chochajin
24 August 2013 @ 11:34 pm
Dream vacation with minor obstacles  
Hey there!
How was (or is) your summer vacation?

I came back from mine less than a week ago and it was AWESOME!!
There were a lot of ups and downs, but compared to the majority of my previous HORROR trips, this one was actually quite good!

The downside(s) of my vacation. )


Apart from that I had a REALLY great vacation and here's why:




I finally got to see the beautiful turquoise color of the ocean in Okinawa! Something I wanted to see and experience so badly!
I went swimming in the crystal clear water (even at the beach where they shot the final of Hana Yori Dango - the second movie)!!!
I went snorkeling a few times, even saw a giant sea turtle (which is rather rare where we were snorkeling - at least that's what others told me). So lucky! ^^

Read more... )



I already mentioned that it was raining most of the time, so I decided to go diving because underwater the weather doesn't matter!
It was my first time ever and it was not planned at all! I spent a lot of extra money (I think this was my most expensive vacation ever), but it was totally worth it!

I'm the one on the very right in this photo, in the foreground!

I took a beginners' course and apart from me there was another young Japanese man (roughly 10 years younger than me) who had ZERO experience (as in: he has never even snorkeled before).
The air tank (or whatever it is called) was REALLY heavy, but as soon as you're in the water it doesn't matter anymore.
I was told that my breathing technique was already excellent (it's pretty much the same as for snorkeling), we just had to test if my ears can handle the depth of the ocean.
I can't remember exactly, but I think if your ears can survive 5m, you'll be fine.
My ears hurt, but I managed to "open" them again and again, so I was ready to go for the "real thing".

Read more... )


I already miss Okinawa.
The people there (especially on the small islands) are all so laid-back and the mix of things I know from back home (cows, goats, horses) with the beautiful ocean views is just beyond imagination!
I think I became a fan of snorkeling and diving as well.
I know that I will be back in Okinawa at some point. Can't wait to go again!
I won't forget the time where I rode my bicycle on one of the small islands with the greatest view of the ocean and fresh green all around me, accompanied by beautiful butterflies flying right next to me! ^____^
 
 
[mood]: lazy
 
 
chochajin
10 May 2013 @ 12:50 am
My Golden Week Vacation 2013  
Hey! How's everyone doing?

I'm sorry that I've been silent in the past few days / weeks. I think some didn't even notice that I was gone for 9 days and was traveling around during Golden Week?
After all I didn't write about it on LJ, simply because I didn't have enough time.

People who follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram might already know where I've been and might have seen some photos, but here's a short review of my vacation! ^^


As I was so busy and so many other things were going on, I didn't have much time for planning. And most of you probably know that during Golden Week it can be quite crazy in Japan as almost EVERYONE is traveling.
Thus prices for transportation and accommodation or more expensive and you usually have to book far in advance.
Because I couldn't do that this time, I decided to go to Tokyo!!!

I haven't been to Tokyo ... meaning actually INSIDE of Tokyo ever since 2008, I think.
I've only changed trains and stuff, but never actually got off to spend some time there.
While I was such a huge Tokyo fan in 2007 and 2008 - and visited many times - I just had no reason to go back there.

My hope was that Tokyo would be rather empty during Golden Week, because everybody would get out of Tokyo to travel somewhere else, but I was wrong!
I guess all the people who live in the countryside decided to visit Tokyo! (T____T)

Tokyo is always crowded and it's one of the reasons why I hate big cities, but during Golden Week it's even worse!


Tokyo doesn't have so much to offer for a sightseeing geek like me, but my plan was to do several day trips and get out of Tokyo!
I had a great time and another reason to go to Tokyo was to FINALLY meet [livejournal.com profile] hinoai!!!!! (^______^)b
Read more... )



I swam with dolphins on Mikura Island! )




One of my highlights was certainly THIS!!! I swear it felt like paradise!
I had this on my list for such a long time now and I was so worried because you know my bad luck with Mt. Fuji, right?
The weather that day wasn't perfect. People were complaining about the few clouds that were covering Mt. Fuji, but that's MUCH better than what I'm used to, so I was sooooooooooooooooo happy!!!!

Read more... )


What did you do during Golden Week? :) (And yes, I realize that GW doesn't exist outside of Japan XD ...)
Bye~chuu~
 
 
[mood]: content
 
 
chochajin
16 January 2013 @ 06:18 pm
[Japan Travel]: I'm back from parad... hell!  
Hi!

First of all HAPPY NEW YEAR
I hope you all had great holidays!

