Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN) Setup

Since DMVPN has been added to the CCIE v5 BluePrint I figured that now was just as good of a time as any to write this blog.
 
DMVPN stands for Dynamic Multipoint VPN and it is an effective solution for dynamic secure overlay networks.
 
DMVPN is combination of the following technologies:
  • Multipoint GRE (mGRE)
  • Next-Hop Resolution Protocol (NHRP)
  • Dynamic Routing Protocol (EIGRP, RIP, OSPF, BGP)
  • Dynamic IPsec encryption
  • Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF)
Topology that we will be starting with:
Initial DMVPN Topolgy
First thing will be doing the base configurations on R1, R2 & R3. This will consist of configuring the IP addresses on the above interfaces and setting up the routing protocol to distribute the routes. In this case we will use EIGRP 123.

R1:
Rack1R1(config)#int s0/0/0
Rack1R1(config-if)#no shut
Rack1R1(config-if)#encap ppp
Rack1R1(config-if)#
Aug  1 19:22:33.379: %LINK-3-UPDOWN: Interface Serial0/0/0, changed state to down
Rack1R1(config-if)#ip address 204.186.13.1 255.255.255.0
Rack1R1(config-if)#router eigrp 123
Rack1R1(config-router)# network 204.186.13.1 0.0.0.0

R2:
Rack1R2(config)#interface Serial0/0/0
Rack1R2(config-if)# no shutdown
Rack1R2(config-if)# ip address 204.186.23.2 255.255.255.0
Rack1R2(config-if)# encapsulation ppp
Rack1R2(config-if)#
Aug  1 19:28:56.915: %LINK-3-UPDOWN: Interface Serial0/0/0, changed state to down
Rack1R2(config-if)#router eigrp 123
Rack1R2(config-router)# network 204.186.23.2 0.0.0.0

R3:
Rack1R3(config)#interface Serial0/0/0
Rack1R3(config-if)# no shutdown
Rack1R3(config-if)# ip address 204.186.13.3 255.255.255.0
Rack1R3(config-if)# encapsulation ppp
Rack1R3(config-if)#interface Serial0/1/0
Rack1R3(config-if)# no shutdown
Rack1R3(config-if)# ip address 204.186.23.3 255.255.255.0
Rack1R3(config-if)# encapsulation ppp
Rack1R3(config-if)#router eigrp 123
Rack1R3(config-router)# network 204.186.13.3 0.0.0.0
Rack1R3(config-router)# network 204.186.23.3 0.0.0.0

Looks like the neighbors have come up correctly, now lets just verify that the correct routes are showing up:

R1:
Rack1R1(config)#do sh ip route eigrp
Codes: L – local, C – connected, S – static, R – RIP, M – mobile, B – BGP
       D – EIGRP, EX – EIGRP external, O – OSPF, IA – OSPF inter area
       N1 – OSPF NSSA external type 1, N2 – OSPF NSSA external type 2
       E1 – OSPF external type 1, E2 – OSPF external type 2
       i – IS-IS, su – IS-IS summary, L1 – IS-IS level-1, L2 – IS-IS level-2
       ia – IS-IS inter area, * – candidate default, U – per-user static route
       o – ODR, P – periodic downloaded static route, H – NHRP, l – LISP
       a – application route
       + – replicated route, % – next hop override

Gateway of last resort is not set

      204.186.23.0/24 is variably subnetted, 2 subnets, 2 masks
D        204.186.23.0/24 [90/2681856] via 204.186.13.3, 00:03:36, Serial0/0/0
D        204.186.23.2/32 [90/2681856] via 204.186.13.3, 00:03:36, Serial0/0/0

R2:
Rack1R2(config-router)#do sh ip route eigrp
Codes: L – local, C – connected, S – static, R – RIP, M – mobile, B – BGP
       D – EIGRP, EX – EIGRP external, O – OSPF, IA – OSPF inter area
       N1 – OSPF NSSA external type 1, N2 – OSPF NSSA external type 2
       E1 – OSPF external type 1, E2 – OSPF external type 2
       i – IS-IS, su – IS-IS summary, L1 – IS-IS level-1, L2 – IS-IS level-2
       ia – IS-IS inter area, * – candidate default, U – per-user static route
       o – ODR, P – periodic downloaded static route, H – NHRP, l – LISP
       a – application route
       + – replicated route, % – next hop override

