01.05.2019 - 27.05.2019
So for the past week I’ve been mentally writing this post, I just hadn’t picked up my iPad to do it until today, a week almost exactly since my flight took off home. I wanted to share my favourites and some tips I picked up in case I’ve inspired you to go.
Top 5 Moments - this was a hard one and I’m sure I should be doing a top 15 but I’ve narrowed it down to 5
Seeing Mt Fuji in full - I was speakless that moment I first saw her, she was an absolute beauty and that was only a small section, to see her in full the next day was amazing.
Pandas - lucky enough to see them at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo & Kobe, I just wanted to cuddle them!
Sanjusangendo - this temple very plain on the outside but inside contains 1,000 pretty much identical statues.
Collecting Goshuin - all a bit of fun going from temple/shrine to temple/shrine collecting these stamps, there is a small involved for each stamp.
Arashiyama Monkey Park - I’m not sure if this one should be in the top 5 instead of one of my other favourite moments because it is hard work, there’s a number of steps and a fair incline to get to the top but it was worth it. The view over the city is great plus there’s these guys, you can spend quite a bit of time just watching.
Favourite Meal - again so hard
Okonomiyaki- Japanese pancake, the first one we had Kyoto would have to be my favourite.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove - this was on our must see list, the photos I had seen looked fantastic but I felt it was very sparse and nothing like I expected.
Get a JR Rail pass (there are different options) we opted for a 21 day ordinary pass and would reserve seats if we could. The pass was simple to use, made the trip easy and pretty sure it saved us a fortune.
Socks - Japan have a line where outdoor shoes stay outdoors and inside shoes stay inside so you take your shoes off just inside the door and put slippers on while you are inside. This also applies to most temples & shrines. And unless you want to go barefoot around a temple/shrine wear shoes with socks or pack a pair of socks in your backpack for these purposes.
7 Elevens - want cash out a 7 Eleven ATM didn’t charge a fee (your bank might though). 7 Elevens, Family Marts & Lawson’s also became our go to for dinner whether is be cup a noodles, sushi, pancakes, crisps, bread, great for the budget.
People - most Japanese were helpful even if they couldn’t speak English, somehow we would manage to order meals & get directions. The school kids would often get a kick out of saying ‘hello how are you’ as they walked past.
Google - google maps & translate became our friends (a Japanese SIM card in an old phone was a great idea) even if it was just for a laugh at the translation.
Ask for help - there are plenty of information spots or just ask at a shop we found people were most helpful.
Capsule Hotels - don’t be afraid to try them, I was worried it was going to be like sleeping in a coffin but they are quite roomy. We picked hostels with woman only floors and never felt unsafe. We also chose to mix up our accommodation so we weren’t staying in a hostel every night.
I could go on.... Japan is up there on the list of one of my favourite trips and would recommend it.
Next adventure who knows...watch this space