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Tadaima!




Yeah, we're back from the land of the rising sun! I'm gonna lay off ramen for a while because I had it every single day that I was there!

Aside from the overdosage of noodles, the trip was enjoyable. I still can't get over how orderly and clean Japan is. The public loos are soooooo clean! Service was fabulous but language is a problem..most of the Japs on the street don't speak English so we had some problems communicating. The subway was a mega headache initially and it took us a while to grasp it and when we finally do, it was time to go home. For the first 7 days, it was rather warm and we were berating ourselves for bringing so many jackets and sweaters but once we were in Tokyo, the weather turned cold and rainy..I actually prefer colder weather :). We were with a tour group for the first 7 days and we extended our stay for 3 more days. Those 3 extra days were definitely not sufficient as I wasn't able to visit some places I'd marked out. Wouldn't mind going back to Tokyo again!

The boy enjoyed himself loads. Ain't surprising since Universal Studios and Disneyland were 2 of the highlights of the trip. He got to know this pair of siblings and their cousin who came with their moms. He and Clare, who's also turning 5 this year were constantly playing together! Actually, it turned out for the better as we then took turns looking after each other kids so when we were in Disneyland, Aidan joined the other kids and hub and I scooted off to check out the adult rides. Thus, most of the pics were of Aidan with the other kiddos as they were inseparable!

Oh yes, we all tried the onsen (Japanese hot spring)..Aidan too! The boy went with hub coz coz since ours was the single sex baths (I doubt I would have tried it if it was the traditional sort where both men & women bathed together). It was still awkward because I was with the other ladies in our tour group ..we hardly knew each other and was about to see each other naked in the bath..And boy, am I not used to seeing so many nude ladies walking around nonchalently. Way too many exposed breasts (see, I'm a prude at heart :P) We had to all strip down to our bathing suit, wash ourselves clean first before entering the hotspring. We only had a small white cloth and I think everyone was deliberating between covering their *ahem* or their faces! But after getting over the initial discomfort, we all started enjoying the therapeutic warmth of the bath and was more relaxed and chatted with each other easily (albeit being butt nekked). After the bath, hub told me that Aidan was initially afraid to enter the water but after some persuasion, he finally did and then refused to leave it when it was time to go..hehe.

I didn't do as much shopping in the shopping malls at Tokyo as I thought I would. But I did spend a bomb at the Burberry boutique on some outfits from the Blue Label..simply couldn't resist their gorgeous workmanship! Most of my shopping was done at the Gotemba Premium Outlet. Gotemba is a picturesque resort town at the base of Mount Fuji. Surprisingly, not many tourists seem to know about this outlet. My client who stayed in Japan for 5 years gave me the heads-up abt this sprawling complex. For those who do plan to visit Japan anytime soon and has shopping in mind, do make a trip there because it is definitely worth it. There were shops like Gucci, Coach, Space (with Prada & Miu Miu), Ralph Lauren, Gap, Muji, Banana Republic, BCBG, Pleats Please (from designer Issey Miyake), Nike, Adidas (just to name a few). The prices were great with most of the stuff going between 30 to 60% discount. I'd asked my tour guide earlier on why they didn't include a visit to the outlet in their itinerary since it is so near to Fuji and he claimed that factory outlets in Japan only sell local stuff..what a load of bull!


Since some have enquired about the outlet, here's the direction if you do plan to go there. Take the Odakyu Highway bus from Shinjuku Station. To purchase bus tickets, go to the Odakyu Service Centre (which is one level above the subway at Shinjuku and same level as the mall). The staff mending that centre speak excellent english. It cost 2900 yen for the bus-ride (2 way). The ride itself is 1 hour 40 minutes and the Gotemba bus station is the last stop. From the bus station, a free Gotemba shuttle bus will drive shoppers to the outlet which is about 10 minutes away. It was really easy to get there! For those with kids, there is Lego & Bandai there and a playground too.

Okay, as per my usual postings, here are just some of the pics that I'd taken!


At Changi Airport..Aidan insisted I take a pic of piggy, who'd been his constant sleep & travel companion..

Along the Nakamise Shopping Street


@ the Asakusa Kannon Temple


@Universal Studios in Osaka


Aidan with Conrad, Wayne and Clare..



check out her makeup!