Gateway of last resort is not set

      204.186.13.0/24 is variably subnetted, 2 subnets, 2 masks
D        204.186.13.0/24 [90/2681856] via 204.186.23.3, 00:04:31, Serial0/0/0
D        204.186.13.1/32 [90/2681856] via 204.186.23.3, 00:04:31, Serial0/0/0

Looks like the routes are populating correctly,  I did not include the output from R2 because it will not need to learn any routes from EIGRP as both R1 and R3 are directly connected. Now that we have full reachability we can begin the actual DMVPN configuration. Here is what the new topology will look like once complete:
DMVPN TopologyDMVPN TopologyDMVPN Topology1
Next we will begin by creating the Tunnel interfaces on each router:

R1:
Rack1R1(config)#interface Tunnel0
Rack1R1(config-if)# ip address 173.1.123.1 255.255.255.0
Rack1R1(config-if)# no ip redirects
Rack1R1(config-if)# ip nhrp map multicast dynamic
Rack1R1(config-if)# ip nhrp network-id 99
Rack1R1(config-if)# ip nhrp holdtime 300
Rack1R1(config-if)# tunnel source Serial0/0/0
Rack1R1(config-if)# tunnel mode gre multipoint
Rack1R1(config-if)# tunnel key 100000

R2:
Rack1R2(config-router)#interface Tunnel0
Rack1R2(config-if)# ip address 173.1.123.2 255.255.255.0
Rack1R2(config-if)# no ip redirects
Rack1R2(config-if)# ip nhrp map 173.1.123.1 204.186.13.1
Rack1R2(config-if)# ip nhrp map multicast 204.186.13.1
Rack1R2(config-if)# ip nhrp network-id 99
Rack1R2(config-if)# ip nhrp nhs 173.1.123.1
Rack1R2(config-if)# tunnel source Serial0/0/0
Rack1R2(config-if)# tunnel mode gre multipoint
Rack1R2(config-if)# tunnel key 100000

R3:
Rack1R3(config-router)#interface Tunnel0
Rack1R3(config-if)# ip address 173.1.123.3 255.255.255.0
Rack1R3(config-if)# no ip redirects
Rack1R3(config-if)# ip nhrp map 173.1.123.1 204.186.13.1
Rack1R3(config-if)# ip nhrp map multicast 204.186.13.1
Rack1R3(config-if)# ip nhrp network-id 99
Rack1R3(config-if)# ip nhrp nhs 173.1.123.1
Rack1R3(config-if)# tunnel source Serial0/0/0
Rack1R3(config-if)# tunnel mode gre multipoint
Rack1R3(config-if)# tunnel key 100000

Now lets verify that the Tunnels have come up correctly:

R1:
Rack1R1(config-if)#do sh dmvpn
Legend: Attrb –> S – Static, D – Dynamic, I – Incomplete
        N – NATed, L – Local, X – No Socket
        # Ent –> Number of NHRP entries with same NBMA peer
        NHS Status: E –> Expecting Replies, R –> Responding, W –> Waiting
        UpDn Time –> Up or Down Time for a Tunnel
==========================================================================

Interface: Tunnel0, IPv4 NHRP Details
Type:Hub, NHRP Peers:2,

 # Ent  Peer NBMA Addr Peer Tunnel Add State  UpDn Tm Attrb
 —– ————— ————— —– ——– —–
     1 204.186.23.2        173.1.123.2    UP 00:39:58     D
     1 204.186.13.3        173.1.123.3    UP 00:38:51     D

R2:
Rack1R2(config-if)#do sh dmvpn
Legend: Attrb –> S – Static, D – Dynamic, I – Incomplete
        N – NATed, L – Local, X – No Socket
        # Ent –> Number of NHRP entries with same NBMA peer
        NHS Status: E –> Expecting Replies, R –> Responding, W –> Waiting
        UpDn Time –> Up or Down Time for a Tunnel
==========================================================================

Interface: Tunnel0, IPv4 NHRP Details
Type:Spoke, NHRP Peers:2,

 # Ent  Peer NBMA Addr Peer Tunnel Add State  UpDn Tm Attrb
 —– ————— ————— —– ——– —–
     1 204.186.13.1        173.1.123.1    UP 00:41:20     S
     1 204.186.13.3        173.1.123.3    UP 00:08:43     D
 
