Monday, June 10, 2013

Birthday Trip to Japan in June 2013 ~ Section 2

Welcome to the second section of my special birthday vacation to Japan in June 2013. The topics that will be covered in this section of the report will be mainly a day's shopping trip to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport), the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise and the Gotemba Premium Outlets for my younger brother's 13th birthday.

Part 1 ~ A Day's Shopping Trip To Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

On Friday (7 June), I woke up at around 7.45 a.m. after a well-earned good night's rest. Since my parents and younger brother were going to Hakone later that day, I decided to take a day's shopping trip towards Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport). I don't have much interests in nature attractions these days.

My itinerary for the day would be to take the Odakyu Romancecar Hakone limited express towards Shinjuku from Odawara Station. Upon arrival at Shinjuku Station, I would connect to the JR Yamanote Line towards Hamamatsucho, and then transfer to the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line towards Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport).


The mini kitchen with the living room television near the desk in my resort Cottage No. 2005

A cloudy morning view of Sagami Bay from my cottage

The interior of the living room in my cottage

After having a shower, changing up and preparing all my necessary belongings for the day, the clock was finally showing 8.15 a.m.. Feeling quite hungry, I decided to go to the main hotel building to have a buffet breakfast at a restaurant called Brasserie Flora. With that, I grabbed my belongings, left the cottage at 8.20 a.m. and walked up to the main hotel building towards Brasserie Flora. The walk took no more than five minutes.

Upon arriving at the Brasserie Flora at 8.25 a.m., I went to a table and sat down to arrange my belongings. That morning, there was a self-service buffet breakfast, where diners can pick out their choices of food by themselves. I had some scrambled eggs with hash brown potatoes, bacon and sausages. This tasted really filling, and I can safely say that buffet meals are only good when it comes to breakfast.


The exterior view of my chalet, Chalet No. 2005 on a cloudy morning

The exterior view of the main hotel building of the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa on a cloudy morning

The main lobby of the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

Inside the Brasserie Flora for a buffet breakfast

My buffet breakfast course: Scrambled eggs with hash brown potatoes, bacon and sausages and a glass of fresh orange juice

The interior of Brasserie Flora on a cloudy morning during breakfast

After having a sumptuous and filling buffet breakfast at Brasserie Flora, the clock was finally showing 8.55 a.m.. Knowing that I was to head to Odawara Station soon, I decided to take a free Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa shuttle bus, which would later depart for Odawara Station at 9.45 a.m..

This service only operates on weekdays towards Odawara Station, with the first departure to Odawara Station at 8.45 a.m., and the last shuttle bus from Odawara Station at 6.15 p.m.. Knowing that it was still early, I decided to rest in the hotel lobby, and then go towards the Odawara-bound bus stop just outside the main entrance at around 9.25 a.m..


The interior of the main hotel lobby inside the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa on a cloudy morning

The logo of the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa outside the main entrance to the hotel

The Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa free shuttle bus stop for buses bound for Odawara Station

After spending approximately 40 minutes of waiting, a free Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa shuttle bus bound for Odawara Station finally arrived outside the hotel's main entrance at 9.35 a.m.. With that, I immediately boarded the bus, while the driver went off for a short break time of 10 minutes.

At exactly 9.45 a.m., the bus doors closed, and the free Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa shuttle bus finally left the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa for Odawara Station. Surprisingly, I was the only passenger on board the bus, and the journey time took approximately 20 minutes.


The free Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa shuttle bus bound for Odawara Station

The interior of the free Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa shuttle bus bound for Odawara Station

Several vegetation growth spots on a hill near my hotel

The view of the Sagami Bay from the free shuttle bus between the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa and Odawara Station

A flyover bridge leading to the Greater Tokyo Area

Crossing a river bridge towards Odawara Station

Running parallel by the Tokaido Main Line tracks towards Odawara Station

Making a turnaround towards the main entrance towards Odawara Station. Note that there is an N700 Series Shinkansen train operating on a Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 643 bound for Nagoya visible

Finally arriving at Odawara Station

After a short journey time of 20 minutes from the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa, I finally arrived at Odawara Station at 10.05 a.m.. I then thanked the driver for his services before entering the station concourse. The first thing I did was to go to the JR Central Shinkansen ticket office to get two copies of the current Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen timetable.

Upon doing this, I went over to the Odakyu Romancecar ticket office located in the Odakyu Odawara Line concourse to purchase my Romancecar limited express reservation tickets towards Shinjuku. At the ticket office, a young lady offered to assist me in purchasing my ticket, though I could speak Japanese. Surprisingly, she could speak English and guessed correctly that I was from Singapore.

According to my tickets, I was to take the Odakyu Romancecar Hakone limited express No. 10 bound for Shinjuku. The train would depart Odawara Station at 11.01 a.m. from Track No. 10, and arrive at the Shinjuku terminal station at 12.21 p.m.. With that, I went down towards Tracks No. 9 and 10 for my train towards Shinjuku.

Odawara Station (小田原駅) is the main railway station serving the suburban city of Odawara, Kanagawa, Japan. It serves as an interchange station for the Tokaido Shinkansen, Tokaido Main Line, Odakyu Odawara Line, Hakone-tozan Line and Daiyuzan Line. The station serves as the gateway for foreign and local tourists from other cities wanting to visit Hakone. All KODAMA trains, as well as some HIKARI trains serve Odawara on the Tokaido Shinkansen.

The Romancecar (ロマンスカー) is a limited express luxury tourist train brand operated by Odakyu Electric Railway in Japan. It mainly runs from Tokyo's Shinjuku Station to popular tourist attractions, such as mountain resorts in Gotemba and Hakone, as well as beach resorts in Enoshima. The serviced commenced on 27 June 1957, using 8-carriage Odakyu 3000 series SE EMUs, until their primary retirement from service on 10 November 1992.

From 16 March 1963, 11-car Odakyu 3100 series NSE EMUs were used until their retirement on 23 April 2000. From 27 December 1980, 11-car Odakyu 7000 series LSE EMUs were introduced on these services, and two sets out of the four sets are still in service as of 16 March 2013. Over the years, 11-car Odakyu 10000 series HiSE EMUs were introduced on these services on 23 December 1987, along with 7-car Odakyu 20000 series RSE EMUs on 16 March 1991, until their withdrawal from these services on 16 March 2012.

The Odakyu 20000 series RSE EMUs were the only Odakyu Romancecars to feature two bi-level cars containing Super Seats (Green Cars) on the upper deck, as well as private compartments and standard class seating on the lower decks. As the years went by, 4-car and 6-car Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMUs were introduced on 23 March 1996, and they operate on a majority of the Odakyu Romancecar limited express services as of 16 March 2013.

From 19 March 2005, 10-car Odakyu 50000 series VSE EMUs were introduced on these services, with beverage counters located in Cars No. 3 and 8 of the 10-car formation. From 15 March 2008, 4-car and 6-car Odakyu 60000 series MSE EMUs were introduced on these services. These trains run throughly on some services between the Odakyu Odawara Line and Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line. The Odakyu 60000 series MSE EMUs are notable for being the first limited express train ever to run on a subway line in Japan.

From the start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012, the Odakyu 60000 series MSE EMUs sets replaced the only JR Central 371 series EMU and the Odakyu 20000 series RSE EMUs on Asagiri limited express services. These services were then truncated to operate primarily between Shinjuku and Gotemba, and the service frequency was reduced from the original four to three services per day in each direction. An additional service operates on weekends.


The exterior view of Odawara Station on a cloudy morning

The Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Odawara Station

The Odakyu Odawara Line concourse of Odawara Station

The Odakyu Romancecar ticket office in the Odakyu Odawara Line concourse of Odawara Station

The train departure information screen in the Odakyu Odawara Line concourse of Odawara Station

The upper concourse of the Odakyu Odawara Line ticketing gates leading to the platforms

The Odakyu Odawara Line station platforms of Odawara Station view from the ticketing concourse

Overlooking the JR Tokaido Main Line platforms of Odawara Station

Overlooking the Tokaido Shinkansen tracks at Odawara Station

My Odakyu Romancecar limited express tickets for the sector between Odawara and Shinjuku

The Odakyu Odawara Line name plate for Odawara Station

Tracks No. 9 and 10 of Odawara Station serving the Odakyu Line trains

The departure information screen showing the departure of all trains from Track No. 9 only

The departure information screen on the Odakyu Odawara Line platforms of Odawara Station showing all trains departing from both Tracks No. 9 and 10

The view of the Odakyu Odawara Line Track No. 10 of Odawara Station facing the direction towards Shinjuku

After spending nearly 45 minutes of anticipated waiting on the platform, a 6-car Odakyu 30000 series EMU unit, operating on the Odakyu Romancecar Hakone limited express No. 10 bound for Shinjuku finally arrived at Odawara Station at 10.59 a.m. on Track No. 10. I then boarded the train through Car No. 2, and went to my assigned seat, Seat No. 7A (accidentally took 6A until shortly after departure from Odawara). I then settled down for the journey time of 1 hour 20 minutes towards Shinjuku.

At exactly 11.01 a.m., all the doors were closed, and the Odakyu Romancecar Hakone limited express No. 10 finally pulled out of Odawara Station for its short journey time of 1 hour 20 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku in downtown Tokyo. I was then racing out of the city of Odawara for my first train journey of the day.


