Archive for April, 2013

Last week I went Bungee Jumping. Yes, that’s right!! Bungee Jumping!! It was scary and fun at the same time. Though I’ve seen it so many times on TV, I’ve never really thought about doing it.

Minakami

The place we did it was Minakami, a small scenic town in Gunma Prefecture. Minakami is about 150 Kilometers from Tokyo. The easiest way to get there is taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Jomo-Kogen which is about 75 Minutes and then taking a bus to Minakami which will be another 10 minutes. But as we wanted to go cheap, we took the local trains to Minakami.

Tokyo –> Ueno –> Takasaki –> Minakami

The travel time was around three hours and the total cost for the round trip was 5880 Yen. By Shinkansen to Jomo-Kogen it would cost you 10480 Yen for a round trip. Minakami is a really beautiful place. There are some beautiful rivers running through the area and there are also many mountains surrounding the town.

River

River in Minakami

Once you get to Minakami you can take a bus to the bungee jumping place. The cost is 320 Yen. We had booked the 1 PM slot for bungee jumping but got to Minakami by 10 AM, so we decided to walk from Minakami to the bungee jumping bridge. It’s not a long walk, it only took us about 40 minutes to get there even though we stopped at many places to take pictures.

Mountain

Mountains around Minakami

Bungee Jumping

The Bungee Jumping place is a bridge that crosses the Tonegawa river. Their website claims that this is Japan’s only bridge bungee jumping. It is a 42 metre jump (137 feet). You have to first register yourself at their small office where they will check your weight and also ask you to fill out a form that says that they can’t be held responsible for accidents. Once you’re done with this you’re ready for the jump. You have to make sure that you don’t have any loose objects in your pockets. They strap a harness to your hips and another one to your feet. The bungee cord is connected to both the harnesses. So there is double protection I guess.

Standing at the edge of the platform and looking down is one of the scariest feelings ever. Knowing that in a few seconds you are going to jump of that bridge is frightening. They again check that all the equipments are ready and then give a count down – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 bungeeeee and it’s time for you to jump. I jumped off straight away. The few seconds that I was in the air were really scary and fun. I screamed at the top of my lungs. When you’re done they lower you onto a small inflatable raft boat waiting below in the river.

Bungee Blog

Anbu – Bungee Jumping

The photo above is my friend Anbu doing his jump. Of the four of us that went bungee jumping that day, he did the best jump I think, so I’ve got his photo in my blog. Below is a photo of my jump.

Bungee 3

My Jump

The cost for jumping once is 7500 Yen and if you want to jump a second time immediately or any time within that year it is 4000 Yen. They give you a certificate in honour of your bravery. You can also get the photos of the jump from their photographer for 2500 Yen if you like. It’s worth paying them for the pictures because the photos they took were really amazing. The people who own ‘Bungy Japan’ are nice and friendly. You can find more details about Bungy Japan here.

Tanikawa-Dake

After the bungee jump we decided to go to Tanikawa-Dake.  We got a package from Minakami for 2800 Yen which includes a round trip from Minakami to Tanikawa-Dake by bus and also a round trip on the cable car up and down the mountain. The bus ride from Minakawa to Tanikawa-Dake is 20 minutes. It’s been a couple of months since the end of winter so I never imagined that there would be snow on top. While going on the bus itself we could see a bit of snow but when we got on the cable car and went up there were people snowboarding there. I was totally unprepared for snow and was just wearing my sweater so I didn’t really go out much.

Rope car 2

Cable car in Tanikawa-Dake

The view from the cable car was really nice. I think I’m scared of heights. As we went up I tried not to look down too much. On top they have a nice coffee shop where you can sit and enjoy the scenery but unfortunately there was too much mist and fog that day. While coming back it was snowing heavily. But I didn’t complain because it felt a lot safer as I couldn’t see much.

Rope Car View

View from the Cable car – Tanikawa-Dake

It was quite a fun trip. But the travel time was long. We travelled almost eight hours if you include the bus travel times also. But it was worth it I would say.

Have you ever been bungee jumping?

Hama Rikyu Garden

Hama Rikyu is a large garden located in Tokyo. It’s a nice place to just walk around and spend time. Getting there is quite easy. It’s very close to the JR Shimbashi station. It takes about 10 minutes by walk from the station to the Park. The nearest entrance is the Otemon Gate. Admission to the garden is 300 Yen. There is nothing specific to really see in the garden but the environment is really nice as the surrounding area is full of huge buildings but the garden is green and peaceful. There are a number of small ponds in the garden.

Trees

Hama Rikyu Garden

There is a tea house somewhere in the middle called ‘Nakajima no ochaya’. It’s really beautiful to see the reflection of the trees in pond from here. If interested you can also go for a boat ride from the garden. One way to Asakusa costs 720 Yen. You can also do a round trip back to the garden for around 1300 Yen. I didn’t go for the boat ride that day as I had planned to go to the Rainbow Bridge afterwards.

Boat House

Nakajima no ochaya

The Rainbow Bridge

The Rainbow Bridge is an iconic structure in Tokyo. It crosses the northern Tokyo Bay between Shibaura Pier and Odaiba. It’s a nice walk across the bridge and there are amazing views on either side. To get to the bridge you can walk from the Tamachi station. It’s almost a straight walk of about 15-20 minutes from the station to the Shibaura anchorage of the bridge. From here you can take an elevator to the 7th floor. Admission is free to walk across the bridge. You’ll have to decide which side of the bridge you want to see. The north side has the Tokyo tower, sky tree and many skyscrapers. The south side has many shipping yards and you could see Mt. Fuji on a clear day. I walked on the north side both while going and coming back.

Bridge - Sun

The Rainbow Bridge

The span of the bridge is 798 metres but the actual walk to the other side of the bridge is almost two kilometres. Once you reach the odaiba side of the bridge there is a small garden where you can sit and relax for a bit before walking back. I went at around 5 PM so by the time I walked back it was around 7. The view of Tokyo city in the night is absolutely amazing. The lights in the buildings and the Tokyo tower are brilliant in the night. I think I’m quite privileged to live in this city.

Tokyo Tower from Rainbow Bridge

Tokyo Tower from Rainbow Bridge

Though I tried really hard I couldn’t get a single good photo of the night view of the city. My camera simply didn’t have it in it. But I got one decent photo of the Tokyo tower before sunset. It was also nice to see the boats and small ships that wandered the Tokyo bay.

Ship

Boat in the Tokyo Bay