A travel blog of a journey that I started in 2010 and I don't know when it will end ...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Miyajima and Hiroshima

I arrive early morning to Hiroshima.
I leave my backpack in a Hostel that is a little bit far away from the centre, but is good location to take the ferry to the Island Miyajima. Is the first I do.

The Island is protected by UNESCO, and is plenty of Temples and Shrines, and there is a famous red door in the middle of the sea... and like Nara, is plenty of deers .

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kyoto and Nara, Ivan and Natsumi

Like Home. Is what I felt those days in Kyoto and Nara.

After five months traveling around “alone”, finally I’ve been with somebody I know and at the same time he knows me, Ivan Diaz.

I have taken his lovely apartment next to the Kyoto University and one bike for more than a week!!!

The first day Ivan took me biking around the more important parts of Kyoto... We started with the temples and Shrine by the Path of Philosophy, and then visiting Heian-jingú (free because National day! Normally 600 yens) with a group of English students being our guides, having a fast look at the geisha street where we end at Kennin-Ji Temple, the oldest Zen Temple in Kyoto with a brilliant exhibition of Tawaraya Sotasu (free because who was selling the tickets knew Ivan from the university!! Normally 500 yens). We eat Ramen and went around the Imperial Palace Park...

After a full day of relax, I take the bike and go to visit Fushimi-Inari Taisha in the other side of Kyoto. A fantastic group of Shrines around the entire mountain and connected by a path covered by a red wood doors. The total distance is 4 kilometers!

Other day I visit The Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-Ji) and Kitano Tenman-Gu Temple. At the afternoon I meet Ivan and a friend of him (Emi) to prepare Bread with tomato and Jamon Iberico before we go to a traditional Japanese concert: Takigi-Noh – Bonfire Noh Performance. Very interesting taste of the traditional Japanese culture!

Next morning I meet with Natsumi (Nara, which I know since a trip I did to Krakow) and a friend of her, Daniele (Italy) to go to visit some Temples around Kyoto. At Noon Ryotas and あべくん (Kyoto) join us for lunch at the sushi train restaurant. And after lunch we go to an entertainment... football, Basket, golf, volleyball, videogames, pools ... and a big etcetera.... I finish exhausted.

After this complete day, I go to visit Nara, a village around 100 km from Kyoto full of deer’s, temples and shrines... When I get there its raining and I go to visit the National Museum of Nara, where there is an exhibition about wood Buda’s and protector’s monsters (free because Ivan give me an invitation, normally 1000 yens). After this I do the Temples route including Todaiji Temple where is the Big Buda and getting lost in the forest to end at the Museum of Photography of Nara. To dinner I meet with Natsumi and her sister Haruna. They took me to Kanakana, a Japanese restaurant with tatami floor and really good food...

When I get back to Kyoto I go for a drink with Ivan and foreigners friends from the university.

Saturday I meet Ivan to go to see a market that every 25th of every month they do in Kitano Tenman-Gu temple. We look for cards with a Japanese monsters theme…. But we don’t find them!!!

I join Ivan going to do class of Spanish in a Spanish food restaurant… Bogavante 346. The Owner is lovely and invites me to join them for a lunch. Luxury Lunch!

Sunday, I go again to Nara, this time with Daniele and Natsumi to visit some temples that I didn’t…The Byakugoji in Nara, and the Horyuji temple outside Nara. After all, the Natsumi sister picks us up and brings us to their house to do a Sushi class with their mother and grandmother. The result was amazing!

When I got back to Kyoto I went for Sake with Ivan and Silvia (Poland) in a charming bar near Ivan house.

On the next two days it’s raining at Kyoto, so I relax. I eat with Ivan and Silvia at the university; where I also buy the bus ticket to Hiroshima and I finish the book “Fiesta en la mardigera” of Juan Pablo Villalobos that Ivan give me to read. With Silvia we went to do a coffee in the middle of a nice park next to the university. We saw the sunset with Kyoto under us.

