The Last Few Days of Fun

Trip Start Sep 05, 2011
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Trip End Nov 07, 2011


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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Saturday, November 5, 2011

It seems a weird subject to start a blog, but we just have to mention the toilets in Japan. They are very technologically advanced. They have a panel of buttons attached to the side of each toilet that looks a bit like a TV remote. The buttons do a variety of things from heating the seat to washing and drying your bits! There is also a button that creates noise to block out any dodgy sounds that you might be making!

Another thing that has excited us is the fact that we felt an earthquake. Although it seems terrible to say, we were hoping to experience just a very small one as being from England the closest we have come to being near an earthquake was the Earthquake ride at Universal Studios. It happened on Thursday night as we sat alone in the hostel common room. At first we thought it was windy as the blinds began tapping the window. A few seconds later the room began moving from side to side and we knew then that it was an earthquake. Although the whole thing lasted only a number of seconds, it measured a 5.1 magnitude; it was definitely quite a scary experience for us!

One thing that we wanted to do in Japan was to try some traditional sushi. Obviously being in Tokyo we were spoilt for choice. As well as the usual raw fish and rice we decided to go for something different and we tried octopus. It certainly was not as bad as the scorpion, even if it was a bit chewy. Sushi is alright, but we won`t stop cooking our fish just yet!

Speaking of traditional Japanese food, we also went to a restaurant where you sit on the floor. It is very common in Japan for people to sit on the floor and even sleep on the floor. In a department store we saw beds, dining tables and chairs for sale which had no legs. In the restaurant you take off your shoes and sit on cushions. It feels a bit like going to a friend's house for dinner. There is a space under the table to put your legs so it is not uncomfortable. The food in Japan is really nice and not spicy, a massive improvement to some of the things we ate in China!

From our research we had highlighted Akihabara as a place to visit in Japan as this is where there is a huge electronics market. Apparently this market is where companies test their products before releasing them worldwide. We were disappointed to find the equivalent of a giant nine floor Curry’s selling a lot of electrical products as this was not what we were expecting!

Another electrical place that we visited was the Sony building. This was much better than the electronics market. There are lots of Sony products on display and you get to try them out. Some products are new and some haven`t been released yet. We tried a brand new 3D headset which hasn`t been released yet. It is a portable thing that you wear on your head and watch films through, it makes it look like you are at the cinema. We think people will look a bit silly sitting on the sofa wearing these, it is not as good as a TV. 

We also visited Fujifilm square which is in a nice area of Tokyo, home to Fujifilm headquarters. There is a museum showing the historic Fujifilm camera models, there is also an art gallery showing some nice pictures of Japan. 

A nice area of Tokyo is Odaiba. We spent two days visiting the attractions here as there is quite a bit to do. There is a man-made beach with a mini statue of liberty overlooking the bay. There are also parks to wander through making it a very pleasant area. One of the main attractions in Odaiba is Megaweb, a huge Toyota showroom. This is not like a usual car showroom, it features all of the latest cars which you can look around and test drive. There are also some interactive games to play on and no one tries to sell you anything!

Fuji TV studios are also in Odaiba. This is the main television company in Japan. We had a look around the studios but didn`t recognise any of the programmes. 

There is a free shuttle bus which takes you around the attractions in Odaiba, so we went to the Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. This is a very interesting museum that features robots! We saw a fascinating demonstration of a human robot. Watch the video! It even bows! There was also a dog robot, it is incredible to see how life like they are.

We decided to have a couple of days of fun in our last week of travelling so we visited two theme parks, Tokyo DisneySea and Fuji Q Highlands. Tokyo DisneySea surrounds a fake volcano which looks good; it has some different rides to the other Disney parks which make it more interesting. The fireworks display in the evening was a disappointment. It only lasted five minutes, we were shocked. It looked like they went to Lidl to get their fireworks!

We wanted to see Mount Fuji whilst in Tokyo so we decided to combine this with a trip to Fuji Q Highlands. Fuji Q has some amazing world record breaking rides. The only problem with our visit was that the queues were very long, at over two hours for the main rides. We did get to go on the top three though plus a couple of smaller rides so it was still worth the visit. Despite the fireworks/queues we had a couple of good days out, the rides were fantastic!
 
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