Japan September 2011
Sunday 18th September - Sunday October 2nd 2011
Two weeks in Japan in September 2011, taking in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyushu.
First Day in Japan
Sunday 18th September 2011
Landed in Tokyo in the morning. Afternoon at a beer festival near Yokohama with Tanaka-san, and then dinner at a macrobiotic izakaya in Omtesando with Miyuki-san.
Shinjuku and Takaosan
Monday 19th September 2011
Spent the morning in Shinjuku, and then the afternoon / evening in Takaosan, for a walk up the mountain, and a visit to the rather excellent beer garden there.
Tokyo to Hiroshima
Tuesday 20th September 2011
Spent the day at my company's office in Tokyo, then got the Shinkansen to Hiroshima in the evening.
Wednesday 21st September 2011
Went to visit Chie's grandparents in one of the suburbs of Hiroshima in the afternoon, and then went to Sushi-Tei for dinner in the evening.
Thursday 22nd September 2011
Visited Miyajima in the afternoon.
Friday 23rd September 2011
Afternoon trip to take in the view from Ege-san, a mountain near Hiroshima, followed by an evening out in the centre of Hiroshima.
Kyoto and Osaka
Saturday 24th September 2011
Day trip to Kyoto and Osaka.
Fukuoka and Kumamoto
Sunday 25th September 2011
Took the shinkansen from Hiroshima to Fukuoka, and then later on from there to Kumamoto, at the start of our four day exploration of Kyushu, the most South Westerly of the four main islands of Japan.
Kumamoto, Kagoshima and Sakurajima
Monday 26th September 2011
Started the day with an early morning tour of Kumamoto Castle. Then got on the shinkansen to Kagoshima (meeting up with Chie's parents on board) and from there got on a bus tour around Sakurajima, an island with an active volcano on it. Spent the evening in Kagoshima.
Takachiho and Jikoku Onsen
Tuesday 27th September 2011
Picked up a hire car in Kagoshima in the morning and spent the day driving around Kyushu, taking in the waterfalls at Takachiho en route, and ending the day at the Jikoku (hell!) onsen.
Wednesday 28th September 2011
The highlight of the trip to Kyushu for me - a visit to the Aso crater.
Thursday 29th September 2011
A visit to Hiroshima Castle in the afternoon, and cocktails in the bar in the Sheraton Hotel in the evening.
Okonomiyaki and Ikebukuro
Friday 30th September 2011
Left Hiroshima today, with a hearty brunch of okonomiyaki as a send off. Spent the afternoon on the shinkansen to Tokyo. In the evening visited my old favourite haunts in Ikebukuro - Rohlan and Quercus.
Akihabara, Kinshicho, Shinjuku and Ueno
Saturday 1st October 2011
Last full day in Japan, spent in various parts of Tokyo. Went to It's Vegetable, a Taiwanese vegetarian restaurant in Kinshischo, by way of Akihabara, where we got the lens/CCD of my previous camera cleaned. In the evening started off with Kagiya, purportedly the oldest izakaya in Tokyo, then on to tempura and a coupld of bars in Shinjuku with Nozaki-sensei et al. Finally rounded off the evening with one last drink back in Ueno.
Sunday 2nd October 2011
Headed off to Narita airport in the morning to fly back to the UK. Had some sushi for breakfast in Narita Airport.