Tokyo – part 2a (back to Shinjuku)

I can’t believe it’s already been about five months since my friend and I went to Japan, and I’m barely even halfway through blogging about it. But I’ve come, at last, to one of the highlights of the trip (I probably have too many “highlights” from the trip, but who’s counting and/or enforcing a limit? If you are – stop it. That was a rhetorical question anyway.)

Ok, so after I started writing this, and got a few paragraphs in, I realised I was doing that thing again whereby I write this long preamble, and don’t quite get to the point. So, originally, I was planning to skim over the events of February 9th, and get onto our visit to Mt Fuji (which was the aforementioned highlight), but looks like that’s not gonna happen in this post. Even if you’ve enjoyed reading about my Japan trip so far, feel free to skip this one, and wait for the Mt Fuji post (hopefully coming up very soon). Continue reading

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Thursday Doors – Otaru (part 2)

As my friends and I walked through what I assume is the main shopping mall/arcade in Otaru, I kept glancing down the little side streets and alleyways, in hopes of finding hidden gems (doors or otherwise). It was down one such alleyway that I spotted this rather peculiar building in the distance: Continue reading

Otaru pt 2 – Snow Light Path Festival

As much as I enjoyed our day trip to Otaru, I never thought that I’d get so many blog posts out of this humble little town. I’ve already posted an abridged summary of our daytime wanderings, and posted some of the lovely doors I found. There will be a second Thursday Doors post for Otaru coming up in the near future, whenever I find time to put it together, but, in the meanwhile, I wanted to share some photos from one of the highlights of that day: Otaru’s Snow Light Path.

I kind of don’t want to write a lot here; I have so many photos from that night to share instead. (I will try to restrict myself a little, though)  Continue reading

Thursday Doors – Otaru (part 1!)

Otaru is one of the loveliest little towns I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. It’s a coastal town on the western side Hokkaido (Japan’s northernmost island), and it used to be the island’s financial centre because of its role in shipping and trade with other countries. Maybe it was just because it was winter, but it seemed like a sleepy little town when we visited (I mean that in the nicest, most affectionate way).

Since the main purpose of our trip to Otaru was to see the Snow Light Path, I hadn’t really researched much about the town, and about other things to see and do there (also I didn’t have that much time for extensive research before the trip). But I generally don’t have trouble finding interesting things, and keeping myself entertained when I’m in a new town/city, so I figured it’d be fine. Besides, one of the friends I was going with had already done some research into it. As it turned out, we were sufficiently preoccupied during the day.

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Otaru pt 1 – daytime wanderings (mostly food)

Pretty sure I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I have a bit of a soft spot for small towns. Not sure how I’d go living in one for a long time, but they sure are lovely places to visit. One of my most favourite places in Japan was a small rural town: Otaru is located somewhere west of Sapporo, in Hokkaido, and we visited on February 8th.

Otaru is only about half an hour from Sapporo by train. Things like this amaze me because sometimes it takes over half an hour to get from one part of Brisbane to another by train – on one train line, travelling through the same city!

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Asahikawa pt 2 – Winter Festival

This year, the Asahikawa Winter Festival was held over the same week as the Sapporo Snow Festival. Since Asahikawa isn’t too far from Sapporo, it was an easy decision to add it to our itinerary when KF and I visited Japan in February. It is a considerably smaller city (about a fifth (?) of the population of Sapporo) so the festival wasn’t quite as big as Sapporo’s, but still worth the trip.

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