The Tokyo Metro is intense! Everything is in Japanese, there are no maps that show all the lines, and there are so many different routes and lines that it's really confusing for a first-time visitor. However, after a few adventures you eventually get the hang of it and actually enjoy it. What's nice about the Tokyo Metro is that you can get to just about everywhere and most of the Japanese locals are very polite and helpful if you ever need to ask for directions. You'll probably end up doing this as the metro stations are huge...seriously, you could literally get lost in some of the bigger ones.
The Namba Hips is a fairly new building that is close to the Dotombori neighborhood. It's an entertainment center where there are bowling alleys, restaurants, pachinko and other indoor recreational activities. The name comes from the shape it has on the outside, where a platform is dropped for a moment from 74 meters high, as if it were in an amusement park . The entrance to the building is free, but the ride on the platform costs about 6 Euros.
The Nagoya TV Tower is a gazebo, which has both a covered and open-air terrace (protected by gates) and is 100 meters high so we can see the city. I know that today 100 meters high for a lookout tower does not sound like much), but this tower was one of the pioneers. They constructed the NHK (the most famous Japanese TV channel) in the year 1954, for the retransmission of its signal and used it to construct the 2 viewpoints, and a souvenir shop and a restaurant to capitalize on the project. 55 years later and this tower is one of the places to visit without fail on a visit to Nagoya.
In the district of Higashiyama there are a few tea houses (ocha-ya) that we can visit. Although the decor is not what it was historically, you can still get an idea of the structure. Inside, you can see different types of kimonos and footwear worn by geishas. Admission is about 500 yen, and you can take as long as you like to look around.
The poster Glico has become one of the many symbols of Osaka and the soul of Dotonbori. This poster is located on the banks of the river. It represents an athlete with his arms in triumph and a T-shirt that reads the Glico brand name in katakana. In the background there are four figures representing the four most emblematic buildings of the city: Osaka Castle, the Osaka Aquarium, the Osaka Dome, and Tsutenkaku. The Glico brand became famous internationally for its Pocky (called Mikado in Spain and distributed by Lu). The Glico logo is a man running because when it was designed, they were beginning to sell a candybar of 15Kcal that, according to researchers, was just what the average person burns running 300m. The most famous Glico sign is in Dotonbori in Osaka and it has been there since 1919, but it has gone through quite a few changes since then.
We've already told you about some of the [poi = 70247] ice bars [/ poi], but we haven't really told you anything about ice karaoke yet. Yeah, I didn't think it existed either, but what was my surprise to find one in Sapporo, during my stay in the [poi = 70258] Snow Festival [/ poi]. Of course, I did not hesitate a second to go to try it and the result is you have in the video (I recommend earplugs and aspirin XD)
One of the most popular ways to get around Nagasaki with public transport is the tram. There are many Japanese cities that have a intra-urban network of trams, but I quite liked Nagasaki because the trams themselves are tiny, narrower and more colourful than I've seen in other cities, they kind of look like toy trams. They give a greater sense of placement and proximity. If you come to Nagasaki, even though they are a bit slower, I would still recommend the trams over the trains because you get a better sense of the city. Plus they're cheaper than the bus or the train.
The Hakone Funicular, also known as the "Hakone Ropeway" is probably the fastest way to connect Sounzan and Togendai (via [poi = 78236] Owakudani [/ poi]), on your visit to Hakone. The operation and administration of this line is provided by the Odakyu Group, as the [poi = 78241] galleons of Lake Ashi [/ poi], and the price is included if you buy the Hakone pass.
Interestingly enough, this is one of the most popular ways to travel among the visitors that come to [poi = 78239] Lake Asinoko [/ poi] It involves crossing in a boat decorated as a galleon, which is not remotely related to the natural environment in the area. It is basically because this boat is included in the "Odakyu Pass", as are the Odakyu trains, [poi = 78231] the funicular [/ poi] and other transportation that allows you to explore the area. The galleons have two decks (one public and one payed) and an inside pool area, as it is quite cold in winter.
This train has wooden boxcars, allowing you to enjoy the landscape (at slow speed) from Arashiyama to Kameoka, passing through some nearby stations and making a detour through the woods. From the wooden seats you can see the beautiful scenery through the large windows, the green of the mountains and the river. A masked entertainer played with the children and gave them candy, while the rest of the passengers took photos. Beautiful scenery and a charming trip.
Yama Jigoku is one of the hot springs. It does not seem as interesting as [poi = 80829] Umi Jigoku [/ poi] or [poi = 867201] Jigoku Bouzu Oniishi [/ poi] but it can be very interesting. Like all the others, there is a lake of boiling water. Steam has shaped the clay mountain behind, but its uniqueness is that it uses the climate created by the hot springs to accommodate a variety of wildlife: flamingos, yamas, elephants, peacocks, monkeys and a hippo.
The journey from Shanghai to Tokyo can be easily taken by plane, it costs about 250-300 euros and takes just a few hours. I decided to make this journey by ferry and road with my bike. The ferry ticket costs 50 euros (though you can pay more or less depending on the cabin) and the journey takes 2 days. These images are of Shimonoseki Strait, which separates the mainland from Kyushu island, which is more western Japan. In the video I talk about Okinawa island, and it is a big mistake, well, the day I realized later. The ferry is clean and comfortable and leaves you in Osaka the entire city, a great pitch. Here medium-cheap hostels cost up to 30 euros/night, hostels are throughout the country and are my choice as they are much cheaper with more freedom of movement and especially with many more surprises along this incredible journey to Tokyo. Definitely one of the best experiences of my life.
The city was full of parks, so looking for a place to sleep I visited several of them. I finally found one in the west of the city that had a breathtaking view of Otsu. The truth is that I would have stayed in any of them but I think the final decision was lovely by the lakes and surrounded by exquisite nature- I lay down, had dinner and prepared to sleep. That midnight and a gift from the gods, two saxophonists arrived and played their music right next to my tent and I did not sleep until the wee hours! My second night in the Japanese country with live jazz concert on the shores of this beautiful lake, who could ask for more!? They were called Ryo and Sachiko, and I hope everything goes well for them and God looks after them...a salute to them. They helped me have a good night!!