Japan 2016 (7 of 7) Ohori Park, Fukuoka Castle Ruins & ACROSS Building

DAY 7

Last day in Fukuoka, my flight is at 8:00pm.

Ohori Park

My plan was to wake up very early in the morning to catch the sunrise at the park, but I was too lazy and tired to wake up early after a week of traveling all day.

Took the subway to Ohori-Koen station (¥200) and walked to the park (no entrance fee). This park is beautiful. There’s a huge lake  in the middle of the lake. And it’s a great place for jogging or riding your bike. They actually have lanes for walking, another lane for jogging, and another lane for biking!

At the center of the lake is a small island. I crossed the bridge to get to the mini island to see this little orange structure.

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Before moving on to the next destination, rested a bit on one of the benches overlooking the lake of the park.

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Fukuoka Castle Ruins

Luckily the castle ruins is just beside Ohori park, no need to take public transportation. And there’s no entrance fee (I love free entrance)!

Not much to do here, literally castle ruins and some garden areas!

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Saw this interesting place, I believe it’s on the side of the castle. If I remember correctly, this leads to the castle turret. There was no English sign that says “do not enter”, so I opened the fence and walked in that area.

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The highlight of this place is probably the peak of the castle wall where you can see a 360-degree view of the city.

You know it’s safe in Japan when you leave your camera and tripod at the bottom of the wall, ran to the top, took some photos, ran back down, and it’s still there!

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Done walking around the castle ruins. Now time to go back to the hotel for check out. As I was walking to the bus station, saw these trees, just though that it’s a great background to take a photo!

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ACROSS Building

Before going back, I dropped by this building with an open rooftop. The only way to go up to the rooftop is by stairs at the back of the building. FIFTEEN floors! My legs almost died, had to rest twice – luckily there are benches on some of the floors.

Finally reached the top! Another great view of the city.

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Quickly walked back down so I won’t be late for checkout. Good thing this building is an Eco-friendly building, and the stairways full of plants!

There was an Indian Curry Festival happening at park behind this building. I wanted to try their food but I thought that if the food didn’t agree with me, it’s gonna an uncomfortable plane ride back home! So I just smelled the food and left.

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After checking out, left my luggage inside a big locker at the train station (¥600). Then I went shopping for more calligraphy supplies and some goodies to take home.

Before I went to the airport, I couldn’t resist. One last Ichiran ramen! I had to finish it quickly though, because it’s less than three hours before my flight!

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I decided to eat here for my last meal instead of airport food, because I know the airport is just 6 minutes by train from where I am. It’s okay not to be there 3 hours before my flight.

What’s about to happen next was the second most stressful time of my trip! So I arrived at the airport two and a half hours before my flight. But I didn’t know that I had to take a 10-minute bus to the international terminal. When I got there, I queued to check-in my luggage. My mistake was that I forget to web-check in. I was in line for almost an hour! While I was waiting in line, I searched where the post office is so I can quickly go there to drop off my pocket wifi rental before going through immigration.

The moment I saw from their website that there’s no post office in the international terminal, I began to panic! I searched more to find out if they have one at the domestic terminal. It says on their website that it’s permanently closed! Oh my gosh. So I searched for the location of the airport information counter. Right after checking in my luggage, I ran to the information counter. Showed the lady the package I have to return and asked her where the nearest post office is.

She told me what the website says that there are no post offices at the airport. And the nearest post office is at Hakata Station. I had to take the bus back to the domestic terminal, take the train the Hakata Station, go to the post office, take the train back to the airport, and take the bus back to the international terminal! I can’t do that because the plane will leave in 45 minutes! She told me to take the taxi, but she’s not sure if I can make it back for my flight.

I was crazy panicking. I don’t know how to return the pocket wifi! I don’t want to be fined for lost item. I talked to the people at the airport, asked them if they are willing to drop off my sealed package at the post office near Hakata Station. Of course no one would dare accept a sealed package from a complete stranger at the airport! I was hopeless.

Things changed when I talked to a girl with her parents. Told her my situation, showed her the package, she took it, and ran back into the airport. I just stood there with her parents who can’t speak English (awkward moment), then she came back out running with the information lady. And the information lady kept on apologizing, and lead me to the red post box just outside the airport. Dropped it off, and I ran straight to the immigration’s!