I'm sorry that I didn't write anything until now, but I just came back from winter vacation last week and then I also had to prepare for the wedding of a former co-worker which was this weekend.
I've been insanely busy!
Hopefully it's getting a bit more relaxed from now. I don't plan any trips until early March, I hope I can stick to it. I really need to relax for some time. It's been a crazy year!


So yeah, I'm back!
And first of all we need to celebrate because now I've officially been to
ALL 47 JAPANESE PREFECTURES!!!!!!!!




Unfortunately I was EXTREMELY unlucky with the weather (again).
Almost all 16 days were quite bad. My first days in Saga Prefecture I spent out in the cold snowstorm and from there it was strong winds and rain the whole time.


Remember how much I was hoping to get at least 1 or 2 sunny days on Okinawa?? :( ...
Well, I didn't.
Read more... )



I can't even imagine how beautiful this must be in good weather with actual sunshine!



Yet Okinawa was GREAT!!!!!!!
I really fell in love with Okinawa although I've only been to three islands. I definitely want to go again and explore some more (hopefully next time with better weather!).

more photos!! ^-^ )



Well, that's it for now!
Actually there's so much more to tell you, but I really have TONS of other things to do.
My blog is almost dying. I haven't had time to post anything in ages. I have millions and millions of photos to look through since last summer vacation. I need to renew my work visa this month.
I just bought a car navi, so hopefully I can explore the prefecture I'm living in now a bit more by car (after my "travel hiatus" until March).

It was really a crazy, busy year. Can't remember that I've ever been so busy before!
Especially since November when my family came to visit, I barely had any breaks at all. I need to make sure my body gets some good rest, but I also need to get back into blogging!

Hope you're all doing fine out there!
Bye~chuu!~
 
 
[mood]: blah
 
 
chochajin
03 December 2012 @ 12:10 am
[Japan]: November 2012 - Autumn colors and family  
Hi everybody!

Hope you're all fine?
It surely has gotten cold recently - even here in Kansai.

I'm sorry that I haven't been around much, but as I told you in one of my previous entries it's the busiest time for me right now - until the middle of January.
It's mainly all good things, but I'm still insanely busy because of them!

My family came to Japan for (only) one week.
It was the second time for my brother (as some of you might remember).
I was busy creating a good travel plan for them. My brother mainly wanted to see Kyoto and Osaka as he didn't see anything of Kansai last time he came.

I could only spend 4 full days with them because of work. I even took one day off to have 4 consecutive days, but I also did day trips on my working days where I had to leave them in the early afternoon. Extremely busy and exhausting I tell you!
I was the first one to get up in the morning to make them breakfast, then guided them around, then had lunch with them, then rushed to work, worked for 8h, came back home to make sure they had everything they needed, made a list with train and bus times for the next day for the time I wouldn't be around so that they knew how they could come back to my apartment .... and was thus the last to go to bed. PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Read more... )

It was dangerous to pass Togetsukyo (the famous bridge) as there were so many people and cars ..... once across the bridge you could observe people taking boat tours, though! ^^



moar photos!~ )





All in all I hope they enjoyed Japan and the autumn leaves!



My printer stopped working and I was about to buy a new one, but my brother managed to fix it.
I miss having people around me who can do things I can't and can help me out when needed! ;____; .....


(......................................)



There's still some cleaning up, laundry and stuff to do now that they're gone, but I decided to take a break this weekend!
Before they came I was in a rush to finish booking all the flights for Okinawa ... and the hotels .... and I barely finished. It was 2am by that time and I had to get up at 4:30am to catch an early train to Kyoto and meet my family.

In 3 weeks I'm already off to Okinawa and right after that is a wedding of a former co-worker.

On top of that I also need to renew my ARC (alien registration card) - or rather get the new residence card ... and renew my visa ASAP!!!!!!!

I really hope I can relax in February for a bit. This year has been crazy!!!!


And how are you all doing?

Kisses~
 
 
[mood]: full
 
 
chochajin
14 May 2012 @ 07:47 pm
[Japan Travel]: Spring Trips 2012 - Sneak Preview  
Hello~

Did anybody miss me? Sorry I've been busy planning my Golden Week trip and then I was off for Hokkaido and Tohoku for 9 days.
I'm traveling so much recently, it's really crazy! I never thought it would turn out like that!
After moving to Kansai in March I've been to so many places in just 2 months!
Lots of day trips and 2 bigger journeys (5 days, then 9 days). I've been to places nearby such as Kobe, Himeji, Mt. Yoshino, Sasayama etc., but also traveled further away to Shizuoka, Chiba or Kanagawa.
In my most recent trip I went all the way up to Tohoku and even Hokkaido!!! All by train!!!

Japan has 47 prefectures (did you know that yet?) and I've been to ................. guess how many?

.....
.................
................................