R3:
Rack1R3(config-if)#do sh dmvpn
Legend: Attrb –> S – Static, D – Dynamic, I – Incomplete
        N – NATed, L – Local, X – No Socket
        # Ent –> Number of NHRP entries with same NBMA peer
        NHS Status: E –> Expecting Replies, R –> Responding, W –> Waiting
        UpDn Time –> Up or Down Time for a Tunnel
==========================================================================

Interface: Tunnel0, IPv4 NHRP Details
Type:Spoke, NHRP Peers:2,

 # Ent  Peer NBMA Addr Peer Tunnel Add State  UpDn Tm Attrb
 —– ————— ————— —– ——– —–
     1 204.186.13.1        173.1.123.1    UP 00:40:34     S
     1 204.186.23.2        173.1.123.2    UP 00:09:05     D

Next we need to verify connectivity across the tunnel:

R1:
Rack1R1(config-if)#do ping 173.1.123.2
Type escape sequence to abort.
Sending 5, 100-byte ICMP Echos to 173.1.123.2, timeout is 2 seconds:
!!!!!
Rack1R1(config-if)#do ping 173.1.123.3
Type escape sequence to abort.
Sending 5, 100-byte ICMP Echos to 173.1.123.3, timeout is 2 seconds:
!!!!!
Success rate is 100 percent (5/5), round-trip min/avg/max = 4/6/16 ms

R2:
Rack1R2(config-if)#do ping 173.1.123.1
Type escape sequence to abort.
Sending 5, 100-byte ICMP Echos to 173.1.123.1, timeout is 2 seconds:
!!!!!
Success rate is 100 percent (5/5), round-trip min/avg/max = 4/4/4 ms
Rack1R2(config-if)#do ping 173.1.123.3
Type escape sequence to abort.
Sending 5, 100-byte ICMP Echos to 173.1.123.3, timeout is 2 seconds:
!!!!!
Success rate is 100 percent (5/5), round-trip min/avg/max = 4/4/4 ms

R3:
Rack1R3(config-if)#do ping 173.1.123.1
Type escape sequence to abort.
Sending 5, 100-byte ICMP Echos to 173.1.123.1, timeout is 2 seconds:
!!!!!
Success rate is 100 percent (5/5), round-trip min/avg/max = 4/4/4 ms
Rack1R3(config-if)#do ping 173.1.123.2
Type escape sequence to abort.
Sending 5, 100-byte ICMP Echos to 173.1.123.2, timeout is 2 seconds:
!!!!!
Success rate is 100 percent (5/5), round-trip min/avg/max = 4/4/4 ms

Alright, everything looks good. Next lets look at a few show commands:

R1:
Rack1R1(config-if)#do sh ip nhrp
173.1.123.2/32 via 173.1.123.2
   Tunnel0 created 00:16:27, expire 01:43:33
   Type: dynamic, Flags: unique registered nhop
   NBMA address: 204.186.23.2
173.1.123.3/32 via 173.1.123.3
   Tunnel0 created 00:15:20, expire 01:44:39
   Type: dynamic, Flags: unique registered nhop
   NBMA address: 204.186.13.3

R2:
Rack1R2(config-if)#do sh ip nhrp
173.1.123.1/32 via 173.1.123.1
   Tunnel0 created 00:17:55, never expire
   Type: static, Flags: used
   NBMA address: 204.186.13.1
 
R3:
Rack1R3(config-if)#do sh ip nhrp
173.1.123.1/32 via 173.1.123.1
   Tunnel0 created 00:17:00, never expire
   Type: static, Flags: used
   NBMA address: 204.186.13.1

Adding an additional spoke (similar to R2/R3) in this case would be very simple. Once the connection is established just adding the route map to go through the hub (R1).
 
You can follow me on Twitter at @ipv4freely
Posted in CCIE, Networking

IPSec over GRE Tunnel

Cisco Ipsec over Gre Tunnel Configuration Example:

Main – Branch Point to point connection w/LAN on opposite side:

IPSec over GRE

Main Router Config:

