Japan, here I come ~

(originally written on Sunday (2015-02-15))

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my airplane (ANA) with the blury me

I arrrived about 1,5hours agou at the airport and that’s onnly half time. I like to arrive early. But it seems that many people are the late ones. Every minute is an other call for passangers who are still missing. I wonder if they had made it. O_O

Even I’m a bit scared I’m also so excited to flight back to Japan,  Tokyo (^o^)

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waiting...

Rina ★

“Kamakura” or “How a Black Kite stole my Melonpan”

Kamakura Station

(Kamakura Station)

The last week 2 of my best friends from Germany were visiting me. They stayed at my Apartment for 1 week. This morning they took the first Train to Haneda Airport. They were 1 month in Japan: 1 week in Tôkyô (but slept in hostels and at some couchsurfer homes), 1 week in Kyoto and 1 week traveling in Osaka, Hiroshima, Beppu. And finally 1 week Tôkyô again. While being the first Tôkyô week just in Tôkyô itself, this last week, they made some trips outside Tôkyôs, like Nikko and the Fuji Area.

 

On Monday (2014/04/14) I made a day trip with them to Kamakura. The weather was nice for running around a lot – not too hot, but also not too cold, a bit cloudy but the most important: it didn’t rain! (^__~)

We took the JR Line from Shinjuku because both of them had the JR Free Pass. The Train at 10:15 was going directly to Kamakura. But be carefull! Most of Trains will not go there from Shinjuku, so you have to take another one from Yokohama or Ofuna. I think it costed about 920Yen one way.

The first thing we’d done, was going to the Tourist Information to get an english map of Kamakura. It’s directly after the Exit to the Bus Station. You can reach all important Sightseeing spots via bus, but we decided to walk.

Kamakura

From the Exit we saw our first Torii of Kamakura. It’s leading to a small shopping street with i.e. a shop with a lot of Merchandise of Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service, some Omiyage Stores (where I purchased a gift [white crunchy chocolate in form of doves – when I bought it, I thought it’s looking like bird poo XD] for my boyfriend, who couldn’t come with us because of work), Restaurants, old-fashioned Clothes Stores. We followed the street ’til the end and came out at the Hachimangû Temple with the little bridge, which in old times only the Shogun was allowed to get over. I didn’t saw any picture of the bridge before, so I was a little surprised how tiny it is (^  ^;) But it’s kinda nice. On our way back was a photoshoot of a cute couple, in traditional wedding Kimonos. (*^o^*)

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(wedding photoshoot)

DHachimangu

(the bridge of the shogun)

Hachimangu

(Hachimangû itself)

The Temple was really beautiful and had a nice view over Kamakura. There is also a pond – with white doves! I’ve never seen a white one in the “wild nature“. So I took many pictures of them, full of excitement. I had more photos of them then of the temple or the Daibutsu. XD

White Doves

After that we were heading to the ocean. There is a big street going all the way down to it.  At both sides there were a lot of shops – again. But because we already stopped before to eat some Strawberry Dangos with Red Bean Paste (so delicious!), we did stop only once, getting money from an ATM.  While waiting for my friends, I ate about 3 little bites of my Melon Pan [I will come back to it later].

Exhausted (even it was cloudy, the sun is really strong in Japan and if you are walking through half of Kamakura, you’ll get sweaty and tired soon) we came to the ocean.

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Coming all from a little town near the sea, we were happy to see the ocean in Japan. Especially me, being most of the time in the middle of Tôkyô with huge skyscraper and only a tiny bit of nature. I just love the sound of the waves, showing off the strength of the ocean. I was even more excited when I saw that the birds, flying in the sky, were not only raves but also Black Kites.

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(one of the rare shots which didn’t went blurry or cut of half of the bird)

I love animals (not all, but many ;D ). And predators are so cool! I LOVE tigers, lions, eagles and and and… They are so majestic! (* o *) So being able seeing so many Black Kites flying free and graceful in the sky, I was all happy. Sadly it was so difficult getting pictures of them and the video function of my camera are just frustrating me.

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(playing in the ocean)

To get into a better mood again, I took my shoes and socks off and run into the refreshing water. Taking pictures, looking for shells and enjoying the cold wet on my overheated foots. So fun 😀 Being a bit tired from playing, I went back to my friends, who were sitting on a big stone. While chatting happily about the things what we already saw in Kamakura, I ate a bit of my Melon Pan (now the most exciting part of the story starts!). Suddenly one of the Black Kites was flying right in front of us. I thought he wanted to have the strong-smelling seaweed-ricecrackers of my friend, but missed it or decided crackers are not meat and so not eatable. But I was wrong. The next one or maybe the same one – hard to tell, ’cause we were still a bit shocked from the first one, and even not, how to tell the birds apart? – flew like a bullet and came right to us. I only saw a brownish shadow and felt the end of the wing on my cheek. My first reaction was “wow, what was that about?”. The second one: “The bird stole my Melon Pan!!! (° O °;) ” I needed about 5 minutes to calm. It was just that big shock for me. After that I was scared like hell, that the birds would steal my mobile phone, my camera and so on out of my hand. (^ ^;) Since then, whenever I see a Black Kite like looking bird I call it thief and pointing at him. It’s kinda became a habit. But I still like them. They are even more cool. Before the bird came I didn’t hear anything. It’s like a ninja 😀 Normally you can hear the wings of birds clearly. I like it when raven are flying. Their wings make such a nice sound. And doves sounds kinda funny when they are flying (^__^)