I've been to 41 of them!!!! That means I have only 6 more to go.
Those 6 are: Okinawa, Saga (Kyushu), Fukui and Niigata (Chubu), Gunma and Ibaraki (Kanto) .... that's it! I'm quite positive that I will knock down most of them this year and accomplish my new goal of visiting ALL prefectures in Japan!
I haven't updated my castle index in over a year, but I think I'm somewhere between 60 and 70 castles by now. My goal is to visit 100 castles. This one is gonna be a bit more difficult, but I won't give up!
I really need to update my list(s), huh?

Traveling so much keeps me busy, but is also a lot of fun!
All I do in my free time recently is sorting the photos of my last trip, trying to post about them, but then being interrupted by planning my next trip already! It's crazy!!!!
And right now I have my next 3-days trip in my head already (if the weather is gonna play along)!!!
I wanna use the time before my most hated, hot, humid season hits!

In summer I will have 2 whole weeks off!!! Paradise!!! Usually I never had more than a week off before, remember?

This weekend was the first time in a long time that I stayed home again and it was really necessary!
I can't keep up with posting about my trips anymore, but I rather travel NOW and post LATER, right?!!!!

Here's a short sneak preview of the trips I made:



One of my personal highlights was Tashirojima, Cat Island!
I always wanted to go! However, it was hit really hard by the tsunami last year and it was hard to find any information about the current situation of the island.
I could find out that the people and cats are still alive, but nothing beyond that.

Read more... )



Of course I also bought too many souvenirs again! ^-^;; ... More Maneki Neko for my collection!

Sakura donuts are so delicious! )


THERE'S SO MUCH MORE TO SEE!!!
So check out my TRAVEL BLOG for more photos, infos and souvenirs!


Apart from that I can't really post about much. There's not much going on apart from my traveling.
I intend to write a detailed post about my new job soon, though.
I wanted to join a Taiko group as you all know, but with the travel craze that's going on I just didn't have the time yet.

Time's running, but for the first time I feel I'm making full use of it.
There's so much more I want to do, but there's just not enough time - so THAT hasn't changed, unfortunately.
I am a little bit worried about the future. The plan of going back home next year is still valid, but my brain is filled with traveling at the moment, so I'm worried what's gonna happen then ....

I seriously need to work on my travel blog more, too, but right now traveling is more important. I can always work on the blog when I can't travel so much anymore (for whatever reason).

I hope you're all doing fine?!
Thanks for still reading - although I'm so bad at updating recently.
 
 
[mood]: calm
 
 
chochajin
27 March 2012 @ 09:49 pm
[Japan Life]: Internetless Lifestyle Update  
Hello everyone!

How are you all doing? I hope you're all fine!!
Thank you so much for all your nice comments and tweets.

Unfortunately I'm still without internet, almost 1 month after moving!! I never expected it to take THAT long, but it's reality.
To be honest I don't miss the internet so much, but in less than a week I'm going on a short 5-days spring vacation trip and without internet it was almost impossible to plan it out or book hotels!
It won't be a great vacation, but I try to make the best out of it.
Oh, and I'm expecting to get internet in the 2nd week of April - at least I hope so!!

I thought it was time to write an update in case people were worried about me.

Luckily things didn't get any worse since my last entry.
Read more... )

I try to focus on the good things. With the new job I have more holidays!
Just a while ago I had a 3 days "weekend" and took the chance to go to Kobe!!
Kobe is so close now! I literally can leave my apartment and exactly one hour later am already at Sannomiya Station! (^_____^)v

I stayed in a hotel for 2 nights there (although it wasn't necessary as Kobe is really super close). The reason I stayed there was for the internet. I stayed up at night to at least partly plan my spring vacation.
As I've been to Kobe and surroundings many times before already, there wasn't that much for me to do other than shopping. Sightseeingwise I've seen and done almost everything already.

Here are some photos nevertheless:

quite a few photos ...!~ )



At Kobe Harbor with the Kobe Tower in the background. I just love it there, it's really beautiful in its own way. I've been there a couple of times now, but mostly at nighttime so far.

Read more... )



Plum blossoms are already out. Let's see how late the cherry blossoms will be this year!
I hope I won't miss them again! (x__X'') ... ^-^;

The coolest Starbucks ever and more!~ )


I also went to a Takarazuka show!
I'm not sure if you're familiar with it at all. I was aware of it but never really looked into it at all.
The reasons why I watched it was:
a) one of the people I know in Kobe is a huge fan and could easily get me a ticket for the day
b) It was on my way back from a sightseeing spot anyways
c) It's part of Japanese culture and I wanted to at least check it out once!!

