I’ve finally been able to tick this one off my bucket list, though I have no doubt that I will be back again to see more of this culturally rich country. One of my favourite takeaways from my trip there was probably the food. Everywhere you look, FOOD. I mean, I come from a country where local food is everywhere too, but I’m all for changing up food options. Street side stalls are pretty common in Japan where you can get takoyaki balls, sushi, soft serve ice cream and even ramen. Though I had to give up on the soft serve when I fell ill. The cold weather didn’t stop my ice cream hunt, but I figured a runny nose and sore throat could do with some healing.
Jiv and I crammed a lot into nine days, and there were some sights we could see and some we could not. But I’m thankful we managed to see the places we did. Even though the cherry blossoms were not in full bloom, some trees were, and thinking back as I write this, I guess that made me appreciate them more.
Osaka: We were lucky enough to be in Osaka during the Sumo tournament season and decided to pop in for a match. The matches were interesting enough but what took me by surprise was the enthusiasm of the crowd. They always roaring for their favourite, with barely a quiet moment.
Kyoto: A must see! Kyoto is such a lovely city, strewn with traditional Japanese style houses and flanked by gorgeous forests. Including the Arashiyama bamboo forest. My favourite place though, was a traditional Japanese that was not crowded with other tourists. The zen gardens are the perfect place for quiet stroll and you can just sit and admire the scenery all day.
Tokyo: The first few days of our trip was jam packed with sight-seeing, so it was a nice change to get to Tokyo and chill out in the city. Save for the day we made the journey up to Lake Kawaguchi in the hopes of spotting Mt Fuji, but the clouds were just not on our side that day. My favourite part of Tokyo though – aside from the shopping – was visiting Chidorigafuji Park. We could rent a boat out into the water (it was a castle moat how cool!) where a few trees had already started the bloom on the waters edge. Just bliss.