I didn’t knew that Black Kites would steal things from humans. I thought they would only eat meat. Bu well, I didn’t know much about them. First I even thought that it was a Buzzard. For my boyfriend it was also the first time hearing this kind of things, but at least he could tell me, that it was a Black Kite, which is called “tonbi” in Japanese. I think it’s a cute name 😀 In English it sounds cool “Black Kite”. Bu in German it’s kind of lame… and long: “Schwarzer Milan” I also learned that in Japan the raven are not only looking through the garbage but also stealing food from people hands! 😮 In Germany it could happen to you with seagulls. ^^”

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(entrance of the hase-dera)

Back to Kamakura:

After our little rest,we were walking down the beach in the direction of the Daibutsu. We went by the Hase Dera (Temple), but didn’t go inside, even it looked nice. But my friends already spent most of their money and didn’t want to pay the entrance fee. So we went straight to the Daibutsu, paid the 200Yen (or were it 300?) and headed in the area. I was a bit disappointed. The Daibutsu looks like… the Daibutsu. Having seen hundreds of pictures of him before, it was no big surprise. But I thought, the area in front of him would be bigger.But maybe that’s just me. Still I took a lot of photos of the Budda Statue, went inside it (20Yen for that – nothing special, after a minute I wanted to go out as soon as possible, because it was so cramped and the air so bad, but interesting. Was nice to see of it was constructed), and in the little garden behind it. But I was happy being out of it, because there were just too many people. Even it wasn’t weekend nor holiday or sakura time, there were so many of them! Mostly Chinese. I’m sorry, that it might sound a bit racist, but I just don’t like (most of) the Chinese people. They just don’t have any manners. The are loud, jumping in photos, bodychecking other tourist, to be in the nr. 1 spot. But there were also many schoolkids on a class travel. In Japan the new school term starts in April and at that time, they do some field trips to get to know the new classmates. Nice idea. But not so nice for us tourists 😉

 

Daibutsu

(the Daibutsu)

After that we took the Daibutsu North Hiking Way to get back to the Station. It’s about 2km and takes about 1 -2 hours. It’s a really nice Hikingway and I recommend it to everyone. BUT you should be prepared for maaaany stairs. Except for 1 little bowl cornflakes in the morning, some Dango and a few bites of Melon Pan I didn’t eat anything that day it was already about 3 o’clock and I became really really hungry. And thirsty. I emptied my bottle Green Tea at the beach and was kinda too cheap to spend my money at a vending machine drink. Walking through the woods I hated me for that. At almost the path I bought a drink and the next vending machine I saw (^ ^;)

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Because we still had a bit time (and it was free) we went to the Zeniarai-benten. Also a recommendation of me. You get to it through a little path under the hill and be welcomed by some wooden Torii. There was not only the main cave, where you could wash your money so it will double, there was also a little pond with many (jumping) Kois and a little waterfall. Many things to see in a small place. 🙂

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(entrance of the Zeniarai-benten)

Geldwaschtempel

(money washing cave)

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After that we went back to the little shopping street behind the station, getting the omiyage for my boyfriend and some food. I ate once again the Strawberry Dango and some Dango with Matcha Creme. Again really tasty ;D

Coming home, I couldn’t wait to go under shower and falling into bed.

 

That was my nice little Daytrip to Kamakura. But there are so many temple left for a second one. 😀

Be careful when you see some Black Kites!

Rina

 

Geldwaschtempel

(the Zeniarai-benten)

Eichhörnchen

(squirrel)

KamakuraView

(view from Hiking Way)

Cat

(random schoolgirl with a cute black-white cat)

Weird Tree

Hiking

(hiking way)

    Hachimangu

(hachimangû)

 Totoro

(totoro store)

Hachimangu

(view over Kamakura from the hachimangû)

Hachimangu

(hachimangû pond)

Sakura

(sakura – near the daibutsu)

 

Just some photos

To get a short view into my/the life in Japan/Tôkyô I decided to Show you some Pictures I took since being here.

They are from different places in Tôkyô like Asakusa, Roppongi, Shinjuku, Odaiba etc., but also from Nikko, Hakone and Kyoto.
You have everything in it: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, Sun, Rain and Snow 😉

All without any editing.
Nothing Special, but I hope, you will still like it 😀

 

RINA (^ ^)

 

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1st Shrine Visit

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Today I visited a shinto shrine. It was the first time for me~

I didn’t dare to go alone. I don’t know, but it’s kind of … weird… to go in such a place… as a tourist…

I like the Shintoism. But I’m not really into it. And I wanted to take pictures, because shrines are always so beautiful and so peaceful, I wanted to remember that.

