Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Japan, the fascinating country which a lot of people dream to visit including me.

For 2 years ago I had ever applied for exchanged student in Yamakuchi hospital, the scholarship program of faculty of medicine Siriraj Hospital. Though defeat of this competition give me a good chance to have memorable time in Tzu Chi University; Taiwan instead, I have still dreamt of Japan travelling all along.

My dream was far from coming true because Japan living expenses is too high. It is too difficult for me to make a decision to lay out almost all of my whole life savings for that, till something activated my hided aspire to alive again.

In November 2009 the scholarship for exchanged student in Tokyo University is announced. It was such a bad news of my closed friends to lose this selection. We discussed about ourselves Japan travelling half-seriously. I couldn’t believe that it became serious planning soon to go Japan in last vacation after graduation. I had made my decision so long time, considered between the benefit of travelling aboard that I realized it is such a valuable experience, memorable time and get one’s money worthwhile if you can effort, and the disadvantage of my financial problem.

Actually, my family is not well off, going aboard is too wasteful for asking any support. Absolutely, I will use my savings that most of them came from my part time job for example high school tutor, research assistant, health counselor of private clinic, and interpreter that is enough for this journey expense. However, I still felt guilty to be extravagant while my family have faced to financial problem occasionally.

While I was confused, my senior friends had recounted about their previous abroad journeys in Japan, Italy, etc. Those excellent experiences are valuable, many people appreciate journey to reward themselves after do hard-working even though all of their savings must be lost for that, it is worthwhile. And he does either. That seem God’s whisper to push on me to decide travelling to Japan in economical condition strictly.

Around 1 week before Japan VISA request, my grandmother got accident; falling in my home during walking to restroom in nighttime. She had left neck of femur fracture (Garden classification type IV). The first choice treatment is operation; left Hip Hemiarthroplasty. Medical treatment costs is more than 100,000 Bath. Absolutely, I decided not to go to Japan immediately and planed to pay for medical fee myself. But It may be too difficult for my mom to accept money from the young that had not earnings yet, she deny my support and accept my closed cousin's help instead. Fortunately, due to I am a medical student, Professor Kirati, one of the famous Orthologist, accepted to be possessed physician and permitted Emergency health insurance that lessened the expense from 100,000+ to around 50,000Bath. After operation my granny get better very soon and discharged from Siriraj Hospital.

Then I went to request Japan VISA with my friends while I was still hesitant whether I was really going to Japan. I faced obstacle again when my documents were not accepted due to I used my own statement instead of my parent’s one. Hence, I wrote long essay for VISA request and just waited for result. Whatever the outcome is, I supposed it was benefit, in case VISA was permitted, I had definitely decided to prove the reputation of charming country of Japan myself. Conversely, it was also good for me to save my money and not being a luxurious girl comparable with my family financial status if my VISA was not passed.

Eventually, I could not believe that my VISA was permitted. And because I planned to travel as prudently as possible, we had to reserved everything in advanced. Because of searching for the cheapest airplane tickets, cheapest JR tickets and reasonable price of accommodation, it made my kind companion feel uncomfortable however they still accepted my request, THANK YOU SO MUCH. Finally, we could accomplish, got the cheapest airplane tickets for this season 17,000 Bath, JR 10,150 Bath, and low-cost hostels.


Japan is always one of the fascinating country. Other than excellent nature, appealing culture, color of hasty and comfortable lifestyle in the city that impress us, I had a chance to learn more and got memorable experiences.

Managing everything ourselves instead of readymade package of tourism was much more challenging and economical. Absolutely, some problems occurred and were resolved and conflict between closed companions could happen in long time journey. But everything in each of our pace is the worth lesson in real life that instruct the learner to be endured, generous, compromising. All of the hindrance could enlighten us to be matured and strength more. Particularly, the opposition and any troubles could cultivate our valuable friendship tightly.

By the way, back packing trip was not comfortable at all, not only airline tickets and accommodations must be reserved but also planning must be arranged. Moreover the luggage somewhat trouble us, they are roller suitcases instead of real backpacks that are the recommendation for the professional backpacker because I was just an amateur who couldn’t carry 15-20 kg. baggage on my back. So our roller suitcases must be dragged on bumpy ground distantly and carry up and down on ladder difficultly. Huhhhh… I was exhausted in transferring many times and couldn’t imagine how it was going if the roller was out of order.