小田急30000形 特急はこね10号 新宿行き 小田原駅に入線と乗車

小田急30000形 特急はこね10号 新宿行き 小田原 (発車) ~ 新松田 (通過)

The rear view of the interior of the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 10 bound for Shinjuku

The front view of the interior of the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 10 bound for Shinjuku

Passing by a cemetery in the city of Hadano

Making a brief stop at Hadano Station

Passing a rice paddy field between Odawara and Atsugi

Passing through Tokaidaigaku-mae Station

Bypassing some paddy fields between Hadano and Isehara

Passing through Isehara Station

Another rice paddy field between the cities of Hadano and Atsugi

Making a brief stop at Hon-atsugi Station

Crossing a trestle bridge over a river after departing Hon-atsugi Station

Passing through Atsugi Station

Bypassing some houses in the city of Sagamihara

Passing through Sobudai-mae Station

Bypassing the Odakyu Line train depot near Sagami-ono Station

Stopping briefly at Sagami-ono Station

The departure information board on Tracks No. 3 and 4 towards Shinjuku at Sagami-ono Station. Note that the train I am on was coupled to a 4-carriage Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU, operating as the Odakyu Romancecar "Enoshima" limited express No. 10 from Katase-enoshima, forming as one train between Sagami-ono and Shinjuku

The view of the interior of the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 10 bound for Shinjuku from my seat while stopping briefly at Sagami-ono Station

小田急30000形 特急はこね10号 新宿行き 相模大野駅から新百合ヶ丘駅間

Stopping briefly at Shin-yurigaoka Station

A view of my seat, 7A, during the trip between Odawara and Shinjuku

The front view of the interior of the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 10 bound for Shinjuku between Shin-yurigaoka and Shinjuku

Passing through Mukogaoka-yuen Station

Passing through Noborito Station

Crossing the Tama River between Noborito and Izumi-tamagawa

Bypassing Izumi-tamagawa Station

Passing by some suburban housing areas between Izumi-tamagawa and Kitami Stations

Passing through Kitami Station

Bypassing Soshigaya-okura Station

Passing through the centre of Chitose-funabashi Station

Bypassing Kyodo Station

Passing through Gotokuji Station

Bypassing Setagaya-daita Station

Passing through Shimo-kitazawa Station

小田急30000形 特急はこね10号 新宿行き 代々木上原 (通過) ~ 終点新宿 (到着)

After a short journey time of 1 hour 20 minutes from the suburban city of Odawara, I finally arrived at the Shinjuku terminal station at 12.21 p.m. on Track No. 2. Knowing that I did not have a direct interchange ticket between the Odakyu and JR Lines, I exited the Odakyu Line concourse and went towards the JR Line concourse to purchase a ticket from a ticket vending machine for the second section of the journey towards Hamamatsucho.

Upon purchasing my connecting train ticket towards Hamamatsucho, I went through the ticket gates and went down towards Track No. 13, which was the Inner Loop line towards Harajuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa. Shinjuku Station was always full of hustle and bustle, as usual.

Shinjuku Station (新宿駅) is a major railway terminal serving the special wards of Shibuya-ku and Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan. It serves as a major interchange railway hub between downtown Tokyo and its western suburbs and is one of the world's busiest transport hubs, with 3.64 million travellers crowding the station in 2007.

The station serves as a starting point for many of East Japan Railway Company's (JR East) limited express trains bound for the periphery areas on the Chuo Main Line towards Nagano and Yamanashi Prefectures, as well as for limited express trains bound for the periphery areas via joint operations on the Tobu Railway Nikko Line towards Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture.

The Narita Express limited express service linking to and from Narita International Airport also serves this station. Shinjuku Station also serves as the starting point for many trains operated by Odakyu Electric Railway. These operate from segregated platforms, which are adjacent to the JR Line platforms of the station.

After spending approximately five minutes of waiting on the platforms, an 11-car E231 series EMU Yamanote Line Inner Loop train finally arrived at Shinjuku Station at 12.38 p.m. on Track No. 14. Without wasting anymore time, I boarded the train for a short 23-minute journey towards Hamamatsucho. Soon enough, the train doors closed, and the Yamanote Line Inner Loop train finally pulled out of Shinjuku Station. Since this was a short 23-minute journey, I didn't take any videos for the sector between Shinjuku and Hamamatsucho.


The Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU unit that transported me from Odawara earlier as the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 10 bound for Shinjuku

The LED destination panel of the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU unit operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 23 bound for Hakone-yumoto

The logo of the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU unit operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 23 bound for Hakone-yumoto

Tracks No. 2 and 3 serving the Odakyu Romancecar limited express trains at Shinjuku Station

The Odakyu Line concourse of Shinjuku Station towards the platforms

The Odakyu Odawara Line South Ticketing Gate at Shinjuku Station

The JR Line ticketing gates at Shinjuku Station

The main station concourse of Shinjuku Station with lots of commuters

The JR Line concourse of Shinjuku Station

Tracks No. 13 and 14 serving the Yamanote Line Inner Loop and Sobu Main Line local trains bound for Chiba at Shinjuku Station

The departure information board for Yamanote Line Inner Loop trains departing from Track No. 14 at Shinjuku Station

The JR Yamanote Line platforms of Shinjuku Station just before the next Yamanote Line Inner Loop train arrived on Track No. 14


The 12.38 p.m. Yamanote Line Inner Loop train finally arriving at Shinjuku Station on Track No. 14

Finally pulling out of Shinjuku Station

Stopping at Yoyogi Station

Travelling between Yoyogi and Harajuku Stations

Stopping briefly at Harajuku Station

Pulling into Shibuya Station

Travelling between Shibuya and Ebisu Stations

At Ebisu Station

Pulling out of Meguro Station

The interior of the E231 series Yamanote Line Inner Loop train at Shinagawa Station

Stopping at Shinagawa Station

Making a brief stop at Tamachi Station

After a brief 23-minute journey from Shinjuku on the JR Yamanote Line, I finally arrived at Hamamatsucho Station at 1.01 p.m. on Track No. 2. Immediately, I alighted the train and proceeded to the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line concourse to purchase my ongoing ticket towards Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport). At the ticket vending machines, I decided to stop at the International Passenger Terminal first.

Hamamatsucho Station (浜松町駅) is a railway station located in the special ward of Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan. It serves as an interchange station for the JR East Keihin-Tohoku Negishi Line, Yamanote Line and the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line. The Tokaido Shinkansen, as well as the Tokaido Main Line, bypass on the other side of the station without stopping.

That afternoon, there were choices of either Haneda Express, Rapid and Local trains. I decided to catch the nearest Haneda Express train, which would depart Hamamatsucho Station at 1.12 p.m.. With that, I went up towards the platform for my Tokyo Monorail Haneda Express train towards the airport.

The Tokyo Monorail (東京モノレール) is a dedicated monorail system that links between Hamamatsucho in downtown Minato-ku, Tokyo and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) in Tokyo, Japan. It is the busiest and most profitable monorail line in the world, with more than 300,000 passengers using the line per day. It is also the most scenic way to travel between Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) and downtown Tokyo.

The dedicated fleet of 6-car 1000 series and 2000 series EMU sets run at a maximum speed of up to 80 km/h (50 mph) each. Panorama cab cars (observation cars) are fitted at each end of the trains to give the passengers a panoramic view, as the train speeds through the city areas and to allow them to see the driver's cab. From July 2014, 6-car 10000 series EMUs will be introduced on the Tokyo Monorail services to increase capacity on the line.

On 18 March 2007, a passing loop was opened at Showajima Station. This allowed the Haneda Express services to commence on the line, and Rapid trains started to make stop at Oi-keibajo-mae and Ryutsu Center Stations.

During the daylight hours, many local trains make brief stops at Showajima Station for approximately two to three minutes on the new stopping tracks, to allow the faster Haneda Express services to pass through Showajima without stopping. The Rapid trains also pass through Showajima. In addition, a depot for the Tokyo Monorail trains is located near Showajima Station.

There are three types of train services that operated on the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line. The stop patterns are as follows:

Haneda Express (空港快速; Airport Express): Hamamatsucho (浜松町), Haneda Airport International Terminal (羽田空港国際線ビル), Haneda Airport Terminal 1 (羽田空港第1ビル), Haneda Airport Terminal 2 (羽田空港第2ビル)

Rapid (区間快速; Rapid Transit): Hamamatsucho (浜松町), Tennozu Isle (天王洲アイル), Oi-keibajo-mae (大井競馬場前), Ryutsu Center (流通センター), Haneda Airport International Terminal (羽田空港国際線ビル), Haneda Airport Terminal 1 (羽田空港第1ビル), Haneda Airport Terminal 2 (羽田空港第2ビル)

Local (普通; Regular train): All stations (incl. Showajima, Seibijo, Tenkubashi, Shin-seibijo)

A trip between Hamamatsucho and Haneda Airport on the Tokyo Monorail typically costs 470 yen (S$5.73) each way. From 21 October 2010, Japan Rail Pass holders can use the Tokyo Monorail free of charge. East Japan Railway Company (JR East) maintains a Travel Service Center in Haneda Airport International Terminal Station, with business hours from 11 o' clock in the morning to 6.30 p.m. daily.


Tracks No. 1 and 2 serving the Keihin-Tohoku Negishi Line and Yamanote Line trains towards Tokyo

The JR Keihin-Tohoku Negishi Line and Yamanote Line concourse at Hamamatsucho Station in the afternoon

The Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line ticketing gates at Hamamatsucho Station

The Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line concourse at Hamamatsucho Station

The Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line departure platform at Hamamatsucho Station

The departure information board in Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line departure platform at Hamamatsucho Station

A 6-carriage Tokyo Monorail 1000 series EMU, operating on the 1.08 p.m. Tokyo Monorail Local service bound for Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) at, Hamamatsucho Station

The 1.08 p.m. Tokyo Monorail Local service bound for Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) about to depart Hamamatsucho Station

The view of downtown Hamamatsucho from the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line platform of Hamamatsucho Station

After spending approximately five minutes of waiting on the platform, a 6-car Tokyo Monorail 1000 series EMU unit finally arrived at Hamamatsucho Station at 1.09 p.m.. The train had arrived from Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) as a Rapid Service train earlier, and was to become the Haneda Express train bound for Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport). With that, I immediately boarded the train through the first carriage at the Tokyo International Airport end and secured an observation seat by the driver's cab in the middle.

