In Edinburgh, there is a small area of hills located in the middle of the city including Arhur’s Seat. Rob and I decided to climb this one on our first morning in Edinburgh, to get an overview of the city. According to various sites on the internet, the hike is only about 30 minutes – I guess we must have gone the wrong way up and then also down again then, cause the shortest route we could find was an hour and the hike up actually took us about 2. We didnt plan for a hike this long, so we didnt have sufficient water, etc. The hike was beautiful though, and the view was amazing from the top. We could see the whole city from up there as well as hills in the distance. The view was nice on all sides of the top so that’s great. When we finally made it down again and found somewhere to buy drinks they tasted that much better, hehe.
Arthur’s seat is definitely reccomended – just bring enough water 🙂
One of the coolest modern buildings in Japan is the Umeda Sky Building, also known as the “floating garden”. The name “floating garden” comes from the top floor connecting the two towers. The view from the observatory located here is pretty awesome, and it is also possible to go outside. It was pretty cold up there when Rob and I went though, due to the strong wind and it still being winter.
I really liked the observatory, and the building looks really cool from the outside and the inside as well. This was also the only observatory we went to during the day, sometimes it is nice to see cities in daylight too 🙂 I think Rob’s favorite part was the escalator ^^
Posted in Japan, Osaka, Sightseeing, travel, view
Tagged Japan, observatory, Osaka, sightseeing, travel, umeda sky building, view
One of the absolute highlights of my trip to Japan was our visit to the Arashiyama monkey park. The day we decided to go see this park it was actually snowing quite heavily and as it turned out you have to walk for about 20 minutes uphill to get to the viewing platform, where you can also meet some of the 133 Japanese monkeys that live in the area. As we walked up the pretty steep path I started to wonder if the park would be worth the long walk, but we had already paid to enter the park and I wanted to see the monkeys so I kept on going of course. I think what really got to me was that Rob didn’t seem tired at all – just look at him waiting on me completly relaxed!
When we got to the top I forgot all about the long way up there though, the view would have been worth the hike on its own even, as it was pretty amazing. We could see all of Kyoto and the mountains surrounding the city.
While the view was an awesome bonus, the reason we came was of course the monkeys. We could see quite a few of them as we climbed the last few hills up to the top, and even more up on the viewing platform. Visitors to the park get to go into a shelter where they can rest up a bit after the climb. It is also possible to buy monkeyfood, but the only place your allowed to feed the monkeys is from inside the shelter. This way the monkeys can come get food approved by the zoo when they want to, but people won’t harass them – I think it is a great way to let people interact with the animals without bothering them too much. Rob and I absolutely loved feeding the monkeys and we got two packages of monkeyfood – one with nuts and one with fruit.
I got a few nice pictures of the monkeys outside of the shelter as well, here are some of my personal favorites:
Posted in Animals, Japan, Kyoto, Sightseeing, travel, view
Tagged animals, Japan, Kyoto, monkeys, sightseeing, travel, view, zoo
Kamakura is a town about an hour by train from central Tokyo. Kamakura is famous for it’s temples, hiking trails and a huge Budha statue. Rob and I decided to go hiking as well as check out the Budha statue. We started out with the Gionyama Hiking Course. This hike takes about 30 minutes and connects Myohonji Temple, Yagumo Shrine and the Harakiri Yagura. It actually took us a while to find the hiking trail, and Im still not sure if we had been able to find it on our own – luckily a local guy showed up and followed us to the middle of the trail, wishing us good luck ( I love Japanese people!). It was still pretty early and the sunlight shining thorough the treetops was really beautiful.
After only about 20 minutes of hiking and a short stop to climb a tree, we made it to a view point. We looked down on Kamakura, the woods and the sea – really beautiful and absolutely worth the slow hike!
After lunch we headed to the huge Budha statue. The size as well as the details was pretty impressive and the buildings around the actual statue were nice as well. We could see several Japanese praying to the Budha.
As we were already close to the Daibutsu Hiking Course, we decided to do this course as well. This was a slightly longer hike and it took us about an hour to reach the view point. The end of the hike was somehow in a neighborhood filled with houses, fences etc blocking the view and we were wondering if the hike was worth it at all. Then we walked past a few more houses and this view met us:
We decided it was definitely worth the hike after all. After we had walked around for a little while looking at some more temples and statues it was getting dark. Luckily we ran into a sign pointing the way to Kamakura JR station along lit roads. We took the train back to Tokyo around 6 in the evening, but somehow it felt a lot later since it got dark early and we had been walking most of the day. Kamakura has a lot of old culture such as statues, shrines and temples – not to mention the beautiful nature. Definitely worth a visit!
When I was living in Japan, I generally saw Roppongi as a club district. As it turns out Rob wanted to go to Roppongi to see something completly different from what I have associated the area with – a giant spider statue and Tokyo Sky View. The spider statue was pretty impressive, and as we went to see it by night it almost looked a little scary. Some of my friends have told me it looks as if Im in an alien movie on the picture above. Close to the spider is Tokyo Sky view. This place offers a view possibly even better than the one from Tokyo tower, because you cant see Tokyo tower from Tokyo tower 🙂 Another really cool feature is the sky deck. You get to go on top of the building, as long as you leave your belongings (excluding your camera) behind. Here are some of my best pictures from Tokyo sky view:
(Rob and me on the sky deck)
(Tokyo Tower from a distance)
Tokyo Tower is a must when visiting Tokyo (at least until the Sky Tree is finished). It looks like a red version of the Eifel Tower, but it is apparently 5 meters taller. We went there together with one of my best friends in Japan – Azusa. We hav known each other since she studied in Norway in 2006. It was awesome to meet with her again 🙂
It was a clear evening, so the view was as amazing as ever. You can see all the way to Yokohama from the top, but it is still city all the way in every directions. The Tokyo area sure is big! I absolutely loved the view, and I got to try out a few of my new camera’s function as a photographed it. Here are a couple of the pictures:
(long shutter time)
One of the greatest highlights of our family trip in China was definitely taking a river cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo on the Li River. The cruise took us about 8 hours, as the river is really narrow in the winter, making it harder for the boat to drive quickly. The Li River might just be one of the most beautifull places I’ve seen. It is surrounded by the characteristic Rocky Hills that you only find in the Guangxi province, making the view simply breathtaking. On the boat we met a really nice family from Philadelphia, America. They were all quite interesting, had traveled a lot and we talked to them a lot during the cruise – they even invited us to come visit them in America. From the boat we could see some local farmers with their animals and also some fishermen using birds to fish. The weather was nice and warm so we stayed on deck most of the time, enjoying the scenery. I think it was a great way to see the rocky hills in a relaxed setting together with other tourists in the area. Here are some more pictures:
(Me on the boat)
(How’s that for a view?)
(And a Panorama of the view – click it to see the larger version)
(Farmer taking his Bull down to the water to drink)
And yeah that’s just a few of the pictures I would like to post – but Im guessing this is more than enough already to browse – loved the Li River Cruise!