Due to one of this trip members had ever been japan for 2 years ago, our plan was not perfect for the first time wanderer at all but it was created to be as fit as possible for all of our trip members. The 13-days trip was created, Ozaka, Kobe, Nara, Nicco, Yogohama that are the common sightseeing were skipped because Sunchai had ever gone before. We started this trip at Kyoshu; the south island of Japan: in Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Beppu for 4 days. After that, we travelled to Himeji and stayed in Ozaka then went to Hakone. The other days we stayed in Tokyo.

Before starting our journey, may I introduce our trip kind members that consist of 6 people including me. Let’s know them.

Lukmoo (me) I have no idea how to introduce myself. You can know me from this story

Sung: Sakura Princess of Japan and the supermodel of Thailand. She do love taking photos especially single poser.

Poom: The generous girl that crazy about photographing and attracted the boys of this trip because of her excellent camera. Her kindness impress me much.

Nat: His favorite is all kind of sweets. Though there are always debate between us, he is still the best friend of mine.

Pae: He is such a gentle man. His attractive character can generate delight from everyone around him.

Sunchai: If there was eating competition, he must be the Champion. (*^_^*) He is always my good companion and also the best Japan guide.

You know all of my trip members already… Let’s start our journey right now.


We departed from Suwannabhum; Bangkok at 5.35am by Delta Airline (Northwest). Omlette was served as my breakfast, then I slept deeply along the way and couldn’t finish New Moon movie as I intended because I got a wink of sleep all night before. The snack service (Ham cheese sandwich) had been kept in my bag and became my lunch soon. We arrived Narita airport; Tokyo around 1pm (Japan time that is faster than Thailand for 2 hours). Japan Rail Pass that we had bought from Bangkok were activated and 2-day Tokyo Metro pass were bought in advanced at Narita that are much cheaper than buying in the train station (2-day pass: 980 yen, normal price 1400 yen). We catch Keisei line from Narita to our hostel (around 1000 yen

The private 6beds bedroom of Sakura hostel Asakusa was nice. Everything was all right especially the restroom and shower room that we appreciated in. After luggage was kept we start our japan journey in Asakusa around Senjoji temple, one of the famous temple in Tokyo.

Though the temple was closed already, there were some of tourist took photos with large red lantern of Senjoji temple and shopping around there.

Senjoji temple Cast lots (Siam-Si) is well-known, we didn’t hesitate to shake lots tin, a piece of stick dropped easily. There are 4 levels of forecasting, if your horoscope is not good you can hold a paper with the provided place. Normally, it is crowded with numerous tourists on daytime, souvenir stores that line up orderly on the entrance path always bustle.


We woke up 5am, carried our suitcases, bought bento for our breakfast and caught Shinkansen to Fukuoka. As I told you in Introduction that one third of our trip was in Kyoshu and started in Fukuoka. We stayed in Fukuoka for 3 nights and in Bebpu for 1 night.

Comparing with other interesting town for instance Kyoto, Ozaka, Nara etc, Fukuoka is not remarkable at all except Dazaifu that is outside from Fukuoka downtown and you shouldn’t miss there if you have been in Fukuoka.

We arrived Hakata station in Fukuoka around 1pm, one day Bus pass were bought (Family tickets 3people: 1400yen (467 yen/1person)) that could be used for all buses that drive in Fukuoka downtown. Our luggage were dragged to Khoasan Fukuoka hostel that informed in internet that 7min walking from Hakata station but we use around 15 minute Khoasan Hostel hadn’t be seen yet, Oh my god!! So far. On the way (~2pm) Sung occasionally saw the notice of 399 yen lunch of one restaurant, we didn’t hesitate to fill my gut there and go on walking to our destination.

Khoasan Fukuoka hostel is all right, 1st floor 3 beds bedroom was occupied by Sung, Poom and me but boy gang had to carry the luggage on steep ladder to the 2nd floor. It was too late (~3pm) when we departed from our hostel to travel Fukuoka so we couldn’t accomplish our plan to go to Dazaifu on that day (Dazaifu close 4pm) so we take the bus to wander Fukuoka downtown; Canal city ; ordinary department store that was built astride the canal, Tenjin; shopping area, Fukuoka tower and Robosquare.