I have to admit that it's not really MY world, but the costumes, songs and dances were awesome!!
Living so close to Takarazuka City and knowing somebody who's totally into it might actually get me to go again, though! :)

some photos )


Although I live in a super small city (even smaller than before) I'm so close to bigger cities, it's really NICE!!!

I need to figure out VERY SOON where to go for Golden Week (it will be the first time in FIVE YEARS that I'll have those days off actually).
I'm thinking of going to Tohoku (Fukushima, Aomori etc.).
In summer I have 2 weeks, so I'm thinking of doing 1 week of Okinawa and 1 of Hokkaido.
If I really manage to do that, then by that time I will have been to almost everywhere in Japan!! O_O
That's one of my ultimate goals anyways! :D
Of course there are still smaller towns and stuff left, but I will have done all the areas, almost all prefectures and all major tourist spots!!

For Kansai area I can just do day trips on weekends (not so many things left here anyways, seen almost everything already XD).


Ok, that was a rather long entry, but I think you can clearly see that I'm (almost) back to my normal self now that things are slowly improving!
Expect more once I have a proper internet connection!

Hope to read you again soon! :3333
Thanks for staying tuned! :)
 
 
[music]: Hurts - Stay
[mood]: okay
 
 
chochajin
13 January 2012 @ 09:29 pm
[Japan Travel + Life]: I'm back from a long, awesome trip!  
Hello everybody!

How have you been??
First of all: HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!!!
I hope the year of the dragon will be an awesome one!

I came back from my 11 days winter vacation trip on Sunday and have been busy ever since then which is why I couldn't post earlier.

I guess it's time for a brief update, huh?
Ok, here we go. I have a new job and due to that I'll have to move in 6 weeks!
That is not much time! I'm so busy getting things done, getting packed, sending things, trying to figure out what I have to do etc.
Although it's gonna be my 5th(!! omg!) year in Japan, it's my first time MOVING in Japan!!

If anybody has any experience with moving in Japan, I'd really appreciate some advice.
Currently I'm trying to figure out what the best option to send my stuff is. Kuroneko looks promising.
I also need to get rid of quite a lot of stuff at Hard Off and House Off or whatever they're called.

Shifting money to another bank account that will work outside of my current prefecture.
Doing some last-minute traveling within my prefecture (you know the "oh, I live here I can always go, so I never went there yet" thingie, right? -___-;; ...)

As you can imagine all that leaves me even busier than I usually already am!

I will update you with more details some other time.
I think it's enough if I say that I'll move to Kansai in 6 weeks.


Because I'm so busy, I won't have time to post much in the next few weeks or months. I might even be without internet for a month or two once March comes!

That's why I wanted to give you at least a short review of my awesome winter vacation now!
I hope you'll enjoy it!~



Aoshima in Miyazaki.

Read more... )

MUCH MORE over at ZOOMING JAPAN!
(sorry I can't post things twice all the time ...)

Thanks for staying with me!~
 
 
[mood]: busy
 
 
chochajin
24 October 2011 @ 11:39 pm
[Life=Blog]: I think I've had enough?!  
Uhm .... yes, I'm still alive. Sort of.

I am aware of the fact that I TOTALLY neglect LJ lately, but I'm just far too busy for an actual life! *sigh*

Good news: My website is almost set and good to go. And it "only" took 4 months ... YAY! Go me!
The layout finally works in all new browser versions.
It doesn't work that well in Internet Explorer 7 and older.

That's why I want to ask you guys one more time:


[Poll #1789287]

I won't be uploading my photos to my webhost, but an image host instead. I'm thinking about going with Flickr and getting a premium account (which I will definitely need - just look at all the photos I've already posted here!).
Do you think that is a good idea? Any other / better options you know of? Please share! :)



Read more... )



Here is a quick "newsticker" as to what has happened in the past (few) months:

Amanohashidate )



There are also a few interesting temples and shrines on the way and on top of the observing platform.

Kobe and Awaji-shima )



Himeji and The Last Samurai )



Alright, that's all for now.
I'm going back to get the server move done and then I'll be busy with travel planning, travelling, winter vacation travel planning etc.
I'm really trying hard here, but I stop promising things I cannot keep. The blog is almost done. All that's left is filling it with content after the server move is done.
Let's hope that you guys won't have to wait so much longer anymore.

P.S.: Thanks so much to all of the awesome people out there who took part in the last poll!

P.P.S.: Is even anybody still out there or did you all run away by now? XD I'd run away, so I can understand. I've been absent for so long anyways.

Until hopefully very soon! CU~chuu
 
 
[mood]: apathetic
 
 
chochajin
22 August 2011 @ 10:54 pm
[Japan Travel]: Wakayama  
Hello again!

