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Trip to Japan [Sakura Season]

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My sister and I having a 9 days trip to Japan by March 22nd, year 2008. We joined the 7 days group tour and extended our trip for additional 2 days by backpacking at Tokyo area (Ikebukuro & Ueno).

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Earlier morning Ueno Park already crowded with peoples

Japan map

Map1: Routes for the Grouped Tour + Back Packing

Routes (refer Map1): Osaka[大阪] -> Kyoto[京都] -> Aichi[愛知県] -> Kanagawa[神奈川県] -> Yamanashi[山梨県] -> Tokyo[東京] -> Chiba[千葉県] -> Tokyo[東京]

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Sakura @ Ueno Park

Day1 (22 Mar 2008)
Osaka[大阪]
  • Flight from Penang to Osaka
  • Having supper at Toku-Toku Restaurant
  • Overnight to Ramada Kansai International Airport Hotel
  • Day2 (23 Mar 2008)
    Osaka[大阪]
  • Universal Studio Japan – Osaka
  • Overnight at Cross Hotel Osaka
  • Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street
  • Day3 (24 Mar 2008)
    Kyoto[京都] & Aichi[愛知県]
  • Arashiyama – Storm Mountain [嵐山]
  • Heian Shrine [平安神宮]
  • Kiyomizu-dera Temple [清水寺]
  • Overnight at Hotel Nikko Toyohashi [豊橋市]
  • Day4 (25 Mar 2008)
    Kanagawa[神奈川県] & Yamanashi[山梨県]
  • Take Bullet Train – Shinkansen [新幹線]
  • Hakone – Owakudani Valcano Valley [大涌谷]
  • Mount Fuji [富士山]
  • Overnight at Hotel somewhere near Lake Kawaguchi [河口湖]
  • Day5 (26 Mar 2008)
    Yamanashi[山梨県] & Tokyo[東京]
  • Jewelry Forest [河口湖 宝石の森]
  • Asakusa [浅草]
  • Ginza [銀座]
  • Odaiba [お台場]
  • Tokyo Tower[東京タワー]
  • Overnight at Metropolitan Hotel
  • Day6 (27 Mar 2008)
    Tokyo[東京] & Chiba[千葉県]
  • Tokyo Disney Sea
  • Overnight at Narita Excel Hotel Tokyu
  • Day7 (28 Mar 2008)
    Chiba[千葉県] & Tokyo[東京]
  • Transfer from Narita Excel Hotel Tokyu to Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro [池袋]
  • Shopping at Ikebukuro
  • Day8 (29 Mar 2008)
    Tokyo[東京]
  • Ueno Park [野公園]
  • Ueno Zoo [恩賜上野動物園]
  • Ameyoko [アメ横]
  • Day9 (30 Mar 2008)
    Chiba[千葉県]
  • Narita International Airport
  • Sayonara Japan
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    Sakura @ Ueno Park


    What I disliked about Grouped Tour?!
    Overall, the grouped tour was TOO RUSH as we were given only 1 to 2 hours for each visited area. The tour guide gave us the feeling like as long as you had step your foot at that particular area is more than enough. Instead wasted your money joined the grouped tour, I rather watch it through the TV. Following the grouped tour, you can’t actually experience, feel and know more about the lifestyle and culture of japan.
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    Ducks swimming @ River side @ Ueno Park


    There were 2 UNEXPECTED SCHEDULE whereby we were taken to visit Jewelry Forest (Sold a lot of crystal – explained to us how to differentiate real crystal and fake crystal) and Perl Shop whereby we’ve been sit for an hour plus in the room to listen for the explanation on how perl been processed. Amazingly, tour guide did not rushed us while visited those 2 shops but we’ve been rushed not to stop and look at the souvenir at roadside along the way to the entrance of the planned location.
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    Sakura @ River side @ Ueno Park


    Isn’t travel should be relaxing and enjoyable?! Why I just can’t feel it?! Each day need to wake up at 5am or even earlier to get ready and prepared to take breakfast by 6am. Almost 70% of our time SPENT ON the TOURIST BUS. Once the bus started, we all will slept like a baby until reached the destination. Ha~~ this is the truth !
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    Sakura @ River side @ Ueno Park


    One word, this tourist guide more like a SALESMAN rather than a tour guide. Junk foods that he sold to us even expensive compare to the junk foods I bought from Ameyoko market street. I apologized because I don’t mean to offend all the tourist guide or makes you feel bad because you had just sign up to join the grouped tour. Of course, grouped tour got it’s advantages too. You do not need to scratch your head to get your way from 1 destination to the others since all had been well planned for you readily.
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    Peoples walking through the sakura path and enjoyed the view


    Conclusion, my sis and I will never can experienced the walk under the Sakura Tree throughout our grouped tour. I will tell you more about my sakura trips in my next posts.

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