I went with two other girls of my guesthouse. They are also from Germany. One of them is staying in Japan since spring already and is staying for 1 year too, but most of her time she spends in the apartment of her boyfriend. She is kind of weird… (sorry, I shouldn’t say something like that when I don’t know her well. But she is always soooo negative and has to be right, even if she isn’t =___= So I’m thinking all the time: “Girl, why don’t you enjoy your short time in Japan?!”) The other is really funny. But she is going in 1 week already u__u

Still, it was so great. We were almost the only visitors. It’s only a small shrine in my neighborhood. Called “Ana Hachiman-gu”. If you are near the Waseda Station, you should pay it a visit. It gives you a nice break from the loud and hectic live of the Metropolis and, in the summer, from the heat (^ o ^)

 

Rina~

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How things are going

The last weeks were stressful. And the coming ones will be the same… ε-(ーдー)ハァ

In the last week of June I had to quit my contracts: apartment, telephone, Internet, television, electricity, GEZ (a stupid and way too expensive Charge, mainly for radio and television!). Also I had to entrust my mother with authority for my bank account and I also ordered a new bank Card, because the old one is going to lost ist value this year.

First I tried to find someone who were willing to rent my apartment complete furnished while I am in Japan. But sadly I didn’t find anyone. Most of the interests wanted to rent it only for 1 up to 3 month. All the first year students are writing their Abitur right now, so they still not know where they are going to study yet. Now I cancel it. And the Thing what is stressing me the most right now is, that I have to sell (or even throw away!) everything what is not fitting in my suitcase (>___<) ‘Cause my mom is living about 600km far away, don’t like to drive big cars/with a trailer and the fuel is way too expensive.

Also I have to make appointments with the estate agent. I don’t know I should make time for it. I have to go to University, doing homework, learning for my exams in July, learning Japanese for my exam in August, working at least 2 evenings a week at my 1st workplace and working 1 or 2 days at the weekend. Also I have to order my stuff, looking for a Job in Japan, looking for an apartment in Tokyo, having some free time with my friends and giving as much love as possible to my cat ヽ(=^゚ω゚)^/ ハニャ~~ while just being by myself, relaxing.

But 1 good News I have: Today I finally booked my flight to Tokyo! (*´∇`*)

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(Picture source: Emirates)

To be precise, I made a Reservation for booking it XD” Initial, I wanted to book it yesterday via Internet, because I don’t like to talk to People I don’t know. But there was a Problem booking it with a youth Discount, but it didn’t work. They wanted to have my ISIC-Number (a number which you’ll receive when you are applying for an international Student Card) but I didn’t have one. I sent them an E-Mail –> no answer.

So today, after my courses, and still not received an answer mail, I went to an travel agency, where I could apply for the Student Card.

Because I didn’t get the answer mail until lunchtime, I applied for the Student card, paid 12 €, wouldn’t get the card ’til the end of next week, although on their Homepage they wrote it is “ready to go” (I was pretty annoyed that time but I couldn’t cancel it anymore!). On my home I was worried I wouldn’t get that flight for that price anymore, when I finally would receive my Card. When I came home I got an E-Mail. I wasn’t even 1 hour outside! The online travel agency understood my Problem and I should call them so they can book my flight individually. (The Problem: Most of the time, the youth discount is only valid for People until their 25th birthday. But this one Airline [Emirates] was offering it until your 26th birthday. However, the system hadn’t it in its program. )

I wanted to pay the ticket with my Visa-Card. Everything was fine. Not even half an hour later I got a phone call from the agency, that they would get the flight Reservation for sure, but that they couldn’t dept my account and if I would like to pay with a different account. I panicked a bit, ’cause even with the payment via credit Card I had to pay extra 5€, paying it with a normal bank account you have to pay 9€ extra. As you can see: I’m cheap XD But they were very nice. I told them I would Transfer Money to my Visa account right away, so they could get their Money today. That was at 1.30pm, my bank advertise that they would transfer your Money for sure, if you do it before 2.30pm. The Money was taken off right away. Now it’s 8pm and the Money still isn’t on my Visa Account (it’s the same bank). That’s why the agency still don’t have their Money and for that very reason I still don’t have my eTicket. (TT__TT)

Whatever. I am still pissed of, that I had to pay for this stupid student card, which I could only use til the end of 2013. I think I have to visit a lot of Museums where I would get a Student Discount owning the ISIC-Card, doing the best out of it. (^__~)

Summary: Things to do:

  • Selling/Throwing away my stuff
  • painting my apartment in White
  • Job Search
  • Looking for an apartment in Tokyo
  • Going to all kind of doctors
  • learning (especially JAPANESE)
  • throwing a Goodbye-Party
  • enjoying the last weeks with my cat ❤

I hope that’s everything, at least the important ones.

Not that much time anymore and you will finally get to read regular, hopefully more interesting ,and definitely including with more pictures, Posts from Japan. With the flight, I will hopefully still get, I would arrive in the evening of the 22nd of August! (@⌒ο⌒@)b ウフッ

Rina