At exactly 1.12 p.m., all the train doors were closed, and the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Express train bound for Tokyo International Airport finally pulled out of Hamamatsucho Station for a short 19-minute journey towards the compound of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport). I was then on my way for a scenic and panoramic journey time of 13 minutes towards Tokyo International Airport. For now, I shall let these two videos do all the talking for the segment between Hamamatsucho and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport).


東京モノレール1000形 (1060F-1055F) 空港快速 東京国際空港行き 浜松町駅に入線

東京モノレール1000形 (1060F) 空港快速 東京国際空港行き 浜松町駅から羽田空港国際線ビル駅間

After a very scenic and panoramic 13-minute Tokyo Monorail train ride from the hustle and bustle of Hamamatsucho, I finally arrived at Haneda Airport International Terminal Station at 1.25 p.m. on Track No. 1. Upon alighting the train, I did not stop filming my video until the train finally left the station.

Prior to entering the terminal building, I spotted two more Tokyo Monorail trains on the platform. Through this, I could really tell that the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line is much better than the Sentosa Express monorail line that connects VivoCity shopping mall and the popular tourist resort island of Sentosa back in Singapore.


Track No. 1 serving the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line trains towards the two domestic flight terminals at Haneda Airport International Terminal Station

The name plate of Haneda Airport International Terminal Station on the platform towards Haneda Airport Domestic Terminals 1 and 2

Two Tokyo Monorail trains about to depart Haneda Airport International Terminal Station

東京モノレール2000形 (2041F-2046F) 区間快速 浜松町行き 羽田空港国際線ビル駅から出発シーン

After spotting the two Tokyo Monorail departures at Haneda Airport International Terminal Station, I went into the International Passenger Flight Terminal Building to begin my day of shopping and explorations around Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport). The new International Flight Terminal at Tokyo International Airport was opened on 21 October 2010, allowing Haneda to have more international flights and to cater to more tourist arrivals into Tokyo. This eventually resulted in competition with Narita International Airport.

In the coming years, it is expected that more passengers may come into Tokyo via Haneda instead of Narita. Moreover, Haneda has more domestic flight connections than Narita and is closer to downtown Tokyo. For example, if you fly from Singapore to Sapporo and wish to change to a domestic flight via Tokyo, it is recommended that you come in via Haneda for more convenient domestic flight connections.

The inside of the International Passenger Flight Terminal was very big, modernised, and almost looked like Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3, which was opened on 9 January 2008. I was very amazed at such a massive passenger terminal size. With that, I took the escalator from the third floor up to the fifth floor, where more shops and the observation deck was located. The fourth floor of the terminal mostly has restaurants and traditional shops selling traditional arts and crafts.


The interior of the International Passenger Flight Terminal at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

The Japan Airlines check-in counters in the International Terminal of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

The international flight information screens on the fourth floor of the International Passenger Flight Terminal at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

The observation deck in the International Terminal of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

The airport tarmac for international flights at the International Terminal of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

A China Airlines Airbus A330-302, registered B-18355, being serviced at Gate No. 112 for her afternoon journey back home to Taiwan as China Airlines flight CI 221 bound for Taipei (Songshan)

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367/ER, registered B-KPF and painted in the special Asia's World City livery, resting at Gate No. 110 after arriving from her trans-South China Sea journey as Cathay Pacific flight CX 548 from Hong Kong

An All Nippon Airways Boeing 787-881 Dreamliner, registered JA814A, resting near the International Terminal at Haneda

The observation deck in the International Terminal of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) towards the inner areas of the terminal

The view of Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal 1 from the observation deck in the International Terminal of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

A Japan Airlines Boeing 787-846 Dreamliner, registered JA825J, being towed away from the International Terminal at Haneda

Outside the Hakuhinkan Toy Park in the fifth floor of the International Terminal at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

After spotting some aircraft on the observation deck, I went back into the main terminal building to find some good shops. Upon looking through, I managed to stumble upon a hobby and toy shop, known as Hakuhinkan Toy Park. This shop mainly caters to selling toys for young children, but it also sells model aircraft for adults who are big fans of aviation.

While shopping at the Hakuhinkan Toy Park in the International Terminal, I purchased three new Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 commercial model aircraft, all of which were Boeing 777s. After purchasing my Boeing 777 Herpa Wings aircraft models from Hakuhinkan Toy Park, I felt that there was so much more to see at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport). To do this, I decided to take a free inter-terminal shuttle bus to see what Haneda Airport's two domestic flight terminals had to offer.

Without wasting anymore time, I took the escalators all the way back down towards the third floor, where I had came through earlier. Upon reaching the third floor, I connected to a nearby elevator all the way down towards the first floor, where all the limousine bus stops were located. As of my newly-purchased Boeing 777 Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 aircraft models, they were, as follows:

1) Air France Boeing 777-328/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (506892-001)


Air France Boeing 777-328/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (506892-001)

2) Austrian Airlines Boeing 777-2Z9/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (506786)


Austrian Airlines Boeing 777-2Z9/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (506786)

3) Philippine Airlines Boeing 777-3F6/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (506816-001)


Philippine Airlines Boeing 777-3F6/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (506816-001)

The escalators that link between the fourth and fifth levels in the Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) International Passenger Flight Terminal

The fourth level in the Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) International Passenger Flight Terminal

Travelling on the escalator towards the third floor in the Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) International Passenger Flight Terminal

The departure flight information screens on the fourth floor of the International Passenger Flight Terminal at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

The departures and check-in area on the third floor of the International Passenger Flight Terminal at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

The arrivals area on the second floor of the International Passenger Flight Terminal at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

Gazing at the upper levels of the International Passenger Flight Terminal at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

The domestic flight check-in counters on the first floor of the International Passenger Flight Terminal at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

The bus stops at the International Passenger Flight Terminal at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

After waiting at the bus stop for approximately a few minutes, a free inter-terminal shuttle bus finally arrived at the stop at 1.55 p.m.. I knew that this bus would connect between the International Terminal and the two main domestic flight terminals in Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport).

I then boarded the bus, and decided to stop at the Domestic Flight Terminal 1 first to see what was on offer. Soon, all the bus doors closed, and the free inter-terminal shuttle bus finally pulled out of the International Terminal. The entire journey between the International Terminal and Domestic Terminal 1 took approximately 10 minutes.


The free inter-terminal shuttle bus at the International Terminal bus stop at Tokyo International Airport

Inside the free inter-terminal shuttle bus at Tokyo International Airport

The multi-storey car parking area at the International Terminal at Tokyo International Airport

Bypassing the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line tracks near the International Passenger Terminal

The exterior view of the new International Passenger Flight Terminal at Tokyo International Airport

Several aircraft parked at the International Terminal at Tokyo International Airport

The multi-storey car parking area at the Domestic Terminal 2 at Tokyo International Airport

Approaching Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 1

The multi-storey car parking area at the Domestic Terminal 1 at Tokyo International Airport

After a short 10-minute hop on the free inter-terminal shuttle bus, I finally arrived at the bus stop of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 1 at 2.05 p.m.. I then alighted the bus and went into the terminal building. Inside the terminal building, the entire building seemed to look more like a shopping mall to me. I then looked through some of the shops available to see what good hobby shops were there.

After looking through the various shops available in Domestic Terminal 1, I finally came across another hobby shop, known as JALUX Blue Sky Shop. This hobby shop specialises in selling commercial aircraft models, and has some travel items. I previously visited this shop in May and June 2010While shopping at the JALUX Blue Sky Shop in the Domestic Flight Terminal 1, I purchased three more new Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 commercial model aircraft.


The bus stops at Domestic Flight Terminal 1 at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

A lineup of shops in Domestic Flight Terminal 1 at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

Stumbling upon JALUX Blue Sky Shop in Domestic Flight Terminal 1 at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

After purchasing my Airbus Herpa Wings aircraft models, the clock was finally showing 2.20 p.m.. Feeling hungry since I had yet to have lunch, I decided to head over towards Domestic Terminal 2 to see what good restaurants were available. Knowing that taking a train to that terminal would be too near, I decided to walk towards the terminal via an underground passageway that links between Domestic Terminals 1 and 2.

With that, I took the escalator down towards the area near Haneda Airport Terminal 1 Station and walked along the underground passageway towards Terminal 2. Along the way, the underground passageway bypasses Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal Station, which is operated by Keikyu Corporation (previously known as Keihin Electric Express Railway).

As of my new Airbus Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 aircraft models, they were, as follows:

1) Air China Airbus A330-243 "Zichen Hao - Capital Pavilion Liner" Herpa Scale 1:500 (523608)


Air China Airbus A330-243 "Zichen Hao - Capital Pavilion Liner" Herpa Scale 1:500 (523608)

2) Emirates Airbus A330-243 Herpa Scale 1:500 (514132)


Emirates Airbus A330-243 Herpa Scale 1:500 (514132)

3) South African Airways Airbus A340-313X "Olympic Colours" Herpa Scale 1:500 (523738)


South African Airways Airbus A340-313X "Olympic Colours" Herpa Scale 1:500 (523738)


Inside the main terminal building of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 1

The elevators leading up to the upper levels of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 1

The entrance to Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal Station

The underground passageway that links between Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminals 1 and 2

The escalators towards the upper levels at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

The flight information screens in the station concourse of Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

The station concourse of Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station in Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

The main entrance to Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station

The departures and check-in area of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

The view of the restaurants located on the upper levels at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

The view of the All Nippon Airways domestic flight check-in counters at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

The escalators towards the upper floors in Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

After looking through the various restaurants located in Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2, I finally managed to stumble upon an Italian Restaurant by the name of Don Sabatini. Feeling hungry already, I entered the restaurant and requested for a non-smoking table for myself. Soon, a waitress ushered me into the restaurant and showed me to a non-smoking table and I put my belongings aside.

