Here is what we did in our 6 days stay in JAPAN.
You may have noticed from my previous post how I deeply, madly and truly fell in love with Japan. Tim planned our itinerary because it was his third visit to this amazing country so I left all the planning to him.
So not to make this post long and boring. I will post separately about each attraction in details and you can also scroll all the way down for the summary.
Here’s the thing, you can always play with the itinerary depending on your flights. If you land in the morning or leave in the morning so on.
We arrive at Narita Airport at 8 in the morning and took the shuttle bus to be dropped off to terminal 2 to take a train to the main station in Tokyo. As we go there we purchased a round trip ticket to Kyoto. Of course we booked the bullet train which is known as Shinkansen. It’s super fast and the speed is 240-320 km/h. CRAZY!!!
You can book a Shinkansen ticket online or at the counter (http//:shinkansen-ticket.com/) depending on availability. We risked it and booked it at the counter.
Keep in mind not all Japanese people speak English and most of the signs are in Japanese. Since Tim knew most of it and reads Japanese we didn’t find much difficulty, we recommend the Google Translate Image App, it is quite useful.
In just 140 minutes we arrived at Kyoto Station and decided to walk all the way to our hostel called ‘Khaosan Kyoto Theater’. Once we secured our luggage and freshned up, we took a train to the Bamboo Forrest and explored Arashiyama. We spend our time around Nishiki Market which is located 6 minutes from our hostel.
Way early in the morning we decided to go Temple hopping so it started with purchasing a bus ticket for the whole day. So we passed by Yasaka Shrine and decided to skip it.
We headed straight to Fushimi Inari-taisha. We walked it all in 3 hours and made it to the top.
Afterwards, we headed to the Golden Temple known as Kinkaku-ji. We also attended a tea ceremony over there.
We then headed to the Silver Temple which is called Ginkaku-ji. It has a Zen Garden and Tim and I just sat there for almost an hour admiring the nature of the place and just breathing the fresh air.
Our last stop was at Chion-In. We took pictures and walked around the area for hours.
Yes, there are much more temples to visit but we had a great time enjoying the moment surrounded by nature. We then ended our journey exploring Kyoto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Gionmachi Kitagawa area and had dinner there.
We took the train and headed to Nara to feed the deers at Nara Park. We then visited Todai-ji temple and witnessed the biggest Buddha in Japan. It was MASSIVE. We headed back to the hostel to explore other areas in Kyoto but we met a group of people and decided to watch a Geisha show together which I highly recommend. Yasaka Hall Gion Corner.
We woke up pretty early in the morning and to take the Shinkansen back to Tokyo, As soon as we arrived, we went straight to the hostel to check in. We stayed at Unplan Kagurazaka which was very convenient and had a lovely coffee shop on the ground floor to chill.
Tim decided that the first we should visit was the Meiji Jingu Shrine (Shibuya), we later walked to the famous market called ‘Takeshita Dori’. Takeshita-don is filled with boutiques, cafes and awesome fashion for the millennials. The street offers cute, adorable and trendy items.
We continued our journey to Akihabara to check out the games and anime world. After having a very late lunch at ‘Ikinari Steak Ogawamachi’, we decided it was time to take a train and head to Kabuki Cho where we explored the night life. Amazing lights and lots lots of people. Just a fun fact: Fast & Furious 3 Tokyo Drift was filmed there.
First thing we did early in the morning was going for a Japanese bath at a place called ‘Odaiba Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari’. It is located in Koto, Aomi, 2 Chome. Please note people with tattoos are not allowed in, Japanese people associate inked individuals as part of Yakuza.
After spending almost 5 hours in that which we HIGHLY RECOMMEND, we then decided to have coffee at the Shibuya Crossing, Shibuya-ku to watch the famous intersection. Oh back to the Japanese bath, just know that you will have to be fully naked in front of strangers of the same gender and no one gives a damn. IM SERIOUS.
Back to our itinerary, we then went shopping at Omotesando and Aoyama. After buying a few items from there, we continued walking to the Owl Cafe & Bar Owl Village Harajuku to make it on time for our booked schedule. We enjoyed hot matcha tea and had a briefing about owls before petting and taking pictures. I was kind of an annoying person asking lots of questions.
Our last day in Japan 🙁
We checked out from the hostel early in the morning but kept our bags with the receptionists and went to explore Tokyo on our last day. We visited Senso-ji Temple and explored the local markets around it.
Tim and I stopped for sushi which apparently isn’t a thing in Japan but Ramen is. We had fresh sushi at a restaurant called ‘Asakusa Sushi Ken’. After eating a lot, we then decided to digest the food by walking to the Tokyo Obeservation Deck. Tim and I found it weird that the foreigners queue was quicker than the locals. We paid ¥ 2,060 for the first Observatory (£ 14) and if you want to visit the highest point, it would cost ¥3,090 (£ 21). That’s how our adventure ended, back to the hostel to pick up the bags and off to Narita Airport to Manila.
SUMMARY-As promised here is a short recap of the trip:
Day 1: KYOTO – Bamboo Forrest, Arashiyama and Nishiki Market
Day 2: KYOTO – Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji, Chion In, Kyoto-shi Higashiyama-ku and Gionmachi Kitagawa.
Day 3: KYOTO & NARA -Nara Park, Todai-ji and Yasaka Hall Gion Corner
Day 4: TOKYO – Meiji Jingu Shrine (Shibuya), Takeshita-don, Akihabara and Kabuki Cho
Day 5: TOKYO – Odaiba Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari, Shibuya Crossing, Shibuya-ku, Omotesando, Aoyama and Owl Cafe & Bar Owl Village Harajuku.
Day 6: TOKYO – Senso-ji Temple and Tokyo Observation Deck