Before taking the night bus, Emi prepare for us a very nice dinner! Rice with egg and Romesco sauce on the top! Fusion kitchen! Now... to Hiroshima.

It has been hard to leave... when there is good company...! Well, anyway I have to come back to spend my last days in Japan...

Some Photos
2010-09-Kyoto i Nara (JP) https://photos.app.goo.gl/jbqk7kgC9sxPyBux5
Versió catalana

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tokyo vs Fuji

Tokyo. I tried to do Couchsurfing but this time didn’t work and I stayed in a hostel around Asakusa. I meet Abraham and Raquel (Catalonia) just when I was doing the check-in and we talk for a while.

Next morning I decide to join them to visit some places in Tokyo... We visit Yoyogi Park where we saw a lot of people running, Shibuya plenty of people and a lot of design shops, Tower of Tokyo with lines of tourists to go up to the Tower and Roppongi night where we visit an Internet cafe where you can rent a room to spend few hours playing or surfing on the web...

Tokyo at night

Next day I walk around Asakusa where there are people shopping, eating in a restaurants, and visiting temples. At afternoon I went for run along the river (Track) I didn’t go for a run for few weeks and Tokyo is a good place to do it.

Mount Fuji
On Monday I want to go to Mt Fuji by direct bus but because is out of season to climb to Fuji and there are not the same numbers of buses as usual. Finally I went by 3 trains and a bus to the station where the trekking to the Mt Fuji starts. Total 4,5 hours.
I start the trekking around 21:30 at evening for get to the top at the sunrise. Waiting to start the trek, I meet a French couple and two brothers from Uruguay that they want to do the same.
On the high season (July and august) there is a lot more services, but there is much more people... (here the Track). The last part begin to be to cold because the wint. I’m luky to have my super jacket that I’ve been carrying.

Sunrise at Mount Fuji

Climb the Fuji is so spiritual for the Japanese, and I understand. The sunrise at 3777m with a ocean of clouds in yours feeds and without slept it was very special.
Going down was hard as well, and I went back to Tokyio by bus (2.5 hours).

At the subway I meet Pepi (Manresa) and she knew Roger (Tarragona) who lives in Kobe and he is a friend of my sister

Sport week! Wednesday bicycle without direction trough Tokyo.

Early Thursday I went to the fish market at the same time it was raining a lot... I went with Katerina (Slovakia) and Ricardo (Valencia) that I meet in the room of the hostel.
We also went to Ginza and the tower of the government building.

Friday I walk a lot till the other side of Tokyo. I go back by subway. When I was living in London I did it very often. I like walk the cities and Tokyo have a lot of tidy nice places.
Saturday I buy the night bus ticket to Kyoto... I want to see Ivan!

Some Photos
2010-09-Tokyo (JP) https://photos.app.goo.gl/cEW3TccYMXQjxPyv7

Versió catalana

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Guangzhou (廣州) and Hong Kong (香港)

At Guangzhou I did couchsurfing in Chalne’s place at the same time as Adam (USA) and Bruno (Switzerland). My First experience of CS doing this trip has been so positive: People so nice and nice house.

The first day didn’t stop rain even for a second, and I finish completely wet... The second I visit the park Xuexiu were I expend almost all day.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Guangxi (广西)

I arrive at Guilin (桂林) after 24h by train from Chengdu.
Is my first train I can take in china because you have to book in advance. I’ve been in a 6 bed cabin very comfortable surrounded by Chinese people talking to me in Chinese without stop avoiding that my face looks like I don’t understand a word. After 5 minutes to start the journey, Liufeiyu, a 5 years old girl, seat next to me and offer me a red sweet and I accepted. 5 minutes later appears on the stage Jinyating, a 9 years boy asking me: “where are you from?” And I answered. Since then and for 24 hours Jin and Liu they are permanently around me... Liu reads to me a infantile histories with perfect Chinese, Jin practice English with me and help Liu with the difficult words, the mother of Liu try to teach me how to pronounce correctly the few words I know in Chinese, and Liu is giving me a lot of sweets non stop...