With the food and beverages placed on my table, I made a good look through them before placing my main meal orders for lunch. After looking through the food and beverage menus of Don Sabatini Italian Restaurant, a waitress came by to my table to take down my main meal orders for lunch. I ordered myself a plate of spaghetti alla carbonara for the main meal. That afternoon, I had a sumptuous and creamy lunch of spaghetti alla carbonara at Don Sabatini Italian Restaurant in Tokyo International Airport.


The display menu outside the entrance to Don Sabatini Italian Restaurant in Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

The entrance to Don Sabatini Italian Restaurant in Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

The interior of Don Sabatini Italian Restaurant in Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

Reviewing the food and beverage menu of Don Sabatini Italian Restaurant in Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

My main meal: Spaghetti alla carbonara at Don Sabatini Italian Restaurant

The entrance to Don Sabatini Italian Restaurant in Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2 after finishing lunch

After having a mouthwatering carbonara pasta lunch at Don Sabatini Italian Restaurant in Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2, the clock was finally showing 3.15 p.m.. Having all my items purchased already, I decided to head down towards Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station.

My itinerary for the return journey would be to take the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Express train, which would depart Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station at 4.17 p.m., and arrive at the Hamamatsucho terminal station at 4.37 p.m.. Upon arrival at Hamamatsucho, I would then connect to the JR Yamanote Line towards Shinjuku, and then to the Odakyu Romancecar towards Odawara. With that, I paid up my bill and headed towards the nearest elevator lobby and took the elevator down towards the first basement, where the station entrance was located.

After arriving at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station at 3.25 p.m., I went towards the ticketing machine to purchase a direct JR line connecting ticket to Shinjuku via Hamamatsucho. Though it was still early before my 4.17 p.m. Tokyo Monorail Haneda Express train bound for Hamamatsucho, I decided to head down to the platforms to do some train-spotting to pass the time.


The escalators to the upper and lower levels of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

The view of the departure area of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) Domestic Terminal 2

The departure information board in the station concourse of Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station

The ticketing gates at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station

The Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line concourse towards the platforms at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station

A 6-carriage Tokyo Monorail 1000 series EMU train, operating on the 3.29 p.m. Haneda Express service bound for Hamamatsucho on Track No. 1 at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station

The domestic departure flight information board in the platforms at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station

The relatively uncrowded station platforms at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station

A 6-carriage Tokyo Monorail 2000 series EMU train, operating on the 3.47 p.m. Rapid service bound for Hamamatsucho on Track No. 2 at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station

東京モノレール2000形 (2031F-2036F) 区間快速 浜松町行き 羽田空港第2ビル駅から出発シーン

The disused station platform at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station

Two Tokyo Monorail 2000 series EMUs on the station platforms at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station

A 6-carriage Tokyo Monorail 2000 series EMU train, operating on a local service bound for Hamamatsucho on Track No. 1 at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station

The 4.14 p.m. Tokyo Monorail Local train bound for Hamamatsucho getting ready to depart Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station from Track No. 1

After spending approximately 45 minutes of train-spotting at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station, a 6-car Tokyo Monorail 1000 series EMU unit finally arrived at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station at 4.13 p.m. on Track No. 1. The train had arrived from Hamamatsucho as a Rapid Service train earlier, and was to become the Haneda Express train bound for Hamamatsucho. With that, I boarded the train through the first carriage at the Tokyo International Airport end and secured an observation seat by the driver's cab in the middle.

At exactly 4.17 p.m., all the doors were closed and the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Express train bound for Hamamatsucho finally pulled out of Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station. I was then on my way for a scenic and panoramic journey time of 20 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of Hamamatsucho. For now, I shall let these three interesting videos do all the talking for the segment between Hamamatsucho and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) and Hamamatsucho.


東京モノレール1000形 (1091F-1096F) 空港快速 浜松町行き 羽田空港第2ビル駅に入線

東京モノレール1000形 (1091F) 空港快速 浜松町行き 羽田空港第2ビル駅から浜松町駅間 (1/2)

東京モノレール1000形 (1091F) 空港快速 浜松町行き 羽田空港第2ビル駅から浜松町駅間 (2/2)

After a very scenic 20-minute Tokyo Monorail ride from Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport), I finally arrived at the Hamamatsucho terminal station at 4.37 p.m.. Alighting the train on the arrival platform, I decided to spot a few monorail train videos before heading down to the JR line platforms towards Shinjuku Station.


The Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line arrival platform at Hamamatsucho Station

東京モノレール 浜松町駅で出発と到着シーン (区間快速・普通列車)

A 6-carriage Tokyo Monorail 2000 series EMU train, operating on a 4.44 p.m. local service bound for Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) at Hamamatsucho Station

東京モノレール 浜松町駅で出発と到着シーン (普通列車・空港快速)

A 6-carriage Tokyo Monorail 1000 series EMU train, operating on a 4.48 p.m. Haneda Express service bound for Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) at Hamamatsucho Station

After spotting a few Tokyo Monorail train arrivals at Hamamatsucho Station, the clock was finally showing 4.50 p.m.. Feeling that it was already time to be heading back towards the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa, I immediately took the escalator down to the Tokyo Monorail station concourse and made my way to the JR Line concourse.

I then checked to see what time the nearest JR Yamanote Line Outer Loop train towards Shibuya and Shinjuku would depart. According to the departure information board, the next JR Yamanote Line Outer Loop train to Shibuya and Shinjuku would depart Hamamatsucho Station at 4.59 p.m. from Track No. 3. Without wasting anymore time, I immediately headed down towards Tracks No. 3 and 4 for the journey towards Shinjuku.


The busy Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line concourse of Hamamatsucho Station during the early evening rush hours

Tracks No. 3 and 4 serving the Keihin-Tohoku Negishi Line and Yamanote Line trains towards Shinagawa

An 11-carriage E231 series EMU, operating on a JR Yamanote Line Outer Loop service, on Track No. 3 at Hamamatsucho Station

After I had reached Tracks No. 3 and 4 of Hamamatsucho Station, an 11-car E231 series EMU, operating on the JR Yamanote Line Outer Loop service towards Shibuya and Shinjuku finally arrived at Hamamatsucho Station at 4.50 p.m. on Track No. 3. I immediately boarded the train and settled down for the short sector towards Shinjuku Station.

Soon enough, all the train doors were closed, and the JR Yamanote Line Outer Loop train towards Shibuya and Shinjuku finally pulled out of Hamamatsucho Station. I was then on my way for a short journey time of 25 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku.


The interior of the E231 series Yamanote Line Outer Loop train at Hamamatsucho Station

Travelling between Hamamatsucho and Osaki Stations

Stopping briefly at Osaki Station

Travelling between Osaki and Shibuya Stations

Making a brief stop at Shibuya Station

Travelling between Shibuya and Harajuku Stations

Stopping briefly at Harajuku Station

Making a brief stop at Yoyogi Station

The interior of the E231 series Yamanote Line Outer Loop train as it approaches Shinjuku Station

After a short 25-minute train journey from the hustle and bustle of Hamamatsucho, I finally arrived at the Shinjuku terminal station at 5.15 p.m. on Track No. 15. Having all my personal belongings with me, I alighted the train and went up to the ticketing concourse, where I exited the JR Line concourse of the station.

Upon arriving at the Odakyu Odawara Line concourse of the station, I immediately headed to the Odakyu Romancecar limited express ticket vending machine to purchase my ticket for the third and final sector for the day between Shinjuku and Odawara.

Since it was the evening rush hour by this time, most of the Odakyu Romancecar limited express trains were already booked. I then purchased my ticket for the next available train, of which, I would be taking the Odakyu Romancecar Homeway limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto, which would depart Shinjuku Station at six o' clock that evening, and arrive at Odawara Station at 7.17 p.m..

Upon purchasing my ticket, I figured that my seat wouldn't be a normal window seat, but I decided to sneak up to a window seat once most of the passengers have disembarked from the train at their different stops. At the same time, I went to see which platform the Odakyu Romancecar Homeway limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto would depart from.

According to the departure information screen, the Odakyu Romancecar Homeway limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto would depart at six o' clock from Track No. 2. So, without wasting anymore time, I went through the ticket gates and headed down towards Tracks No. 2 and 3 in preparation for my journey back to Odawara. Especially at this time, Shinjuku Station was really busy with lots of commuters trying to get home.


Tracks No. 15 and 16 serving the JR Yamanote Line and Sobu Main Line Local trains at Shinjuku Station

The busy JR Line concourse of Shinjuku Station during the early evening rush hour

The busy Odakyu Odawara Line ticketing concourse of Shinjuku Station during the early evening rush hour

The Odakyu Odawara Line concourse towards the platform at Shinjuku Station

A 10-carriage Odakyu 50000 series VSE EMU, operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 45 bound for Hakone-yumoto, at Shinjuku Station on Track No. 2

My train tickets for the return sector between Shinjuku and Odawara

Tracks No. 2 and 3 serving the Odakyu Line trains at Shinjuku Station

Tracks No. 1 and 2 at Shinjuku Station before the next Odakyu Romancecar train arrived

An 11-carriage Odakyu 7000 series LSE EMU, operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Enoshima" limited express No. 75 bound for Fujisawa, at Shinjuku Station on Track No. 2

The departure information screen in Track No. 2 of Shinjuku Station

Track No. 2 serving the Odakyu Romancecar limited express trains at Shinjuku Station just before the Odakyu Romancecar "Homeway" limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto arrived

After spending approximately 20 minutes of anticipated waiting on the platform, a 10-car Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU finally arrived at Shinjuku Station at 5.49 p.m. on Track No. 2. The train had arrived from Hakone-yumoto earlier as the Odakyu Romancecar Hakone limited express No. 34 earlier, and was to undergo extensive cleaning before becoming the Odakyu Romancecar Homeway limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto.

