Tag Archives: baskin-robbins

Japan 2014 – 42 A Baseball Batting Cage, the Arcade, and lots of Ice-cream in Ina! (2014-10-10) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 25 DEC 2015

Following a day of driving around the Kiso Valley, doing tourist things like viewing a historic post town, seeing a samurai museum, and partaking in the area’s specialty, soba noodles, the next day was to be a complete change of pace as Ryan and I got to spend a rare day alone with the groom-to-be.

So we went to hit a few baseballs.

IMG_20141010_100352 batting cage at we love baseball batting stadium, ina, japan

Baseball is very popular in Japan – hugely so – meaning that we weren’t particularly surprised to find a batting cage in small little Ina (where we currently were based).

All three of us had played baseball together as boys, and so we were pretty keen to have a go at swinging the bat as adults. I certainly have never been to a batting cage before, so it was a pretty cool experience.

IMG_20141010_105332 ryan lotter in batting cage at we love baseball batting stadium, ina, japan

We started off with the slower pitches, and quickly worked our way up, where I’m pleased to say I actually managed to get quite a few hints in, even at high speed. Loads of fun!

(Top speed that we faced off against? 120 km/h! I’m impressed just saying that!)

IMG_20141010_110832 ryan lotter and terrance brown dance evolution at games arcade, ina, japan

Adjoined to the batting cage was a games arcade, and Terrance was pretty keen to get Ryan in on some rhythm games – which amazingly Ryan gave into! The arcade machines in Japan (as we had already seen in Tokyo) are amazing, and some quite complicated, and so we spent quite a bit of time wandering about the games area.

Also, how in the world can you say no to a game of air hockey?!?

IMG_20141010_114449 ryan lotter air hockey battle at games arcade, ina, japan

We did some window shopping at a mall nearby, browsed a sports store, and most important of all, tucked into some delicious Baskin-Robbins ice cream – which has kind of been my thing all trip long! :)

IMG_20141010_120040 terrance brown and ryan lotter eating baskin robbins ice cream in ina, japan

Next up. A drive to a very special pizza place…

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Japan 2014 – 23 A Trip up Kyoto Tower (2014-10-05) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 11 DEC 2015

Having arrived in the morning via shinkansen from Yokohama, Ryan and I, after stowing our bags, had already begun our walking mission through Kyoto, with two attractions already ticked off – namely the beautifully ornate and tranquil Shosei-en garden and the imposing Higashi Honganji temple complex.

Next on the list was the tall Kyoto Tower, looming ahead of us all the while, somehow slightly out of place in this seemingly old and culturally rich city of Japan.

DSC07520 ryan lotter taking photos with kyoto tower in the background

But first things first.

Somehow I managed to convince Ryan that we needed to first stop and consume some delicious Baskin Robbins ice cream!

IMG_20141005_151701 baskin robbins ice cream in kyoto

Standing next to the super modern Kyoto Station, Kyoto Tower is an observation tower located in Kyoto, Japan. Opened in 1964, the same year as the Tokyo Summer Olympics and Shinkansen bullet train system were unveiled, this unusually designed steel tower (it is meant to resemble a Japanese candle) is the tallest structure in Kyoto with its observation deck at 100 metres and its spire at 131 metres.

(Interesting fact. Strict building laws intended to preserve the old look and feel of Kyoto means that this tower probably will remain the tallest structure in the city for a good many years to come.)

The 800-ton tower stands atop a 9-story building, which houses a 3-star hotel and several stores. Oh, and it houses a public bath at its base as well!

IMG_20141005_154215 using the telescope at kyoto tower

The tower wasn’t massively busy on the day that we were there, meaning that we enjoyed a leisurely visit soaking up the fantastic 360 degrees views of Kyoto.

IMG_20141005_154601 view of kyoto from kyoto tower

Amazingly, I also managed to convince Ryan to pose with the cutout of Kyoto Tower’s mascot Tawawa-chan.

IMG_20141005_160014 kyoto tower tower-san cutout photo op

As with most observation tower trips, Kyoto Tower is well worth seeking out if you want to get a good look of the city that you’re currently stomping about in! :)

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Related Link: Kyoto Tower

Japan 2014 – 13 LaQua in Tokyo Dome City (2014-10-04) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 10 NOV 2015

So on our first unaccompanied day in Japan, my brother Ryan and I had headed off to Bunkyo, Tokyo, making our way straight to Big Egg City, aka Tokyo Dome City.