See? I'm really trying hard to keep the entries coming
Nothing to be proud of as it's almost September and I still haven't finished even half of my spring vacation travel entries (^-^') ....

As this is my newest trip and I still remember it clearly, I thought I'd post about it first.
As some of you know I went sightseeing before my flight as I had to go to Osaka anyways. My flight was at midnight and so I had almost one whole day to spend.
Also, because I've been to almost everywhere in Kansai, I decided to try Wakayama this time. It's only a short train ride from Osaka: 1.5h by local train (and around 1200yen). There's also a limited express which takes you there in an hour, but it costs twice as much!

Wakayama (Wakayama/Kansai) (July 28th 2011):

Read more... )



Kishi Station where you can meet the only cat station master in the world! )



Read more... )

That's it. Hope you enjoyed my very short day in Wakayama.
Next up: I'm going to continue with my spring vacation trip.
Actually I want to take some random short trips from now on as my time in Japan is soon over and I wanna get as much done as possible, but it's been raining every single day since I came back to Japan. No good travel weather ... *sigh*

Thanks for reading.
 
 
[mood]: energetic (even in the middle of night)
[music]: Lady Gaga - Paparazzi
 
 
chochajin
25 July 2011 @ 12:34 am
[Japan Life]: BBQ at the sea=<3  
Hello!~

I was busy getting ready for Germany. Today was my last day off before my flight.
The next few days I'll be busy at work and with other things that still need to be done, so this is very likely my last entry before I go back to Germany.
I'm getting a little bit excited.
However, the weather seems to be horrible back home at the moment. 12°C??!! That's over 20°C less than here in Japan!! (x__X'') ... better pack some winter stuff as well, huh? (o_o') ....

It will be a long flight. First time I'm going with Emirates!
I'll spend almost one whole day in Osaka (or maybe Kyoto) because my flight will be at midnight!
I've pretty much seen everything in and around those cities, including Nara, Kobe, Akashi, Uji, Iga Ueno etc.
Amanohashidate is yet on my list, but there's not enough time again!!
I might just go shopping in Osaka, but I'm more in the mood for sightseeing as I won't have any real summer vacation, including travelling, this year in Japan!
Any suggestions? Any events or festivals during the week? I couldn't find anything that is held during the week (and not on the weekend), but if you have any suggestions, also for sightseeing that doesn't include any of the things mentioned above and the major attractions in Osaka and Kyoto, let me know!

Let's BBQ!~ )



Read more... )



So random, but funny!! XD )

Gotta go to bed now. The next few days will be busy and then I'm already off to winter wonderland(?!) Germany! ...
I'm curious how much things have changed in the past few 2-3,5 years!
I wonder if I'll be able to properly speak German without getting it mixed up with any English or Japanese (probably not!).
I wonder if everything will be familiar or quite strange now that I've been away for such a long time.
I can't wait to eat certain food that is not available and that I've been craving for FOREVER!!! (*___*)


Probably see you on the other side of the world (more or less XD) next time!
This time I'll take my laptop with me, so it'll be easier to update (even with photos) - if I have time.

Thanks for reading and being patient lately!~
 
 
[music]: The Thaw - Compoz
[mood]: complacent
 
 
chochajin
16 July 2011 @ 08:20 pm
[Japan Travel]: Bitchu-Takahashi + Kojima  
UWAAAH!!!~
Has it really been OVER 1 (O.N.E.!) month since my last travel entry???

I'm really sorry about that, but most of you know why!
I'm still working on my new blog project and it's finally going into a good direction and I'm slowly getting there (still lots of work involved from now on, though!)
Also, in less than 2 weeks (HOMG!) I'm off to Germany!
Anyways, doing all that coding, changing/improving my LJ design seems like a piece of cake now (but I'm too lazy and still quite content with the layout anways XD)...

Enough of my blabbering let's get started, there's a lot to show and explain, so get ready!~

Bitchu Takahashi (Okayama) (April 3rd 2011):

From Okayama to Takahashi: Raikyuji Temple and Hina Matsuri Exhibition )



And everything is so colorful!

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle: the highest castle above sea level in Japan! )



As you can see, the main tower isn't really big at all.

Read more... )

I hope you enjoyed this post.
Next up: Tsuyama (and then back to Okayama because I suck! )
I don't know when I'll be able to write the next travel post. I'm pretty sure that I won't have time before I leave for Germany where I'll stay for 2 weeks, so you might have to wait another month, but after that I'll be properly back, I swear! ;o; .....

I couldn't even finish this entry in one day! That's how busy I am.
Thanks for reading and being patient!
 
