Sunday, 2 June 2013

Japan and Thailand and a L'Occitane giveaway: Part 1 Japan

You may have noticed that I went AWOL for a bit over a month. Well, I spent 3 glorious weeks in Japan and Thailand. My mother and father in law both turned 60 in May and so got the whole family together for a trip to Thailand to celebrate their birthdays. My sister now lives in Japan (you might remember my posting about her moving there in this post) so I figured that whilst we were in Asia we may as well pop over to visit her. Geography has never been a strong subject for me and so I guess I imagined that Japan and Thailand were only a couple of hours apart. I realised my error when it came to booking our flights! In the end they weren't too bad - I was dreading flying with a 1 and 3 year old but The Crazy Kid was actually awesome on all of the flights and Kiki was as good as could be expected with minimal screaming (on the flight home from Bangkok she fell asleep before take off and didn't wake until after we landed!).

Japan

We spent one amazing week in Kyoto and Tokyo. It was a full on week for the kids as we were doing something non stop the whole time so they had next to no down time. I desperately want to go back again (possibly without the kids), so I can see all that I missed in Tokyo, do some more shopping and actually get to experience the nightlife. Kiki usually fell asleep by about 6.30 so it made it very limited where we could go for dinner as most restaurants were tiny and couldn't fit a pram with her asleep inside.

I would have loved to stock up on some kooky Japanese beauty products whilst over there but we didn't really get much opportunity to shop. We spent the first 3 nights in Kyoto then had 4 nights in Tokyo and crammed all of that time with sight seeing. We hit the shops one morning but as I was travelling with a baby, toddler and husband I really wasn't allowed to linger in the beauty department for too long! It wasn't even the husband who rushed me through the beauty department - The Crazy Kid is obsessed with trains so wanted to go find yet another train shop to buy more trains.

I ended up buying:

  • Black blackhead mask. I have seen variations of these on other blogs and they look awesome so fingers crossed the one I got is a good one!
  • Nail art products - some gems for decorating the nails and some cool edge strips for doing funky French tips.
  • Shiseido Uno Black Whip Wash - I saw this at the duty free counter at the airport for 260 Yen which is about $AU2.60 so I couldn't resist it. I think it might actually be a mens product but so far it seems like it is a pretty good cleanser.
I could write pages and pages on my trip but that would get boring so instead I'll just include a pictorial highlights:

  • Kyoto - Kiki never adjusted to the time difference (only 1 hour behind Sydney) so was up at 5.00am every morning. As annoying as it was, I did manage to get some gorgeous photos at that time!



  • Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), Kyoto: the entire temple is cover in gold leave - it really was quite spectacular


  •  Fushimi Inari Shrine (the thousand torii gates): at this shrine you walk through 1000 temple gates up a mountain side. It really is quite spectacular. Unfortunately there were a lot of steps and so we only made it half way before it got too hard carrying Crazy and Kiki.


  •  Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion): this temple had an amazing, perfectly raked sand bed. Crazy is a super obedient kid and literally asks permission to do everything. He begged us to be allowed to run across the sand. Thank goodness he asked first and didn't just do it...I shudder to think what would have happened if he did do the bolt across it!


  • Mt Fuji: the Fuji Gods really were smiling down on us this day. We went to Hakone which is a prime Fuji viewing site and we had the most perfect day. There was not a cloud in the sky so we had completely uninterrupted views. Absolutely stunning. This was my favourite day of the whole trip.



Can you see Mt Fuji peaking out behind me

  •  The Crazy Kid LOVES trains so we spent a good potion of our holiday riding trains (in particular the Shinkansen or Bullet train), watching trains then buying train merchandise!


  •  View from Skytree in Tokyo. Tokyo is HUGE. Skytree is a tower in the middle of the city and it really gives you a concept of just how big the city is. There are 360 degree views of the city sprawling out into the horizon. It made Sydney feel like a small country town!


  •  I love baseball and my sister managed to get hubby and I tickets to a Tokyo Giants game. It was unreal. The crowd sang non stop the entire match. Here is me enjoying a Bento box at the game (much nicer than a hot dog and chips!).




  • Tokyo at night. It really does sparkle. We didn't get to spend long in there in the evening as the kids were tired but it was still good to experience it once at night. 



Well, that was the Japan leg of my trip. I will get the Thailand leg up ASAP along with the promised giveaway! Stay tuned!

Have you been to Japan before? What was your favourite part? Or is it a place that you are hoping to visit?