Back in 2013 (December 2013) I spend only 1 day in Japan on my layover to New Zealand. During that layover I spend the time in Narita City. To kill the time, visited a temple area in the city bought some food. In May 2018 I visited Japan again.
Return to the East (May 2018)
On 3rd of May 2018 I returned o Japan. This time I made it a proper trip. Tokyo, Kyoto, Toyama, Nagano, Tokyo. This was approx the route I took.After almost 5 years that I’ve been to japan made this visit multiple surprises and excitement.
Every day again I’m wondered how the local people live, react and do their things.As far my trip went the people are kind and helpful. Surprised if you offer an older woman or man gives the seat just out of your respect.
They thanked you more often then you deserve.The food is delicious I tried multiple dishes.
My first impression was like (okay big city) but after a few days, the city is well organized, super clean something I haven’t seen in many countries. For example London and Paris are way more dirty. Tokyo entertained me every day I was there.
In Tokyo I had also my first rush hour experience with no personal space.
High tech commercial advertisements, small and unique places to eat or drink. Many beautiful sights to see
How to integrate into the local nerdy things
Start to visit a maid cafe. It’s such a strange awkward happening that you will laugh. It takes approx an hour and it’s basically a show. You will be entertained by a host. Reviews online has different views and you find different locations of maid cafes. Positive and negative, in my case it was positive I didn’t stay long but had a drink and a icecream, photo and a souvenir
This is the tech area of Tokyo. You can find anything here from old game systems to the new ones. It is fun to walk around and you become as an adult and child again.
Shibuya is one of the famous places in Tokyo mainly about the crossing where thousands of people everyday crossing every direction at the same time. In this area you find a lot of shops and restaurants.
I was unlucky to see Mount Fuji it was to cloudy to see if from the train.
Tateyama alpine route
From Toyama to Omachi/Nagano. A route through the mountains. This time not the misty mountains as in New Zealand when I was there. This time the mountains were covered with snow and the weather was ok.
First I had to take a train and the first train went at 5:27 from Toyama it took almost an hour to cover the distance to Tateyama. I had a web reservation which is more convenient to do. There are not many people who do the web reservation so your turn is right away.
From Tateyama Station you take a cable car up the mountain. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see the view over The Valley to Toyama, die The closed entrance. From this station there went a bus to Murodo station. This was the most important station to get to because here you could see the famous snow walls.
The snow walls were as 15 meters high on the moment of visit. It’s a strange feeling to walk a side this walls and see a bus next to it. You could do some walking here around and see some wild life.
Further you take a trolley bus to the other side of the mountain. Where you have a spectacular view of the gondola which you need to take next.
With the gondola down to next stop from there a cable car down to the dam. Walked over the dam to the other side of the artificial lake.
The city where the Winter Olympics of 1998 where held. In the city you see often remarks to this happening.
This not a huge city. But there are some sights to see like the temple + garden of Zenko-ji temple.
Late blossom of certain plants in color pink.
This area has earthquakes it happened when I was taking the alpine route. It was my first experience when this happened eventually in several occasions I had a disruption in my trip. Even on the day before I left Japan there was a moment. it became normal and after figuring out only large ones are informed where you will feel some of.
With the Shinkansen to Kyoto. It’s not a train, well technically it’s a train but it runs on a subway schedule every 20 minutes a train and they have 3 different lines. I took the Hikari super express it’s the second fastest line they have. With a speed of 284 average you travel to Kyoto or other destination.
Traveling is convenient and relaxing 2.40h and you are more then 500km south.
Kyoto is the city full of temples and the bamboo forest. In this city I visited a few temples. Every single one was different and had also a different purpose.
Eating Yakatori in a small and cozy place. 2 elderly prepared the food because of some event they made just the menu in English.
I ate also in this place heart, liver, stomach sounds terrible but was good (at least if you eat meat)
Yokohama is a sort of small Tokyo. Hight buildings an compact. Busy public transport and huge china town. I spend a half day in this city to explorer the neighbour area of Tokyo. Warm hot days in May are quite normal. Even heavy rainy days.
Narita City was the first ever visited city in Japan (2013) and the currently last visited city in Japan (2018) in both visits I visited the same temple place to spend the last time of Japan grounds. It was nice to see some changes of the city.