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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Japan Travel Diary: Tokyo

This year has been adventurous in terms of travel. We managed to squeeze in a 2nd vacation to visit the land of the rising Sun. I have been lazy to write the travelogue for the Europe trip and I am positive that I will get to it before this year ends :-)
 
The best time to visit Japan, obviously, is the Cherry Blossom time in April/May. But we missed it, hence chose the 2nd best which is during Autumn season in October. The leaves become colourful while the trees are preparing for winter and it looks vibrant and a gorgeous treat to the eyes. And the best thing is it is still not full blown winter, so it is not too cold; just pleasant and perfect weather!
 
Japan is a huge country and definitely you can't do justice to experiencing it all in 1 or 2 weeks. So for a week's travel we chose Tokyo as our base and visited Mt.Fuji, Hakone, Nikko and Kamakura.
 
Tokyo is the current capital of Japan and interestingly there is no airport in Tokyo. So you have to either land at Narita or Haneda International Airports which are a couple of hours train ride from Tokyo. And considering the super fast trains in Japan, this surely isn't something you would mind :)
 
How to get around?
The best way to get around in Tokyo (or anywhere in Japan for that matter) is by trains. Taxis are way too expensive and we saved it only for occasional use. It does take a while to comprehend the complicated maze of the train map. So make sure you have done your research on how to get to your hotel from the airport, well in advance :) Also if at all you end up in the trains during peak hours then trust me, you will not miss Mumbai!! There is such a huge crowd that when you are walking and you happen to stop for a second or change direction suddenly, someone will bump into you.
 
Where to Stay?
We chose to stay in Tokyo's most upmarket Ginza district which is the shopping centre. So it is no surprise where literally every brand name in fashion and cosmetics can be found here. Ginza is also the most expensive real estate area in Japan. I loved it. It has a very vibrant energy and feel. You just walk out of the hotel and there are loads of restaurants, cafes, shops, bars etc. And every street seems to have an exit to the train station. But prepared to pay a lot for a room that is less than the size of a matchbox! We stayed in the Ginza Nikko Hotel which was way too small than even words can explain but the Courtyard Marriott was at least worth the money.
 
What to do?
Some of the must see things in Tokyo according to me are
 
1. Metropolitan building, on top of which there is an observatory to get a lovely view of Mt.Fuji and the entire Tokyo city skyline
 

 
 
2. The Asakusa temple, has a Shinto shrine and definitely worth a visit
 
 
 
3. Some of the freshest seafood is found right here in Tokyo. So what better way to savour them all than to go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market?. Although certain areas have now been made off limits to tourists due to sanitisation and food safety, you’re allowed to visit after 9am and have the freshest sushi breakfast or lunch at the local restaurants there. If you are keen (and lucky), you may be one of the 120 visitors allowed into the tuna auction area to view the transactions. Supposedly Application can be done at the Osakana Fukyu Center at the Kachidoki Gate, starting from 5:00am on a first-come, first-serve basis.

4. Meiji Shrine /Yoyogi park - the moment you enter, temperature drops by 2-3 degress due to the thick green cover of the trees. The park is very peaceful and the Meiji shrine is 1 or 2 kms walk inside the park.
 
 
 
5. Shop for electronics - visit the Sony showroom in Ginza district and the Yodobashi camera/ Bic camera shops for great deals on electronics. Sony has an international section where the gadgets are tax free and have good promotional offers.
 
6. Roppongi area is one of the popular party areas but you are warned to be careful as you can get mugged there. The recommended club in this area is NEWLEX Edo, 1 3-13-14 Roppongi, Minato-ku, 03-3479-7477, though we did not visit this place. It is also apparently one of the best nightspots to spot international celebrities and models alike.
 
7. Tokyo tower (Skytree) also has some breathtaking views of Tokyo
 
 
 
8.Do Not Miss Shibuya Crossing
It is said to be the world's busiest crossing where all 4 traffic lights go Red at the same time and people cross in all possible directions. As a friend of mine pointed out, for a directionally challenged person this can be the toughest challenge! You definitely should experience this well organized chaos (pun intended)!
 

 
 
And if at all you are a vegetarian like me and end up with least options for food, you can try this really good Indian restaurant called MUMBAI in Ginza, which is few blocks away from the Courtyard Marriott Hotel. They serve absolutely delicious food and trust me it's a treat to your taste buds when all you can get is margarita pizza!
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Journey to Awareness: #2


What if you could create a new beginning for all your relationships without having to destroy or get rid of…with out having to punish…without having to be punished?
Would you be willing to ask for more? More of you. More for You.

If you were to stop cutting off your awareness, your capacities, your caring, your kindness, how different would that be for you and all those around you?
Imagine what it would be like to never deny you or your knowing again?






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To know more about me and what I do, visit
www.pratimanagaraj.accessconsciousness.com
www.reviveholistic.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Journey To Awareness: #1

How many of us are truly willing to be responsible for our lives? The extent to which you deny your creatorship in creating your world, to that extent you actually rob yourself of the power to create your life the way you desire.
It simply ...means, no matter what shows up in your life, you no longer come from a place of being a victim...no blame, no complaining, no justifications. Rather you take responsibility and ask 'What points of views did I have that created this situation' and 'What can I be or do differently now to change this'?


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To know more about me and what I do, visit
www.reviveholistic.com
www.pratimanagaraj.accessconsciousness.com