D17T Singapore-MelbourneMay 25, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C
Singapore Airlines Flight SQ 247 Dep Singapore 8.05pm 24 May. Arr Melbourne 5.15am 25 May
Breakfast in hotel restaurant 'Dish Parade'. Travelled to Hatsukaichi ferry dock and crossed to Itsukashima on the Island of Miyajima. Huge free standing 16m high Tori Gate standing off shore in the water. Visited the Itsukashima Shrine and bought a lucky wooden tablet.
Many sights to see markets, ropeway up Mt Missen, great scenery, temples, a 5 storey pagoda on the hill. Accomodation available on island & would be great to stay overnight. Sika deer roam free on Island. Crossed back to Hatsukaichi and back to the Hiroshima Memorial and Peace Park in Hiroshima City. Visited the A-Bomb Dome Memorial beside the T bridge on Motoyasu, the Childrens Peace Memorial where children were singing and leaving strings of Origami cranes, the Burning Flame, the Centotaph and the Hiroshima Museum Main and East buildings dedicated to the bombing. Dinner Hiroshima restaurant in the Hiroshima Stn Mall.
Travelled by Shinkansen back to Osaka reaching 299 kmh. Bus back to Amagasaki Hotel.Read more
Checked out and met group and Hiroshima Guide Junko. Walked to JR Amagasaki stn and boarded train to Osaka-Sin stn for Shinkansen N700 on the San-Yo line to Hiroshima stn. Early so had time to kill. Osaka-Sin station is huge with shopping malls, restaurants, fast food.
Arrived Hiroshima stn and walked to The Hotel Granvia.
Explored the local area and riverside. The Hiroshima Toyo Carp baseball team were playing the Nagoya Chunichi Dragons and many fans were streaming thru the stn to the stadium near our hotel.
Dinner at the Ginza Lion restaurant. German music playing a had beer in a glass boot with our meal.Read more
Free day Trip to Kobe with Sonja and John.
Train to Kobe from Amagasaki stn to Sonnomia stn.
Boarded the 'City Loop Bus' at stn stop 13 for tour. Hop on hop off bus with no guide or recorded commentary. Day pass Y660ea
Got off at the Merikan park dock area near Kobe Port Tower. Climbed tower for views then Visited the Kawasaki Good Times museum. Starbucks for coffees then walked to the Earthquake memorial dockside area.
Boarded CLB to China town and lunch.
Boarded CLB to Nunobiki Herb Garden and Ropeway (Cable car).
Travelled to top area with Austrian style village then walked down to the conservatory gardens then back down via the ropeway. CLB TO Sonnomia stn and back to Amagasaki and hotel. Dinner at Q's mall then explored local area.Read more
Day trip to Himeji Castle in the Hyogo prefecture. Also known as the White Heron castle. Largest surviving example of a traditional Japanese castle. 83 Buildings.
Built on a hill top fort by Akamatsu Norimura in 1333-36, then by Toyotomi Hideoshi in 1561. Guided tour of castle and grounds with Akiko.
Back to hotel for lunch and free time. Dinner at Q's mall restaurant with Gary and Vicky then coffees back at hotelRead more
Travelled to Osaka Castle and did tour. Best castle so far on tour. White and Green color scheme. Rebuilt by Tokugawa Hidetada 1620-29. Originally built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. 360 deg views from 8th flr. Long walk from car park with extensive moats and grounds.
On to Dotonbori District shopping mall. 'Chaos Mall' as our guide called it. Restaurants and shops built along a canal and massive undercover Mall crossing the canal. Unique ferris wheel built into building front along the canal
On to Umeda Sky Building and travelled to the top viewing area via a glass elevator and external escalators to 35th flr viewing area. Climbed stairs to a circular open air viewing area with 360 deg views of Kyoto city. Checked into Hotel Vischio on arrival in Amagasaki opp stnRead more
Travelled to Nara and Okazaki city to visit the Kinkakuji Golden Pavillion (3 styles Shinden, Samurai and Zen.) and gardens. Next is Helan Shinto Shrine replica of an ancient imperial palace and symbol of rebirth of Kyoto after WW2. Was ceated to enshrine the remains of first emperor Kammu and last emperor Komei. Enormous Vermillion Tori Gate. Visited the Todaiji (Great Eastern Temple) and its Great Buddha Hall housing a 15 m high bronze Buddha and other statues and artifacts. Along the approach to Todaiji stands the Nandaimon Gate, a large wooden gate watched over by two fierce looking statues.
Bought a wooden prayer tablet for souvenier. Sika deer roam freely in the parks and streets of Nara.
Back to hotelRead more
Free day in Kyoto. Walked to Nijo Stn and subway train to Sanjo Keihan T11 and changed to Sanjo KH40 to Fushimi KH 34 stn. Walked from stn up thru shopping and market area to the Fushimi Inari Shrine (Tori gates). Explored site then train back to Kiyomizu-gojo KH38 and walked streets thru Gion Geiko (Geisha) area. Shrines and art.
On to hotel via train from Gion-Shijo KH 39 back thru to Nijo T15. and on to hotel.
Walked with Jean and Graham to Kyoto Castle and toured the castle and grounds.
Met group and took taxis to the Maiko Dinner. Played the drinking game with Maiko. Taxis back to hotel. Late night drinks with our group in the hotel.Read more
Walked thru Maedi Castle grounds after breakfast with John. Checked out of hotel and short bus trip to Kenrokuen Garden opposite Maedi Castle grounds.
Beautiful gardens then crossed bridge for tour of the Maedi castle with guide Akiko.
Travelled to the old Samurai District and toured original preserved Low, Med and High order Samurai houses.
On to the Omicho Market, food and fish sold there. Lunch with Julie and Tony at a Sushi Train restaurant.
On to Kyoto travelling alongside the Sea of Japan stopping for a 'Tech stop' and checked in to the Urban Hotel Kyoto-Nijo Premium. Dinner at Italian restaurant on other side of Nijo stn with Nigel, Gayle, Sonja and Graham then back to the hotel restaurant 1st flr for drinks with them.Read more