My husband and I had a phenomenal 7 days in Japan and we still couldn’t make it to some amazing areas. Japan is much bigger than I thought and just getting around the country takes more time than I had planned. For example getting from Tokyo to Kyoto takes 4 hours. I really wanted to visit Kyoto but traveling that distance was a no for me this time around. Kyoto has me smitten with it’s mesmerizing ancient city beauty. You can spend a week just exploring Kyoto just on it’s own with an abundance of things to see and do. Which brings me to our first district
Known for it’s old world vibes with numerous Buddhist temples, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional Japanese wooden houses. If you’re looking to travel back in time then Kyoto is place for you. The most magical time to be in Japan is during Sakura season which happens around late March/early April. Seeing the blooming cherry blossoms against shrines and temples is one of those views you’ve imagined when you close your eyes and think of Japan. Kyoto is the place to capture that moment.
Tokyo is where old world meets new. The juxtaposition is just mind blowing and something I hope you get to experience. Seeing neon lit skyscrapers to Buddhist temples feels like Tokyo is on its own planet. It feels so surreal. My favorite place which touches on some of the ancient world like Kyoto is Asakusa. If you’re in the Tokyo area and you want to experience some of that old world, then Asakusa is for you. You can find the famous Sensoji Temple here and the Tokyo Skytree. To get to the Sensoji temple you enter through the Kaminarimon gate which is a great spot to snap a few pics. You will then be on Nakamise street which is a shopping area filled with lots of cute little stores where you can find an array of souvenirs.
If you want pulsing non stop energy, neon lights and to be in the center of all the excitement then Shinjuku is the place to be. Being here felt like I was in a computer game. The bright neon lights and constant stream of people is exhilarating. There’s so much excitement in the air and the energy is just buzzing. Stop at “Piss Alley” aptly named due to the lack of toilets back in the 50’s. Here you can find some tasty Yakitori.
Rumored to be the busiest intersection in the world, the Shibuya crossing is organized chaos. Picture a thousand people crossing in each direction every time the lights change. It was so crazy to see that many people all at one intersection, and it happens all day long. This is one of the top spots you just have to visit, there is nothing like it in the world
To get away from all the hustle and bustle of city life we ventured out to Gotemba for some nature and relaxation. When in Japan you have to experience an Onsen. Onsen’s are natural hot springs found through out Japan. They have been said to have many healing benefits by absorbing the mineral-rich water into the body. You’ll leave feeling really relaxed, sore muscles and aches will subside and your skin will feel so soft. We had an Onsen in our room which was a nice way to end our trip.
We ventured out to catch views of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawagujiko. It takes about an hour by bus to arrive at Kawagujiko station from Gotemba. Seeing Mt Fuji with all the Sakuras in bloom was like a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to visit Japan and seeing this view that I held in my mind of Japan for so long finally manifest was just magical.