Target Prefecture: Shizuoka

Shizuoka is one of the provinces of Japan located in the Chubu Region (which basically means Central Region) at Honshu (literally means “Main State, it’s the largest island amongst the four major islands of Japan which includes Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu) Island. It is famous for being the area where Mt. Fuji is located.

Hamanako Lake

We passed by this area on our way to the park. Our bus also made a pit stop in one of the service areas there. There was a viewing area at the side that I just had to take a peek and take a shot for posterity. The temperature was hot but it was breezy so it’s not uncomfortably hot and the sparkling waters was just so inviting. hehehe… making me wish I was home.

Ryuku Cha (Green Tea)

The famous green tea of Japan. Good for metabolism, so girls if you’re planning to lose some weight just drink green tea after every meal. Anyway, Shizuoka’s green tea is well-known all over Japan that it’s usual to see rows of green tea bushes being cultivated. It was a wonderful site too. At one point, there was an area that so reminded me of  “The Shire” that I was waiting for “Hobbits” to appear. No Hobbits though just Japanese farmers.

Destination: Fuji Safari Park

  • Address: 2255 -27 Aza Fujiwara, Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture

  • Admission Hours: 9:00 – 17:00

  • Admission Fee: high school students and older (¥ 2,700); 4 year old to junior high school students (¥ 1,500); senior citizen discount – 65 years and older (¥ 2,000)

  • How To Get There: From Nagoya Station take the JR Tokaido Honsen and get off at Mishima or Gotemba Station then take Fujikyu Bus to Fuji Safari Park.

As I said before, the park is located at the foot of Mt. Fuji thus offering visitors a good view of this famous landmark on a clear day. Unfortunately, this was not one of those times. Still, the attractions offered by the park more than made up for it, most especially their Safari Zone.

Safari Zone

The Safari Zone, which is divided into several zones – Tiger, Bears, Lions, Cheetahs, Elephants and various Herbivores,  enables you to witness animals you see in the Discovery and National Geographic Channels roaming freely.

You enter the area by either using your own vehicle or the park’s jungle bus (a modified bus open at both sides with steel cage bars as side panels). But I suggest you go in using the jungle bus because it’s more atmospheric and you will really feel like your in an African Safari adventure. In our case though, we entered it using our tour bus but that did not stop any of us in enjoying ourselves immensely. The whole group (and most of it are adults mind you) literally became like kids in a zoo all craning to see the lion or the bear sunning itself or sleeping in the shade. For my part, entering the area of each zones actually reminded me of Jurassic Park. Each entrances has this enormous gate with a tower-like security post. All clear though, not a T-rex in sight!

Simba up close and personal

A lazy tiger combatting the heat of the day

Find the Bear Amongst the Rocks

Other Attractions

The House of Cats

  • Admission Fee: ¥ 500.00

If you love cats then this place will be your idea of heaven. Cats rules this house. You see them lazily walking by, sunning and even coyly playing with the kids and tourists alike. Although, I did had an encounter with a rather boorish cat (on second thought it might have something to do with me petting the poor thing while it was sleeping when it woke up it was naturally disgruntled).

Met Crookshanks there

Metro-Goldwyn Mayer… a rather sleepy version

The House of Dogs

  • Admission Fee: ¥ 500.00

You will literally be in the dog house! And there is no need for anyone to put you there for you will be there quite willingly. It showcases various small breeds of dogs and allows visitors to spend time with them. hmmm… I personally liked one of the dogs there so cute and ugly. 😉

Met Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua 😉

The Cutest Pug of Them All

Fun Transformation at the Souvenir Shop

Turned into Galena in cooperation with some of Sherma’s friends

MUST DO!

Walking Safari Adventure Tour

  • Admission Fee: ¥ 2,000.00

If you ever had a chance to come to this park make sure you have enough time for the “Walking Safari” attraction. It will take you at least 2 hours to complete the course but it will be worth it since it will allow you to get up close and personal with the various animals in the safari zone. Much closer than you’ll be if you go by their jungle bus. Alas! Much to my regret, Grace and I did not know about this attraction during our visit.

Now if you still have time and cash to spare you can join the park’s “Night Safari” on board one of the park’s jungle bus and observe the animals’ nocturnal behavior with night scopes. Hey, not everyone can afford a Safari vacation in Africa, might as well take the next best thing.

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Finally! My masterpiece has arrived! I slaved away for it. The product of my creative genius (hehehe…) and imagination. Well, the imagination part came from manipulating the piece of clay on the potter’s wheel and ridiculously thinking about the movie “Ghost” while looking around the studio thinking Patrick Swayze was just hiding behind some shelves filled with unfinished potteries… at this point I would like to borrow Missy Ai’s devilish laughter which I think is very appropriate – Mwahahaha… but no such luck. Still,  my very own pottery is here. Just got it from the university’s International Affairs Division this morning. I Made it in a trip  in one of Japan’s famous pottery centers that I participated last year. Sigh… I think I just found another skill worth learning… hmmm…

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This is especially addressed to vinz… wish you were here but since you aren’t I ate everything on my own. You would have loved it. Promise we will find a Japanese restaurant that serves a decent Ramen when I go home. But for now just content yourself with the pic. 😉 I ate this somewhere in Mie-ken with friends.

I learned about the anime character “Naruto” from Vinz. He kept on nagging me about the story until I just had to give up and watch the anime and later read the translated mangga. And since my brother is so fond of food it was not surprising that he got fixated with Ramen – the noodles that Naruto loves to eat.

Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish of Chinese origin. It is served with a variety of toppings such as sliced pork, seaweed, kamaboko (steamed fish paste), green onions and even corn. It is so widely spread in Japan that almost every locality or prefecture has its version.

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Here’s the deal, the day started out okay at first. I was able to do my laundry, finish my sakubun for my online course (which i need not take but still insisted on enrolling myself into) and even helped out in the dorm’s general cleaning. I was even able to meet some interesting people and was able to practice my faltering nihonggo. After which I was even able to memorize the kanjis for my quiz on monday. Thinking all is well at around two I decided to go to the bicycle shop to buy the super yasui jitensha there. Yep! It should have been easy right? You go in, point at the jitensha, pay and that’s it. NOT! It was easy enough to explain to the obasan that i intend to buy the bike on sale but the thing is she feels there are still more explanation that should be done before i’m able to buy it. I told her she can explain it to me slowly so i will be able to understand it. Still that’s not enough for her. I asked her is there a problem in the bike that needs to be explained to me. She tells me no still she would prefer it if her husband will be the one to deal with a gaijin – namely me. And where is the husband? Not in the shop. He will be in tomorrow. But then, I need the bike tomorrow. It would have been a lot benri for me if I could go to the church by bike na lang rather than spend 400 yen for the train.  I told the obasan i need the bike by tomorrow na with yoroshiku onegai shimasu at the end. I even showed my school ID to assure here that I am a reliable person. But still no go. Where in the world will you encounter a store that is reluctant to sell its goods. Maybe I should have worn a newer shirt or something…

Tomorrow afternoon I’m going back to the store to try my luck with the husband. Wish me luck…

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