Thursday, August 13, 2009

Japan trip planning part 2

As an independent traveler, it is vital to know how to get around if your idea holiday does not involve getting lost. And so i'll be relying on Nokia E71's GPS & a mapping software for navigation again.

Nokia Map is a free software which allows offline viewing of maps and it has good support of maps in Singapore, Europe, USA ..etc. Ive used it with great success in Berlin as evident here & here. It may not provide the fine granularity as GoogleMap or other payware does, but hey, its free and GoogleMap does not allow offline viewing.

However, I was little disappointed when Nokia Map presented me with a plain piece of land as the map of Japan :(

Map of Kyoto on Nokia Map (Near Kyoto station area)

Why the lack of support for Japan? could it be because Nokia is finding it hard to penetrate into Japan's market? just some harmless speculation .. hmmm.

Anyway, ive found an alternate nagivation software (MGMaps) and ive some screenshots to share.

Map of Kyoto on MGMaps (Near Kyoto station area)

Map of Tokyo on MGMaps (Near Ueno station area)

MGMaps allows the user to choose the mapsource from various providers, and theres a way to 'cache' the map for offline viewing.

So there we have it, a nagivation software for offline viewing of maps of Japan on Nokia E71!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Japan Trip is a go!

Will be visiting Kyoto, Osaka,Tokyo and Nikko this Autumn (Late Oct) for 10days.
Hopefully will be able to catch the maple leafs.

Flight tickets collected and hotel booked.
The following is my tentative itenary .. and as always.. i'll be playing tour guide again :)

29-oct-2009 [DAY 1]
  • Flight arrival to Osaka (KANSAI) then bus ride to Kyoto
  • nite tour on Gion
  • Yasaka-jinja
  • tatsumi-shrine
  • Pontocho
30-oct-2009 [DAY 2]

  • temple & shrine @ Higashiyama
  • Kiyomizu-dera
  • tainai-meguri
  • Hotoku-ji
  • Dainichi-do
  • kasagi-ya (atmospheric place for tea)
  • ishibei-koji (beautiful street)
  • kodai-ji
  • maruyama-koen (park with famous cherry tree)
  • temple & shrine @ Higashiyama
  • nanzen-ji (zen garden!)
  • kotoku-an
  • nanzen-ji oku-no-in (shrine around a waterfall!)
  • honen-in (racked garden)
  • ginkaku-ji (breath taking temples to visit at night!)
31-oct-2009 [DAY 3]
  • bambo grove @ Arashiyama & Sagano
  • tenryu-ji
  • nonomiya-jinja
  • nison-in (hillside temple)
  • takiguchi-dera & gio-ji (hillside temple)
  • asashino nembutsu-ji (temple with bones of homeless/poor)
  • atago torii
  • ayu chaya hiranoya (eating place)
1-nov-2009 [DAY 4]
  • Kyoto northwest outskirts
  • Ryoan-ji
  • Kinkaku-ji
  • Ninna-ji
2-nov-2009 [DAY 5]
  • Kyoto Southeast outskirts
  • Fushimi inari (torri galore)
3-nov-2009 [DAY 6]
  • Day trip to Osaka
  • Osaka aquarium
4-nov-2009 [DAY 7]
  • Arrival to Tokyo via bullet train
  • shopping @ akihabara
  • nite at shinjuku
5-nov-2009 [DAY 8]
  • Day trip to Nikko & Nikko national park
6-nov-2009 [DAY 9]
  • Sushi breakfast at Tsuji market
  • Visit odaiba
  • Visit harajuku
7-nov-2009 [DAY 10]
  • Some more visit...
  • Depart from Narita and back to singapore