ben griffiths
an insight into the mind of a genius

Posts Tagged ‘daibutsu’

We’ve arrived in Japan … woooo!

Tuesday, March 30th, 2004

well we made it!! its been an eventful two days to say the least, but we are very happy and have certainly been made to feel very welcome :)

we stayed up the night before we left, figuring we would try and beat the jetlag syndrome, so by the time the first flight came we were sooo tired!! it was uneventful enough, and we landed in malapansa airport in milan on time.

it was only after we had got off plane, we realised our first mistake. as we were now in milan,we needed euros to spend! eek!! we of course didn’;t haveany, only yen and pounds so we had tofind a cash machine….. except milan airport doesn’t have any!!!! how crazy is that??? so we were stuck in the airport for two hours and sooooo thirsty and not happy to say the least..we were saved about an hour later however when we found out one place in the whole airport that would accept visa… phew!

Onto the next plane, the 12 hour big one. well firstly we were incredibly lucky.. we got the door seats! ie, we had the door in front of us, so infinite leg room! hurrah! also, we had funky tv’s in the arms of our seats that were rotatable so you could lie down and still watch them!! this kept us occupied for the rest of the flight! :)

After touching down and getting baggage,we then had to find Chiakiy. Although I had seen a few photos before, they weren’t very clear,so i was a bit worried i would not recognise her!! so when we got out and saw her, wetried to casually see if she had recognised us… she did though so it was all ok :)

She took us to her car (with her friend) where we met her mother (a very nice, friendly person :)) and we were whisked away into japan… woo hoo!

Chiakiy is really good fun and really nice. i am glad i met her, she is going to help us out and about and seems to have loads of friends which will be veryuseful!! :) She lives in Ibaraki which is just north of tokyo, and seems to be quite a quiet place. little roads and things, until you drive out a bit to the shops.

First we were taken to a japanese buddha shrine garden thing. We’re not quite sure what you would call this place, but it was very beautiful all the same! It has a massive (read MASSIVE!) Buddha statue, which is in the Guiness Book of records as the largest statue in the world (about 1400 metres i think, though it may have been feet! lol) (Edit: It was actually Ushiku Amida)

There were many bells hanging, which it seems to be good luck to hit. As well as what looked like a huge bbq, which produced smoke you had to wave on your body where pain was, it would then make you feel better. I put it on all of me just to make sure :)

Behind the statue was a petting zoo, with a monkey show (see pix) which was quite entertaining. Also a cage with Prairie Dogs, which i had never seen before so a nice change :) Just in front of it was a pond filled with Coi Carp which all swam to the surface and were trying to grab food, we were touching them and then they would swim away when Chiakiy would scream :) lol

After this, her mother wanted to take us out to a traditional japanese lunch, so we were driven to a noodle bar. we had to sit on the floor on tatami(sp) mats and cusions, which was ok at first but did hurt a bit after a while! :) i’m not quite sure what i had, but in envolved prawns and noodles :)

We were originally going to spend the first night at chiakiys friend house, but unforutaly this was not possible, so instead we went to check into the Hotel Plaza Arakawa-Oki. But Chiakiys mother insisted on paying and would not hear otherwise. We will get her a big present to say thank you at some point!!!! it was about £70!!!

After putting our bags in the room, we went back to Chiakiys to get her friends car and then to go the shops fora bit! I wanted to see how much my digital camera would cost, but unfortunately they did not have it :( The supermarket type place was crazy though, it sold everything and allso bright colours!!! amazing and so cool…. i want to live here :) lol.. after this we went to a Vodafone store and Justin bought mobile… lol

OK, so we done a lot now… so we went back to Chiakiys house where her mnother made us some food. We were still eating this when her friend rang for us togoout. So we went to a cheap type restaurant down the road (but still very nice!!) there we met another 2 of her friends so we sat and (tried!) to talk for a bit before going to a games arcade…

WWWWOOOOOWWW!! japanese arcades are so much better than uk. for a start, they havea lot more bemani games, so i was able to playddr :) and a bongo simulator!!!! thatwas great fun, i wish they had it over in uk :( :( we also played bingo and on the slots for a bit, before going to a photome sticker booth thing to get a picture taken of all of us (will photo it and put in gallery :))- we stayed until about 12 or so, when we got tired (plus chiakiy has work early) so left to go back.

We got a lift back to Chiakiys, then she walked us to the hotel (She went back on her moped….) it was business style one and very nice. it even had a traditional japanese bath (ie loads of people in it), but i didn’t like the idea of a bath with a load of naked blokes so wasn’t going to try it!!!

This morning we were up by 8:40 to go for breakfast, which unfortunately i did not like, but justin did so that was ok before finished packing and going to station to get train to tokyo…

Heck I’m so tired!! Will finish this tomorrow, lol yes i know, always one day out :)