WHEW! Made it to my delayed flight! What an adventure!

And that concludes my trip.

Japan 2016 (6 of 7) Nokonoshima Island Park, Fukuoka Tower, Momochi Seaside Park & Yatai

DAY 6

Woke up around 1am by the sound of everyone’s phone warning. At the place where I’m staying, it is one big room with at least 40 beds. So I could hear everyone’s phone alarm. Then I checked my phone, my friend messaged me that a strong earthquake will hit Fukuoka. A few seconds later, I felt the earthquake. I was on the 7th floor that time. I opened my curtain and looked out to see if I should evacuate. But I saw the Japanese people just talking, they weren’t running out the door so I didn’t panic, and eventually I fell asleep while there were still little earthquakes after.

 

Nokonoshima Island Park

I had a feeling that it’s safe to go to the island even if we just had another earthquake, so I decided to go to the island!

Took a bus to Meinohama Ferry Passenger Terminal (¥370), then took a ferry to the island (¥480 two-way).

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Once I arrived in the terminal, took a bus to the park (¥230). The island park was not as I have expected. If you google this place, you’ll see a beautiful field of yellow flower overlooking the ocean – what  have been looking forward to my entire trip. But when I got there, there were no more flowers and they were actually mowing the fields. I was very disappointed, however, there are other beautiful spots to see around the park.

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This park is too big, very tiring to walk around!

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They had these benches underneath these trees – perfect spot to rest after a long walk around the park.

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Before going back I found the most beautiful field of flowers. Look at this! It’s incredible! By the way, the entrance fee to this park is ¥1000.

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After going around the park, I was just in time for the bus to the ferry terminal (¥230). As we were going down the road, saw this sea wall near the terminal. When I arrived at the terminal, I checked the schedule of the next ferry, it’s in 20 minutes. So I ran to this place, quickly set-up my tripod, quickly snapped some photos, ran back to the ferry, just enough time to buy a drink before riding the ferry!

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Fukuoka Tower

 

After debarking from the ferry, next destination is Fukuoka Tower. Walked to the bus terminal nearby, then I took a bus to Fukuoka Tower. I didn’t go up the tower anymore cause I don’t feel like paying an entrance fee to look at a cloudy view.

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I needed to set the angle of the camera like this because there are a lot of Chinese tourists scattered around the area.

Before moving on, I had a very late lunch at a Subway in a mall beside the tower (¥540 for a sandwich). One of my favorite places to eat, good sandwich. But I accidentally dropped the tray I used into the trash bin along with my trash (sorry, Subway, I didn’t do it on purpose!)

Momochi Seaside Park

Just on the other side of the tower is the beach! It’s not as beautiful as the beaches we have  here in the Philippines, but it’s clean and decent. Sat on the beach to rest for a while, dipped my legs into the water but it was freezing cold! Then I went straight back to the hotel after this.

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Fixed my stuff cause it’s my last night in Fukuoka. After packing, went out to have dinner. I walked to the Yatai area to check out where I can eat, but everything’s full. So I walked to a nearby mall, the Canal City Hakata, to have dinner there. On its top floor, they have a Ramen Stadium where there are lots of ramen restaurants to choose from. Had a black garlic ramen there. Not bad, but Ichiran’s ramen is way better.

After dinner part 1, walked back to Yatai, saw one of the food stall have seats so I went in. There’s not English menu (no surprise), I ended up eating grilled beef (¥1300) and a grilled shelled seafood (¥600), quite expensive. I didn’t know what I’m eating, I asked the person beside me if they know what it is. She’s from Hong Kong, she doesn’t know the English name of the shellfish, but she wrote down the Chinese character. Which I now know that it’s sea snail. It tasted really bad!

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I was supposed to have dinner part three at the sushi place at the 2nd floor of my hotel. But they don’t want to serve me, I was told that they don’t take in walk-ins. I have to reserve in advance. Boo.