Soon enough, the cleaning process was completed at 5.55 p.m., and the train doors were finally opened, allowing the passengers to board the train. With that, I boarded the train through Car No. 6 and went to my assigned seat No. 14C for the short journey time of 1 hour 17 minutes towards the suburban city of Odawara.

At exactly six o' clock, all the doors were closed, and the Odakyu Romancecar Homeway limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto finally pulled out of Shinjuku Station for its short journey time of 1 hour 35 minutes towards the popular tourist resort town of Hakone. I was then on my way for a short journey time of 1 hour 17 minutes towards the suburban city of Odawara. Once most of the passengers disembarked the train at either Hon-atsugi or Hadano Station, I moved to some window seats during the journey.


小田急30000形 特急ホームウェイ1号 箱根湯本行き 新宿駅に入線シーン

The LED destination panel of the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Homeway" limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto at Shinjuku Station 

Track No. 2 just before I boarded the Odakyu Romancecar "Homeway" limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto at Shinjuku Station

The front view of the interior of the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Homeway" limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto during boarding at Shinjuku Station

The view of the interior of the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Homeway" limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto from my seat during boarding at Shinjuku Station

小田急30000形 特急ホームウェイ1号 箱根湯本行き 新宿 (発車) ~ 豪徳寺 (通過)

Bypassing some suburban areas in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo

Crossing the Tama River between Tokyo and Kawasaki

The view of the interior of the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Homeway" limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto from my seat between Shinjuku and Machida

Bypassing Mukogaoka-yuen Station

Travelling through the suburban city of Kawasaki in the evening

The rear view of the interior of the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Homeway" limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto between Shinjuku and Hon-atsugi

Passing through Ikuta Station

Bypassing Machida Station

Travelling through the suburban city of Machida in the evening

Crossing a river bridge between the suburban cities of Atsugi and Sagamihara

Making a brief stop at Hon-atsugi Station

小田急30000形 特急ホームウェイ1号 箱根湯本行き 本厚木駅から秦野駅間

Making a brief stop at Hadano Station

A typical seating arrangement on the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU

The front view of the interior of the Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Homeway" limited express No. 1 bound for Hakone-yumoto between Hadano and Odawara

Crossing a river bridge between the cities of Hadano and Odawara

小田急30000形 特急ホームウェイ1号 箱根湯本行き 開成 (通過) ~ 小田原 (到着)

After a short journey time of 1 hour 17 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku in downtown Tokyo, I finally arrived back at Odawara Station at 7.17 p.m. on Track No. 7. The first six carriages of the train would go on to Hakone-yumoto, whereas the remaining four carriages would terminate at Odawara.

Having all my belongings with me, I alighted the train and went up towards the Odakyu Line concourse of the station. Upon exiting through the ticket gates, I took the elevator down to the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse, making a telephone call to my parents that I had just arrived. With that, I went outside the station to wait for them to fetch me.


Tracks No. 7 and 8 serving the Odakyu Odawara Line trains bound for Hakone-yumoto at Odawara Station

The view of the Odakyu Odawara Line platforms of Odawara Station from the Odakyu Odawara Line concourse in the evening

The Odakyu Odawara Line station concourse of Odawara Station at night

The Tokaido Shinkansen ticketing concourse to Odawara Station at night

The Tokaido Shinkansen entrance to Odawara Station at night

The taxi stand located outside the Tokaido Shinkansen entrance to Odawara Station at night

After spending almost 10 minutes of waiting outside the Tokaido Shinkansen entrance, my family finally arrived at the taxi stand just outside Odawara Station at 7.50 p.m.. Having all my belongings loaded, I climbed aboard for the short 20-minute drive towards our chalet at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa.

Soon enough, we finally departed Odawara Station for a short 20-minute night drive towards our chalet located at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa. By this time, everywhere, including Sagami Bay was really dark. It was a bit spooky as we climed up the secluded hillsides of Nebukawa towards our chalet at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa.


Finally commencing our journey back to the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

Driving through neighbourhood vicinity of Hayakawa in the suburban city of Odawara at night

Driving along the coastline of Sagami Bay at night

Driving along the hillsides of Nebukawa at night

Bypassing a quiet neighbourhood in Nebukawa

Climbing up the hills of Nebukawa towards our hotel resort at night

Finally arriving back at our chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

The tatami-style bedroom in my chalet No. 2005 at night

The western-style bedroom in my chalet No. 2005 at night

After a short 20-minute drive through the hills from Odawara Station, we finally arrived back at our chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa at 8.10 p.m.. While my dad went to park our car, the rest of us went back into our chalet, where we had a nice, hot shower before whipping up some dinner later that night.

For the rest of the entire night, we had nothing better to do, leaving us to our own devices. Soon enough, we finally turned in at around one or two o' clock very late that night after spending a wonderful day in our respective destinations.

Part 2 ~ Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The next day, which was Saturday (8 June), we all woke up late at around 11.15 a.m. after getting a long good night's rest. My parents told us that we would be going for a day trip to the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise later that afternoon. With that, we all had a nice, hot shower and changed into our day's attire before preparing our necessary belongings for the day.

After preparing all our necessary belongings for the day, the clock was finally showing 1.15 p.m.. Locking up, we headed down towards a remote car parking area surrounded by trees located close to our chalet area. Upon reaching our car, we loaded our belongings into the car and climbed aboard to start our journey towards the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise.

Soon enough, we finally left the vicinity of the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa by 1.25 p.m. for a relatively long road trip towards the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise. Along the way, we stopped by at a convenience shopping mart in the suburban city of Ebina, known as Expasa Ebina for a brief lunch break.


The living room of our chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa on a clear summer's day

The view of Sagami Bay from our chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa on a clear summer's day

The view of our chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa on a clear summer's day

Our rented Nissan car parked at the secluded parking area

Driving along the coastal road of Sagami Bay after leaving the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

The beautiful view of Sagami Bay on a clear summer's day

A seawall located along the coastline of Sagami Bay

Driving along the Odawara-Tokyo Expressway

A glider aircraft used for paragliding in Sagami Bay

Approaching a toll gate in the suburban city of Odawara

The Tokaido Shinkansen tracks, where I will be on in a few days' time

Bypassing some houses in the suburban city of Chigasaki

Driving along the Odawara-Tokyo Expressway between Chigasaki and Ebina

Bypassing some houses in the suburban city of Ebina

Driving through the city of Ebina on the Odawara-Tokyo Expressway

Finally pulling up at the rest area, where Expasa Ebina is located

The exterior view of Expasa Ebina

After a short 45-minute road trip from the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa, we finally arrived at Expasa Ebina by 2.10 p.m.. Knowing that it was safe enough to leave some of our personal belongings, we locked up our car and went into the mini-mart to have a short lunch break. There, we managed to stumble upon a shop that specialises in meat lunch boxes. There, we had a sumptuous lunch break at Expasa Ebina before resuming our journey towards the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise.

After a short 40-minute lunch break at Expasa Ebina, the clock was finally showing 2.50 p.m.. Knowing that it was time to resume our journey towards the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, we disposed of our empty lunch boxes and headed back towards our car to continue with our journey. Soon enough, by 2.55 p.m., we were on our way over the Keihin Expressway again for a short drive towards the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise.


The inside of Expasa Ebina

A food shop specialising in meat lunch boxes in Expasa Ebina

Having lunch at Expasa Ebina

The inside of Expasa Ebina relatively crowded with shoppers

The view of the Expasa Ebina just before we drove off

About to depart the compound of Expasa Ebina

Driving along the Tomei Expressway towards the port city of Yokohama

Bypassing some industrial buildings in Yokohama

Approaching a toll gate towards the cities of Yokohama and Machida

Driving along a highway towards Yokohama

Passing several industrial areas in Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama

Driving through the neighbourhood of Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama near the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Driving by a canal by the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

After a long road trip of 2 hours 10 minutes from the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa in the suburban city of Odawara, we finally arrived at the main car parking area of the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise at 3.35 p.m.. Taking most of necessary belongings with us, we locked our car and crossed a footbridge towards the main compound of the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise.

The view of the sea between the car parking area and the main sea paradise park area was extremely breathtaking and scenic. Upon arriving at the main aquarium area, known as Aqua Museum, by four o' clock, we went to the main ticketing office to purchase our one-day aquarium passes for the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise.


A road by the port near the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The car parking area near the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The pathway towards the bridge that leads directly to Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The view of the river mouth leading to Sagami Bay from the footbridge towards the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The pedestrian footbridge that leads to the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

An inland lake near Sagami Bay by the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A small port by the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A poster detailing certain events that will be taking place at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The automatic ticketing area around the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

An arcade centre in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A mini mart located by the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise near Aqua Museum

The exterior view of the building of Aqua Museum in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

After walking from the main car parking area for approximately 25 minutes, we finally arrived at the main ticketing office towards Aqua Museum Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise at four o' clock. We then rolled up to purchase our one-day passes for the day's visit to the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, knowing that all four of us were adults, with those aged between 2 and 11 classified as children.

Upon purchasing our four one-day passes for the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, we entered the aquarium to begin our day tour. The very first section we went to see was the sea creatures from the warm seas and the polar creatures. These included polar bears, penguins, sea otters and whale sharks. Everything seemed very interesting here, and it seemed to be much better than the COEX Aquarium back in South Korea.


