Inter City Express

This page is written monthly
by Harumi Okochi.
Sometimes Harumi's friends join.
We'd be happy if you look at
r previous issues.

October, 2005

Hi, friends.
Den had another trip to Europe this year.
This is his journal during the trip.
Please enjoy !

Den's trip 2005

Inter City Express
29 August (Mon.)
Retreating from the humid and hot summer in Karatsu, I arrived at Prague in the evening of 29th of August.
The weather there was much warmer than I had expected. U Klenotnika hotel I checked in is located near Mustek Metro station. All buildings in the city seemed very old and attractive. I was surprised to hear that the ceiling of the entrance hall of this hotel had been painted in the 18th century. Prague is 7 hours behind from Japan. I laid down at 7pm Prague time

Old Town Square

30 August (Tue.)
At 3.30am I awoke. I tidied my suit case and killed the time till breakfast. The scenery of the Vltava was picturesque. Walked round Stare Mesto and reached the Square. Many people were waiting for Orloj(Astronomikal Clock) to start ringing. I also waited for the clock to toll 11AM, and moved to Jewish Quarter. It was my first experience to go into the Synagogues. Got a 1-day ticket at the metro station, and started the vehicles-trip in Nove Mestro and Mala Strana areas. At night I listened to Czech Collegium at Smetana Hall in the municipal house.

Astronomikal Clock

31 August (Wed.)

In the morning I went to the Prague Castle. Spent several hours there. At St.Vitus's Cathedral I walked 285 steps up the Tower and saw the whole city of Prague. After lunch I enjoyed looking in the small stores in Golden Lane and walking through the Royal Garden. Late afternoon, I went to Mucha Museum. I had never seen Alphonse Mucha's works before-so impressive. At night enjoyed Marionette at National Theatre.

Golden Lane

1 September (Thu.)

Took 7.31 EC178 at Prague-Holesovice station to Dresden. The view along the Elbe was pretty. The train stopped at Decin(border town of Czech, bigger than I had expected) and Bad Schandau(border of German side). Arrived at Dresden Hbf at 9:52. Walked directly to Bruhische Terrasse. Seeing the Elbe I recollected my journey there in 1997. I had expected how much FrauenKirche was rebuilt. I found it almost finished and its square under construction. They use hands to make a ground with lumps of stones. I admired the procession of Dukes was covered by 25,000 Meissen porcelain tiles. Zwinger and Semperoper are also great. EC176 left DresdenHbf at 14.04. Reached to Berlin Ostbahnhof at 16.16. Stayed over night at Intercity Hotel.

2 September (Fri.)
As I wanted to see the new districts of Berlin, I went to see Hackescher Markt, Alexander Platz and Friedrichstr. where many new hotels and buildings were found. Then I checked in Fjord Hotel near Potsdamer Pl. It had been difficult to find the way to this very cozy hotel in the quiet place. After lunch at a good restaurant At Karlsbad near this hotel, I walked to Potsdamer Platz. The Sony Center was the most impressive. The big glass buildings are situated around a huge oval square, the Sony Plaza, with cafe, restaurants, stores and movie theaters. Then to Holocaust Memorial, which consists of about 2700 steles of variable heights in a field of 19000 square meters. It is supposed to remind of the six million Jews killed during the Third Reich. At Reichstag-German Parliament, its incredible Dome struck me immensely for the combination between the old architecture and the new one. I also enjoyed Berlin-Panorama. In the evening I had a fantastic time at Berlin Philharmonie.

Holocaust Memorial

Reichstag-German Parliament

3 September (Sat.)

In the morning I spent a lot of time to find out Vitra Design Museum in vain. But on the way back it was wonderful to have a chance to see a German wedding. In the afternoon I visited Judisches Museum. Its building is very impressive. After the long underground corridor and stairs one can reach to the exhibition halls. There are three axes symbolizing the history of Judaism in Berlin. I studied a lot and deeply considered many things. In the evening I happened to see the festival of Blackleather people in the streets. And there, I found a Japanese Sushi bar TAMPOPO. Had a light supper with a glass of beer, and enjoyed a long chat with the Japanese owner, Mr. and Mrs. Sato. Stayed at Fjord Hotel.

Judisches Museum

4 September (Sun,)
Moved the hotel to Air in Berlin near Zoologischer Ggarten. Spent the morning at Bauhaus-Archive-Museum. In the afternoon I did the Sunday-market hopping . One was Kunst and Nostalgiemarkt which was held near Pergamon museum. The other was Troedel and Kunstmarkt which was done at Str.des 17.Juni, between Ernst-Reuter-Pl.St. and Tiergarten St. Then I walked round Tiergarten Park and consequently I came out at Zoologischer Garten.

