WL Japan Train Experience 2020

Late January and early February I was in Japan. Here are the trains I took.

1st Night:

  • Narita Airport to Tokyo station (Narita Express)
  • Tokyo station to Kanda station (Chuo line)
  • Kanda station to Asakusa station (Ginza line) (and reverse)

2nd Day

  • Kanda station to Tokyo station (Keihin-Tohoku line)
  • Yurakucho station to Tokyo station (Yamanote line)
  • Tokyo station to Oyama station (Shinkansen)
  • Oyama station to Sano station (Ryomo line)

4th day

  • Sano station to Oyama (Ryomo line)
  • Oyama station to Tokyo station (Shinkansen)
  • Tokyo station to Kanda station (Chuo line)
  • Kanda station to Shinagawa station (Yamanote line)
  • Shinagawa station to Yokohama station (Ueno-Tokyo line)
  • Yokohama station to Bandobashi station (Blue line)
  • Bandobashi station to Shin Yokohama (Blue line)
  • Shin Yokohama to Shinagawa station (Shinkansen)
  • Shinagawa station to Ikebukuro station (Yamanote line)
  • Ikebukuro station to Kawagoe station (Tobu Tojo line)
  • Kawagoe station to Musashi Takahagi station (Kawagoe line)
  • *reverse Musashi Takahagi to Shin Yokohama station.
  • Shin Yokohama station to Higashi Kanagawa station (Yokohama line)
  • Higashi Kanagawa station to Yokohama station (Keihin Tohoku line)
  • Yokohama station to Bandobashi station (Blue line)
  • Bandobashi to Shin Yokohama station (Blue line)
  • Shin Yokohama station to Nagoya station (Shinkansen)
  • Nagoya station to Marunochi station (Sakuradori line)
  • Marunouchi station to Shondaidori station (Tsurumai line)
  • Nagoya station to Tajimi station (Chuo line)
  • Tajimi station to Nagoya station (Shinano)
  • Nagoya to Shin Osaka station (Shinkansen)
  • Shin Osaka station to Namba station (Midosuji line) and reverse
  • Shin Osaka station to Kyoto station (Shinkansen)
  • Kyoto station to Saga Arashiyama station (San In line) and reverse
  • Kyoto station to Shin Osaka station (Shinkansen)
  • Shin Osaka station to Namba station (Midosuji line)
  • Namba station to Shin Osaka station (Midosuji line)
  • Shin Osaka to Okayama station (Shinkansen)
  • Okayama station to Takamatsu station ( Seto-Ohashi Line Rapid Rapid Marine Liner )
  • Reverse
  • Okayama station to Hakata station (Shinkansen)
  • Hakata station to Ohori Park (Kuko line)
  • Ropponmatsu station to Hakata station (Nanakuma line)
  • Hakata station to Minami Fukuoka station (Kagoshima line) (reverse)
  • Hakata station to Fukko Daime station (Kagoshima line) (reverse)
  • Hakata station to Chikuzen Maebaru station (Kuko line)
  • Chikuzen Maebaru station to Shikaka station (Chikuhi line)
  • Sasebo station to Hakata station (Midori Express)
  • Hakata station to Kyoto station (Shinkansen)
  • Kyoto station to Tokyo station (Shinkansen)
  • Tokyo station to Shinjuku station (Chuo line)
  • Shinjuku station to Nakano station (Chuo rapid line) (reverse)
  • Shinjuku station to Narita Airport (Narita Express)

Butchart Gardens 2019

You always hear how beautiful this place is and how many people who have been there recommend it. Well, I need to reinforce that! I never really cared about going because I wasn’t into seeing flowers when I was younger, so I didn’t appreciate this place.

Obviously when I matured, I realized I missed out on seeing a Canadian National treasure, if not an American (North America) gem that was in my backyard (when I lived in Seattle).

My wife has been planning to see this and we wanted to do it as a whole family (with her sister and brother). After planning a weekend trip, we went there via BC Ferries (the only way I think).

Summer in the Butchart Gardens is probably the best time. But they do have some months in autumn too.

Parking was plentiful (at least when we arrived) and there were umbrellas available (if it was raining) to use.

We walked to the entrance and paid the fees:

  • Adult – $33.80
  • Children 5 – 12 yrs old -$3.00 (which is our kids)

The Sunken Garden was my favorite. Just the history in it and the layout.

The Japanese garden was pretty cool because there were Torii Gates around and within a ton of trees, so it kept the area cool and shaded. Small bridges and stone walkways on water.

I can’t recommended this place enough. If you are in Victoria, this is the main attraction.

Vancouver Lookout

I’ve been fortunate enough to experience a few high places with scenic views.

Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Umeda Sky building (Osaka), Space Needle and Columbia Center (Seattle), Empire state building (New York)…

But I never really pursued Vancouver Lookout as I should have. Well, this time, I wanted to check it out and with my family.

I was not disappointed. While this isn’t as high as most, I have to say it had some of the best views I’ve seen.

While the aforementioned places were great… For some reason I liked the Vancouver Lookout a lot.

Maybe the combination of water, close by mountains, city and urban worked well!

We ate at the food court before going up.

Prices weren’t bad ($18 adult) and kids (free).


Again, the views were amazing because I love the stark contrast of landscape.

I enjoyed this with my family and kids. I really liked how intrigued the kids get.

If you are in the area, check it out.


Momiji Gardens, Hastings Park

I came upon this serene Garden while going to Driven carshow. After I left the show, I decided to take some pictures because how calming I found it to be.

After looking it up, I couldn’t believe how extraordinary this place is.

” The Momiji Commemorative Garden serves as a reminder of the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. “

credit – http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM3TVW_The_Momiji_Gardens_Vancouver_BC_Canada

WL Day 9 pt 1 – Nagasaki arrival

In 2018, I met with Noguchi-san and he said the Red Kaido Leopard was 2 hours away. I didn’t have that much time, so we didn’t go to see it.

This time, I wanted to see it and also Nagasaki, so we planned to go this time.

I left Hakata station via Kamome Express line to Nagasaki.

Soon, Noguchi-san picked me up and he said he would take me to Secret base.

Fukuoka Nights

After I left Takamatsu, I headed straight to Fukuoka. I was excited as I was hoping to meet with my friends from last time.

Unfortunately, everyone was busy. Even my friends in Kumamoto were busy (one of them was in the hospital for being sick).

Even though I was crushed, I took the time to explore Fukuoka on foot. I walked to Canal City and checked out Kawabata Shopping arcade.

I walked a few blocks to JR Hakata station. In all honesty, I was blown away how huge Hakata station. I’ve only seen it from the inside mainly, but coming from the outside.. how it is huge. I was talking with Mitch (Showa Elite) and I trying to see if we can schedule something with Misaki-san and others… but it didn’t work out.

So I continued exploring.

Having missed a religious site in Kyoto, I did visit a Shinto Shrine here in Fukuoka.

Reisen Crane Shrine and Kushida Shrine Shinmon

It was night time, but it was a Friday night, people were out having a good time and the food stalls were packed!

I walked around til about 230am. I really loved exploring Fukuoka. I just love this place!

Takamatsu Nights and VANKulture.

The last couple of times I came to Takamatsu, they were in the evening because I would arrive late.

This time, it was late, but I had just gotten done spending time with my brothers.

I decided to go walk around Takamatsu Sunport.

I started walking towards the Sunport area. It was a good night, not windy or cold. It was perfect. I remember one of the spots I wanted to go to was the Red lighthouse.

I cut through Takamatsu station.

I went across the street where Sunport Hall Takamatsu was located.

Cut through headed to the port.

Now at the “pier” section.

As I was walking back to my rental, I saw a couple of cars drive by. I was kinda excited as taking some car pictures is a good night cap.

Once I saw it was an older Toyota Hiace van and Toyota Crown, I had to ask if I could take pictures! I love these older cars.

I talked to the owner and showed them Vankulture. They were not on any SNS (Social network service aka social media). After showing them, he jumped on Instagram.

The older Hiace vans with that VIP style… that is the style I fell in love with in 2002.

After that small meeting, I walked to the local train station to check out the local train line.

Having a calming night walk and just enjoying it was pretty cool. I loved it.

Sunday – Shizuoka hotel and F31 meeting > Yokohama

Sunday morning, I woke up early to get breakfast with everyone. Last night I took a good long shower and I was so tired, I turned off the lights by taking out the key card for room out of the slot.

I didn’t realize this, but that pretty much cut ALL electricity to the room… So my cellphone and power banks did not charge.

During breakfast, Uchida-san and Ito-san let me borrow a cable and power bank. Pretty much saved me and did the job for the day. My LG had horrible charging and the battery life sucked.

The day was focused on the Leopard Meeting.  Pictures here : https://www.f31club.com/2017/10/06/31st-all-japan-leopard-festival-october-2017/

After the meeting, Okuni-san took me to the nearby station where I would get on and transfer to the Shinkansen. I would stop by Mishima station where I would meet my aunt again. I had stuff that have been left at her place and I wanted to get it all.

It was definitely a pain to carry back to Yokohama (flying out of Haneda).

What was worse is that the capsule hotel, I was looking forward to enjoying, turned me down due to my tattoo (barely showing).

So I had to stay at another hotel for the night, which was better anyway. I had to repack stuff.