Main#sh run
Building configuration…

Current configuration : 1866 bytes
!
version 12.4
service timestamps debug datetime msec
service timestamps log datetime msec
no service password-encryption
!
hostname Main
!
boot-start-marker
boot-end-marker
!
!
no aaa new-model
memory-size iomem 5
ip cef
!
!
!
!
no ip domain lookup
ip domain name colbyc.me
!
multilink bundle-name authenticated
!
crypto isakmp policy 10
encr aes
authentication pre-share
group 5
lifetime 28800
crypto isakmp key Welcome01 address 172.22.1.2
crypto isakmp keepalive 10 5 periodic
!
!
crypto ipsec transform-set IKE_TRANS esp-aes esp-sha-hmac
!
crypto map IPSec_Map 10 ipsec-isakmp
set peer 172.22.1.2
set transform-set IKE_TRANS
set pfs group5
match address CRYPTO_MAP_PROXY_ID
!
archive
log config
hidekeys
!
ip ssh version 2
!
interface Tunnel10
description TUNNEL_to_BRANCH
ip address 10.20.30.2 255.255.255.252
ip mtu 1400
ip tcp adjust-mss 1360
ip ospf authentication message-digest
ip ospf message-digest-key 1 md5 7 091E6D01180C1956
ip ospf 100 area 0
keepalive 10 3
tunnel source 172.22.1.1
tunnel destination 172.22.1.2
!
interface FastEthernet0/0
description COLBYC LAN
ip address 172.16.0.5 255.255.0.0
ip ospf 100 area 0
duplex auto
speed auto
!
interface FastEthernet0/1
description MAIN TO BRANCH
ip address 172.22.1.1 255.255.255.248
duplex auto
speed auto
crypto map IPSec_Map
!
interface FastEthernet1/0
no ip address
shutdown
duplex auto
speed auto
!
router ospf 100
router-id 1.1.1.1
log-adjacency-changes
default-information originate
!
ip route 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 172.16.0.12
!
!
ip http server
no ip http secure-server
!
ip access-list extended CRYPTO_MAP_PROXY_ID
permit ip host 172.22.1.1 host 172.22.1.2
!
!
control-plane
!
!
line con 0
logging synchronous
line aux 0
line vty 0 4
login
!
webvpn cef
!
end

Branch Router Config:

Branch#sh run
Building configuration…

Current configuration : 1819 bytes
!
version 12.4
service timestamps debug datetime msec
service timestamps log datetime msec
no service password-encryption
!
hostname Branch
!
boot-start-marker
boot-end-marker
!
!
no aaa new-model
memory-size iomem 5
ip cef
!
!
no ip domain lookup
ip domain name colbyc.me
!
multilink bundle-name authenticated
!
!
crypto isakmp policy 10
encr aes
authentication pre-share
group 5
lifetime 28800
crypto isakmp key Welcome01 address 172.22.1.1
crypto isakmp keepalive 10 5 periodic
!
!
crypto ipsec transform-set IKE_TRANS esp-aes esp-sha-hmac
!
crypto map IPSec_MAP 10 ipsec-isakmp
set peer 172.22.1.1
set transform-set IKE_TRANS
set pfs group5
match address CRYPTO_MAP_PROXY_ID
!
archive
log config
hidekeys
!
!
ip ssh version 2
!
interface Tunnel10
description Tunnel_to_MAIN
ip address 10.20.30.1 255.255.255.252
ip mtu 1400
ip tcp adjust-mss 1360
ip ospf authentication message-digest
ip ospf message-digest-key 1 md5 7 091E6D01180C1956
ip ospf 100 area 0
keepalive 10 3
tunnel source 172.22.1.2
tunnel destination 172.22.1.1
!
interface FastEthernet0/0
description BRANCH LAN
ip address 172.21.1.1 255.255.0.0
duplex auto
speed auto
!
interface FastEthernet0/1
description BRANCH_TO_MAIN
ip address 172.22.1.2 255.255.255.248
duplex auto
speed auto
crypto map IPSec_MAP
!
interface FastEthernet1/0
no ip address
shutdown
duplex auto
speed auto
!
router ospf 100
router-id 2.2.2.2
log-adjacency-changes
network 172.21.0.0 0.0.255.255 area 0
!
ip http server
no ip http secure-server
!
ip access-list extended CRYPTO_MAP_PROXY_ID
permit ip host 172.22.1.2 host 172.22.1.1
!
!
control-plane
!
!
line con 0
logging synchronous
line aux 0
line vty 0 4
login
!
webvpn cef
!
end

Main#sh ip ospf nei

Neighbor ID Pri State Dead Time Address Interface

2.2.2.2 0 FULL/ – 00:00:35 10.20.30.1 Tunnel10

Branch#sh ip ospf nei

Neighbor ID Pri State Dead Time Address Interface
1.1.1.1 0 FULL/ – 00:00:31 10.20.30.2 Tunnel10