The information in our book said that Robosquare closed 5pm, but it closed already when we arrived there at 4.15pm due to the closed time was changed to be 4pm… What a pity!!


The third early morning started since 6am, it was raining lightly. We planned to go to Kumamoto, the Volcanic town, we was going to Mountain Aso and Nakadake, the famous Volcano of Kyoshu. Shinkansen to Kumamoto had to catch and arrived the station around 9am. Raining stopped already when we reached there. Due to going to Volcano, I had supposed the weather was warm from volcanic flame, conversely, my thinnest sweater couldn’t warm me enough.

At the information center of Aso Mt. there was notice that Mt. Aso, Nakadake was not permitted to be near and Roveway was temporary closed because of toxic volcanic gas as well as too clouded fog that was hazardous. What a pity !!!!! again…. Nevertheless, we got on a bus for the nearest area to Aso mountain.

On the way it was dull with too much fog, if the driver was not skilled enough, I supposed the bus might overshoot a curve or falled to high gorge, Opps!!. Finally, We reached the sightseeing place safely but we could not see anything other than gloomy fog. The wind was very strong and the weather was frigid, I could not stood outside anymore and walked to the building rapidly. We had to wait for 2 hour until the next bus came for pick us up went back to the station and had Bento there. Japanese people are always friendly and nice. During having a lunch, a group of old Japanese folks tried to make friend with us. Though they couldn’t speak English, they tried to use nonverbal language and distributed Japanese snack to us as well.

these are just the Aso pictures that we had not a chance to sightsee due to dull folk

In late evening we visited Kumamoto castle before had a dinner at Kumamoto station and came back my hostel in late night with lots of exhaustion.

everyone was excited in Sakura.

Pae and Poom pretended to be actress and actor of Korean series, haha ><


The historic town of 2nd world war; Nagasaki. Today trip started in early morning as everyday. 500 yen Nagasaki one day pass was bought.

We firstly went to Glover Garden, western and Japanese style garden.

Our tasks in this garden is searching for 2 heart shape stones that are the representative of fulfilled love. Almost everyone in my team were enthusiastic to find ones. Finally, Sunchai was the love stone discoverer (by catching the area that most crowded).

Heart stone; the representative of fulfilled love.

The famous Nagasaki souvenir; 3 large pieces of Kasutera (cake) were bought, sharing between us. We found out soon that it was not delicious at all, we had to try to finish them difficultly.

big imitating Kasutera Cake

The famous Nagasaki souvenir; 3 large pieces of Kasutera (cake) were bought, sharing between us. We found out soon that it was not delicious at all, we had to try to finish them difficultly.
After sightseeing Glover Garden we took for hours for searching for our lunch that was hardly presence of any food shop or reasonable price restaurant in Nagasaki. My friends denied bento in Minimart because they had them every day as their breakfast. Because of no restaurant here, finally, we couldn’t refuse Bento as our lunch in one of somewhat good bento shop. Actually, because of its low cost and delicious, I do love Bento and were able to get it almost every meal of this trip but my friends are bored Bento.
Then we walked on steep pathway harshly to Peach Park, that consist of Peach statue which was completed in 1955, ten years after the atomic bombing. The raised arm points to the threat of nuclear weapons and the out stretched arm symbolized peace.

After that Nagasaki China Town was explored and headed to Sofukuji temple that is not as beautiful as in the picture and Spectacles Bridge that I love it!! Spectacles Bridge gets its name from the fact that the two arches and their reflection in the river look like a pair of eyeglasses. The Romantic view of evening scene of Spectacles bridge attracted many of couples to date and take photos here. If you come here especially with you sweetheart, this is one place of my recommendation.

We ended up our trip at western restaurant that is famous of stake and ice-cream. My friends seem happy with their own dinner however I did not get it at all because of high cost and I had my own prepared bento.

Day 5: BEPPU

Hiding myself in warm blanket in cold weather is too comfortable to be defeated sleepiness and wake up in early morning. You may not imagine how fatigue we were, every single morning started very early, walked almost all day for miles and came back to our placed late night. Today we had tight planning as well, Dazaifu shrine in morning and take on the shinkansen to Bebpu. I still felt exhausted from our journey and also nightmare last night. I dreamt that I was the witness of murder accidentally and escape the murderer from killing. It was extremely stressed and excited. Hence, this morning, I wouldn’t like to awake up till my clock alarm.