Japan 2016 (5 of 7) Uminonakamichi Seaside

DAY 5

So, last night while we were eating dinner, everyone’s phone suddenly alarmed (except mine). I asked my Japanese friend what’s happening. She told me that it was an earthquake warning. A few seconds later, we felt the earthquake. Our seats and tables were shaking. I didn’t know if I should run and hide, but no seems to be panicking, so we just continued with our dinner.

So, I was supposed to go to Nokonoshima Island Park today, but since there was a strong earthquake (around magnitude 7.0) in a city below Fukuoka. I decided not to go ride the ferry to the island. Even though Fukuoka is not a tsunami zone, I just wanted to be safe!

So, I decided to go to Uminonakamichi Seaside Park today instead of tomorrow. But before that, I’ll go to the market to have sushi for breakfast!

I passed by this building, the rooftop access is open, but only on weekends so I’ll definitely come back another day!

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Took the train to Yanagibashi Market for some sushi (¥200). I think I arrived here a little late, because most shops are already closed. There was one shop owner who knows Filipino even though he has never been to the Philippines! He learned Filipino when from his Filipino co-workers back when he used to work in Alaska.

I found a shop that sells packed sushi that has been freshly cut. Not bad, but I feel like I could get cheaper and cleaner sushi from sushi chains.

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Now, off to the seaside park! Walked to the nearest bus terminal, google searched how to go to the seaside park, the bus number seems to match the information posted in the terminal. Both instructed me to take the 21A bus, and so I did.

Rode the 21A bus. And when there were only around 6 stops left, the bus stopped at a terminal and the bus driver told me that this was the last stop! I got off the bus in the middle on nowhere! I asked the bus driver for directions, but he can’t speak in English.

LOST. AGAIN. Walked around the area, there were no one there! After 10 minutes of walking, found some school kids, but they are from a different part of Japan and had no idea where I’m going. After another 10 minutes of walking, I finally found 2 guys who can speak in English! And they pointed me to the direction of the bus stop.

When I arrived at the bus stop, found out that I have to wait for 40 mins for the next bus! Checked google maps, the seaside park is 30 minutes away by walking. But I decided to wait for the bus cause I’m expecting a lot of walking in the park.

Finally, the bus arrived. Got on the bus, and I started to share with my friends what happened (on Snapchat, Facebook, and WhatsApp). I was too busy on my phone that I missed the stop! UGH! Not again!

Got off the next stop, and I started walking back to the last bus stop. But for some reason, I felt like I should ask someone if I’m going in the right direction. I asked someone was just at the same bus as I was. Good thing I asked her! Because the stop where we got off is also has an entrance to the seaside park, and it is also the place in the park that I wanted to go to! Thank God! Since she’s also by herself and going to the same place, I asked her if we can go around the park together, and for the first time, I had someone else to take a photo of me, no need to set up my tripod for each photo!

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park

If I took the right transportation, it will take me just an hour to get here, even less if I take the JR train. (¥830)

The first thing we did was rent a bike (¥400 for 3 hours) because the place is too big to walk around!

Our first stop is this field full of baby blue-eye flowers! This place is just breathtaking! This place must have thousands of flowers! After this, Katherine and I biked to the mini zoo. Most of them are sleeping, but the rodents look so cute and stupid.

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After going to the zoo, Katherine had to go ahead because her flight is in a few hours. So she went our separate ways.

The next place I went to was to the northern part of the park where the beach-side is. It was really peaceful here. There were absolutely no one! Just me, the wind, and the sea. I could just sit here listening to the sound of the sea for hours!

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Another one of my favorite photos. Climbed over the fence again, climbed down 5ft of rocky wall, walked down a grassy path, and here I am at the edge of the giant rock, closer to the ocean.

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The view from where I’m sitting. I’m afraid of heights but I had to sit on the edge of a cliff. What’s scarier about it is that the giant rocks are like shells, the whole thing is around 6 inches thick. You’ll see from the side that it’s hollow, like it could crack!

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After enjoying the experience, I had to walk back up and climb back up.

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Now, I had to ride back to the bike rental place because my 3 hours is almost up. The whole park has blue bike lanes showing leading you around the park. If you come here when Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom, the whole path will be filled with Cherry Blossoms!

My tripod has a bit of an accident. it fell off my bike basket one time and it broke. But still standing to get this really cool shot of my biking.

