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Highlights of Japan Tour (Diamond Princess) 8/27/2017 – Day 5

  • Posted on September 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm

This day in Tokyo was amazing.  We traveled to the Hakone Ropeway , a sky-gondola arrangement over the Owakudani volcano.

Hakone Ropeway

Hakone Ropeway

Hakone Ropeway

Then we arrived at Lake Ashi for a lovely lake cruise.

Lake Ashi

Lake Ashi

Lake Ashi

After the cruise, we had a delicious lunch at a local hotel restaurant, including some very tiny creme brulees.  Yum!

Then we traveled to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji, a truly amazing site.  The air was chill and we saw many groups of hikers about to start the climb.

Mr Fuji – 5th Station

Mr Fuji – 5th Station

Mr Fuji – 5th Station

Mr Fuji – 5th Station

Mr Fuji – 5th Station

Mr Fuji – 5th Station

Mr Fuji – 5th Station

Mr Fuji – 5th Station

Mr Fuji – 5th Station

 

Traffic was incredible going back to Tokyo and we ended up taking 5 hours to get back instead of the 3 that were planned.  However, we had a delicious teppenyaki dinner when we got back to the hotel.

Hugs to you and yours,

Ellen

Highlights of Japan Tour (Diamond Princess) 8/26/2017 – Day 4

  • Posted on September 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm

A beautiful day in Tokyo with just a few items on the agenda.  The hotel (New Otani Tokyo) had an absolutely amazing Japanese Garden.

New Otani Tokyo – Japanese Garden

New Otani Tokyo – Japanese Garden

New Otani Tokyo – Japanese Garden

New Otani Tokyo – Japanese Garden

New Otani Tokyo – Japanese Garden

Then our tour group gathered and went to the Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower at 634 meters.  The views were amazing.

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree

Lastly for the day, we visit the Meiji Shrine.  The Shrine was holding a dance festival with hundreds of dancers and groups of all age and types.

Meiji Shrine

There was also a lovely bride and groom taking pictures in the Shrine courtyard.

Meiji Shrine

Meiji Shrine

Meiji Shrine

After this, we drove through the Ginza (shopping district) and some of the tour members got off for more shopping, but we headed back to the hotel for a rest and a brief exploration of the restaurants and shops in the area of the hotel.  We found a yummy sushi dinner at a little local restaurant and had a very lovely evening.

Hugs and more to come!

Ellen

Highlights of Japan Tour (Diamond Princess) 8/25/2017 – Day 3

  • Posted on September 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm

After the morning’s visit to the Nara Deer park, we went to the Kasuga Shrine and were privileged to see a Shinto Prayer service accompanied by Shrine Maidens.  The Shrine was lovely and peaceful.

Kasuga Shrine – Nara

Kasuga Shrine – Nara

Kasuga Shrine – Nara

Kasuga Shrine – Nara

Kasuga Shrine – Nara

Kasuga Shrine – Nara

After an interesting “western style lunch”, we traveled to Kyoto Station to take one of the incredible Japanese bullet trains for a fast trip to Tokyo, approximately 2 hrs and 20 minutes.

We arrived at the New Otani Tokyo Hotel, which was a very large and beautiful hotel.

 

 

Dinner was on our own, which was good, because we had special plans.  We were thrilled that SontheElder (currently stationed in Japan) was able to come to the hotel and get us.  We went to the metro system and traveled a few stop to meet up with SontheElder’s (and our) friends for a private dinner.  We ate, we drank, we laughed and caught up on news.  It was the best time and we all enjoyed the all too brief time we had together.  Unfortunately, we were having such a great time, we forgot to take pictures.  You’ll just have to take my word for it.

More soon….

Hugs, Ellen

Highlights of Japan Tour (Diamond Princess) 8/25/2017 – Day 2

  • Posted on September 12, 2017 at 4:17 am

Another beautiful, but hot day in Kyoto.  We started the day by visiting the Todaiji Temple in Nara.  One of the main features of this temple is one of Japan’s largest Bronze statues of Buddha standing at 15 meters high.  Another interesting fact is the Todaiji Temple stands in the middle of a park that is home to approximately 1200-1500 free roaming deer.  Deer are considered to be messengers of the gods.  They are sweet and tame, unless you have deer cookies with you (available for purchase in the park).  I was almost eaten alive.

Todaiji Temple – Nara

Todaiji Temple – Nara

Todaiji Temple – Nara

Todaiji Temple – Nara

Todaiji Temple – Nara

Todaiji Temple – Nara

Todaiji Temple – Nara

Todaiji Temple – Nara

Todaiji Temple – Nara

It was a truly beautiful and peaceful temple and we really enjoyed getting the opportunity to see it.

Thanks so much,

Hugs, Ellen