 
[mood]: super busy
 
 
chochajin
08 July 2011 @ 02:57 pm
[Japan Life / Blog Project]: Webhosting, Tanabata, Rainy season  
Hello!

Yes, I'm still alive. I'm soooo sorry that I haven't been around for such a long time. 3 weeks?? Crazy.
First of all I want to thank everybody who took part in the polls and helped me with my blog project.
After that I went into "crazy zombie mode" and have done NOTHING but working on my new project - and still am!

This all turned out to take much longer than expected. My website is up, but far from being publish-ready.
I learned a lot about PHP coding and refreshed my CSS knowledge in the past few weeks. I had a lot of moments where I was about to go crazy as things just didn't work out at all (and that's still going on!)
So exhausting.
Several times I was about to give up.

The biggest issues I had were with my webhosting service anyways, so I'm looking into alternatives now and will change services soon. I hope it will go smoothly.
If you have any webhosting services you can personally recommend, then please do so!
Right now I'm looking into "immotion Hosting" and "WebHosting Hub" as they seem to get the best reviews.
I'm using "iPage" right now and wouldn't recommend it! I chose them because they had good reviews and were high in rankings, but it seems that lately they got worse and worse and a lot of other people are complaining, too. Not just me!


I don't like my life right now.
..... )

Here are some photos I took of hydrangeas. The symbol of rainy season, I guess:



Read more... )



Photo Source: Soraomiagete510



Yesterday, July 7th, was Tanabata (read more about it here), also known as the star festival.
It's not a national holiday and it's not such a big deal. Not all children seem to really care about it - at least from my experience.
At least it's the start of summer festivals now!


Okay, that's it, I guess.
I wanted to wait with travel entries until my new blog is up, but as this takes muuuuch longer than expected, I just keep them coming here for now, although this means double work for me in the end.
Livejournal is just sooooooooooooooooooooo much easier to use!! I almost forgot about how simple things can be!!!! Paradise!!~

Thanks for reading and supporting me!
I'm trying to be a good girl now!
 
 
[mood]: distressed
Current Location: In Zombieland!
 
 
chochajin
11 June 2011 @ 09:52 pm
[Japan Travel]: Kurashiki (Okayama)  
Hello!~

It's finally time for another travel entry!! Yay!~
So, after visiting Kagawa Prefecture on Shikoku for only 2 days, I was back on the main island (Honshu) in Okayama.
Because I've already been to the main attractions in Okayama city years ago, I went for some other sites this time.
First destination was: Kurashiki

Kurashiki is especially well-known for its various museums, but is also worth a visit because of the canal area and all the nice and old buildings around it!!
Welcome to the Venice of Japan?!

Kurashiki (Okayama) (April 2nd 2011):

Read more... )



ZOOOOM! And sooo adorable, too!! I've rarely seen such a cute monkey!! (^-^)b

Off to Canal City! XD )



Somehow you just can't get enough of this awesome atmosphere!

Swan eggs, insects in hospitals and cherry blossom trees in side streets!! )

Next up is: Bitchu Takashashi (with Matsuyama Castle) and Kojima


As this is related to today's travel entry, let me have a short poll because I'm just curious: Chinese Zodiac

[Poll #1751263]


That's all for today.
Thanks so much for reading!

P.S.: If anybody ever wondered, it took me over 2.5h to write this entry!!!!!! (x___X)
 
 
[mood]: busy
[music]: Gentleman - Lonely Days
 
 
chochajin
03 June 2011 @ 01:03 am
[Japan Travel]: Takamatsu and Yashima  
Hullo!

Finally another travel entry. I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.

Takamatsu and Yashima (April 1st 2011):

Let's start with Takamatsu Castle!~ )



Next: Ritsurin Garden!~ )



Bamboo forest!!!! :3333
And you also could walk inside some of those houses as they're all small museums. It's the year of the rabbit and it's truly the cutest year out there, ne?! ^-^

Off to Yashima! )

Next up: Kurashiki
Stay tuned and thanks for being patient readers!
See you next time!~
 
 
[mood]: tired (this entry took way too long! ;o;)
[music]: Usher - More
 
 
chochajin
26 May 2011 @ 12:41 pm
[Japan Travel]: Kotohira  
Hello!

I'm really sorry that my updates aren't as regular anymore as they used to be. I'm trying to update once a week, but it's tough!
I want to thank everybody who took part in the poll of my last entry. I was really surprised to see that most of you are perfectly fine with the amount of photos I post or even requested MORE (o___O'') ... are you guys crazy??!! *ggg*
Anyways, thanks a lot. Your feedback was really highly appreciated and thus welcome to another entry full of photos!

