5 weeks later and I’ve reached Japan, the final country I will be visiting before flying back to Manchester. I’ve had an amazing time so far but I was looking forward to Japan the most out of all of my destinations.
I flew from Seoul after spending 4 nights in the Korean capital. My first stop will be Tokyo where I will spend 5 nights before moving onto Kyoto. I have purchased a 7-day rail pass, however, so I plan on visiting other cities and parts of Japan such as Mt Fuji, Osaka, and Nara.
After arriving into Tokyo late afternoon I caught the wrong train to my hotel, so what should have been an hour journey actually ended up taking 3…
Hong Kong was expensive but when I paid nearly £12 for a tiny plate of noodles and pork I knew Japan was going to hurt my bank balance…
For all of the previous places I have visited I have just relied on the internet (or my mum sending me information in China) to decide what I wanted to see, where I wanted to go and what I wanted to eat, but luckily one of my dad’s work colleagues – Mark – has close ties with Japan and was visiting just a couple of weeks before I was set to arrive. He sent me loads of information on where I should go, what I should see and the food I need to eat, which made my time in Tokyo especially great.
I spent my first day in Asakusa, eating traditional Japanese dishes and visiting the Sensō-ji and Kaminarimon. I then made the short walk to the Tokyo Skytree which Mark recommended instead of the Tokyo Tower.
I visited Shibuya and Shinjuku on my second day in the capital. Shibuya was stereotypical Tokyo and a hub of youth culture with hundreds of department stores, bars, and restaurants. Shinjuku was similar to Shibuya but the neon at night was spectacular. I visited both during the day and in the evening to make the most out of the districts. I also visited the Meiji Shrine and spend a few hours walking around the park, topping up my non-existent tan.
The man-made island of Odaiba was my plan for my third day in Toyko, where I visited the beach, did some shopping and ate some of Japan’s most popular dishes. I also met a Malaysian girl who was studying in Japan so she ended up being my tour guide for the day.
The journey to Odaiba was definitely a highlight, as I took the Monorail from Shimbashi over Rainbow Bridge which had stunning views over the city. I then went to Roppongi in the evening where there were hundreds of bars, restaurants, and clubs.
My fourth day in Japan was when my JR Rail Pass began so I caught the train to Mt Fuji. The Japanese Alps were breathtaking, but I was disappointed that I didn’t make it to the top of Mt Fuji because the journey from Tokyo was much longer than I expected. Instead, I picked up a trail that went around the mountain to some great viewpoints.
Before leaving for Kyoto I headed to the fish market at Tsuki during the early hours of the morning. My plan was to witness the fish auction which starts at 5.30 am, but I arrived at 4 am to a man telling me that it was already sold out, which was disappointing, to say the least. However, as I was with my friend I had met the previous day at Odaiba, we walked around the fish markets, watched the locals prepare the freshly caught fish and eat sushi at 4:30 am which had been caught a few hours before.
Although I only had 3 hours sleep and didn’t get to bed until 6 am, it was well worth the experience and one of the highlights of the last couple of months.
Tokyo was a lot different from what I initially thought it would be like, however its bright lights, fast moving city centres and overly friendly inhabitants, mixes the ultra modern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples and is definitely a place I plan to invest in the future.
I headed back to Tokyo on my last day in Japan in hope of going to Kawaguchiko, however, things didn’t quite go to plan so I ended up in Jiyugaoka. Although it ended up being a long day, it was a good experience to say the least.
I then came back to Tokyo to fly back home to Manchester. I arrived early and spent the day in a Cafe with my friend before catching the Narita Express to terminal 2 and heading back home… I could write pages about my trip, but to cut it short, I’ve honestly had the time of my life and I’ve made memories I’ll cherish forever.