Troedel and Kunstmarkt

5 September (Mon.)

Left ICE 1618 at Zoologischer Garten St. at 7.45. Arrived at Hamburg Hbf at 9.15. Leaving my baggage in the hotel near the station, I took 10.05 train and arrived at Lubeck at 10.54. Lubeck has many old buildings and the World Heritage. Lunch at Haus der Schiffergesellshaft which was built in 1535. I had a short trip to Travemunde, the summer resorts on the Baltic Sea. I returned to Lubeck and caught 16.32 IC and got back to Hamburg, then checked in the hotel Elysar. In the evening I took a walk around St.PauliLandungsbrucken-Pier. The big sunset over the Elbe was very impressive.

Haus der Schiffergesellshaft

6 September (Tue.)

Got a Hamburg card. Galla Tour started at 10am at the Northern exit of main station.The bus guests were all German except me. The conductor was so kind. He explained in English for me. Along the huge Aussenalster lake there are upperclass houses and parks -so beautiful. There are many shops and hotels around the small Binnenalster. The Hambourg harbor is the biggest container center in Europe-I saw Russians' and Koreans' and other countries'. Near St.Michaeliskirche in Alt Hambourg there is the Krameramtswohnungen-17th century old houses -souvenir shops in a tiny lane-fun to see. At 12.20 back to Hbf.. After lunch with Mr.Conductor near Hbf I went back to the Rathaus area and made shopping there. In the evening I walked An der Alster sides of the big lake and appreciated the beautiful sunset on the lake.

Sunset on the Elbe

7 September (Wed.)
Checked out, but left my luggage in the hotel. I got EC23 at 7.46. Arrived Bremen Hbf at 8.41. Took a tram to near the Rathaus. I had a quick tour around the Market Pl., Boettcherstrasse and Schnoorviertel. Then I took IC2124 at 11.15 back to Hambourg. Got the luggage and took ICE589 at13.12 and got to Hanover at 14.23. I walked round along the red mark of the town and took ICE546 at 16.31. Arrived at 18.23. at Bochum. Matthias Appel was waiting for my arrival at the platform. I was very glad to meet him after 4 years. He was so kind to have reserved a very good hotel. I checked in Park Inn Bochum. We drove to a very pretty Park. There, to be surprised, I found 'KACHI-GARASU'-a magpie-the special bird of my Saga prefecture, which, we believed ,would live in only this part of Japan. He introduced me to his girl friend and we had a special dinner at 9 pm. We had a very good reunion and an enjoyable time thanks to them.

Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten
(The Bremen Musicians)

8 September (Thu.)

I slept a good sleep. I checked out the Hotel at 10.30. I took ICE517 at 10.49 at Bochum Hbf. Arrived at 11.49 at Koeln. Visited ROM. Then to Roemisch-Germanisches Museum. At its basement the very Mosaic is there which was made in about 2nd century. The glass ware made in around that time still looks modern. Took ICE813 at 16.16 and arrived at Wiesbaden at 17.29. I had thought I could see the Rhein in the train. But this train made a short cut through lots of tunnels. That was my only mistake in this time trip. Checked in Klee am park in Kurpark. Wiesbaden is a famous hot spring resort, I went to Kaiser Friedrich Therme, which is like a Japanese Ofuro.


9 September (Fri.)
Around noon I checked out and went to Frankfurt Airport. I had a plenty time before departure. I left my luggage there and got one day ticket to Frankfurt at Regional Bf and went to the downtown. I bought a souvenir for my wife at Kaufhof. KAL left the airport at 19.45. I had a happy flight saying Danke schoen and Auf Wiedersehen to those whom I met in Germany.

Matthias and his girl friend

10 September (Sat.)

KAL arrived around 13.30 in safe. I was waiting comfortably at the transit room until the plane start to Japan at 17.40. Arrived at Fukuoka Airport at 19.00. Took the subway home around 21.40. I am very much content with this trip studying a lot and greatly appreciate my wife Harumi to let me take this vacation.

Den in Germany


Thank you so much for your joining Den's trip.
Thank you so much for your kind sympathy to Den's wife Harumi, who could not go and had to fight against another huge typhoon while Den was away !

See you next month !

Thank you very much for visiting this page.
I hope you will return next month.
Yours, Harumi Okochi

Proprietress of Ryokan Yoyokaku

  Mail to Harumi Okochi