“Knock knock” the door was knocked from outside. Poom climbed from her bed to open the door. Sunchai was in ready suit and informed that it was much late from appointed time; 8am. Oh my God!!! So sorry that my mobile phone was out of order, could not alarm, unfortunately, Sung and Poom hadn’t set alarming either. We were late too much for the tight schedule today Huh!!!!

On the train, Sunchai appreciated a handsome train conductor and couldn’t stand asking him to take photo together. Oops!! Hope the smart guy didn’t feel terrified all Thai tourist. Haha><
Dazaifu is interesting and beautiful. Other than Dazaifu shrine, there are lots of temples around there. What a pity!! We had limited time in Dazaifu (including transportation duration around 2+ hours for round trip as well as difficult communication with nonverbal language that was also our obstruction).

Moreover, it was raining so we visited there just ineffective short time. Eventhough there are lots of hindrance today, I still impress Dazaifu.

Then we went back to get our luggage and took on the train to Bebpu, the next destination. Although I had more sleeping time last night (because late waking up), I slept deeply on the train as usual.
The train ran in Bebpu, well-known Hot spring town that I had never thought it was such a beautiful suburb, nature and fume of Hot spring decorate this town to be pleasant and far from chaos and rush life style from the city. Absolutely, it was too late to go to famous hot spring (8 hells of Beppu) so after keeping our luggage in Khoasan Bebpu hostel, we headed to take a bath in public hot spring (onsen).
Onsen, Japanese hot spring that is the representative of social equality of Japanese people, we must be naked there in public bath. Due to I had ever gone Hot Spring in Taiwan, unclothed bath was not the terrible thing at all. But my friend, Poom got trouble, she shocked after facing completely undressed women in dressing room, and she absolutely refused to be naked in onsen.
Sung and I made an effort to convince her, finally she accept to bathe with her towel when not being in bathtub. I might be in onsen too long, I felt dizzy from vasodilation. But I still love hot shower, especially relaxing in hot bathtub of Onsen that make me feel good.

Beppu Tower was our next station after nice and reasonable price dinner. 300 yen was paid for it, there was nothing interesting there, you shouldn't visit , other than old folk meeting.


8 Hells of Beppu (famous Hot Spring) were mentioned by us till now as the beautiful attraction. I had to retract my previous thought that Beppu is just suburb area and not interesting at all in my prior opinion. We agree unanimously that Beppu is one of Hi Light location of this trip.

We could visit only 6 hells because of limited time. Each of them has different distinctive point for instance “Shiraike Jigoku” was my first visiting Hot spring that has odd fish, “Oniyama Jigoku” is notable in numerous Crocodiles, “Onlishibouzu Jigoku” is boiled mud, “Yama Jigoku” was also a mini zoo, “Kamado Jigoku” is prominent in Foot Onsen and eat boiled egg synchronously that I love much, “Umi Jigoku” is outstanding in excellent natural scene that captivate all of sightseer.
“Shiraike Jigoku” was my first visiting Hot spring that has odd fish
“Onlishibouzu Jigoku” is boiled mud

“Umi Jigoku” is outstanding in excellent natural scene that captivate all of sightseer.

“Oniyama Jigoku” is notable in numerous Crocodiles

“Kamado Jigoku” is prominent in Foot Onsen and eat boiled egg synchronously that I love much

We hurried up to got on the train to Himeji castle in the afternoon, but Beppu attracted us to be late. According to Thai guide book, Himeji castle was closed at 5pm. We almost ran to Himeji immediately reached station and kept our luggage in lockers.

We disappointed again when found out that this season it was closed at 4 pm….

Oh! My God… miss Himeji castle again. Huh… hence, just taking photos around castle that we could do our best.

The special evening in Gligo of Ozaka is nice. The train station in Ozaka is as crowded as in Tokyo.

Gligo was colorful in night time. Sunchai brought us to the famous restaurant of Gligo. Large dishes of hot and good savor pasta were served. And everyone was happy with special dinner except me that was still happy with my prudent bento and avoid high price meal (~1200 yen).

We stayed in 6 single bedrooms of Toyo hostel that is the nearest hostel to JR station I had ever stayed in Japan . The most economic hostel of this trip, however the restrooms are unsatisfied; smelly and not cleaned. Anyway, I didn’t mind at all because we stayed here only 1 night and the bedroom with facility is nice.