The Japan portion of my travels were really hard to narrow down. Not because I needed to go through thousands of pictures, but because I like to keep my posts concise and this trip just didn’t allow that. There is just so much beauty to share! We traveled from Tokyo, Hakone, Nagoya, Kyoto and back to Tokyo and each city embraced us with its own special charm. Even all the airbnb apartments we stayed at were charming! I was so glad we caught the cherry blossoms in peak bloom and have a feeling I’ll be visiting Japan again one day. =)
Because I tend to forget things easily and have the worst memory, I’m jotting down highlights so that I’ll at least remember through writing. Feel free to scroll down to see pretty pictures instead:
T O K Y O
• By the time we all landed at Narita, rented a portable wifi hotspot and got our JapanRail passes, it was a little after midnight. We decided to check into our airbnb for a quick nap. I think we woke up around 3am and realized the metros weren’t open so we were forced to take an expensive taxi to head out to Tsukiji market. When we got there, the auction had filled up and so we missed our chance to see fatty tuna being sold and thrown around. The smart thing would’ve been to drop off our luggage at the airbnb and then head straight to the market. We ended up waiting in a 3hr line for Sushi Dai…major tourist trap, because really, all sushi is fresh and prepared amaaazingly there. It was the best sushi I’ve ever had!
• Vending machines to order any food in Japan (took us a hot minute to learn how to use it.)
• Shibuya crossing- a group of men dressed in suits were walking in slo-mo while everyone else walked normally. Hmm…wonder who filmed that and where is this video?!
• A whole path of cherry blossoms lined the river under the metro stop right near our airbnb. Prettiest sight to see everyday as we took the metro. 7-11s are everywhere and they have the cheapest snacks. I think we literally went into 7-11 every morning to get breakfast.
• Ramen museum in Yokohama! It’s like the Disneyland of ramen…so fun!
• Yozakura (nighttime viewing of the cherry blossoms)…nice, but super crowded
• Japan has the cleanest and quietest subways ever. Locals are very respectful of public areas.
• Afuri Ramen. I will dream of your yuzu broth forever and ever.
• Owl Cafe!!! This would never open in America haha
H A K O N E / N A G O Y A
• Onsen was amazing, relaxing and so hot! Probably stayed in there longer than I should have as it took awhile for my head to stop spinning.
• I saw the “Nabana no Sato: Winter Illumination” light tunnel featured in a Korean variety show and KNEW I had to go there one day. It. Was. Magical…for me. Totally had to bribe/pay for the rest of the group so that they would go with me muahaha.
K Y O T O
• Best matcha ever!!! found in Gion, which is where all the geishas come out to work at night.
• It was raining pretty hard one day so we scrapped all our activities for the day and literally spent the day in Kyoto Station. It is so big that there’s so much to shop/eat/do. There was no need to really go outside.
• Arashiyama bamboo forest – beautifully landscaped. Definitely need to go back there during dawn when no one will be there. And old men won’t hit me for thinking I was trying to steal their bike.
• Fushimi Inari-Taisha – I could take pictures of origami cranes for days and days. Hiking up to the very top of the mountain will make you want to go. Badly. Haha. Definitely need to go back there during dawn when no one will be there…so that I can get my Memoirs-of-a-Geisha-running-through-the-temple-gates shot. =P
• Fallen cherry blossom petals look like snow.