Firstly, KONNICHIWAAAA. GENKI? ARIGATO. KANPAI. Those will be the four most important phrases in Japan for you to remember.
Why? HELLO. HOW ARE YOU. THANK YOU and CHEERS (for the amounts of sake and beer you’ll be consuming).
Also ensure you’ve got the peace fingers down packed. If you have forgotten, let me refresh your memory.
So you’ve finally made that decision to head to a side of Asia that’s nothing like the rest of Asia.
Stop imagining what Japan is going to be like in your head.
Throw those expectations away, Japan will simply EXCEED them. It’s crazy, vibrant, electric, BUSY, weird, and modern! You will see some outrageous things, eat some questionable sushi, and experience electronic gadgets in so many ways you never thought possible.
Like this electronic toilet….
Japan is HUGE, with a population of 128 million. Tokyo itself holds nearly 14 million, so imagine how busy this country can get. You have to give them credit for keeping it so clean, that rubbish bins are almost invisible. I honestly have no idea how they keep it so clean….
One of the most important things you will have to master, is HOW to navigate yourself with their railway network. It’s one of the most extensive railway networks in the world and I introduce to you, the ‘Shinkansen’.
As it’s too extensive to even try explain, here’s a link to get a better understanding on how to use it. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2019.html. It really is incredible though…costly, but it can be used to travel throughout Japan! You can go from Tokyo all the way down to Hiroshima in 6 hours or less!
WHERE YOU SHOULD GO:
Shibuya: Do yourself a favour and just experience crossing one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the world. I felt like I was ‘lost in translation’. Pretty sure I crossed this street 10 times, just because it was too fun not to.
Asakusa: One of Japan’s oldest districts.
In my time here, I stayed at an awesome hostel “Nui hostel”, which turns into a bar and lounge at night! http://backpackersjapan.co.jp/nui_en/.
One of my favourite places in Japan as it was peaceful and centered around nature. It also had one of the best contemporary museum’s i’ve ever been to!
Another favourite city of mine! So much to do and see here, the options are endless. You can also dress up like a Geisha (if that floats your boat) and explore the city dressed that way OR you can do a geisha walking tour so you better understand how important to the Japanese culture they are.
Other places of interest to take note of in Kyoto is the ‘Golden temple’ in Kinkaku-ji, and Arashiyama !
The commercial centre of Japan, so modernised and filled with an endless array of shops and food (similar to Tokyo, but different). All I did here was honestly shop and eat. The best areas for this are;
Prepare your wallets, and get those tastebuds ready. It’s one hell of a city!
Rich in history, and infamous for it’s okonomiyaki. I purely made a day trip visit to this city to visit the Hiroshima Peace memorial, Museum and Atomic Bomb Dome. If you’re not aware of the first atomic bomb to ever be used in the world in August 1945, I suggest you do your research. It was an eerie and very heartbreaking experience. To think that this entire city was wiped out in mass destruction.
However, today Hiroshima is so beautiful and tranquil. A true representation of how destruction such as this should NEVER occur in the world again. The way they have paid homage, and respect to all the lives lost in the city is quite incredible.
Japan has an abundance of food, and is ONE of the main reasons I wanted to come here. If you haven’t overdosed on sashimi, sushi, green tea, rice and what not, you’re doing it wrong.
WHAT YOU SHOULD TRY
SUSHI: especially in Tokyo around the Tsukiji fish market which is the world’s largest fish market!!
I told you….bizarre. Cat Cafes (for all the cat lovers out there), maid cafes, tea and flower cafes, and Ninja restaurants. Who comes up with this stuff? Just ingenious I think. There’s some amazing cafes around Shibuya district, just simply take a pick or ask some locals!
It’s another world in there. A trap for those with a weakness for all things bizzare. Cold green tea lattes pre-packaged and hot dawgzzz were my go to meal everyday!
Did I forget to mention they are obsessed with green tea (matcha) EVERYTHING?
TRY IT ALL. JUST EAT. Every place you walk into, no matter how shitty it looks ends up turning out amazing. I don’t get it. It’s mind-boggling how good they are at their cuisine. They take pride in all their meals, and you can see why.
Japan is truly a unique city. I fell in love with this country instantly for everything it has to offer. I will be back one day (most likely when it’s spring as one girl can never have too many cherry blossoms in her life’!!
For more information, just contact me directly or visit my page https://www.facebook.com/natasiatravel
PEACE OUT AND SAYONARA!