Arriving in Nozawa Onsen

by admin on March 19, 2010

The train station is actually “Togari Nozawa Onsen Station”.  It’s still a 15 minute bus ride away from where I wanted to be, but that was no big deal.  I made the short walk from the bus stop to Villa Nozawa pretty easily, although it was hard not to notice just how hilly the town is.  Uphill all the way! [click to continue…]

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My Day in Tokyo

by admin on March 19, 2010

I woke up nice and early, ready for my first full day in Japan. My plan was to spend the morning doing touristy things, see some sights, and then get on a train and make my way to the snow.

I had a cup of coffee at the hotel, and spoke to a French tourist who said it was easier to walk to Ueno than catch the subway.  After 40 minutes of walking, I decided he was full of it. [click to continue…]

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Arriving in Japan

by admin on March 18, 2010

Once on the ground, we left the plan via the raised walkways.  We actually had to pile aboard a small train to get from the plane to the airport itself.  This was around 7pm local time, and the airport was very quiet.

Getting through customs was easy.  I stood in line for a couple of minutes, then went up to a counter.  The official took my passport and asked a couple of basic questions.  He had my place my index fingers on a scanner to collect my fingerprints, and used what looked like a webcam to take my photograph.  He then stamped my passport with my tourist visa, and waved me through.

From here, I was very disorientated.  I was planning to spend my first night in Tokyo, then continue on to Nozawa Onsen the following day.  Narita Airport is about an hour away from Tokyo by train, but there are multiple trains you can take. [click to continue…]

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The big day had arrived – time to go!  I had arranged an early morning ride to the airport, giving myself plenty of time to check in.  Being my first time leaving Australia, I was a bit nervous.

Add to this – in the days before I left, I learned that Mark had an accident coming down the moutain.  He’d hit a tree at high speed and broken both legs.  Sad news, to be sure, and also a little scary.  I made a mental note to avoid all trees on the mountain, and resigned myself to not knowing a soul in the country I was headed to. [click to continue…]

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Getting Organised

by admin on March 2, 2010

I knew I was going to Japan, and I knew when I was going.  But that was about all I knew.

I still had to plan a lot of things, like  getting a passport and finding out how I would get around in Japan. [click to continue…]

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