The passageway from the main entrance to the Aqua Museum to the inner aquarium enclosures

A large aquarium enclosure that houses sea otters in the Aqua Museum Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A large aquarium enclosure that houses gray seals in the Aqua Museum Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A model layout of the Aqua Museum Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in the aquarium

The observation deck where people can view the whale sharks and other different fish from the aquarium enclosure below the marine animal show theatre

Two whale sharks swimming gracefully in their aquarium enclosure below the marine animal show theatre

A whale shark swimming about in its aquarium enclosure below the marine animal show theatre

A small school of fish swimming in their aquarium enclosure below the marine animal show theatre

A large aquarium enclosure that houses polar bears in the Aqua Museum Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Several walruses swimming about in their large tank in the Aqua Museum Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The underwater escalator passageway in the Aqua Museum in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A large aquarium that houses penguins in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A cute little penguin swimming about in its enclosure in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Several fishes swimming about in the large aquarium as we go upwards on the underwater escalator tube

Travelling up the underwater escalator tube in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Three penguins waddling about in their aquarium in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A concourse in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise where people can view different sea creatures

A nurse shark swimming about in a large aquarium tank in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A large school of fish swimming about in a large aquarium tank in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A water tank containing freshwater fish in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Several spotnape cardinalfishes swimming about in their aquarium tank

More spotnape cardinalfishes swimming about in their aquarium tank

Several schools of jellyfish swimming about in their tank

A large lobster and a moray eel swimming about in their aquarium

Two large spider crabs lurking about in their aquarium tank in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A shark swimming about with smaller schools of fish in a tank

A large spider crab lurking about in its aquarium tank in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A large shark swimming by a school of fish swimming in the large aquarium in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A large school of fish swimming in the large aquarium in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Several polar bears resting lazily in their enclosure in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A large walrus resting lazily in its enclosure in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Several large fish swimming about in the large aquarium tank in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A very large school of fish swimming in the large aquarium in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A large nurse shark swimming by the schools of fish in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A large visitor observation area for visitors to see more freshwater fish in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

More schools of fish swimming by a stingray in the large aquarium in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A nurse shark swimming about in the large aquarium tank as we make our way up towards the animal show theatre

After looking at the large fish aquarium tank in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, the clock was finally showing 4.35 p.m.. Feeling that there was still much to see around the Aqua Museum, we decided to head up towards the tanks near the marine animal show theatre. While there, we saw several creatures, such as large turtles and puffer fish. Though the puffer fish is poisonous, Despite its poisonous nature, many Japanese today are also very fond of eating pufferfish, of which they have a local dish for it known as fugu (フグ).

This fish is very famous in the city of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, as well as in many parts of Japan and has long been a delicacy in Japanese cuisine. However, the preparation of pufferfish is strictly controlled by law worldwide and sales of fish belonging to this genus is strictly disallowed by law in the European Union.


Due to the fish's poisonous nature, the price for a pufferfish meal can be very expensive. In Japanese cuisine, a typical pufferfish meal runs a total of eight courses, and only specially-licensed expert chefs are allowed to deal with the fish. It typically takes between three to seven years to learn how to prepare a pufferfish dish, and there are lethal consequences if the fish is prepared incorrectly. Among all the body parts in a pufferfish, none is more poisonous than the liver.



A spiked porcupinefish (pufferfish) swimming in the large open air tank in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Several large turtles swimming in the large open air tank in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A large grouper fish and a ray swimming in the large open air tank in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A white-spotted pufferfish swimming in the large open air tank in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Several sharks resting lazily in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Several small freshwater fish swimming in the large open air tank in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

After looking at all the different types of marine creatures around Aqua Museum in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, the clock was finally showing 4.40 p.m.. Knowing that the next marine animal show would commence at five o' clock, we walked up towards the marine animal show theatre, arriving there by 4.45 p.m..

The view of Tokyo Bay was very beautiful, especially from the marine animal show theatre at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise. In preparation for the marine animal show which would commence in 15 minutes time, we settled down into some seating areas near the top of the theatre.


A Sumitomo manufacturing area as seen from the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The view of the entire marine animal show theatre in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The view of the large whale shark aquarium below the marine animal show theatre in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The marine animal stable near the marine animal show theatre in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The information for the marine creatures that are used for the marine animal show in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A bumper boat ride attraction in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A small yacht jetty by the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The entire view of the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise from the marine animal show theatre

A small miniature island boat resting above the whale shark aquarium in the marine animal show theatre just before the show commenced

After spending approximately 15 minutes of waiting in the theatre, the marine animal show at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise finally commenced at five o' clock, as scheduled. During the show, there were lots of colloquial acts carried out by the animals and their trainers. Through this, the marine creatures seemed to have close bonds with their trainers. The entire show lasted just half an hour.

Hawaiian hula dances were also hosted by a walrus and sea lion with their trainers. The trainers hosting the show also communicated with the whale sharks and performed funny tricks with their trainers, which was the most enjoyable part of the show. They were also provided fishes by their trainers with the buckets. Overall, I can safely this was a very enjoyable show, and it was way better than the boring old COEX Aquarium back in South Korea.


A whale shark swimming towards two show trainers riding a lifesaver boat

The two performing divers interacting with the eager whale shark

The two performing divers resting on a small miniature island boat

A sea lion sharing a bond with his trainer before a hula dance

The trainers making their announcement about their Hawaiian hula dance performance with the walrus and sea lion

The trainers and the sea lion and walrus about to commence their Hawaiian hula dance performance

A whale shark swimming about near the surface during the marine animal show

The two animal trainers about to play a ball game with a sea lion

A male animal trainer swimming with the sea lion below the large whale shark aquarium

The two female drivers hosting a diving show with two manatees

The two female drivers and manatees ending off their section of the show

The audience about to cheer for the two female drivers and manatees ending off their section of the show

The dolphins being fed with fish from their trainers

The dolphins performing water dances during the show

The dolphins doing their loops in the show

The dolphins lining up towards their trainers for more fish treats

The dolphins swimming up to their trainers for more fish treats

The dolphins being fed with more fish treats during the show

The audience anticipating the next part of the show

The dolphins receiving more fish treats from their trainers

Finally leaving the marine animal show theatre after the show was finished

After watching the enjoyable marine animal show at the marine animal show theatre in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, the clock was finally showing 5.30 p.m.. Feeling very satisfied with the animal show, we decided to leave the theatre to see what other creatures the Aqua Museum Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise was housing.

Soon enough, we finally reached an area located near the main exit of the aquarium by 5.35 p.m.. The area located near the main exit was an open-air space housing several freshwater creatures and a small pond with ducks. It was a rather cute and waddly way to finish off a nice visit to the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise.


The large duck pond in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The passageway to the main exit at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Two Mandarin ducks waddling about in their pond in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The large board displaying the duck species information by the large duck pond in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Two ruddy shelducks and a rosy-billed pochard waddling about in the large duck pond in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The signboard towards the main exit at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

After spending the afternoon of approximately 1 hour 40 minutes visiting the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, the clock was finally showing 5.40 p.m.. As we left the Aqua Mueseum, we looked around a small shopping mall located just adjacent to the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, which was known as Bay Market Shopping Mall.


Noticing that there wasn't much to buy around the shopping mall, we decided to head back towards the same car parking area where we had parked our car earlier. Again, the view of the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise and Tokyo Bay was very beautiful.



A small souvenir shop outside Aqua Museum in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The entire view of the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise Theme Park from the Aqua Museum

The view of the canal leading to Tokyo Bay from the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

An iron footbridge over the canal that crosses to the small harbour near the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The logo of Bay Market Shopping Mall at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The pedestrian footbridge between Aqua Museum and Bay Market Shopping Mall at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

A small refreshment stand located near Bay Market Shopping Mall at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The tall up-and-down tower ride attraction in the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The large reservoir near the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise during sunset

The pedestrian footbridge that leads to the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise during sunset

The station building of Hakkeijima Station

The car parking area near the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise during sunset


After spending an enjoyable afternoon at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, we were finally back at the main car parking area at 6.25 p.m.. Loading all of our belongings into the car, we finally left the compound of the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise by 6.30 p.m.. At the same time, we decided that our next stop would be to stop at a small shopping centre, known as Aeon.

This shop was located in the outskirts of Naka-ku, Yokohama, and we decided to purchase some necessities for home while we were there. Soon enough, once all of us were on board the car, we were finally on our way towards the Aeon Department Store in Naka-ku, Yokohama. The drive took no more than 20 minutes. In summary about the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, I can safely say that I quite enjoyed it. It was much better than the COEX Aquarium back in South Korea.


Driving through the neighbourhood of Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama near the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in the evening

Driving along the Keihin Expressway during sunset

Bypassing a large industrial plant area somewhere near Naka-ku, Yokohama

After a short 20-minute road drive from the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, we finally arrived at a secluded car parking area near Aeon Department Store Naka-ku, Yokohama at 6.50 p.m.. Parking our car and locking up, we walked across the relatively secluded roads of Naka-ku, Yokohama and arrived at the entrance to the Aeon Department Store by seven o' clock.

While we were spending the early evening shopping at Aeon Department Store, we looked around purchasing new clothes and footwear. At the same time, we went down towards the first floor supermarket to purchase some necessities for home, as well as shampoos and body washing soaps for our stay in Odawara.


The secluded car parking area near the Aeon Department Store in Naka-ku, Yokohama

Walking past a large shopping mall towards the Aeon Department Store

The exterior view of Aeon Department Store in Naka-ku, Yokohama in the early evening

The roads of Naka-ku, Yokohama near the Aeon Department Store at night

The exterior view of Aeon Department Store in Naka-ku, Yokohama at night

A lineup of infrastructure along Naka-ku, Yokohama at night

After spending approximately an hour of shopping around Aeon Department Store in Naka-ku, Yokohama, the clock was finally showing eight o' clock. Feeling very hungry already, we decided to find a nearby restaurant for dinner. With that, we walked along the street, looking at the various restaurants available in the area.