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After returning the bike, walked around the pond. There are so many tulips planted around this area. (I’m very tired that’s why I’m lying down on the bench)

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I wanted to hop over the rocks on the pond!

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By this time, the park is now closed. They asked me to exit now, but I had to take this photo first cause I don’t have a really nice sunset photo this whole trip.

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On my way out, I fancied a matcha ice cream. (Taking advantage of the sunset)

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Took the train back to the city this time, took me less than an hour and it only cost me ¥460. Got off at JR Hakata Station to shop for lots of calligraphy & lettering pens at Tokyu Hands.

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I love this mall. They have an open rooftop where you can get a view of the city. They also have a garden with a shine, really cool.

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Now I’m very tired. Took the train back to the capsule hotel. Luckily, Ichiran was just like a minute away from where I’m staying!

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Now, I can rest, or so I thought…

Japan 2016 (4 of 7) Nagoya Castle & Chubu Airport

DAY 4

Since this is my last day in Nagoya, I had to stay in last night to do laundry and pack my things. Flying to Fukuoka later today, but first, off to Nagoya Castle.

Nagoya Castle

 

My only plan for the day is to Nagoya Castle and go straight to the airport after. Took the Subway cause I remember walking 10 blocks last time (¥200 from Nagoya Station). Entrance fee for to the castle grounds is ¥500.

Nagoya Castle is different from the other castles I’ve been to before (Himeji, Osaka, and Inuyama). This one’s a bit modern – it has elevators! Nothing inside the castle really interests me. But what’s around the castle is what I find interesting.

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Spend some time walking around the castle grounds. Very interesting gardens and landscapes!

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Love this photo of me sitting on the edge of the castle wall. I had to hop over the fence (while no one’s watching) to get here. I’m scared of heights so it was not easy for me to do this!

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I was enjoying this place so much that I forgot what time it is and that I needed to go to the airport!

Chubu International Airport

One of the most stressful time of my life! Here’s what happened:

So, I was supposed to ride the 1pm train to the airport, but I missed that train. So I asked the hostel receptionist to help me search for the next train schedule. Her English is not very good, at one point she kept on saying to me “Tokyu! Tokyu!”, and I kept on telling her, “I’m not going to Tokyo!” Later I found out that she was asking me is I want the “tokyu” train which means the “fastest” train! Haha! After talking to her, I decided that I’ll take the 2:26pm train instead, and the train ride will take around 45 minutes. I’m not worried cause I’ll make it to my 4:30pm flight, so I had lunch first around the nearby mall.

At around 2:00, I went back to the hostel to get my stuff and walked to the train station. While standing in queue of the ticketing booth, I can’t find the 2:26pm schedule the receptionist told me! All I can see is 2:31pm, which the person in the ticketing area told me to take if I wanted to go to the airport (I think… he can’t speak English). So I bought that ticket and went down to the platform

When I went down, I got confused! There are so many colored lines! I tried to look for the 2:31pm schedule but I can’t find it in the schedule board! I asked someone standing there who’s wearing a uniform which train goes to the airport and where should I stand in queue? He can’t speak English but he understood the word “Airport”, he pointed to the green line on the floor and said “Airport”. So I stood there on the green line queue. I thought I was in the right line cause I saw a sign that says that the green line goes to the airport. Okay! But the problem is, I still can’t find the 2:31pm on the list of approaching trains! It actually skipped 2:31pm! The next train is 2:26pm and the one after that is on 2:40pm. Then I remembered, the receptionist told me earlier to ride the 2:26pm train, so I thought that’s the train! And it’s on the green line so it must go to the airport! So I got in that train.

I was enjoying transferring photos from my DSLR to my phone and editing them. Then I remembered that the receptionist told me that is was supposed to be 45 minute train ride, but I have already been in the train for an hour! I searched google maps and I realized that I rode the wrong train! It went to another direction! Then I started to PANIC! I looked at everyone else, I was the only one with a big luggage!!! And everyone’s asleep so I couldn’t ask anybody! I looked out the window, it looks like I’m in some province!

