I have been to Japan many times and wanted to bring my parents and brother here for a long time. 12th April, we took a morning flight and we reached Haneda in the afternoon. We took an Airport limousine bus to Ikkebukuro and then a taxi to our hotel. It's already evening time when reached the hotel. We checked in and visit one friend together as a family before going for our first meal of the day. If you think it doesn't looks Japanese, you are right. We had Chinese food.
We have to wake up early the next morning as we will be heading to Yokohama on 13th April. First stop will be Nissin Cup Noodles Museum. The highlights of this place will be making your own cup noodles.
Each one of us "design" our own cup, choose our own preferred flavor and ingredients. My old folks really sat down and started drawing or coloring on their cups. This cup belongs to my father, I posted this on Facebook but nobody knows what he draw. I knew what he draw at that instant although I didn't confirm with him if it is a rat. I just know it's a rat.
People who collect Tomica flock to either Tokyo Station or Skytree. I went to neither. This branch is in Yokohama. Comparing to Tokyo and Skytree, Yokohama doesn't have factory Tomica and the "art" truck which you can show off your creativity. Then again, you can shop in peace as there are hardly any customers. I got hold of my whole family to buy various Tomica in multiples since there is a limit of 3 pcs per model.
We went to Nogeyama Zoo as well because I have old folks and have to be easy on them. I am surprised that it is free admission.
One of my favorite animal there, red panda.
Adorable, isn't it?
This lion pees at the visitors a few times. I am lucky I wasn't peed on.
We head to Chinatown to have some shopping and dinner before we call it a day.
We left Yokohama for Hakone the next morning. Thanks to Google map, I got myself lost some 30 mins drive away from Owakudani Hot Spring. A kind lady who spoke really good English came to my assistance and directed me to the right place. The route all the way up the hill is like what you see in Initial D. The only fee I paid is the parking fees for my car. Great scenery and very windy. We took a family photo with Fuji San behind us.
Supposed to be the hot spring behind us. We blocked it.
My parents also take photo before meal. I took photos of them taking photo of their meals.
We drove to our hotel before sun set on us. This is one place I am looking forward to, Villa Ensoleille. It is located at the foot of Fuji San near Lake Kawaguchi.
The cottage is small but has everything for family of 4. It has a living room and outdoor balcony or should I say porch.
There is a small kitchen as well and a toilet on the first floor.
Climbing up the stairs which leads me to our room.
It has a balcony, 4 beds, a shower room and a toilet. The view from the balcony is spectacular too. Fuji San is just right in front of you.
I took a video of Fuji San and our room.
My friends drove all the way from their home to visit us at the cottage then brought us for dinner. They are too shy and ask me not to post their photo on my blog.
So what do we have for dinner? Houtou which is a local dish of Yamanashi, basically it's udon.
The owner of the hotel is very kind. Kept wanting to help us take photos.
After helping us took a few photos, she said to me "Sawadee Kap". On seeing me startled for a second, she asked me where I was from. She explain that out of the 6 cottages she had, 5 were Thai people so she thought I am from Thailand too.
This is our ride for the first 4 days in Japan. If you need a small car with big boot taking 3 full size luggage, take the Honda Shuttle. It's also give ample comfort and performance for cars this size.
Day 4, long drive from Yamanashi to Matsumoto Castle in Nagano. It's my first trip to Nagano too. Climbing the castle is too challenging for my parents so they gave up after 1 level.
My mum was thrilled to see so many Sakura tree in Matsumoto Castle.
Closing up on the sakura.
Having my favorite ice-cream again.
One last shot before we checked into our hotel.
My blog wouldn't be complete without Tomica. On our way back to Tokyo, we stop by a few shops for Tomica.
My mum was asking my father "Are those cars we bought for them since young and we threw the whole lot away?" This is the first time they saw the price of Tomica. It's a shock for them that any Tomica could cost around $50.00.
We went to a small shop selling Tomica and toy cars.
I bought some Tomica here. The shop owner chat me up and gave me a present before I left the shop.
Very rare set of Tomy president's son wedding set.
I didn't expect that the jam from Nagano to Tokyo is as bad as our causeway Jam. When we reach Tokyo, it is night fall, we return the car, checked into the hotel and went for our dinner.
Sini and I are friends for years. He text me before my trip that he is going to Tokyo. I am really surprised that our travel date coincides once again. The last time we met is in Hong Kong as our travel date coincide then. All was not planned for. We met in Nakano for lunch before we go to do our toy car hunting.
I found a very nice rare driver set but is not within my budget.
Bought some Japanese "curry puff" which I always buy in Nakano for my parents. They love it.
We went to the nearby Curry House for dinner. My father told the waitress that Japanese curry is not spicy at all so my father order level 7. Take note: Level 1 being least spicy and Level 10 most spicy. My mum being less challenging order level 3, my brother level 6 and I order level 10 (as above). The waitress told me it is really spicy but I don't believe at all.
Honestly, level 10 is spicy but not that spicy that I imagine of. In another words, it is extremely spicy for Japanese but it is just right taste for a Singaporean.
As my father struggle a little on previous day in Tokyo as there is a lot of walking, We will go in a rental car to Tsujiki market and Sensoji Temple to ease the old folks. My father should be quite pleased to visit Tsujiki because he always go to the fresh food department to look at fishes when we visit a supermarket.
I have been to Sensoji too many times so I didn't take any photo there. I parked the car not too far away and walked toward Sensoji. The parking charge is really expensive.
While on the way to Ken-Box, I saw a classic car in front of me. I am thinking it looks like a Datsun Bluebird wagon. The number plate give it away as a 411 Bluebird.
Our new ride in Tokyo, a Suzuki Swift. I rather take a Tanto.
I saw this rare set and ask my friend to buy it. Yes, meet up a friend in Ken Box as well. She bought it eventually.
The hotel we stay consist mainly of Korean restaurants and my parents do not eat Korean food and walk too far so we end up eating Macdonald once again. This is our 2nd dinner of the day because the Italian restaurant we went to couldn't fill our stomach. My parents are small eaters, so you can imagine how small the portion the restaurant is serving. I took the opportunity to buy some happy meal for free toys. The toys are gift for my friends as many requested to get them the Tomica toy. I had to stuff the food down my parent's throat.
Happy time passes quickly. It's time to go home. Another round of shopping at the airport for my mother.