Soon enough, we managed to stumble upon a local barbecue restaurant by the name of Netsuretsu Karubi Yakiniku Restaurant (熱烈カルビ焼き肉). Feeling hungry already, we entered the restaurant and requested a table for the four of us. With the food and beverage menus distributed to us once we were ushered to a table, we had a good look through them before placing our dinner orders.

After having a good review through the food and beverage menus of Netsuretsu Karubi Yakiniku Restaurant, a waitress came by to take down our meal orders. We ordered several items that seemed to be that of our likings off the menu, having second rounds for some of the dishes. That night, we had quite a sumptuous and filling charcoal barbecue dinner at Netsuretsu Karubi Yakiniku Restaurant.


The logo of Netsuretsu Karubi Yakiniku Restaurant Yokohama just above the restaurant entrance

The entrance towards Netsuretsu Karubi Yakiniku Restaurant Yokohama

The interior of Netsuretsu Karubi Yakiniku Restaurant Yokohama during dinner hours

Reviewing the food and beverage menu of Netsuretsu Karubi Yakiniku Restaurant Yokohama

The two charcoal barbecue grillers at our table in Netsuretsu Karubi Yakiniku Restaurant Yokohama

A platter of sliced beef tongue ready to be grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

A platter of beef large intestine ready to be cooked for consumption

A platter of beef karubi ready to be cooked for our consumption

A platter of thinly-sliced beef ready to be grilled for us to eat

A platter of pork karubi ready to be grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

Several pieces of pork karubi being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

More pieces of thinly sliced beef and beef large intestines cooking on the grill

The pieces of thinly sliced beef and beef large intestines cooking gooily on the grill

Three pieces of sliced beef being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

Another platter of pork karubi ready to be grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

A platter of four sausages ready to be grilled up on the griller

Another platter of beef large intestine ready to be cooked for consumption

More pork jowl and beef large intestines grilling on the grill

The interior of Netsuretsu Karubi Yakiniku Restaurant Yokohama as we continue with our dinner

A platter of pork jowl in green sauce ready to be grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

Another platter of thinly-sliced beef ready to be grilled for us to eat

Four pieces of sliced beef being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

More pork jowl being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

Another platter of beef karubi ready to be cooked for our consumption

After having a relatively sumptuous and filling yakiniku charcoal barbecue dinner at Netsuretsu Karubi Yakiniku Restaurant, the clock was finally showing 9.20 p.m.. Knowing that it was already starting to get late, we decided to head back towards the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa.

With that, we paid up our bill and left the restaurant at 9.25 p.m., heading towards the very secluded car parking area, where we had parked our car earlier that evening. Soon enough, we finally departed the outskirts of Yokohama by 9.35 p.m. for a late night road journey time of 1 hour 50 minutes towards our chalet at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa.


Finally leaving Netsuretsu Karubi Yakiniku Restaurant Yokohama

Walking back towards the secluded car parking area in Naka-ku, Yokohama

Finally driving out of the outskirts of the city of Yokohama

Driving along the first phase of the Tomei Expressway from Yokohama to Odawara

Driving on a somewhat jammed section of the Tomei Expressway

Travelling through the cities of Ebina and Hadano late at night

Driving along the roads of the suburban city of Odawara late at night

Climbing up the pitch dark hills of Nebukawa, Odawara towards the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

Finally arriving back at our chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

After a relatively long road-jammed journey time of 1 hour 50 minutes from the outskirts of Yokohama, we finally arrived back at our chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa at 11.25 p.m.. While my dad went to park the car, the rest of us went into the chalet to have a nice, hot shower before settling in for the night.

Soon enough, since it was already late at night, there was nothing much to do other than to have our own devices to keep us company for the rest of the night. We then finally turned in at around one or two o' clock late that night for a well-earned good night's rest to prepare for the next day.

Part 1 ~ A Birthday Shopping Trip For My Brother to the Gotemba Premium Outlets

The next day, which was Sunday (9 June), we all woke up relatively late at around eleven o' clock that morning after a well-earned good night's sleep. This was a special day, since this day would mark my younger brother's 13th birthday.

As soon as all of us were awake, we all had a nice, hot shower and changed up into our day's attire to commence the day right. Upon wondering what to do for the day, we decided to bring my brother on a birthday shopping trip to the Gotemba Premium Outlets.

The tatami-style bedroom in my Chalet No. 2005 at in the early afternoon

The western-style bedroom in my Chalet No. 2005 at in the early afternoon

The interior of the living room in our Chalet No. 2005

After having all our necessary belongings for the day, we finally left our Chalet No. 2005 at around 1.55 p.m. for the secluded car parking area of the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa. With all our belongings loaded into the car and everyone on board, we finally left the area of the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa by two o' clock.

Our very first stop of the day was Odawara Station in order to exchange our one-week Green Car (first class) Japan Rail Pass Exchange Vouchers for our Japan Rail Passes. With that, we drove along the coast of Sagami Bay towards Odawara Station, with the journey taking no more than half an hour.

Our rented Nissan car parked at the secluded parking area

The lush green mountains of the city of Odawara on a cloudy summer afternoon

Bypassing an old neighbourhood in Nebukawa, Odawara with the Tokaido Shinkansen tracks in the background

Bypassing Nebukawa Station

The beautiful view of Sagami Bay facing downtown Odawara

The beautiful view of Sagami Bay on a cloudy summer's afternoon

A flyover bridge leading to the Greater Tokyo Area as we enter the neighbourhood of Hayakawa in Odawara

Travelling along the neighbourhood of Hayakawa in Odawara

Bypassing a firefighter station in the city of Odawara

Running parallel to the JR Tokaido Main Line tracks near Odawara Station

Finally approaching Odawara Station

Going around the bend towards the Tokaido Shinkansen entrance to Odawara Station

After a short 30-minute drive from the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa, we finally arrived at Odawara Station at 2.30 p.m.. Parking our car at the car parking area adjacent to the station, we went into the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse, and headed towards the JR Central Ticket Office, where, as stated on the Japan Rail Pass website, we could exchange our Japan Rail Passes at Odawara Station.

Upon reaching the JR Central Ticket Office in the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse, we finally exchanged our Green Car (first class) Japan Rail Pass Exchange Vouchers for our Japan Rail Passes. These passes would then last us for exactly one week between Monday (10 June) and Sunday (16 June).

After we had received our 7-day Green-type Japan Rail Passes, I immediately made my Shinkansen Green Car (first class) seat reservations, as I was planning to travel to Fukuoka, Kyushu the next day, and towards Kansai International Airport on Wednesday (12 June). Knowing that both journeys would involve the use of NOZOMI trains on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines and that the NOZOMI service is not valid with the Japan Rail Pass, I was lucky since I had a few ¥100,000 to pay for my Shinkansen NOZOMI train tickets.

As soon as I had paid for the basic fares for my Shinkansen NOZOMI train tickets, it was my mum's turn to make her Green Car (first class) seat reservations, since she was going to Kyoto to meet a friend on the same day I would head to Kansai International Airport. Her journey would be on a Shinkansen HIKARI service between Odawara and Kyoto.

A taxi stand located just outside the Tokaido Shinkansen entrance to Odawara Station

The Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Odawara Station in the mid-afternoon hours

The JR Central Ticket Office located in the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Odawara Station in the mid-afternoon hours

The busy Odakyu Odawara Line concourse of Odawara Station in the mid-afternoon hours

The busy Tokaido Main Line concourse of Odawara Station in the mid-afternoon hours

Fujiya Hotel restaurant located inside the station concourse of Odawara Station

Marron cafeteria located just outside Odawara Station

The station building of Odawara Station on a somewhat cloudy summer's afternoon

The Daiyuzan Line entrance to Odawara Station

The view of Odawara Castle from Odawara Station

The Odakyu Odawara Line and Hakone Tozan Line ticketing gates at Odawara Station

The double-storey car parking area located near the Tokaido Shinkansen entrance to Odawara Station

After completing our Shinkansen Green Car (first class) seat reservations at the JR Central Ticket Office, the clock was finally showing three o' clock. Feeling very hungry already, we decided to look around the station area to see what available restaurants were there to eat at for lunch.

Having a good look through the station area, we found that none of the restaurants seemed to be of our appetite in the station itself. With that, we went back to the car parking area, got into the car, and finally left the compound of Odawara Station by 3.30 p.m.. We drove along the Atsugi-Odawara Expressway searching for some good places to eat along the diversion roads near it.

Bypassing a hillside house in the suburban city of Odawara

Several lush green areas by the Atsugi-Odawara Expressway

Driving along the Atsugi-Odawara Expressway in the afternoon

The panoramic view of the Atsugi-Odawara Expressway from our car between Odawara and Atsugi

Bypassing some suburban housing areas between Hadano and Odawara

Crossing a river over a road bridge in Kanagawa Prefecture

After spending approximately 10 minutes of driving along the Atsugi-Odawara Expressway, we finally stumbled upon a steakhouse restaurant by the road, by the name of Steak Gusto at 3.40 p.m.. Parking our car at the main car parking area near the restaurant, we went into the restaurant and and requested for a table for the four of us.

We were then ushered to an empty table by a waiter, and settled down to have a late lunch. Having the food and beverage menus with us, we had a good review through them before placing our orders for lunch.

After having a good review through the food and beverage menus, a waitress finally came by to our table to take down our main meal orders for this late lunch. We ordered several items off the menu that seemed to suit our appetite and our interests. That afternoon, we all had a sumptuous birthday lunch for my younger brother. The meal was fit enough to get us going through our journey towards the Gotemba Premium Outlets later on.

