mt takao

Day 02 –

Our trip out to Mount Takao was one of my favourite days in Japan.

Mount Takao is very peaceful with many hiking trails, temples and glorious views. We decided to take the cable car up the mountain, though you can take many trails up, most of them rocky and rugged. We wanted to come down a trail so we saved our energy for the climb down.

Once at the top of the cable car, after eating a bag of delicious ginger-snap type biscuits from the markets below, we followed the paved path. The atmosphere is fresh and full of energy. As you get closer, there are more temples and a number of locals visiting, praying and even going for their afternoon jog. Red lanterns line either side of the path. I loved watching Jordan explore. He was so intrigued by everything. It made me smile.

After going up a couple of flights of stairs to checkout another temple, we came back down to ‘no-sight-of-Pop’. After literally a couple hours looking for him, and quite worried, we decided to follow an extremely beaten track with no signage to what we thought may be the top of the mountain. We walked for about twenty five minutes and at the top, you guessed it, there is Pop! Sitting on a bench, waiting patiently with one thing to say ‘I thought you knew I was going to the top?’. To be honest, it’s pretty funny looking back on it now.

We spent five minutes looking out at the rolling mountains and, as it was a clear day, you could see Mt Fuji. Though, it would be dark soon, so we quickly set off into the forest down track six. This track follows a small stream from Biwa waterfall, which was slightly icy and made some of the rocks a little slippery, but still, nonetheless, a beautiful hike full of breathtaking scenery and tranquility. I love the way the roots of the trees weave themselves across the pathway, stretching out, naked and skeleton-like.

It was truly dark by the time we reached the bottom and some very hungry tummy’s (if you haven’t realised yet, I am always hungry) drove us straight onto the train back to Shiodome Station we’re we ate (a little unusual) yummy food in a cute little eatery filled with groovy interiors, condiments in little patterned tins and somewhat hipster waitresses.

disney sea

Day 01  –

Disney Sea; a place of fairytales, adventure and everything in between.

Disney sea was one of the places I was really excited to take Jordan, my fiancé. I’ve many good memories there with my Pop and it’s always been a special place. The park is well designed, with multiple worlds in one; archaeological and Egyptian to old school 1950’s New York. There’s even a giant volcano in the middle of the park overlooking a lake. Spending the entire day here is easy as there is lots of choice for food (and a different flavour of popcorn every 100m!) and places to relax as well as the hour long queues – even though it’s the ‘off season’!

We spent the day trekking the park with caramel popcorn in hand and scarves tightly wound. An extremely talented marching band playing disney tunes greeted us as we boogied through the gates, setting spirits high. Collecting fast-passes and perhaps a fly or two as we (I) screamed our (my) way through each ride. We spent mid-morning through to approximately closing time enjoying the cheerful atmosphere.

Once we were back at the hotel, it was Pops birthday wish to go to Venus Fort (a really cool shopping centre that has a ceiling that looks and changes like the sky) and dine at his favourite Italian Restaurant that we had spent a lot of time at on previous trips. A special dinner that consisted of colourful gnocchi and, pops favourite, soup!

straight off the plane

A reasonably short flight, with Jordan and Pop, into Narita airport and straight onto the NEX train, an express train from the airport to Shinagawa Station, and we’re in freezing, and surely unexpected, Tokyo weather. It was definitely a shock as we slow jogged with our luggage at approximately 9pm, as the wind whistled up the train station. A taxi across the bridge to Odaiba got us to our hotel, Grand Nikko, warmly. We layered up and set out for some dinner.

We ended up at a small ‘after work drinks knockoff’ type place that served us frozen octopus, iced tea (I advise stating hot or cold) and ramen. In the many times that I have been to Tokyo, I have never eaten ramen, and it’s safe to say that it is pretty tasty. After filling our tummy’s we hit the pillow for a big day at Disney Sea.