When the train stopped on the next station, luckily someone woke up! I asked him if this train will go to the airport. He can’t speak English but he understood “airport” and told me NO!! I asked him how to go to the airport, he just kept on saying “Otogawa! Otogawa!”, I told him what’s that in English, but he kept on saying the same thing. But I got off that station!

I walked around the station but there was no one working there! Since it’s in the rural area, there’s no ticketing booth with a person there. Looking at google maps, I need to go back, so I walked to the other side of the station. There’s this guy waiting for the train, I asked him if he spoke English but he can’t (I feel so helpless and lost at that moment). But he understands “airport”, and he took out his iPad to maps pointing to me Otogawa station – where I should transfer to the airport line. He said 4 stops then transfer to another line. Waited 10 minutes before another train came (the 10 minutes felt like forever). After 4 stops, I checked google maps before getting off. Wait, this is not Otogawa station, it’s 8 more stops away! At this time, I was already searching for other flights to Fukuoka (around ¥20,000+). When I finally arrived at Otogawa station, I looked for someone who looked like he/she knows English. I found one, she walked me to the right line, and then pointed and shouted “Run!” so I ran to the train and the doors closed right away!

I finally arrived at the airport, 45 minutes before my flight! That leaves me 15 minutes to check-in my bag! But I got stuck at the bag inspection! They had to search my bag and scan it thrice because I had an “illegal” item in my check-in luggage. They don’t allow batteries/power banks in check-in luggage. But luckily I made it on time to take a wee before boarding!

PHEW! What a crazy day! One of the most stressful day of my life! The whole time, I was Whatsapping my friends to pray for me cause I was lost!

Fukuoka

I finally got to relax on the plane!

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Touchdown Fukuoka! My friend Naho picked me up from the airport. I love this airport because the airport is just a 6 minute train ride from the city center!

She accompanied me to my capsule hotel, Wellcabin Nakasu. A cheap place she helped me find, really nice and really clean place. Only around ¥2800 per night, but it is only for men. After leaving my stuff in my locker, we went to have dinner with her friend, Nami.

We went to Brooklyn Parlor. Really cozy place! Food’s great too!

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Japan 2016 (3 of 7) Noritake Garden, Nagoya Science Museum & Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden

DAY 3

Something funny happened that morning. I sat on the table in the lobby drinking their free apple juice before heading out, and a Filipino couple sat on the other side of the table from me. They talked about me not knowing that I can understand them! Lol

Noritake Garden

I love brick walls! You can take the train to get here, it’s just 1 to 2 stations away. But I love walking, so I walked all the way! I didn’t know that there’s an underground mall that connects the stations! Had to walk out in the cold.

It drizzled a bit but the jacket  bought had a hoodie so I’m all good.

Not much to see here, didn’t go in to the museum the  cause I’m not that interested and I don’t feel like spending. There were only a few people there too that’s why I can take photos without tourists in the background!

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Pretending to read while sitting on the bench.

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Next stop, Nagoya Science Musuem! Since I’ll be going around the city that day, unlike the first two days, I bought the unlimited train pass for a day so that I don’t have to keep on walking (¥850).

Nagoya Science Museum

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Since I had the day-pass, my entrance fee is discounted (¥360), and it’s just for the museum, not including the exhibit. I’m not gonna pay extra for the exhibit where the highlight is the excavated dinosaur poop (from what I implied from their posters showing a T-rex photo and a poop drawing).

I didn’t get to take photos inside because there were so many people inside and I was too busy playing with the experiments! I would have enjoyed the museum more and I would have understood the concepts more if they have English explanations in all of the displays. But it’s definitely a fun place to bring kids – they’ll learn the different science concepts in a very fun and interactive way!

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I was sad cause the roof access was closed. Oh well, off to the next destination!

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden

Took the train here, not that far. The entrance fee is ¥640, not that expensive cause it’s already for both the zoo and the botanical garden.

There are so many animals to see! There are a lot of interesting animals that I saw there that you don’t see here in the Philippines: rhinoceros, koala, polar bear, gorilla, buffalos, American eagle, wolves, reindeers, and so much more! I don’t have nice photos of the other animals either because the background isn’t nice, the cage destroys the photo composition, or they just move a lot (couldn’t take a non-blurry photo).