Checking traffic coming through the Tunnel:

Main#sh crypto ipsec sa

interface: FastEthernet0/1
Crypto map tag: IPSec_Map, local addr 172.22.1.1

protected vrf: (none)
local ident (addr/mask/prot/port): (172.22.1.1/255.255.255.255/0/0)
remote ident (addr/mask/prot/port): (172.22.1.2/255.255.255.255/0/0)
current_peer 172.22.1.2 port 500
PERMIT, flags={origin_is_acl,}
#pkts encaps: 33, #pkts encrypt: 33, #pkts digest: 33
#pkts decaps: 33, #pkts decrypt: 33, #pkts verify: 33
#pkts compressed: 0, #pkts decompressed: 0
#pkts not compressed: 0, #pkts compr. failed: 0
#pkts not decompressed: 0, #pkts decompress failed: 0
#send errors 4, #recv errors 0

local crypto endpt.: 172.22.1.1, remote crypto endpt.: 172.22.1.2
path mtu 1500, ip mtu 1500, ip mtu idb FastEthernet0/1
current outbound spi: 0xC1B7DBE8(3250052072)

inbound esp sas:
spi: 0x7AD23F65(2060599141)
transform: esp-aes esp-sha-hmac ,
in use settings ={Tunnel, }
conn id: 1, flow_id: SW:1, crypto map: IPSec_Map
sa timing: remaining key lifetime (k/sec): (4576913/3512)
IV size: 16 bytes
replay detection support: Y
Status: ACTIVE

inbound ah sas:

inbound pcp sas:

outbound esp sas:
spi: 0xC1B7DBE8(3250052072)
transform: esp-aes esp-sha-hmac ,
in use settings ={Tunnel, }
conn id: 2, flow_id: SW:2, crypto map: IPSec_Map
sa timing: remaining key lifetime (k/sec): (4576913/3509)
IV size: 16 bytes
replay detection support: Y
Status: ACTIVE

outbound ah sas:

outbound pcp sas:

 

Posted in Networking, OSPF

Japan Trip | Day 11 (The Suck v2.0)

We arrived at the airport around 8pm (Tokyo time) Grabbed a quick shower and some dinner then hopped on our first flight around 12:10 AM. Here is a summary of our flights:

HND > SFO ~10 hr + 6 hr Layover

SFO > ORD ~4 hr + 2 hr Layover

ORD > BNA ~2hr

After arriving in Nashville we still had a few things to take care of before we could get some sleep:

BNA > Taxi Home, House Closing, Walgreens, Zaxbys, BED.

Once we arrived home we were greeted by one of the best dogs in the world; Chance:

2013-08-30 09.47.55

Needless to say he was beyond excited to see us.

The Next/Last update regarding Japan will have a link to all pictures/videos and a wrap up of our overall experience.

-Colby

Posted in Japan Trip

Japan Trip | Day 10 (Gundam Pets)

This morning we had to check out of our hotel by noon so once we got everything together we piled the luggage in Brandon’s car and headed out on the Metro to Odiba since we didn’t fly out til a few minutes after midnight. By the time we made it there we were all starving so we headed to lunch at a buffet place called The Oven:

2013-08-29 13.27.18

This place was pretty good, they had a mix of Japanese, American and desert foods and for the price I was definitely happy.

2013-08-29 13.50.27

After lunch we headed over to a neighboring mall that had a Toyota museum with a lot of antique cars and some next gen ones as well. They had a few driving simulators and you could actually test drive and new car that Toyota makes. We didn’t realize until we got there but we would have had to make reservations a few days in advance as everything was booked up.

2013-08-29 14.16.48

2013-08-29 14.22.16

2013-08-29 14.17.37

After the Toyota stop we headed to another neighboring mall that seemed to be all about dogs. Literally every store in the place sold some type of dog accessory or was a pet store.

2013-08-29 15.16.42

2013-08-29 15.17.19

2013-08-29 15.08.48

The last place that we went in for the day was the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation and this place definitely had some cool stuff.

Here are the rest of the pictures/videos for Day 10: Flickr

-Colby

Posted in Japan Trip

Japan Trip | Day 9 (Peace Signs v2.0)

Short post for today:

We headed back to Disney for part 2 but this time we went to DisneyLand.