Trying out the supposedly best ramen at Shinsaibashi..
It was really tasty!

At the entrance to Kiyomizu Temple

The cheeky boy with siblings, Clare & Conrad..

Kimono Fashion Show at Nishijin Textile Centre..
gorgeous eh, the kimono!

Shinkansen “Bullet Train” approaching..

At the 5th level of Mount Fuji..

Onsen Tamago - Eggs, boiled in the naturally hot waters, are said to prolong one's life by seven years. Alamak, I ate 2!

Aidan fashion show hehe.I have to admit, I enjoyed dressing Aidan up in all those thick clothings I'd bought for him!
Didn't have much opportunity to show them off before..

Mmmm..fresh sashimi! *slurp*

At Lake Kawaguchigo. That's Joanne, mommy of Clare & Conrad
@Disney Tokyo







We saw several folks going to Disneyland dressed as Disney characters..
Aidan insisted on taking pics with them!



@the Tsukiji Fish Market

Yes, we brought Nenita along too.., as a reward for being such a fab helper and also to take care of Aidan especially on nites when we wanna 'escape'.

Heh, we spied him at the noodle stall and asked to take a pic with him and pretty soon, the poor sumo wrestler was swamped by others who wanted to take pics with him too :P

Yakatori man :P

Oooh, look at the size of the claws!

According to japonais, these funny looking balloons are actually flavoured tofu.
Colors indicate the flavours: sea urchin, black sesame, maccha, etc..

Raw wasabi!

Chio jap fishmonger :D~~~
@Ginza Shopping

The Ginza strip are closed during the weekends so shoppers are able to walk on the streets.

Burberry shopping!!

:)

At Shinjuku with Siew Lee & Jasmine from the tour group. They had also extended their stay in Japan.

Outside the Tokyo Dome where they had a theme park..

The gleeful boy!

Heading home...

All pics can be seen here

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Comments

( 100 comments — Leave a comment )
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bbhome
Oct. 4th, 2007 09:47 am (UTC)
looking at your pictures really makes me want to go to Tokoy for a holiday !!
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 09:51 am (UTC)
go leh! Am sure you guys will enjoy urself..especially Ryan. Hm, but u probably have to wait for at least half a year more right!
(no subject) - bbhome - Oct. 4th, 2007 10:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angeliatay - Oct. 4th, 2007 10:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bbhome - Oct. 4th, 2007 10:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 09:59 am (UTC)
heh we slurped..loudly. And we asked aidan to do the same too (but we said, only in Japan!).

yeah, the pple from our tour grp all said that Aidan looked right at home in Japan coz he looks so much like a japanese boy!
makeupmag
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:11 am (UTC)
Oh Angelia! What lovely photos! Thanks for sharing them. You really looked like you had a terrific time. And Aiden, aww man, he's SO SO SO HANDSOME and picture perfect.

How old is he now?
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:29 am (UTC)
yes, it was a tiring trip actually esp the first few days but we enjoyed ourselves loads. Aidan will be turning 5 in dec! So fast eh! Our kids are growing up too fast!
dotteddreams
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:12 am (UTC)
looks like a lovely trip!

i was just about to comment how much aidan looks like a japanese boy hehe!
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:29 am (UTC)
yah, we get that (the part abt him looking jap) all the time..especially in singapore!
missustay
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:16 am (UTC)
you know your readers very well..! heh, to provide the directions on how to get to the outlet stores. ;)

japan looks like so much fun!
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:30 am (UTC)
yes, i'm sure u will enjoy japan too. I really won't mind going back there! u n hub can plan for a trip there soon eh!
e_rambler
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:17 am (UTC)
Makes me wanna go again *weepz*

Glad you had fun, and you bumped into a sumo wrestler without having to go to watch it! :P

So now must plan yearly pilgrimage to Japan liao right :P
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:37 am (UTC)
heh, was thinking the same when i saw the sumo wrestler! he seemed shocked when i asked to take a pic with him though..