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After going around half of the zoo, I walked across the street to the botanical garden. This place is huge! But I think it’s better if you come here during summer because a some of the flowers are not in blooming season.

Went inside this greenhouse. This place is very interesting because you get to see a lot of different plants and flowers in this confined area.

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Selfie behind this wall of flowers. Lucky for me, when I got here, the person just finished cutting and attaching hundreds of flowers onto the wall!

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I remembered that the ticket I bought includes a free entrance to this sky tower! But I had to quickly go up and come back down within 30 minutes because the zoo is about to close and I had to go around the whole zoo if it already closed!

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Nothing up here, just a restaurant and some seats to check out the view.

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So many green trees! So pretty.

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Went home after this. Stayed in cause I had to do laundry!

Japan 2016 (2 of 7) Nagashima Spa Land & Oasis 21

I chose to stay at a hostel (Guest House Wasabi) since I’m just travelling by myself and it is way cheaper. Just around ¥2000 per night. You have your private tiny space to sleep in. There’s also a safe and a computer inside! The toilet and shower area are shared, but they’re clean enough.

(I’m normally not a messy person, but I’m too tired to keep my stuff neat & tidy!)

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DAY 2

Nagashima Spa Land

Do you love roller coasters? I DO! That’s why even if I’m all by myself, I still decided to go to Nagashima Spa Land!

There are different ways to go to Nagashima Spa Land. But there is just one bus that goes there directly, no more transfers (I plan on taking this bus because I don’t want to get lost outside of the city). But there’s just one bus leaving each hour. So I  was in a hurry so that I could catch the next bus. Took the train from Nagoya Station to Sakae Station where the bus terminal (Oasis 21) is.

When I arrived at Oasis 21, I can’t see any ticketing booth. I saw a sign that says “Information” and an arrow pointing to the other side of the building. So I walked towards that direction hoping to talk to someone in an information booth who could speak in English. But when I got to the other side of the building, there was no booth! Just a wall with the floor plan of the building, exactly the same as what’s in the entrance! (Facepalm) At that moment, I was very stressed because I don’t have a ticket and I don’t want to miss the bus or I have to wait for another hour! I managed to talk to someone who could speak in English, and she pointed me to the right platform number (it’s just beside where I entered) and told me that there are no ticketing booths, you have to pay when you get off the bus.

The bus ride to Nagashima Spa Land costs  ‎¥1900 two-way. There was only two passengers in the entire bus!

Finally arrived at Nagashima Spa Land! The entrance fee for unlimited rides costs ¥4500. Quite expensive, but each ride costs around ¥500-¥1000. This does not include the Waterpark area because it was closed that season.

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Luckily, there were only a few people there! Didn’t really have to wait in line for most rides. What I love about this place is that they provide lockers for your stuff because you can’t bring them with you when you’re in the rides.

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I shouldn’t have gone here because it was very cold for me! I only brought a light jacket with me. Just because I didn’t want my unlimited rides wasted, I still went on the rides and faced the very cold winds.

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There was one ride where I snuck in my phone cause I was bummed that I haven’t Snapchatted any photos/videos of me in the rides. While waiting for other people, I took out my phone and started Snapchatting while I’m strapped in the rides. But the operator saw me! He came out of the control room, walked towards me, unclipped me from my seat and asked me to come down and store my phone in the locker! Haha!

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Because there were only a few people, I managed to ride 9 rides in 2 hours! After that, I was very very dizzy. It felt like my entire brain’s upside-down because of all the crazy rides!

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I’m so scared of Ferris Wheels, but I decided to go cause I wanted to take photos of the giant rides, but the glass wasn’t clear enough to give me nice photos of them.

Before going back to Nagoya, I went to the outlet mall beside it because the weather is just getting colder, I had to buy a jacket or I’ll freeze to death!

Oasis 21

 

Rode the bus back to Oasis 21. And explored this building. The bus terminal is on the first floor. The floor below it has some shops to see. The floor above the bus terminal floor is like a park! Beautiful mini park at the center of a very busy area. A really nice place to rest after a long bus ride.

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The stairs look nice so I didn’t bother looking for the lift.

