SAY FUJIIIIIIIIII IN JAPAN: Your two week guide.

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.

Get this peace symbol downpacked. It's the start of MANY.
It will be the beginning of many….trust me!

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….

An electronic toilet!
An electronic toilet that does everything for you!

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….

This is not an exaggeration.
This is not an exaggeration.

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’. 

The JR : Shinkansen bullet trains.
The JR : Shinkansen bullet trains.

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:

  • TOKYO

    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.

    Before....
    Before….
    After....
    After….

    shibuya
    Harajuku: Home of the weird, stylish and mecca of youth orientated boutiques. The shopping is incredible and if you love your vintage threads, this is the best place to find them!

    Harajuku
    Harajuku
    The crazy girls of Harajuku.
    The crazy girls of Harajuku.
    The crazy shopping in Harajuku.
    The crazy shopping in Harajuku.

    264516_530217603702144_530683886_n

    The delicious waffles of Harajuku.
    The delicious waffles of Harajuku.

    It is also a hub for design, and artwork so make your way to the ‘Design Festa’ gallery! You won’t miss it with a design like this.
    tumblr_mmrx40IwUI1sqmu49o8_500 designfest
    tumblr_mmvaqiEv051sqmu49o1_500tumblr_mmvaqiEv051sqmu49o3_500

    Head to the Tokyo Skytree for one hell of a view. If you’re lucky you can actually see Mt Fuji from up here! It’s stunning! 11956_520332048024033_1369787201_n

    Tokyo Skytree
    Tokyo Skytree
    Shinjuku Park - Cherry blossom season.
    Shinjuku Park – Cherry blossom season.


    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/.

    Nui Hostel
    Nui Hostel
  • KANAZAWA

    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!

    Kenrokuen Park
    Kenrokuen Park
    The view from kenrokuen park.
    The view from kenrokuen park.
    The 21st century contemporary museum: People under a swimming pool.
    The 21st century contemporary museum: People under a swimming pool.

    kan21

  • KYOTO

    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.

    Ginkaku-ji Park.
    Ginkaku-ji Park.
    Kiyomizu Temple
    Kiyomizu Temple
    Fushimi Inari Shrine
    Fushimi Inari Shrine
    Deer Park in Nara
    Deer Park in Nara
    Cherry blossom season in March! Best time to go!!
    Cherry blossom season in March! Best time to go!!

    Other places of interest to take note of in Kyoto is the ‘Golden temple’ in Kinkaku-ji, and Arashiyama !

  • OSAKA

    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;
    – Namba
    – Shinsaibashi
    – Dotonbori

    Osaka - Namba.
    Osaka – Namba.

    Prepare your wallets, and get those tastebuds ready. It’s one hell of a city!

  • HIROSHIMA

    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.

    The Atomic Bomb dome.
    The Atomic Bomb dome.

    Hiroshima's infamous Okonomiyaki.
    Hiroshima’s infamous Okonomiyaki.

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!!

8 course sushi set, waited four hours, ate a living octopus. Worth it.
8 course sushi set, waited four hours, ate a living octopus. Worth it.
autosushi
Automated Sushi Train, where you pick what you want through a screen! A MUST!

SASHIMI

Home Made sashimi. Don't be afraid to try it ALL.
Home Made sashimi. Don’t be afraid to try it ALL.

RAMEN

RAMEN. Noodles, meat and delicious broth.
RAMEN. Noodles, meat and delicious broth.

IZAKAYA

Izakaya - cheap food and drinks.
Izakaya – cheap food and drinks.

CAT CAFE’S/CAFES
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!

Cat Cafe in Tokyo
Cat Cafe in Tokyo

CONVENIENT STORES
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!

My budget breakfast.
My budget breakfast.
My morning ritual.
My morning ritual.

Did I forget to mention they are obsessed with green tea (matcha) EVERYTHING?

Green tea ice cream and custard with bread.
Green tea ice cream and custard with bread.

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!

lovejapan

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