Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 3 Part 1

 The 3rd day in Japan, everyone woke up early so we can get going for the family trip my father has all planned out for everyone to enjoy.

 It was hectic morning, but we have left our house on time.

 My sister is married and living in the other area of Aichi prefecture. Therefore, my father sent a message along with driving direction for her husband to meet up at the nearest service area to their house,so we could travel together to the destination in Nagano prefecture.

 When we met with my sister’s family, since we brought a small souvenir from the states such as snacks,pencils with Halloween’s pumpkin designs on it,a giant pencil,and my niece’s favorite Minnie Mouse stuff, we went to greet them and handed the stuffed Minnie mouse at the parking lot in the service area.

 My sister did not want to loose our souvenir on their trip to Nagano prefecture,and  we simply brought a stuffed Minnie Mouse with us and left other stuff at my parents’ house so we can hand the rest of the souvenir at our parents’ house when we back from the trip.

 My niece really liked the stuffed Minnie Mouse we brought. As you can see, she is a huge fan of Minnie Mouse She took Minnie everywhere

Big smile with her favorite Minnie mouse!

 When we visited temples or castles etc..,I saw her carrying Minnie all the time. It was great to see how much she loved the Minnie Mouse from the states.

 In Japan, what people here in the states call “rest area” is called “service area” and the area has souvenir shops in the small buildings and often times, you will find food the area is known for, along with other small souvenir items.

 The highways in Japan is all toll road, and speed limit is 100kph. Often times, weekends are the days with discount rate.

 Some toll gets 50% off,some gets 30% off on weekends usage.

 Some area’s highways offer discount on weekdays as well from 6am through 8pm.

 Some tolls offer discount on late night hours.

 Some tolls offer 50% off for commuters.

 Tokyo,Osaka area highways offer 50% off from 10pm through 6 am.

 When we visit my mother in law in Midwest area, we go through toll road here in the states, and we pay probably 2 dollars, 4 dollars total one way but in Japan, it costs much more.

 I think it was about $40 to $50 one way from Aichi prefecture to Nagano prefecture.

 If you travel to Japan and planning to do the road trip, you can use Inter change toll fee calculation website provided by NexCO here.

 The website is in Japanese,but what you can do on the site is by choosing prefecture and click the entering toll name,click on entering toll option, and click another prefecture if you travel outside the prefecture and click on the destination toll name or click destination toll name within the same prefecture and click on destination toll option and click “search” and it will show how much it would cost to use the Inter Change (Toll road), and it will tell you the estimated travel time.

 The website itself has all the traffic information from congestion,road block,road work,accidents etc.. and the website is very useful for travelers.

 This website covers all prefectures in Japan for Japanese version of website,and English version of the website cover only western Japan side.

 Therefore, Nexco website has English version of it (You can click on “English” button on top corner), but its functionality is very limited.

 I was curious if America has similar website like this;the website that cover all 50 states information and, you can look up toll cost,traffic information from accidents to congestion,roadwork schedule etc.. by clicking state and toll name etc so you know how much it would cost along with added information beforehand.

 I did not find similar website to the one we have in Japan. It seems individual state has their own website for the purpose.

 I am not sure if it is because using the interstate highways in the states is free of charge, and you can travel from one state to another without toll fee most of the time unless you will plan to use specific areas unlike Japan.

Waiting for my human sister and mom coming out from da bathroom..

 The Japanese service area also offer food court showcasing the dish they are known for but most service area offer Katsu curry,which is thin pork cutlet breaded and deep fried (Katsu) is placed on top of Japanese curry rice.

 That is the dish I loved so much since childhood,and I had to have it there. I enjoyed Katsu curry at the one of service area’s food court.

 The service area is built about 1 hour drive apart each other, and the building has bathrooms as well.

 You cannot take your furry furriends inside the building or to the bathroom,but some service areas have areas for k9 travelers to stop by; mini dog run area.

 On our way back home from Nagano prefecture, one of the service area we stopped at had the dog run area.

Dog run at the service area..

 At the entrance the rules to use the dog run are posted on the sign.

 It says…

” This area is leash free zone, and for you to enjoy this area safely,please follow the rules to use this area”

** No aggressive dogs

** No female dogs in heat

** No dogs with contagious disease

** People without dogs are not allowed to be inside.Only people with dogs allowed to enter

** No small kids allowed to enter unless they are with their parents

** Please supervise your dogs as well as other dog’s activity

** When dog fight occur, please deal the situation with your safety in mind. Also, for owners with other dogs not in the fights,please try to control your dogs not to join in the fight and please cooperate to help the situation to calm down

** Please do not litter and,pick up after your dogs

** Please cooperate to improve the manners

 I have never visited dog park in the states,but are the rules similar to the one I saw in the dog run area at the service area?

 It is nice to remind people to pick up dog’s poop, and not leaving them behind on the ground.

 Sometimes, when we travel to my mother in law state, I find that dog’s rest area is covered with unclaimed poop and, you really have to watch out the step or you will get stinky foot..

 The area is separated with size of dogs;small dogs,large dogs etc.. and some service area got big park where you can take dog pout for short stroll around on leash.

Cute Golden Retriever ready to be back on car ride!

Enjoy reading up all the doggy news on the ground..

I still want to enjoy da dog runs,mom..

Hi! We are out from da doggy run.Pet me,pet me..

Hmm…. I love to be pet!

We are heading to da park behind da service area building..

Look at us, good heel

Pausing for da camera..

 The Nagano prefecture is located just right above
Aichi prefecture our parrents and my sister’s family live in.

 Nagano prefecture is
in the main island “Honshu”,and it is famous for shinshu soba noodle,
Matsumoto castle, Zenkou ji (temple), and also it was the prefecture
1998 winter Olympic was hold.

 They are also famous for Apples.

 You can find the Japan map at about.com website here. Look for number 18. That is Nagano prefecture,where we took a family trip to.

 Look number 23.That is Aichi prefecture,where I grew up and where my parents and my sister live.

 By car, it took us about 4 hours one way to get to our first even in Nagano prefecture “Apple picking”.

Hara Ringo En (Hara apple field)..

 It was very chilly sunny morning in Nagano prefecture, but we all had fun there.

 I have many things to write/show about the apple picking next time.

 Stay tuned!

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Feb 17, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

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