Do look out for signs to ensure that you're at the correct platform and car number. The Shinkansen trains roll in and out very punctually and rather silently. It's better to be at the right place at the right time.
The super sleek N700 Series Nozumi Shinkansen, the fastest train service running on Tokaido line. It has a maximum speed of 300 km/h and has a tilting capability that allows the train to maintain high speeds around curved tracks.
You'll also quite certainly get a great view of Nagoya from the hotel room, which occupies from the 20th to the 49th storey in one of the two JR Central Towers.
Not forgetting a multi-storey Tokyu Hands within the massive Takashimaya.
Entrance (West Gate) to the Nagashima Spaland amusement theme park. Enter this gate as well if you're going to the Yuami no Shima hot spring complex.
Seriously, I think they need some help with their naming. "Spaland" has nothing to do with the spa we know. It is purely an amusement theme park. And the "Jazz Dream", which sounds like a musical theme park is actually the outlet mall.
More info available at their website: http://www.nagashima-onsen.co.jp/resort/download.html/
Admission fees to the amusement park and the hot spring complex. Note that there is a significant discount for all admissions after 3pm (indicated in red texts). Doing some shopping first could be a good idea.
Crossing the pedestrian overhead bridge to Yuami no Shima hot spring complex gives you a good view of the amusement park and water park. But the parks are closed in winter, hence the emptiness.
The entrance foyer at Yuami no Shima. Take off shoes before stepping onto the raised platform. Hold your shoes and keep them in the lockers before proceeding to the front desk.
Approach the front desk to get your wrist band, which is also your assigned locker key and a barcoded credit identity tag. The entrance and front desk are located on level 3. After receiving your wrist band, take the lift down to level 1.
This is where everyone picks up a yukata and a pair of tiny white socks.
A nice café to hang out after an hour of uplifting hot spring session. An ice cold Asahi was perfect.
Shopping time at the Mitsui Jazz Dream outlet shopping mall, offering more than 200 stores including Armani, Burberry, Ferragamo, Gucci, Hugo Boss, and most importantly, LEGO! More info on the outlet mall here: http://www.31op.com/nagashima/index.html
Some really exciting roller coasters in the Spaland theme park. Unfortunately, it is closed in winter.
Grabbed dinner first before taking the bus back to Nagoya station.
And once again, on the last evening before heading home, a nice bottle of sake to keep my heart and body warm especially in this very cold night by the long island coast.
- Date: February 2015
- Accommodation: Marriott Associa Hotel, Nagoya (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ngodt-nagoya-marriott-associa-hotel/)
- The weather could feel colder than the numbers suggest due to wind and rain. It's better to be over-prepared than under-provided. Do bring along REAL winter jackets from reliable makers.
- Jackets with hoods are absolute essentials. Scarfs, neck and face warmers are very effective as well.
- Bring a good pair of gloves that are thick enough but also fit well. Better if it's a pair of touchscreen-enabled gloves since we use our smartphones so often. It can be annoying if you are planning to use your smartphone as your camera and need to remove your gloves every now and then.
- Consider bringing heat packs as well to add some warmth in your pockets.
- Cold weather is dry weather. Bring some REALLY good moisturiser with you. Those little travel-size tubes will not be enough as it's easy to underestimate the amount of moisturiser needed everyday. Bring different types if you are particular about application on different areas like body and face (remember to check-in if it exceeds 100ml).
PHOTOGRAPHY INFO & TIPS:
- Was using Nikon D5100, Nikon AFS DX 10-24mm f3.5-4.5, Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC, Nikon AFS 50mm f1.4, Nikon AFS VR 70-200mm f2.8, Sony HX50V, Sony Action Cam AS30V, Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Edge.
- Other than keeping your hands warm and functionable, gloves should be of perfect fit to handle and operate your camera easily. Best if they are designed for winter photography. Get touchscreen-enabled gloves if you're using cameras with touchscreen feature.
- Consider bringing cameras with bigger buttons and controls if you don't mind the bulk. I find it hard to use those tiny buttons on the D5100 with my gloves on.
- Use a lens hood. It can be useful to prevent rain water from hitting the glass directly, which can be annoying and hard to wipe dry. It rains quite often in Tokyo during winter.
- Extra batteries are critical as they deplete fast in cold weather.
- A waterproof outermost jacket with a hood could potentially eliminate the need to carry an umbrella. Imagine carrying an umbrella while trying to shoot.
- Most indoor areas are well heated during winter, which is great for us but not our lenses. If you have stayed in the warm indoors for long enough (e.g. for a meal), condensation will occur. Hence, try to keep your camera cold in the bag if you want to be able to shoot immediately.