Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our visit to Japan (Bullet Train and Osaka). :-) Lots of photos.

Hi everyone, yes I have had a two weeks of scheduled posts and Blogger has just been wonderful post each one on time.  Hubby, our two kids and myself flew up to Japan on 28th November.  Flights were cheap so couldn't miss the opportunity.  We flew into Narita Airport at night time and stayed at a Motel there.  Next morning we were up and back to the airport to meet our first challenge of reading and train map.  None of us have been to Japan before.  My hubby and I know the very basic in Japanese as in Hello, Goodbye, Thank You and Sorry or Excuse me.  Our son a little more as he did Japanese at school from year 4 to year 8.  Our daughter a little more again as she learnt Japanese from year 4 to year 9 and year 9 for her was only last year.  Anyways, thanks to the wonderful people at the reservations office we had our seven day JR line pass (travel as much we like on that railway for seven days).  They also had booked us on the Shinkansen (Bullet) train from Tokyo to Osaka.  We just had to get on a local train first to Shingawa and change to the Bullet train.  The reservation staff gave us what sounded like easy directions to find this platform.  We moved out of the office walked straight ahead and then suddenly we were unsure where to head next.  Our first attempt at reading the signs must of gave us real puzzled looks on our faces.  Within a minute of us standing there a lovely Japanese lady was suddenly beside us and in English asked if she could help us.  She kindly pointed us in the right direction.  We were soon to learn this was not a rarity this is the norm.  Japanese people are so very helpful to us poor English speaking tourists.  We were constantly helped during our holiday as soon as we had a puzzled look on our face.  Pull out a map and someone was there even quicker. lol.  There was one lovely older lady that came over to help and she spoke as much English as we spoke Japanese.  She listened and then asked us to wait there and she went off and pulled two teenage girls from the crowd and asked them to help.  These girls flipped out their phone and used the dictionary to help out.  The little old lady proceeded to talk to my daughter and I in Japanese to find out more details as to where we were from.  We managed to answer some of her questions. :-)  Just amazed me though that these people did not in the least appear to be worrying about missing their trains or being late for something even though they had stopped to help us.  Okay, enough rambling on to some photos.
This is our journey Tokyo to Osaka first day.  I hardly took a photo this holiday as hubby bought himself a new camera and as you can see he had fun with it and took some wonderful photos.  Well more than some.....about 1400 but I won't show them all to you. :-)
We are on the train from Narita Airport to Shingawa (Tokyo)

Inside and out.  The view of the passing buildings and stations that our son was seeing.

Tokyo Sky Tree - due for completion December 2011 and Grand opening in Spring 2012

At Shingawa Station and waiting for the Shinkansen (Bullet) Train.  This is one of the many that flew in and flew out.

Our first lunch in Japan....this a lunch box that my husband and I shared.  We bought it from the lady who pushes the cart up and down the train selling food and drink.  We ate most of the contents and certainly was an experience for us. To the left you have rice.  Top centre is pork and fish, the round thing in the centre with circles was quite nice but there were two other items there that hubby and I really didn't like the texture of. The front middle section is cold pumpkin,carrot and a strange green wobbly thing that neither of us were game enough to try.  Back right corner was egg, tomato.  Front right had a black bean of some sort...which was really nice.

Edit:- Thank you Helen, as she has told me the round thing with circles in it is Lotus Root and similar to potato. Blogging friends are great I have learnt so much from you all.

This is hubby and my motel room a tad squishy.  Especially when the kids came to visit to see what we were up to and use the laptop.  I had to constantly walk across the bed to get to the other side of the room.  Another thing we found in Japan....beds are much harder.  The first two beds were like rocks but our bed at Shiba Park Motel in Tokyo was almost like home.  The pillows here we had one soft and fluffy one and the other seemed to full of beans.  I really liked this pillow as I do prefer a firmer pillow and the beans tend to mold to your head.

View of Osaka from our Motel room.

The start of our visiting adventures down Dotombori in Osaka.  Lots of crabs.

We soon discovered these drink machines which are every few metres along every street. They have both hot and cold drinks.  Hubby would get his Coke Zero, son coffee or coke, daughter Grape Fanta and me milk tea.  Yes, hot with milk and a little sugar.  Yum.

Outside of Dotombori shopping area during the daylight hours. 
Some interesting statues we found outside a building.

Some of the people shopping and the lights are coming on as things get darker.

Night time Dotombori

More night time.

Well that is the end of our day two in Japan.  I hope to be back tomorrow with more photos to share.  
Thank you everyone for leaving such lovely comments on my creations while I was away.  I did get to read them all each day but I have not had the chance yet to catch up on what you have been doing.
But I will be over at your blog real soon.  I haven't forgotten you all.


  1. those are so cool!

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. unreal.. have never been OS but will get there one day when the kids are big (with or WITHOUT them :)). Not sure I'm quite game enough to eat that food box assortment though!! xx

  3. Oh wow, Merry, I love reading all about your adventures, thanks so much for sharing. Japan looks wonderful so far, so built up though, hope you got to see more of the countryside. I've always found Japanese people to be very polite and giving.

  4. Hi Merry, Oh my goodness!! your photos are just fabulous looks like you enjoyed yourselves truly amazing photos thanks for sharing them:) Sandra H

  5. How exciting ,I've never been to Japan.Lucky you ,hope to see some more photos over the next few days.


  6. Fab photos, looks like you had a great time

  7. Great photos, Merry! Looks like you had lots of fun! That round thing with small circles in it is lotus roots. Taste similar like potatoes. Its seeds taste pretty good too.

  8. Vaya viaje tan maravilloso que habéis hecho, las fotos son preciosas.

  9. I have had these pages bookmarked for some time now and I'm finally getting time to read all about your trip! Sorry for the delay!

    Looks like a very interesting place....I have not had food like that before but I am game to try just about anything. Having hot and cold drinks out of a machine along the walkway is really odd...we only have cold here!
    And talk about tight quarters in that bedroom....yikes! Oh and that train looks super fast! Very cool!


Thanks for much for visiting my little part of the world. I really appreciate the time you have taken to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you and if you are new I really like the fact I can now visit your blog too.


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