We're still in my first day of spring vacation. After leaving Marugame, I went to Kotohira which is only a short train ride away from it (~20min. for 350yen).
So now let's check out whether it's worth to visit Kotohira!

Kotohira (March 31st 2011):

Read more... )



Stairs, stairs and even more stairs!!! )



While we're at it, let's even take more steps to the inner shrine! Muhahaha!~ )

And that has been part 2 of my first day of spring vacation. As you can see I was already doing quite a lot of stuff (Marugame + Kotohira) in only one day. Expect more to come soon.
Next up is: Takamatsu (Kagawa)

Hope you enjoyed this post.
Stay tuned for more (even if it might take some time until I post again .. )
 
 
[mood]: bouncy (sitting on fitness ball)
[music]: Aloe Blacc - I Need A Dollar
 
 
chochajin
13 May 2011 @ 09:59 pm
[Japan Travel]: Marugame  
Hello everybody!

I hope you're all doing fine. As mentioned before I'm trying to cut down my online time which is ONE reason why I haven't posted often lately.
I'm changing some things in my life, but it takes time and keeps me busy (and thus away from the internet and esp. LJ). I'll post more about it some other time. A lot of stuff and thinking needs to be done.
Don't worry, once I've figured some of these things out, I'll try to post more regularly again. Hope you understand.

Although my spring vacation was just a bit more than 1 month ago, I barely can remember it now. I hope I can do a proper report nevertheless looking and my crappy notes that I took back then.
Hopefully the photos also will help my memory.

This time I didn't travel any huge distance at all and mainly stayed in the Chugoku area (the most famous prefecture there is probably Hiroshima, but I didn't visit there - this time). However, I started in Shikoku, one of the 4 main islands of Japan.
I've been to every prefecture there, apart from one: Kagawa! And so, I decided to visit it this time for good.
I started in Marugame (mainly because of the caslte, of course). It's supposed to be surrounded by lots of cherry blossoms trees which look awesome in spring (read: early April) - but this year ... everything is/was different!

Enough of my talking, here we go!~

Marugame (March 31st 2011):

Marugame Castle )



Nakazu-Bansho-En (Japanese Garden) )



Couldn't stop taking photos of that red bridge ;)

Read more... )

Leaving Marugame to go to my second big destination of the day: Kotohira!
Quite hungry at that point, but eating had to wait!

Part 2 of my first day will come up soon in a separate entry. It's just too many photos to squeeze them all into one entry, I guess.

[Poll #1740971]
Thanks for reading and staying with me although I don't post so often lately.
 
 
[music]: Alexander Rybak - Fairytale (love that song!!)
[mood]: bitchy
 
 
chochajin
21 April 2011 @ 10:25 pm
[Japan Photos]: Goodbye Cherry blossoms!~  
Hello again!

I have to admit that lately I'm extremely unmotivated when it comes to LJ. I'm really sorry!
Don't worry, I won't stop posting, but maybe the gaps between entries might become bigger. I really have no idea at the moment.

Anyways, instead of starting with my travel photos, I wanna post some photos from last week. When I finally was kind of fit again (after getting sick ) I took my camera and tried to get at least a FEW cherry blossom shots this year.
Unfortunately the full bloom was over already and the petals kept falling/snowing down like WOAH!
It's part of my life this year that I missed the full bloom, so I wanna post these photos. I hope you enjoy them!

5, 3, 1, blizzard! )



Read more... )



Let's say goodbye!~ )

So, goodbye cherry blossoms! It was an extremely short time for me this year! Hope to see you (again) next year!!
 
 
[mood]: unmotivated
 
 
chochajin
17 April 2011 @ 06:09 pm
[Japan Travel]: No cherry blossoms in the desert!  
Hello everybody!

Sorry for not posting at all! As you all know I was away for spring vacation.
Twitter readers already know, but let me just tell you that I already got sick during my vacation and then came back home with almost 40°C of fever.
I had to go to work the next morning and that wasn't such a good idea. In the end I had to go to an emergency hospital where I got antibiotics and was told that I have a severe tonsilitis with yellow and fat swollen tonsils.
For the first time in OVER 3 years (!!!) I couldn't go to work. I lost 3 whole days! I say "lost" because I don't get paid if I don't show up at work although it's a proper full-time job. I don't have any paid sick leave which is why I usually go to work no matter how sick I am, but this time it was just too much ;___; I had to give up in the end.

Also, just as I feared, I missed the cherry blossoms. Like most of you might remember I was complaining about them being so late this year and was thinking about rearranging my trip, but didn't do it in the end. I was just hoping that I'd be lucky nevertheless, but I wasn't.
I was literally running away from the cherry blossoms! As soon as they started blooming in one place I moved on to the next one where they weren't out at all yet. That was what I was afraid of, but couldn't be changed at that point anymore (also considering that I didn't have the engery due to becoming sick).
When I finally came back home the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, but I was sick in bed as you already know.