2013-08-28 09.28.59

They had some pretty neat things/rides at Disney but it was mostly geared toward the younger crowd. One of the highlights for me was the Roger Rabbit movie exhibit in toon town:

2013-08-28 10.29.49

Although my wife Mandi was ecstatic the majority of the day:

2013-08-28 15.20.43

After Disney we headed back to Roppongi and had our most expensive meal of the trip at an American Restaurant TGI Friday’s. By this time everyone was craving a good burger so I gave in and had one as well.

Here are the rest of the pictures/videos from Day 9: Flickr

-Colby

Posted in Japan Trip

Japan Trip | Day 8 (Peace Signs)

Today Brandon stayed in and The Wife and I headed out to Tokyo Disney Sea. First things first we had to plan the route through the metro so that we did end up in the wrong place. There is an iPhone app that most locals use but since it is a paid app on the app store there is a website that does essentially the same thing: Hyperdia

2013-08-27 08.52.33

The trip did not seem too bad, a couple of track switches and overall travel time of ~50 minutes. Once we arrived at the park we grabbed our tickets and a couple of maps and I could tell that the wife was beyond excited.

2013-08-27 10.48.05

Once inside we grabbed a quick lunch which to my surprise was the worst meal that I had on the trip. I ordered some combo of seafood pasta and two-three bites in I was done. After lunch we headed through the park with Mandi leading and took in a few rides and most of the shows:

2013-08-27 12.04.20

2013-08-27 11.24.24

After the day at Disney I was exhausted but we went ahead and upgraded our tickets to the two day pass to check out DisneyLand tomorrow with Brandon (@archer23). We then headed back to the hotel to wash up for dinner.

We ended up going to eat at TGI Friday’s because everyone was craving a good burger. Oddly enough this was the most expensive meal of the trip coming in at around $70 bucks. After dinner Mandi headed back to the room and Brandon and I went out for some more Dart action.

The rest of the videos/pictures from Day 8 are here: Flickr

-Colby

Posted in Japan Trip

Japan Trip | Day 7 (Shrine Design)

This morning was a little different as we had another body with us Brandon’s girlfriend Sue. On the agenda today was a few temples and heading out to Zushi beach. We headed down to take the metro and we were fortunate enough to find seats…well most of us. Brandon sat next to a ‘sleeper’. The video is not as funny as it was in person but I am posting it anyway since I have the bandwidth to do so:

Our first stop for the day was at the Hasedera Temple. This place was pretty neat, had a huge garden outside and a shrine inside. We were allowed to take pictures everywhere except inside the actual shrine. Here are a few of the pictures from outside:

2013-08-26 11.48.41

2013-08-26 11.39.50

2013-08-26 11.40.42

DCIM100GOPRO

Our next stop for the day was at The Great Buddha Kamakura (shrine). When I say that this thing was huge, it was unbelievable. It weighed over 1.6 tons!

2013-08-26 12.21.36

And for about 20 more yen (about 20 cents) we could actually walk up inside of the statue. It was very narrow and uncomfortable so I did not take any pictures inside. After this shrine we headed to one more temple before lunch:

2013-08-26 13.20.06

After this last temple we headed down a few side streets looking for lunch and most did not have english menus (that we could tell) we settled on a place that looked pretty good even though I could not make out the name on the sign. But this was not much of an issue because Brandon’s girlfriend spoke Japanese. My meal was Ramen, fried chicken and Rice:

2013-08-26 14.24.25-1

After lunch we headed out to the beach where I regrettably did not take any pictures. The beach was very different than those I am used to in the states. The sand was mostly black and the water was definitely darker. Here is a pretty accurate picture that I pulled from Google Images (credit to lifeyou.tv) :

zushi-beach-03

Another really cool thing about this beach is that on a clear day Mt. Fuji is clearly visible (and somewhat intimidating):

Mt. Fuji  from Zushi  Beach   - 2

After the beach we took the ~1hr metro ride back to the hotel to clean up for dinner.

For dinner Brandon (@archer23) and I headed out to Yoshinoya which was similar to a fast food joint for them. They did not have an english menu but it did have pictures on it so i was able to just point at what I wanted (rice and fish):

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After dinner we headed out to a local bar to play some darts. And by play some darts I mean me beating Brandon the majority of the games ;)

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Here are the rest of the videos/pictures for Day 7. Flickr

-Colby

 

 

Posted in Japan Trip

Japan Trip | Day 6 (Festival Shopping)

Today started out like most mornings with us hitting the Metro system to go to Harajuku. Here we went to Jonathan’s Restaurant which was similar to an IHOP back in the states. Pretty simple menu for the most part with basically breakfast food on the menu we saw.