DSC07302 ryan lotter looking at thunder dolphin at laqua in tokyo dome city

Having now ogled more than enough baseball related things to satisfy our need, we next turned our gaze to LaQua, the adjacent spa resort (complete with shops, restaurant, and thrill attractions) that is technically still part of the bigger Tokyo Dome City complex.

(The reason for having grabbed our attention, is of course the giant, hubless Ferris wheel – Big O – and noisy roller-coaster – Thunder Dolphin – that passes right through both the building and Ferris wheel as part of its route! How can you not want to go and take a closer look at that!)

DSC07305 view of thunder dolphin rollercoaster at laqua in tokyo dome city

Although neither Ryan nor I was interested in visiting a spa at that time of day, it’s worth noting that if you did pay a visit to Spa LaQua, you would be treated to a particularly luxurious onsen experience, with the spa hosting natural hot spring pools, an outdoor bath, massage bubble bath, saunas and of course serene relaxation areas.

(And if I think back now to how all the walking seriously killed my feet, in hindsight perhaps we should have made a pit stop there!) 

IMG_20141004_102748 japanese restaurant plastic replica food dishes on display in laqua, tokyo dome city

After watching people enjoy some of the thrill rides (note, LaQua also has a water slide on the premises!), we played around with the idea of grabbing a bite to eat (which by the way is quite easy in Japan thanks to their obsession with picture menus and of course their world famous plastic replica food displays to help you along), did a spot of shopping (technically browsing through a supermarket to see how it looks), and then settled for some delicious Halloween-themed ice cream from Baskin-Robbins, better known as 31 in Japan.

IMG_20141004_105126 ryan lotter eating baskin-robbins halloween ice cream at laqua in tokyo dome city

(Seriously, their selection of flavours are incredible!)

And what were we doing while we were wolfing down our refreshing treats?

Why taking in the immensely entertaining Water Symphony musical fountain display of course!

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Related Link: Tokyo Dome City | LaQua Spa Resort

Japan 2014 – 05 Giant Gundam at DiverCity Tokyo Plaza in Odaiba (2014-10-02) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 22 OCT 2015

Having seen Tokyo from above thanks to our trip up Tokyo Tower, we next started making our way towards Odaiba, the popular sightseeing and shopping district that is situated on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay!

DSC07204 yurikamome tracks - going to odaiba, tokyo, japan

In order to ensure the best views, we took a trip aboard the elevated Yurikamome train line, and indeed were treated to some spectacular views of first of Tokyo and then Rainbow Bridge itself as we cruised in towards Odaiba.

Our intended target was very clear, and beautiful walkways guided us to Odaiba’s DiverCity – and more importantly, the 18 meter high, life-size Gundam model standing guard in front of it!

IMG_20141002_061043 craig lotter in front of full-size gunam statue in front of divercity in odaiba, tokyo, japan

If you are (or ever were) into anime then there is no way that you won’t get a kick out of seeing this gigantic, hulking figure spewing smoke and moving a couple of joints, all accompanied with a booming sound track and big screen visuals projected behind it.

(DiverCity actually hosts a big Gundam shop and a bit of a Gundam museum, so you can pretty safely say that this is sort of a Mecca for Gundam fans!)

DSC07206 full-size gunam statue in front of divercity in odaiba, tokyo, japan

Anyway, after our first official cup of coffee at one of Japan’s many coffee franchises, we headed into DiverCity to explore our very first Japanese shopping center – where we also encountered what was to become my little ‘thing’ for the rest of the trip – hunting down Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlours!

(This being Japan, the flavours are pretty out there. After all, Japan generally doesn’t do sweet, meaning some pretty interesting – if sometimes strange – flavours were waiting to be hunted down! Oh, and because it was getting close to Halloween, pretty much everyone had something spooky to go along. Turns out the Japanese are quite fond of co-opting American holiday customs!)

IMG_20141002_135756 terrance brown and ryan lotter eating baskin-robbins ice cream in divercity, odaiba, tokyo

Also, we stumbled across a game arcade on one of the top floors – which excited Terrance to no end as he immediately made us challenge him at a drum beating rhythm game.

IMG_20141002_141359 playing a drum rhythm game in the divercity arcade

It did not go well for me.

Sigh.

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Related Links: Odaiba | DiverCity