Once I was fit enough again, they were already gone.
TIS SUCKS!

Flyjin who are slowly coming back to Japan now were all able to enjoy cherry blossoms and I who was here the whole time, wasn't. Fair world, isn't it?

Anyways I'm fit again and so here we go!
I'll post just a short preview of my photos today. By now they're all sorted out. It was around 5000 photos (unsorted) and around 500 had dirt on it (sand on the image sensor), so I had to use Photoshop and edit each photo individually which also took many many days *sigh*
On a positive note, this was by far the cheapest vacation I ever had! I only used the Shinkansen once and I also didn't buy too many souvenirs.
After visiting Kagawa (Shikoku) I only stayed in Chuugoku, so not much travel expenses in general.

Read more... )



And then off to Egypt or what?! )



My footprints in the sand.

Read more... )


Thanks for reading!
Sorry for the long absence! Hope you understand.
 
 
[mood]: okay
[music]: EXILE - 手紙
 
 
chochajin
20 March 2011 @ 09:35 pm
[Japan Travel]: Osaka and Uji (Kyoto)  
Hello!

I hope everybody is alright.
I'm back from my short Osaka trip and it was SO REFRESHING AND RELAXING!!! The best thing I could have done! I'm so glad I went!
I enjoyed 2 stage plays with Ikuta Toma (I'll write in detail about those in a separate entry soon!). I met [livejournal.com profile] kanefunnn and we had a lot of fun, eating yummie food and talking a lot!
In those two days I was completely cut off of any news and I almost completely forgot what happened. Life in Osaka as well, went on as normal, it was great!

I left early in the morning on Thursday and arrived in Osaka around noon time. I had a quick lunch sitting in front of Osakajou Hall and then I went off to watch the stage play which took over 3 hours! Then I spent the rest of the day with [livejournal.com profile] kanefunnn
In my hotel (super tired) I quickly checked out options for the next day because the other stage play wouldn't start before 7pm, enough time for some sightseeing. The "problem" was that I've already been to pretty much everything in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. I wanted to go to Amanohashidate (again!), but as I only had half a day, that would have been too short. In the end I decided to go to Uji in Kyoto (famous for its green tea ) and it was great!!
I took some photos in Osaka as well as in Uji to show you how normal life in the rest of Japan is! I hope that calms a few people down, though, things seem to have calmed down anyways?!
Enjoy!

Osaka (March 17th 2011) + Uji (March 18th 2011):

Osaka! Long time no see!! )



Read more... )



Uji City in Kyoto!~ )

Well, as you can see I've completely calmed down for now.
This trip was great! Things seem to have calmed down in general. I think and I hope they'll get the other reactors under control soon. They even found some people alive in the disaster zone. That's so great! ;o;
I think it's too early to say things are safe, but I stopped worrying for now and it feels good!
So many people I know left the country in the last few days, some were forced to by their companies or Embassies, it seems. (though you always can reject! )
I won't leave this country unless it's really necessary. I would have left Tokyo if I lived there and moved further to the Southwest of Japan as some people did. That's still cheaper and less drastic than buying an expensive plane ticket.
Funny thing is that some people who told me that I'm panicking to much have left the country already while I'm still here! XD
Anyways, hope everybody is doing fine and thanks so much for caring so much!!! ^_____^ You guys are GREAT!!!!
 
 
[music]: EXILE - WON'T BE LONG
[mood]: calm
 
 
chochajin
10 March 2011 @ 04:13 pm
[Japan Travel]: Matsumoto + Suwa (last day!)  
Hello!

This is already the last day if my awesome winter vacation.
No need to worry, though, spring vacation's coming up in a few weeks!! (^___^)b
This last day features another highlight: Matsumoto Castle (I wanted to visit it forever, but somehow never managed to do so until now!)
Here we go!~

Matsumoto and Suwa (January 7th 2011):

Matsumoto Castle at night and during daytime!~ )



Museum time!~ )



Awww, the grandmother of my camera!! ^-^

Takashima Castle )

And that's it. That was my busy, but awesome winter vacation!
Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did when travelling (^___^)b
Coming up next: -nothing yet- (BUT spring vacation is around the corner, yay!!~ )

P.S.: For some time now my LJ Scrapbook sucks since the last LJ update! All my travel photos are uploaded to my LJ Scrapbook and they load so slow since a few days. I'm truly sorry and I hope LJ will notice and fix it soon *annoyed*
 
 
[mood]: headache ;o;