You know how every year all your Facebook friends seem to be vacationing to the same country? This year that was Japan. Every few weeks I'd see friends post about their trip there. Maybe it was because of the $400-500 flight deals this summer? Anyways, we didn't get that deal :P After a $700 ticket and a layover in Beijing, we were super excited for 9 glorious days in Japan! My first time!
First stop - Tokyo:
Sensory overload! People, advertisements, shops everywhere. Dragged our luggage through the crowded streets of Tokyo to our Airbnb. We stayed in this tiny apartment in the heart of Shibuya. Literally not possible to run out of things to do in this city.
Below: The food court at Shibuya train station in Tokyo (near the Hachiko statue), how is a food court so fun and inspiring!?
Tokyo by night. All the neon lights come on just like how one imagines Tokyo to be.
Tourist trap alert! Its hard to miss the giant sign at the Robot Show/restaurant if you're out and about at night in Shinjuku. It's hard to tell what the Robot show was about...but we gave it a try since it was so "popular". Haha it was a mistake (the entire thing was just tacky)...better save your USD$80 and go to the swankiest cocktail bar ever, with the most delicious drinks - at Gen Yamamoto!
Second stop - Hakone:
Quiet seaside village about an hour train ride from Tokyo, on the Odakyu Express Romancecar. Average age of the visitors there was 70. At the train station when you arrive, look for the luggage service office where you can send your bags directly to the hotel (very reasonable fees) and start exploring the town comfortably. I found this service so useful and thoughtful!
Last stop - Kyoto:
Kyoto was beautiful....just like how I had imagined old Japan to be. It blew my mind just how old some of the temples are.
Only in Japan:
Japan travel tips?
- You still need cash in most places
- Most people speak limited English. Google Translate to the rescue!
- Many casual restaurants have a system where you purchase a meal ticket at the entrance
- Relax at all the gardens, temples, tea houses that you come across. It's the best during long travel days.
We're engaged! Best trip ever with my amazing man.
Can't wait to explore the rest of Japan next time!