Sunday, October 10, 2010

Japan Trip 3: Nara

After spending more than half day in Kyoto, we went to Nara by train which took about 45 minutes. We almost cancel our trip to Nara because running out of time. We just cut it short and we were so lucky there was a free shuttle at the Nara Station to go to the old site of Heijo-kyo Palace. What a lucky day, the free shuttle was due to the main events for the 1300th Anniversary Celebration of the capital city. The Heijo-kyo or the Heijo Capital was Japan’s first international capital founded in 710. Therefore this year, 2010, is an incredibly special year for Nara and also for the Japanese nation as it marks the 1,300th anniversary since the capital’s foundation.

Daigoku-den Hall

(It was used as the venue for important political and ceremonial occasions)

Suzaku-mon Gate

(This gate served as the official gate for the Heijo-kyo Capital and foreign deputies always entered through its portals.)

Guards dressed in classic costume on duty in front of the gate.

Night life in Osaka

(We reached Osaka at night and we went to find the halal restaurant. There is a Turkish restaurant in the city centre.)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Japan Trip 2: Kyoto

Kyoto was Japan's capital and the emperor's residence from 794 until 1868. It is now the country's seventh largest city with a population of 1.4 million people. Osaka to Kyoto is not that far actually. It is about 30 minutes by train. We took Hikari from Shin-Osaka Station to Kyoto Station by JR Tokaido line.

Kyoto Station

Kinkakuji - Golden Pavillion

(Zen temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known as Rokuonji, the temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will it became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408.)

We had the opportunity to stroll along Kyoto's Philosopher's Walk. It is the name given to a 2km-long path through north-eastern Kyoto. Kyoto's Philosopher's Walk covers five significant temples and two shrines. Kyoto's Philosopher's Walk is path along which a philosophy professor, Kitaro Nishida, used to frequently walk. It is a surprisingly pleasant and relaxing walk even today, though you will undoubtedly share it with more tourists than Kitaro did.
We were very unfortunate because we cant see the cherry blossom because out of season.


(The two-storey main gate to Nanzenji Temple was built in 1628 by Todo Takatora in memory of those who died in the civil War Oska Natsu-no-jin)

School Children playing cricket

The view part of Kyoto Perfecture

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Japan Trip 1 : Osaka

Assalamualikum. Last June, I had the opportunity to go to Japan. I took flight from Australia to Kuala Lumpur then connecting to Osaka. Any and every city in Japan is considered expensive to visit. Transportation cost isn't that bad due to good public transportation but taxi can cost an arm and a leg. The food and accomodation also expensive here. Osaka itself doesnt have the cultural attractions but it is good for first timer. You will see different environment and what can I say, Japanese people are very helpful. I had been travel to a few countries but Japan is considered the best in term of their helpfullness (except big city like Tokyo). Eventhough they dont speak English, but whenever you ask for help, they will try their best using body gesture or even the sign language uhuhu.
Kansai Airport

Breakfast in the Osaka Ramada Hotel (need to be selective to ensure halal) : Udon, fish and chip, sticky rice with egg

Underground: Raining in Osaka - Male and female all bring the umbrella

Night Shopping district


InsyaAllah if there is a spare time I will update my trip to Kyoto-Nara, Tokyo & Fukushima