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After resting a bit, went to the rooftop! It is more beautiful at night when they turn on the lights (saw pictures online).

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I was about to go home, but I remembered seeing really nice photos of Nagoya Castle at night. So I decided to walk there (yes, it’s far) to check it out. It was around 10 blocks away! I have no sense of distance. Long story short, walked there, it was closed, and I got lost. But I managed to take this photo from afar. Love the reflection of the castle on the moat.

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Got back to the hostel very very tired!

Japan 2016 (1 of 7) Inuyama Castle & Meiji Mura

After this trip, all I can say is everyone should experience travelling alone at least once in your life. (To a safe country, of course!)

So I flew in to Nagoya on the evening of April 10th, and on the 15th, I flew to Fukuoka for three more days before flying back home.

I’m not gonna lie, I got lost several times – it’s all part of the experience. I’ll tell you the whole story as I go through the photos. Thanks to my heavy tripod, I get to be in the photos!

DAY 1

Inuyama Castle

First day, I decided to go to Inuyama, a city north of Nagoya. It’s about an hour train ride, not that far. (¥1340 round trip Nagoya to Inuyama Station + Inuyama Castle ticket package)

As the train was approaching Inuyama-Yūen Station, we passed by an elevated place filled with cherry blossom trees that looked interesting, like there’s a hidden gem or something. So before heading west to Inuyama Castle, I walked east to check out this mysterious place. Walked up a hill, passed by a cemetery (a bit creepy cause I was the only walk walking around the cemetery), aside from all the cherry blossom trees, I saw this beautiful little shrine. Worth the climb!

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Walked back down heading west, and I saw this. I don’t know what this place is, but it sure looks neat! What I love about just exploring around, you’ll never know what you’ll stumble on. No one here again, probably because it’s not a touristy area?

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As I was walking along the bridge to Inuyama Castle, I saw this little rocky island just beside the bridge. Hopped over some little floating rocks and climbed a bit of giant rocks. Just trying to get a different view of the castle.

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Finally got into Inuyama Castle after the little detours! Not much to see. If you’re not interested in reading all about the history of the castle and if you’ve been to other castles before, I don’t think it’s necessary to pay for the entrance fee. (I’m a bit cheap)

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It’s actually two weeks after the peak of the cherry blossom season. Luckily there are still a lot of cherry blossoms around!

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Now to the next destination, the place I’m really excited about! Walked to the bus station (Inuyama Station) along a long shopping street with a very historical feel.

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Meiji Mura

Rode the Meitetsu bus from Inuyama Station to Meiji Mura (¥420 one-way). Finally arrived at Meiji Mura, this place is an open-air museum! The entrance fee is ¥1700, plus ¥1000 for unlimited rides (but I chose not to take the unlimited ride around the  cause I like walking!)

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This page is huge! It is divided into five areas. You’ll find very interesting architectures here, most of them non-Japanese, like this church. On its second floor, there are quite a number of pianos that are playing themselves. Quite creepy if you’re alone inside.

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Just tryin’ to have a candid shot with some plants.

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The next few photos are just some of the houses/buildings you’ll see and get to go inside!

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Another “candid” shot with some cherry blossoms.

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Sat down for a short break. At this point, two areas down, three to go!

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Held this pose for around two minutes cause I don’t want people in the background.

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What’s inside this church is my absolute favorite part of this open-air museum!

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My favorite photo of my entire trip! There’s actually a couple shooting their wedding photos and all of the tourists are following them and taking photos of them as well! They must feel awkward.

The interior and lighting is just WONDERFUL.

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This is me, standing on the last building of this place thinking about the LONG walk back to the entrance. Ran and brisk walked back to the entrance so I could make it to the next bus! Thank God I was right on time to the bus or I have to wait 30 minutes or an hour for the next one!

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Tsuruma Park

Rode the Meitetsu bus back to Inuyama Station (¥420 one-way), then I took the Meitetsu train back to Nagoya Station.

Then I decided to go to a park to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, I had to go back to the hostel immediately cause the temperature suddenly dropped and I was only wearing a cardigan! (I get cold very easily). Nice park though.

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That concludes my first day. And yes, it was a long day!