Archives for posts with tag: travel

Part of the major attraction to Yudanaka is the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. Getting there is interesting as it’s on the outskirts of town and a taxi will get you as far as here…

… or about 10 to 15 minutes walk from the above, depending on your ability to ascend ice. Fair warning: going to Yudanaka just after the New Year is likely to welcome you with surfaces more ice than man. A decent pair of snow boots isn’t essential but would be very useful… Read the rest of this entry »

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Ikebukuro was our effective headquarters for the trip – even though we left the confines of Tokyo for the best part of two weeks, it bookended our stay there. We had previously made our temporary home in Shinjuku. We didn’t realise it at the time, but this was one of the most sensible decisions a first-timer who wasn’t fluent in the native tongue could make as, being the business district, the English language was unusually prominent, even by Japan’s standards. As we had gone then as now during the build-up to New Year, it was much quieter than normal, allowing us to acclimatise quickly to our surroundings.

Ikebukuro is very much the opposite of Shinjuku, being one of the de facto R&R Happy Super Fun Time Zones of Tokyo. This district is where the locals come to have fun.

Flying first class had meant that jet lag didn’t take nearly so much of a toll on me as I had expected – on the first trip, I did not sleep at all and as a result got sicker from 11+ hours in an air-recycled cabin and 24+ hours without sleep than I had in many years previous (Fun Fact: Planes seem to be the only place I cannot sleep!) As a result of being mercilessly pampered for the flight , I was bouncing and ready to go nuts. Unfortunately, Olivia as still recovering from the ill health she suffered in London and had a slight relapse en route. Nothing so horrible as to not recover, but it slowed down her ability to get over the lag.

This is the main reason why we don’t actually have many photos of Tokyo this time around. That, and a mild case of been-there-done-that. We were too busy taking in new environs to pause for pictures, particularly since our  time in Tokyo had been so heavily reduced. As a compromise, I’ve scoured the internet for images from te anime Durarara!!, which goes to painful detail to recreate Ikebukuro as is for the series. You could probably watch Durarara!! and figure out how to get around Ikebukuro, truth be told.

But I disgress!

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