The exterior view of Steak Gusto Restaurant Odawara

The interior view of Steak Gusto Restaurant Odawara during lunch and afternoon tea hours

The food and beverage menu of Steak Gusto Restaurant Odawara

Reviewing the food and beverage menu of Steak Gusto Restaurant Odawara

A large platter of french fries and a plate of small sausages

A grilled rib-eye steak on a hot plate for my younger brother

A grilling platter containing grilled chicken for my dad

A hot platter of pork chops, vegetables and potato wedges served with mushroom sauce for myself

The interior view of Steak Gusto Restaurant Odawara just before we left for the Gotemba Premium Outlets

After having a sumptuous and filling lunch at Steak Gusto Restaurant Odawara, the clock was finally showing 4.20 p.m.. Knowing that we were all ready to resume our journey to the Gotemba Premium Outlets. With that, we went to the main counter to pay our bill, and went back to our rented car to resume our journey.

Upon reaching our car, we hopped on board to resume our journey towards the Gotemba Premium Outlets. With that, we finally left Steak Gusto Restaurant Odawara at 4.25 p.m., and drove along the Tomei Expressway for approximately an hour. As we drove along the Tomei Expressway, we managed to catch some sights of Mount Fuji, which was really hard to be seen.

The exterior view of Steak Gusto Restaurant Odawara just before we left for the Gotemba Premium Outlets

Finally departing the suburban-rural compound in Odawara

Bypassing a small warehouse in Odawara

Bypassing a roadside convenience store in the suburban city of Odawara

Driving through a somewhat unknown area with a small vehicle shop on the left

The main car parking area of Cainz Home Department Store

Stopping at a small departmental store to purchase some necessities

Finally turning towards the Tomei Expressway

Bypassing a mountain slope by the Tomei Expressway

The arc iron bridge over the Tomei Expressway

Bypassing a sparse mountain rural settlement near the Tomei Expressway

The view of Mount Fuji along the Tomei Expressway. Mind you, Mount Fuji was never an easy mountain to see!

Overlooking the mostly-forested town of Oyama with Mount Fuji

Driving along the expressway while overlooking Mount Fuji between Odawara and Gotemba

Bypassing some hillside houses on the Tomei Expressway

A clear and beautiful view of Mount Fuji as we get nearer to the city of Gotemba

Finally approaching the suburban city of Gotemba

Waiting at a traffic light towards the Gotemba Premium Outlets

After a short one-hour road drive from the suburban city of Odawara, we finally arrived at the Gotemba Premium Outlets at 5.25 p.m.. Parking our car on the top floor of the multi-storey car parking area outside the outlet mall, we took the pedestrian passageway from the top car parking area and entered the outlet mall by 5.35 p.m..

I have known the Gotemba Premium Outlets since I first visited the outlet mall back in May and June 2010. Upon entering the outlet mall and bypassed several shops along the way. There were lots of stores selling various boutique items like clothing, footwear, expensive handbags and timepieces.

There was also a footbridge that connects the East Zone and West Zone of the outlet, which crosses a small stream by several vegetation down below the outlet mall. Once my brother and I found a place to sit, my parents left us to take care of their valuable electronic iPads, while they did their shopping. In my opinion, I personally think that the Gotemba Premium Outlets is better than the Yeoju Premium Outlets in South Korea, based on its surroundings.

The multi-storey car parking area outside the entrance to the Gotemba Premium Outlets

The Gotemba Premium Outlets Ferris Wheel as seen from the multi-storey car parking area

The exterior view of the Gotemba Premium Outlets from the footbridge entrance to the outlet mall

The cloudy view of Mount Fuji from the entrance towards the Gotemba Premium Outlets

A lineup of shops in the West Zone of the Gotemba Premium Outlets

A rest area by some shops in the West Zone of the Gotemba Premium Outlets

After resting at the rest area near the main entrance for approximately 45 minutes, my dad finally came to meet up with my brother and I at 6.30 p.m.. Having all our belongings with us, we followed our dad towards the other side of the outlet mall to meet my mum, where she was doing most of her shopping.

With that, we crossed the bridge towards the East Zone of the outlet mall. Along the way, I managed to get a shot of Mount Fuji on the bridge. Upon arriving on the other side of the outlet mall, we sat by a fountain while waiting for my mum.

Bypassing a lineup of boutique luxury shops in the Gotemba Premium Outlets

Facing the side where we came through on the footbridge in the Gotemba Premium Outlets facing the West Zone

The Gotemba Premium Outlets Ferris Wheel as seen from the outlet pedestrian footbridge

A small stream flowing through a lush green forest below the pedestrian footbridge in the Gotemba Premium Outlets

Walking along the pedestrian footbridge at the Gotemba Premium Outlets facing the East Zone

A beautiful view of Mount Fuji as seen from the pedestrian footbridge at the Gotemba Premium Outlets

Walking past more shops on the East Zone of the premium outlets

A beautiful water fountain in the East Zone of the Gotemba Premium Outlets

Several flower bushes near several shops in the Gotemba Premium Outlets

Bypassing an Adidas sports accessory shop in the Gotemba Premium Outlets

About to bypass a roundabout around several shops during sunset

Several shops selling food and other goods in the Gotemba Premium Outlets

The beautiful water fountain in the Gotemba Premium Outlets during sunset

The beautiful water fountain in the Gotemba Premium Outlets being illuminated by water lights

Several shops located near the fountain in the Gotemba Premium Outlets

After waiting at the fountain for approximately 10 minutes, my mum finally met up with us at 7.25 p.m.. Feeling quite hungry already, we decided to have dinner at a restaurant located on the West Zone of the outlet mall, where we came through. Having all our belongings with us, we crossed the pedestrian footbridge, arriving at the West Zone by 7.45 p.m..

Having a good look through the restaurants available on the West Zone of the Premium Outlets, we finally stumbled upon an Italian restaurant by the name of Mangia Mangia. This restaurant mainly specialises in pasta and pizzas.

Feeling very hungry already, we entered the restaurant and requested for a table for the four of us. We were then directed to a table by one of the restaurant attendants. With the food and beverage menus left with us, we had a good review through them before placing our main meal orders for dinner.

After having a good review through the food and beverage menus of Mangia Mangia Italian Restaurant, a waiter came by to our table to take down our main meal orders for dinner. We ordered several items off the menu that seemed to suit our tastes and preferences. Later that night, we had a very nice birthday Italian dinner for my younger brother, who seemed to be enjoying himself a lot.

The beautiful water fountain in the Gotemba Premium Outlets at night

Crossing the pedestrian footbridge from the East Zone to the West Zone of the premium outlets

Bypassing a lineup of retail shops located on the West Zone of the outlets at night

Walking up the line towards the West Zone of the outlets

Finally arriving at Mangia Mangia Italian Restaurant

The cover page for the food and beverage menu of Mangia Mangia Italian Restaurant

Reviewing the food and beverage menu of Mangia Mangia Italian Restaurant

Our first platter of fried chicken fingers

A steaming hot platter of seafood macaroni and cheese

A platter of crusted crackers coated with cheese and smoked salmon

Another platter of crusted crackers coated with cheese

A platter of spring onion coated spaghetti dish for my parents to share

A nice, mouthwatering platter of spaghetti alla carbonara with eggs and Parmesan cheese for myself

Our second platter of fried chicken fingers

The interior view of Mangia Mangia Italian Restaurant at the Gotemba Premium Outlets

After having a hearty birthday dinner with my brother at Mangia Mangia Italian Restaurant, the clock was finally showing 8.35 p.m.. Feeling stuffed and tired already, we felt that there was nothing much left to do, other than to head back towards the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa.

Having all our personal belongings with us, we paid up our bill and left the restaurant by 8.40 p.m.. We then headed back towards the multi-storey car parking area outside the premium outlet mall, where we had parked our car on the topmost level of the car parking area.

Soon enough, we finally departed the compound of the Gotemba Premium Outlets by 8.50 p.m. for a road journey time of 1 hour 05 minutes back towards our chalet at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa. All in all, my brother quite enjoyed this birthday outing towards the Gotemba Premium Outlets, and I think it's better than the Yeoju Premium Outlets in South Korea.

The view of the multi-storey car parking area outside the Gotemba Premium Outlets at night

Walking up the pedestrian ramp towards the multi-storey car parking area outside the Gotemba Premium Outlets at night

The topmost level of the multi-storey car parking area outside the Gotemba Premium Outlets at night

Driving along the roads of Gotemba near the Gotemba Premium Outlets at night

Driving along a secluded roadway between Gotemba and Hakone at night

Stopping by at a Lawson convenience store between Gotemba and Hakone

Bypassing several old shophouses in the town of Hakone at night

Driving along a lonely roadside of Hakone at night

Bypassing the main entrance to Hakone-yumoto Station

About to bypass Hakone-yumoto Station

A dark view of the town of Hakone at night

The lights of Hakone shining brightly at night

Travelling along the roads between Hakone and Odawara late at night

Climbing up the dimly-lit hillside towards the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

Finally back at our chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

After a night journey time of 1 hour 05 minutes from the Gotemba Premium Outlets, we finally arrived back at our chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa at 9.55 p.m.. While my mum and younger brother went into the chalet, I followed my dad to park our car at the secluded car parking area.

Once we had finished parking the car, I could see how secluded and dark the car parking area was. Without wasting anymore time, we both headed up towards our chalet and had a nice, hot shower before turning in for the night.

Since I was to embark on a very long journey towards Fukuoka, Kyushu the next day, I went to charge my electronics and prepare my belongings for the day. At the same time, I set my mobile phone alarm to wake me up at five o' clock the next morning. As soon as all my preparations were done, I finally went to bed by eleven o' clock that night for a well-earned good night's rest, in preparation for my long journey the next morning.

This officially brings the second section of my special birthday vacation to Japan in June 2013 to a close. The remaining three sections of the report shall be published as soon as I have selected the best quality photographs and videos.

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