Last month, I traveled to Japan with my family. We went on a 14-day-adventure to discover the Japanese culture and must see places.
In the field of traveling, I consider myself a very lucky girl. Both of my parents, especially my dad, are fond of traveling abroad and love to discover new places. In my nineteen years on this planet I have traveled a long way and I can check a lot of countries on my bucket list, like: Kenya, Botswana, Canada, United States (New York, Las Vegas, L.A., San Francisco), Australia, Ecuador, Galapagos Isles, Dubai, Sweden, England, Greece, Italy, France…
This post is going to give you a glimpse into my Japanese adventure.
We started our journey in Brussels, where we took a 6-hour plane to Dubai.
In Dubai we took a 7,5-hour plane to Tokyo. Actually, Dubai airport was already our first “wow-moment” of the trip, as Dubai International Airport is the third busiest airport worldwide (after Atlanta International Airport and Bejing Airport) with 83,654,250 passengers each year. I had never seen such an inmens crowd.
The first four days of our visit, we stayed at the Conrad Hotel in Tokyo.
One of the best hotels I had been so far, the people were very friendly and it was a great place to recover from our jet-lag!
My dad even tried a real Japanese breakfast the first morning (top-left corner) .
The rest of us needed some extra time to get used to the idea of rice in the morning…
The first evening we went to visit the Hard Rock Café (I collect the basic white tees & I already have 15 different cities now I guess). Also, we went to the Tokyo Tower. It looked soooo much like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but we weren’t disappointed because the lights were spectacularly beautiful.
The second day in Tokyo, we visited the botanical gardens in the morning. It was very pretty, but because we went in the rain season, the trees had no blossoms and their were no flowers, so I did not really thought about taking pictures. After that we went for a boat-trip to see some of Tokyo’s must sees, like the Rainbow Bridge and the Tokyo Skytree Tower. In the afternoon, we had some ice cream out of one of the weirdest vending machines I had ever seen and we visited our first (of many) temples. My dad ruined my picture, but I hope you can still see it properly. The third picture in the row is on the inside of the temple.
The last picture is a ‘food-pic’ from our dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo. We had a really popular dish called “Sukiyaki”. If you’re interested you can google it, but basically it was some beef and weird vegetables we had to dip in raw eggs. In Belgium, we never eat raw eggs, so we did not really like the typical “Sukiyaki” (but it still was an awesome experience and a real culture-shock).
On our third day, we visited DisneySea (because you are never too old for Disney in my opinion). We had lots of fun and if you are ever going to Tokyo, it is a real “must-do” I believe! I had already been to Disneyland in Paris and I think it is completely different with lots of different themes, attractions & shows.
Our last day in Tokyo we went to a CAT café. Me and my brother really wanted to do this, because we already missed our cat back home I think. After that, we visited the busiest crossing in Tokyo, Shibuya crossing. At this place, I got this feeling from Dubai International Airport all over again and I feel very lucky I didn’t get lost. I really felt like a small fish in the ocean when I was standing there. In my opinion, Tokyo is a city where you have to experience things and stroll around a little bit, instead of looking for some places you and planning every detail. It’s more about the people and the culture than it is about buildings in this special piece of the world.
After Tokyo, we went on a day trip to Nikko. We saw some beautiful temples and one of the most breathtaking bridges I have seen so far. I also really liked this places because it rained. This may sound weird, but in Tokyo we walked around for four days in 36°C…
Then we went to Nara for two days. How did we get there? Good question. We took this fancy high-tech super fast train!!! Nara, not only a very beautiful and inspiring place, there are also lots of deer in the free nature. They just walk around the temples and they are so used to tourists that you can get very close to them. In Nara, we have had the most “Japanese” experience of our trip. We stayed in a traditional ryokan. This is a small traditional hotel. We had to go to dinner in our traditional clothing and wash ourselves in public “hot-tubs”. In addition, we had to sleep on a small mattress on the floor.
Our last cultural stop we had in Kyoto. We stayed here for three days. I think Kyoto has the most beautiful temples of Japan. One of the three days of our stay, we also went to Himeji Castle, an enormous white castle surrounded by green gardens. Kyoto was my number one of my 14-day stay in Japan. I’m sure you can also see this at the amount of pictures…
For our last 5 days, we traveled to Okinawa, a small Island next to mainland Japan. We relaxed, went snorkeling & went parasailing.
My personal top 3:
Temples of Kyoto
I had a wonderful experience!! xoxo Sarah