gotta try to persuade dear hubby first. he's still trying to get me to go Nepal with him *awk*
(no subject) - e_rambler - Oct. 4th, 2007 10:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angeliatay - Oct. 4th, 2007 11:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - e_rambler - Oct. 4th, 2007 11:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angeliatay - Oct. 4th, 2007 11:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - e_rambler - Oct. 4th, 2007 11:58 am (UTC) - Expand
msbrightside
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:37 am (UTC)
That all looks so nice! Great photos :) Aidan looks adorable in his winterwear.
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:19 am (UTC)
winterwear does make one look spiffier eh! i wish we had the 4 seasons here..more reason to dress up!
tumbletot
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:39 am (UTC)
wow... looks like you really had a great time! i can't wait to go tokyo too!!! planning planning... :P~~~
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:55 am (UTC)
am sure u n ur hub will enjoy tokyo as much as us! have fun in HK!
moonberry
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:42 am (UTC)
wow, you did A LOT and went to a lot of places in just seven (ten?) days!!! i've been to most of the places i saw in the pics, SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i want to go to japan againnnnn ^_^

i love how aidan does the "YA!" (V) sign, it looks so cute and matches with the japanese girls' :D :D :D welcome back, tadaimaa~
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:23 am (UTC)
yeah, abt 10 days although 2 days were spent on the plane. I just came back and i still wanna go Japan again..didn't get to go so many places *sigh*..not enuff time!

Aidan loves to pose with the V sign..we actually have to tell him to NOT do it too often!
musomuse
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:47 am (UTC)
Scribbling down the Gotemba Outlet address now. NOT BUYING DSLR ALREADY *grin*
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:20 am (UTC)
heh, you can buy quite alot at gotemba with the price of a dslr! you're leaving soon right?
(no subject) - musomuse - Oct. 4th, 2007 11:37 am (UTC) - Expand
mynthe
Oct. 4th, 2007 10:53 am (UTC)
Aidan is really getting more and more handsome, and all that picture-taking has taught him how to pose lol! You look great too in the pics!!
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:56 am (UTC)
heh,bopien..he has a mommy who is so into photo-taking! but he always does the V-pose!
mengchoo
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:00 am (UTC)
Glad to know you guys had a great trip.. I think I wanna go back Japan again....
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:59 am (UTC)
if u go alone, i go with u hehe!
wordaddicts
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:03 am (UTC)
Dont take this wrong way (not meant to be too :)) but HOW MANY BAGS did you pack to bring along for Japan (I already spied the balenciaga and prada(right?)??) Hehehehe. The bf and I went to Gotemba too and I nearly busted my credit limit there *dont tell on me!*. Gotemba isnt that cheap compared to the US outlets for sure but aiyah, on holiday what right? :)We had the exact same ramen at Tsukiji market in Jul- it was an experience eating by the roadside like that! hehe. Did you manage to get any of the Burberry blue bags or did you get clothes? They ran out of most stocks when I was there so I only bought my mom 1 miserable bag. Baaaah. And we stayed at Lake Kawaguchiko last year too although we didnt manage to see Mt Fuji! Such great memories hehehe.... Your photos look greeeat!
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:15 am (UTC)
heh only the 2 bags u spied lah *grin*. Yup..it isn't as cheap as in US but it still is relatively cheap in some outlets eg. Gap. A pair of cargo pants for Aidan at Gap usually cost abat $85 bucks. For that same amt of cash, i got him 2 pants, 2 tees and i shirt! How to resist?!! I didn't get any Burberry bags coz i don't exactly like the designs so i only got clothes. Oh yeah, one of aim was to eat at an outdoor ramen store in the cold (just like in those jap dramas)! So we did it! Ramen was yummy eh!
cabbycabcab
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:07 am (UTC)
OMG babe! You have single-handedly given me travel AND shopping envy all at the same time! Don't think I can sleep tonight liao! heehee!
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:57 am (UTC)
fwah,sure or not *grin*
i took so long just to visit japan..and still so many countries i've yet to visit *sigh*
am_klutz
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:12 am (UTC)
Great pics babe! Glad that the whole family had a lovely time :)
I visited Tokyo once couple of years back - totally enjoyed it. Would love to re-visit Japan again! The food is mmmmmm!
angeliatay
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:58 am (UTC)
ya boy..the food was fabulous! especially the sashimi! taste so different compared to the ones in singapore!
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