A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: alikatd

Tunisia

sunny -17 °C

http://urchinjoe.travellerspoint.com to visit our latest holiday!

Posted by alikatd 15:18 Archived in Tunisia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

My Speciality

Various toilets around Japan

sunny 30 °C
View Joe and Ali in Japan on alikatd's travel map.

Ok, after 4 weeks i can now confirm that i have seen every different type of toilet in Japan, ranging from the basic to the top of the range.

Firstly the basic - a bit like french loo's being a hole in the ground. However slightly different as they don't have the foot rests and have a hood. These take a little getting used to and you have to ensure you are correctly positioned otherwise you have a bit of clearing up to do. These are usually located in public places e.g. tourist spots, train stations and cheaper hotels but are also found on trains. However in this case (females) make sure you step up onto the raised platform before removing trousers as this makes it difficult to step up, and ensure that you hold on to the bar otherwise as the train goes round the corner you spray everywhere!

Standard - not much to say really, like western toilets although many come with an adapted cistern so as you flush and the tank refills you wash your hands in the water- very efficient and saves space.

Top of the range - where do i start, well they look like a western loo but have adaptions. When you step into the cubical there is a motion sensor that activates a tape recording of running water (don't know whether this is to help you go or to stop others from hearing you). Beside the (heated) seat there is a number of buttons (which took me nearly 2 weeks to gain the confidence to press) and a knob. The first button is a warm water bum hole washer, which you control the pressure using the knob, however you have to be aware that many toilets require you to press a reset button first, otherwise you get freezing cold water. The second button is one for the ladies, a bit like a bidet, to wash the front parts. These are mainly located in posh department stores and some hotels. The best i have seen however was in a department store in Ginza, Tokyo, where the water contained appricot wash (why???). The only problem with these toilets is drying afterwards, when you use toilet paper it shreds and sticks, perhaps they should included a bum dryer?!

footnote: urinals. pretty much the same as back home, but with a motion sensor so they flush straight away as you step away. i've never seen this in the UK.

Posted by alikatd 11:42 Archived in Japan Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

The last days of the JR pass

sunny 20 °C

my account has crashed so i have to use alisons account again.

i think our last blog was in yonago? afterwards, i tried to head to town to get some dinner, but alison grumped and insisted there were some nice looking restaurants near the bus stop... so we went that way, and sure enough there were no restaurants. but there were a wide selection of strip clubs and brothels. so we had dinner in a lawson station (its a shop) and ate it on the beach, which was nice. sea surprisingly chilly for an onsen. oh and it was the sea of japan, so ive stood in that now.

then we went south to okiyama, saw the u-jo crow castle and one of japans top three gardens, which was good, then with some time to kill we headed to himeji which was awsome, top three sights so far i think, but theres been so much... hotel was so posh that i felt uncomfortable in the lobby.

that left us with a free day. on the train to nagoya i erupted in anger and decided to go elsewhere instead. so we went to takayama which was nice, really impressive floats for festivals and some nice streets of oldness and good food. slept in a temple. next day checked out a folk village which was pretty, then trained it to osaka. here we checked into hotel, which is ok, and saw some of tenjin matsuri, one of the best festivals in japan. it gets better tommorow i hear. and we are going transformers shopping tomorrow. then its koyasan, nara, and osaka again. then home. boo.

oh also its sunny now, two days of it. crazy.

Posted by alikatd 22:42 Archived in Japan Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Scoopin' up victory in Miyajima

semi-overcast 26 °C

Alison is writing this blog, but for those who are interested i've seen the worlds largest rice scoop, its huge, and the hotel we stayed at gave away free rice scoops to the guests! jealous? in other news, the o-torii is awesome, one of the best sights of japan no doubt.

Ok, i can get started now. Been to Hiroshima and seen memorial peace park and a- bomb dome, and also went in the museum but it was alot of writing so we skipped some of it and went straight to the exhibits e.g melted glass bottles and root tiles - however i found it quite upsetting so we didn't spend too long here. Then we took a day trip to Iwakuni to see a five span wooden bridge called kintai kyo, only one in world of its type. Also whilst there we sdaw the old Samuri quater, castle and treied to watch comarant fishing. - They tie the birds to the boats and collect the fish from them when they resurface. However we didn7t get to see loads of this as there was atv crew there so the started later than supposed to and we had to get back! From her we travelled to Miyajima to see a giant torri - looked great at night all lit up. However was difficult to get food as most tourists left by 6 so ther restaurants closed but we did get eel and oystars. Also climbed mountain and saw wild Monkeys which were cool, some even had cute little babbies! Hope fully got some good pics! Then went to Tswano via a long train journey - in the middle of nowhere- offered to let us camp for free in park but Joe was unsure of this due to the saftey of his transformer, so they then helped us to find a hotel, turned out to be Ryokan where we had Tea ceromony and a private japanees bath. Went to see ruined castle , a shrine with 1000 tori and then also saw a Heron festival but the weather meant that this took place in a sports hall. It was on TV, but we were just out of shot! Today have travelled along coast to Yonago and are staying in a hotel with an onsen complex. This time i can say that i got it right this time, but this one was better than the last (provided soap, towels, robes) as it had outside onsen. Now going to look for food as getting quite hungary then hopefully a nice stroll along beach.

P.S. Currently in one of these funny internet places where you can hire a booth for hours - even sleep here!

Posted by alikatd 17:24 Archived in Japan Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

ARGH.........

Rules for using an onsen

overcast 12 °C

What a day. First of all no one can give us any info on the typhoon and then i make an idot of myself in an onsen. From today i have learnt that whjen using an onsen you:
1. Remove shoes as you enter the door
2. buy ticket from machine
3. go into changing room, strip and cover up with a flannel (I did not do this!)
4. Go into the shower/osen area, take a stool (wash it thorughly with soap- again nont done) and a basin.
5. Fill basin with water and wash thorughly with cloths and soap ( i though this was a baths we were going to- not a comunal cleaning session, therefore i was not prepared. After rising my self down with water (i thought this would be ok) but oh no, the women next to me thrust a cloth into my hand and soap and then proceeded to scrub my back = WHAT!!! then told me to wash again, rinse and wash then rinse before going in onsen.
6. Do not jump in osen, slide in slowly - Its 45 degrees, and sit there like its not boilking your blood.
7. Exit slowly, n\making sure not to splash anyone then go for another wash and rinse.
8. Before you exit shower/pool area rinse out bowl and put stool back, keep some water in bowl to rinse feet at door.
9. Exit but stand infront of door and wipe yourself down (DO NOT DRIP EVERYWHERE) then you go to locker, empty contents into basket stand in empty space, dry and dress quickly!
LEAVE

Joe however had none of the above problems, he rinsed then sat in onsen for 30 mins - buy the time this women made me wash 3 times i only had 5 mins, so much for a relax!

Forgot to say, other day in Sapporo we went to fish market for breakfast - i had whole crab and Joe had Sea urchin!

Posted by alikatd 02:54 Archived in Japan Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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