Illumination. Do you have such a thing in your country? I bet some have but not as massive as Japan.
First, what is illumination? Illumination is actually lighting up like a Christmas tree. In Japan, you can see illumination all over every corner during the X’mas season.
My parents always come to Japan to visit me during the year end. So I wanted to show them the famous illumination of the German Village, as this is one of the biggest illuminations in the Kanto Region.
However it was really difficult for me as this German Village is really on the outskirts and it sucks up most of your time to reach there on your own. Approximately 2 hours from Tokyo station.
Therefore, I started searching for a day tour to the German village. After doing some comparisons with several trusted travel companies [Hato Bus, H.I.S], I decided to choose the H.I.S bus tour. It is the eat till you drop tour but operated in Japanese. [Click picture to refer]
- It provides seafood buffet lunch.
- Mandarin picking [Dec > mandarin picking ; Jan > Strawberry picking]
I didn’t really read the fine print of the itinerary as my main goals for this tour were lunch, German village and that I don’t have to bother about the routes of the day.
But, surprisingly, we ended up enjoying it A LOT !!!!!!!
On that day, we gathered in front of a building near Tokyo Station Marunouchi South exit.
The seats were pre-assigned by the bus conductor, so I had to check which seat we were assigned to. As that day was the Emperor’s Birthday (Dec 23rd) , it was a holiday, which means full house !
As you can see on the seating chart, me and my family were the only foreigners on the bus. Cool right? So since the tour is fully operated in Japanese, I had to be the interpreter. LOL
The bus was supposed to leave at 9:00 am sharp, yet due to some guys being late (Not typical Japanese), the bus left at 9:10 am. Well, we are from Malaysia, so we were OK with that.
The first stop was LUNCH !!!! At a buffet seafood grill restaurant.
Looks sooo tasty right ????? !!!!!!
The mesh drainer was put on the shell fish to prevent the spurting of excess water
Happy customers are grilling some shell fish.
After a hearty meal, it’s time for stuffing vegetables and fresh seaweed.
How does this activity work?
1) You are given one plastic bag ( Vegetables and fresh seaweed each)
2) There are four types of vegetables (Onion, potato, carrot and sweet potato)and seaweeds
3) STUFF THE VEGGIES IN YOUR BAG AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE !
Stuff stuff stuff the seaweeds all you can
Later on, we were brought to a garden where there is a castle. Unfortunately, it is the start of Winter season in Japan which resulted in ‘balding’ all around.
Yet its a good hike to burn away the calories. We also did some wacky photo shooting, and enjoyed soft cream. It was sooo creamy and so lemaky ( rich in texture in Malay Language). You will definitely come back for more.
Wanted to do ‘Flying in the air’ yet failed lol
A moment of Zen
Next, it’s fruit picking time !!!!!!
December is the season of mandarin picking. It is a fun activity for the whole family. For your information, this was my first fruit picking in Japan. I never had the chance to do so before. So the bus brought us to a mandarin farm. And we were given a pair of scissors to cut the mandarin. And eat all you can in an allowance of 30 mins.
Mikan gari – Mandarin Picking in JAPANESE
After grabbing our ‘weapon’, we dashed to the farm and started hunting for big and juicy mandarin. It seems like most of them were ‘newborns’. So small and cute and they’re really sweet and most importantly they’re seedless!
So tiny right ?
Seems like the big ones are on the tree top. Nobody willing to risk climbing up the tree. But not for us. heheheh ( After all, country boys and girls like climbing trees lol)
Mr Brave climbed up and plucked a big fat juicy one.
There are even more back there. Waiting for someone to pluck em.
After that, it was almost 4 pm. In Japan, the sky turns dark super fast in the winter. Here comes the last agenda – Illumination in the German Village.
From the mandarin farm to the German village takes around 1.5 hours of bus ride. Pretty far right? We were pretty exhausted so we slept the whole journey. But since the sky had turned darker and darker, we could not enjoy any scenery anyway. (I wonder if there was any , cause it seems we were on the highway)
Finally we reached the German Village. The view was simply gorgeous, but…… Its raining ! What a bummer. You can feel the chilliness sneak in to your sleeve ! Its really zzzzz
So we didn’t really know how to enjoy illumination as much as Japanese, but still it was a great experience which I think everybody should experience at least once.
Overall, this was something fun and new to us. Thanks to the kind tour conductor always around to take nice pictures for us. Kudos to H.I.S !!!!!
We found it really enjoyable, and I believe most people will enjoy it. The price was affordable. Unfortunately, this tour is only provided in Japanese. So, if you wish to join this tour but you don’t understand Japanese, I would like to suggest you to bring another friend who understands Japanese to go with you !
This tour is provided by H.I.S. Do call them up for more information. They really helped me a loooooot !
Thank you so much for reading!
P.S : Photo credits to Ms P.L
See you next blog ya
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