Posts Tagged With: Japan

Chin Chin!

This is one of my favourite stories to tell people when they ask me about my life in Japan and how is the language different from Chinese..

It happened when I was an exchange student at Himeji Uni. There was a girl in our group called Chin Chin. We call her Chin Chin-san. In Japanese, san is the equivalent of Miss/Mr/Mrs etc. Sometimes we call her Chin Chin-chan too since we’re all quite close.

We were waiting for Chin Chin after school so we could go shopping at Himeji Miyuki-dori. We were waiting for her at the corner. She couldn’t see us so we called out to her, “CHIN CHIN CHAN! CHIN CHIN CHAAAAN!!!”

There were a few Japanese students around and they were bemused.

A Japanese girl then approached us and told us to keep it down and asked “Do you know what does Chin Chin mean in Japanese?”

It meant ‘penis’.


We were so embarrassed… so was Chin Chin! LOL!

We laughed so hard and we stopped calling Chin Chin, Chin Chin. I can’t remember what name we called her though. I think we just called her by her Chinese name, Qing Qing (清清) which still sounds a bit like Chin Chin….

We later found out that Chin Chin or rather Cin Cin is used in Italy when you propose a toast to someone. An official from the Uni brought us out for dinner and said ‘Cin Cin’ and promptly raised his glass of beer. I think he was being cheeky! We all laughed and said.. ‘Kanpai!’ (Cheers in Japanese)

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Omikuji (おみくじ)

Omikuji are sacred lots. You can find them in temples in Japan. The lots (quite a few of them with numbers on them) are kept in containers. You will have to shake the container so that one lot comes off. You then give it to the temple attendant who in turns give you the paper with your fortune written on it.

My husband, Ali, tried it when we were at Todaiji temple in Nara, Kyoto.

When we read it, we couldn’t stop laughing! The people who were watching us must have thought we had got a very good fortune!


I like the part where it says, [A person whom you wait for] The person will not come.

Hahaha that’s quality!!!

I hope we will have better luck next time at Sensoji temple next April!


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Kyoto hotel booked!

We have made reservations for our hotel in Kyoto!

We will be staying in the Econo-Inn Kyoto. The rates are very reasonable. You get a 10% discount too if you book early! This means more money for ramen haha!

It has private bath and toilet too. A lot of the Japanese hotels we’ve looked at have shared bathroom and toilets. I don’t mind but I prefer private baths if possible.

It is very near to the Kyoto station too (JR line! good for JR pass!) and very near to places we want to visit.

We have been to Kyoto the last time and we want to visit Kyoto again because we love it there.  My favourite attraction is the Kiyomize-dera. It is so beautiful.

Next on our list of things to do is to look for Ryokans (traditional Japanese Inn)! We are hoping to stay in one or two ryokans when we are in Hiroshima/Miyajima and Tsumago.

Anyway, Here are some photos taken in Kyoto in 2004.


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Tokyo hotel booked!

We have confirmed and booked our hotel for Tokyo!!

We will be staying at the Oak Hotel. The rates are reasonable and it seems to be in a good location and near the JR Ueno station.

It has good ratings on Tripadvisor too so we’re very pleased with our decision.

We’ve booked ourselves in the room with a bunk bed! A room with twin bed will cost an extra of £10/night. We are staying there for 6 nights.

We were trying to justify our reasons for wanting to have the twin room but it is £10 more per day. Yes, we will be able to cuddle each other but we will most probably be too tired anyway…

Then husband said.. “If we have the room with the bunk bed, we will have more money for ramen!”

I agree!!

£60… that is about 8 bowls of ramen!! (assuming a bowl of ramen cost 1000yen)

I will have more money for souvenirs too..


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Train Travel in Japan

After exploring the various options of moving around Japan and the various rail passes available, we have decided to go for the 14 day JR Pass.

We checked the train fares and routes using the Hyperdia website. It’s a really useful website because it allows you to only select JR trains (the JR pass is not eligible for private railways). You can also have the option of deselecting the Nozomi/Mizuho/Hayabusa Shinkansen as they are also not eligible on the JR pass.

A 14 day JR pass cost about 45,100yen. That’s £350. It seems like a lot of money but when we checked the fares to places we want to go, it is costing us £514 per person!  So it’s really good value.

There are also various regional JR passes that you can get which is cheaper.

The JP Rail website is also very useful as it tells you how to get to certain attractions via the JR railway and it has information on various passes offered by private railway companies too.

Next stop, finding hotels!  (Near the JR railway stations of course!)

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