Japan 2009! 19th-20th December (Day 1)

Japan 2009!

Here I am sitting in our suite in Kyoto at just after 5am, absolutely knacked and existing outside all known timezones. So what better time to post some pics!

The adventure begins!

The trip began a good 30hrs ago back in the snowy UK and aside from the odd uncomfortable nap on the plane it’s been go ever since! We aimed to set off from Emmas parents house nice and early on Saturday morning to avoid traffic, so so so cold.

Emma and Lucy busting out the V-sign

Emma and Lucy busting out the V-sign

Wheres the bus?!

Nice chilly Airport car park, where better to wait 35 minutes for a bus?! Everyone waiting was not impressed, surprised the attendant didn’t get lynched!

Checking in

We made it over in good time though, here we are checking in – onlines the way forward people we totally got to queue jump! It didn’t sit well with some other passengers though :S


Saw this guy through in the departure area, it was early and I found his mere existence most confusing.

We had a couple of hours to kill so we all had something to eat and a bit of a rest.

Amsterdam here we come!

The Amsterdam plane. Such a short flight – literally as soon as we were up it was time to descend again. They found time to feed us though, yummy sandwiches and a brew!


Again we had a good couple of hours to wait in Amsterdam, so a bit of an UNO tournament was in order! I did ok in my first game, and sucked in the second, beginners luck I guess.

I met a celeb!

I was lucky enough to bump into this fine gent

Smoker tank

This is a novel idea, a giant glass cage for smokers so we don’t have to breathe in their smoke. Amsterdam though – I bet somebodys tried to turn it into a giant bong.

We all did a good bit of walking before the flight as out legs weren’t going to get much exercise for the next ten hours or so, by then it was time to head to the gate!

Japan plane

Japan plane! woo here we come!

My 'view'

What a view! The seats are alot nicer than on BA flights and the entertainment’s probably a little better as games are included!

A little language refresher

A little language refresher, it’s important to know the basics.

Din dins

Din dins, Japanese-style chicken and Noodles, was pretty yum!

I managed to cram a few films in, watched Miami Vice again as I wanted to give it another try – much better than I remembered! Also watched the new version of The Taking of Pelham 123, again awesome. Finally I got pretty much all the way through Departures(Oscar winning foreign language film) but the entertainment system shut off earlier than expected and I missed the last 10 minutes. Will definitely watch on the flight home.

Nearly there!

Nearly there!

I see you Japan, it's been a while!

I see you Japan, it’s been a while!

It’s our first time flying into Kansai International and I have to say it was about as stress-free an experience as any arrival could be, hardly any queues at all, and by the time we got to baggage reclaim all out stuff was there, fantastic!

We headed out of the Airport to the adjoining station, managed to sort out tickets on the Haruka train to Kyoto and off we went!


The Airport is built on reclaimed land out on the water, so here we are zooming back onto the mainland

We passed some awesome buildings along the way to Kyoto…

Rollercoaster building!

Rollercoaster building!

Ball building!

Ball building!

The trip took a little over an hour, it was nice to just sit back and enjoy the ride in a seat that doesn’t require you to have the smallest legs ever!

We made it!

Upon arrival at Kyoto station, we were greeted by the Hotel staff, who sent for a porter to collect our luggage, totally weren’t expecing that but it was very nice of them as it was a bit of a walk to the station!

Kyoto Station

And here’s the famous station itself. This picture really doesn’t capture how massive it is, in the background are no less than 6 escalators leading up seemingly forever!

Hotel Lobby

The Hotel is amazing, I always say that I know but this one takes the cake! All the staff are so very nice and friendly, and turns out we got upgraded to a suite for the whole stay!

Letter & gift

A letter and gift welcoming us were waiting when we arrived in our suite, so nice!

And here’s the room before we make a terrible mess of it with clothes etc

The suite!

Our living room bit

And the bedroom

And the bedroom, bed is HUGE!

Finally, check out our incredible view


Wow! who needs Kyoto tower eh?

Taxi rank

The suite looks down onto the taxi rank for the station, there’s always a constant stream of them, I could watch it all day!

We spent a couple of hours settling in and making a much-needed clothes change then ventured into the station to explore

Poking around the shops

Poking around the shops

Cinnamon Melts

Cinnamon Melts, I have been dreaming of these things!

Our view by night

Our view by night, just as amazing!

We headed back to our rooms as everybody seemed pretty tired, Em and I got a bit of a second wind and seeing as it was only 19.30 we decided to jump on a couple of subway trains up to the main shopping district – aside from the Tower and what’s in the station itself, the surrounding area of Kyoto station is pretty quiet

Awesome illuminations

Awesome illuminations

Stopped off for a quick crepe

Stopped off for a quick crepe, they are so good, again i’ve been dreaming of them!


Emma is such a great future-wifey, she waited patiently while I saw to my Senjou no Kizuna needs. Card still works after a year, in fact it had to upgrade as the games seen some significant changes. As you can see the sticks now have a funky new colour scheme and some extra buttons! Came first in both games somehow, must totally put me in with the noobs!

Baskin & Robbins

Baskin & Robbins popping explosion for Emma-san, ice cream on a cold evening you say? Shush!

Strolling about

Had a nice little stroll around the backstreets on the edge of the shopping district and then headed home

Massive musical Christmas tree

There’s a massive musical Christmas tree inside the station so we decided to head up and have a look before bed. Lots of people were sitting enjoying the atmosphere and it was all very Christmassy!

So there we are, Day 1(technically 1 and 2 but who’s counting) Guess I should try and get some more sleep, we have a busy day tomorrow with lots of exploring and a kimono-fitting for the wedding!

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  1. 20/12/2009

    Woot looks like you’re having an awesome time =D and even snuck off for some Gundam action.
    Just making me more excited for April.
    The suite looks amazing too. Loving the photos but don’t spend all your time filling us in – it’s your wedding dude 😛
    Oh yeah, just to keep you informed with news from home (spoiler alert)

    RATM took Christmas No. 1
    I’m still loving Borderlands
    Brittany Murphy has died :S weird year for celebs
    Erm… Fr. Ted is the most exciting thing on telly. Yay Christmas!!

  2. 21/12/2009

    Man alots happened in a day, all of it pretty nutsy too!

    I’ll probably update for the first few days and then less so after, I enjoy doing it and it’s nice to look back and remember the day!

  3. 22/12/2009

    wow looks like so much fun! be sure to keep the updates coming whenever you can

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