My Order:

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After breakfast we had an hour or so of time until the festival for the day started so we went to the Nike store on the strip and it was huge. 4 floors of stuff that I could easily waste money on. Ended up picking up a nice Scottie Pippen ‘Up The Tempo’ shirt:

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After a little shopping we headed on to the main street where the festival was taking place. Imagine downtown Nashville being blocked off for a parade (which will hopefully come true this coming season for the preds). There were at least 500,000 people in attendance for this thing. Here are a few of the highlights:

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After this part of the festival we continued on to tour one of the oldest shrines in this part of Japan. When we walked through the gates we were approached by an ‘English Club’ which was a group of Japanese students who I would have guessed were around 16-20 years old and they just wanted to practice their English by guiding us around the shrine and showing us various things. Here is a picture of us together before we left:

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After the shrine we proceeded back to the festival to grab some dinner. There were food vendors every few feet that had anything you can imagine to eat. I decided on trying the ramen from one of the vendors:

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And here is a picture of Takeshita Street as we were leaving:

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And Brandon (@archer23) making fun of Mandi for complaining about the heat.

Will upload the rest of the pictures/videos when we get back to the states.

-Colby

 

Posted in Japan Trip

Japan Trip | Day 5 (Festival Drums)

Today we headed out mid morning and let the wife do a little shopping. After she came up empty handed (shocking I know) we headed out for sushi again at Edomae Gatten Sushi and it was phenomenal yet again.

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After lunch we took the metro to the Koenhi Awaodori Festival. We arrived about 1.5 hours early and it was a good thing because I would guess that there was *atleast* 500,000 people in attendance. There were many side street that the festival would travel down all throughout shops and restaurants. One really neat thing that I noticed about the shops is that they had a lot of 90′s American memorabilia and some of it was rather expensive. Brandon (@archer23) told us that the Japanese take a lot of that type of stuff very seriously. We could not find very good seats for the festival and it seemed that one of the locals took notice of us and invited us to sit with them.

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*video place holder*

(I have a lot of great videos taken from my GoPro camera but will have to wait until I get back to the states to upload them as I do not have good WiFi speeds where I am.)

Trying to leave this district was absolutely insanity. We left over an hour before it was even over with and it was basically a fight to even get on the train.

On the way back to the hotel the wife was craving pizza so we decided to stop and eat at Pizzakaya in Roppongi. This was one of the more ‘Americanized’ places that we had stopped at and the pizza was very good even though it was on the expensive side.

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Will upload all of the pics/videos when I get back to the states.

-Colby

Posted in Japan Trip

Japan Trip | Day 4 (The Recovery)

We tried to take it a little easy today on the walking as I definitely did not bring appropriate shoes and we have been running through clothes like crazy where it is so hot here. Grabbed breakfast in the hotel this morning and did laundry. Mandi decided to stay in the majority of today but I wasn’t about to lose time here.

Brandon (@archer23) and I headed out to Shinjyku and our first stop was one of the bigger arcades that I have ever been to. I then proceeded to smash Brandon in 2 of 3 games at ‘Air Hockey’. This was a little different than American air hockey where we play with only one puck. This was played with one puck for part of the time and was worth 100 points. At random intervals about 20-25 smaller pucks would drop down into play and be worth 30 points a piece. To say the least it was chaos when those hit. A couple of other cool things they had Mario Kart racing and DDR

Next we went to Sinjyku Goldengai & Hanazonogai which was basically a HUGE bar district:

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Even though it was daytime and everything was closed it was still really neat to see how small these bars were. Most were standing room only and would hold about 5-8 people depending on the size. Brandon said that most were foreigner friendly and some would have a ‘table charge’ where you would have to pay 800-1000 yen ($8-$10) to come in for a table.

Next we headed up to another observation deck to check out the city.

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After the observation deck we headed to lunch back at the ‘fast food’ sushi place.

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After lunch we headed back to the hotel to shower/relax and then off to dinner next door to the hotel at Gyogo. Here they served a type of Burnt Ramen which was also very good.

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Here was also tried a variation of Sake which tasted like a strong white wine.

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Next we headed to Oktoberfest! This was a lot of fun and pretty much everyone was drunk and singing a long with the band. Japanese people appear to not show very much emotion during the day but they were all having a blast this night.

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Posted in Japan Trip