Japan 2016
Dec 11, 2016, 09:38am
Luin
I should have made a journal about this sooner but... I couldn't be bothered basically.

I'm going to be making YouTube videos about my experience when I have time so I'll post those when I get around to it!

On September 1st I arrived in Tokyo, Japan with my sister for the holiday that we'd been saving up for after almost 2 years!

We flew from Manchester to Dusseldorf and then to Tokyo; the last flight being 11 hours which was uncomfortable. (But worth it!)



We stayed in Ikebukuro which we explored fully the day after we arrived. We went to Otomo Road, an area popular with female otaku, and the animate building. Then to Sunshine city and the Pokemon center and aquarium.




The next day we went to Shinjuku and met up with a friend of a friend called Brian who showed us around. We went to Shinjuku Gyoen national park, which was really beautiful. We had food and then went for drinks at this little punk bar in the Golden Gai. The Golden Gai is a collection of really small bars, they only sit about 8 maximum but it's a really amazing area.




Day 3 we headed north on the Shinkansen to the Zao Fox Village! On the way back stopped off at the pokemon center and Shonen Jump shop in Tokyo station. Then we went for sushi, I tried ootoro, premium fatty tuna, which was delicious!




Day 4 and another journey on the Shinkansen, this time we headed to Kyoto, and what a beautiful place it is! First we went to Arashiyama bamboo groove, then to kinkaku-ji temple (golden temple), before we headed to our hotel for the night. We stayed in this lovely traditional ryokan in the middle of Gion, which is famous for it's traditional style buildings and geisha. For dinner we had a traditional Japanese 7 course meal. It was expensive and some of the dishes were actually not that nice but it's was a good experience nonetheless. We then went to Yasaka Shrine when it was dark before heading off to bed.




The next day we got up early and checked out and went to the Kyoto Pokemon center. We then went to Fushima Inari Shrine with it's hundreds of red gates. This was one of my favourite spots, it was quite busy though and we didn't go far up the mountain because it was really hot! After this we got on the train and headed to Nara to see the wild deer at Nara park. They were really friendly and eager for food! We went to the arcades nearby before heading back to Kyoto and getting the Shinkansen back to Tokyo. I really wish we'd had more time in Kyoto because I would have loved to explored some more. Next time definitely!




Day 7 we went to Tokyo Disneyland! I haven't been to a Disneyland park since I was young and it was Amy's first time to one ever so we were both really excited! We stayed for the electrical parade but the fireworks display was cancelled because it was too windy :-(



The next day we went to Nakano Broadway which is a huge shopping mall filled mostly with second hand anime merch shops. I could have spent a FORTUNE here! I didn't take many photos because a lot of shops don't like it and also because I had tons of bags!



Day 9 was another day of exploring and shopping, this time in Shibuya. We went to Shibuya 109, a popular shopping arcade. I was surprised by how much stuff I liked in here since it seemed rather mainstream, but I bought a dress and a jacket. When went to the One Piece store and the Disney store before going to this awesome bar called Alcatraz ER, a medical/prison themed bar where your table is a cell and they serve the weirdest cocktails. Like a lot of themed bars and cafe in Japan, they put on a "show" every so often, and, oh my god, this one was insane. They shut off all the lights and played really sinister music and some guy dressed as a zombie came barging into our cell shrieking! I nearly crapped myself :-D




Day 10 we stayed in Ikebukuro again and went to J-world, a theme park dedicated to Shonen Jump animes. We were there for several hours before we went to a cat cafe in the evening!



Day 11 we headed to Tokyo Skytree but we didn't go up because it was really busy. We did go to the pokemon center while we were there before going to Akihabara and had another day of shopping. I really loved Akihabara and all the arcades!



Day 12 we went to Harajuku! I've wanted to go to Harajuku for years and I was so happy to finally go! Takashita Street is really amazing which all in unique shops and boutiques. 2011 me would have been in heaven! I bought myself a pair of shoes from one shop but I could have bought several. We went to the Kawaii Monster Cafe which was really amazing. The interior is fantastic and the girls who work there look awesome. They also put on a show, dancing on this carousel. And then they picked me of all people to get up and dance with them :-D I'm terrible at dancing!
After exploring Harajuku we went to Meiji Shrine.




Day 13 we went to Asakusa to see the temples and shrines. It's a very touristy area but I thought it was lovely all the same. The area had lots of little stalls selling food and souvenirs. Afterwards we went back to Skytree and since it was a lot quieter we went up this time and walked across the glass floor which made me feel a little shaky!




Day 14 was out last full day before we were due to fly home so we decided to go back to some of our favourite spots around Tokyo and spend to last of out money (so Nakano Broadway was on the list!)

This is only a glimpse of what we got up to. I don't think I could make a post explaining everything. I can honestly say it was one of (if not THE) best holidays of my life. I will definitely go back, although realistically i won't be able to afford if for another few years, but I'm already planning I assure you!

I will leave you with just a few of the many Purikura we did!







<3<3<3
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Dec 11, 2016, 10:15am
Noodles1234
Great pics...Looks like you researched it all well before getting there thumbup
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Dec 12, 2016, 04:31am
Veruschka
Love the pictures, very colorful. Looks like you guys had a blast.
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Dec 19, 2016, 09:08am
mystic_moonlight
Deer in Nara hearts Arcades, shopping, Harajuku, gardens, shine...looks like the perf trip to Japan!
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Jan 12, 2017, 06:07pm
jojo3000
I want to go to japan myself and I been waiting for along time to go and not got round to doing it. but unsure as I cant speak any japanese. im just wonder if you can speak any japanese and if not how was it for you to get aroud/order food.
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Jan 13, 2017, 10:14pm
Luin
jojo3000 I had the exact same worry before I went. I'd only been studying Japanese for two months before I went so I spoke very very basic Japanese which would have been practically useless. However, you don't have to worry. The bigger cities have English signs/menus/maps everywhere. Most menues have pictures too, so you can easily just point and hold your fingers up to show how many you want (I think the servers found that easier than trying to communicate verbally through the language barrier too).
I really recommend getting Pocket Wifi if you go so you can use the google maps anywhere you go. And there's a app/website called Hyperdia.com which is so useful for using the trains and metro. Thanks to these we didn't get lost even once :-)
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Jan 14, 2017, 12:04pm
jojo3000
thank you so much for your help. where do you study Japanese or are you self learning Japanese as im from manchester aswell just got back form liveing with a friend in london.
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Jan 14, 2017, 09:40pm
Luin
I have a tutor who I skype with once a week. She's a native Japanese who lives in Blackpool :-)
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