My up-and-coming trip to Japan was determined by a Jetstar sale. Tickets were only 199 Australian dollars and my work-holiday visa for Australia was coming to an end. I knew I wanted to get closer to a big Asian hub to be able to find a cheap flight home.
You read that right, home! After Japan, I will (temporarily) be flying back to Belgium. With a couple of stop-overs in Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi of course. Breaking up a long trip like this is something I really enjoy doing and I get to visit a couple of extra countries. Sure, it took me six months to get to Australia, but I got here in the end didn’t I?
Now back to the Japan, the land of the rising sun. I can’t say it was right at the top of my travel list, certainly not as high as countries like MyanMar, Philippines, New Zealand or Columbia. Nonetheless it was always on my list and a cheap flight to Japan it is. I have to say I’m pretty excited. As you will be reading this, I will be packing up my life in Australia and almost boarding to Tokyo. A country that will most likely feel more foreign than any other Asian country I have visited so far. There are a lot of rumors circling around this country: “It is super expensive”, “Nobody speaks English”, “It’s weird and wonderful”. Needless to say, this makes me all very excited! Apart from that expensive rumor, that makes me more apprehensive than anything else. I guess there is better way to debunk a myth than by testing it yourself!
While I normally just rock up at a country and figure it out as I go, I have been told that an adventure like that would cost me serious dough. Therefore, I’m planning my trip to Japan, something I secretly love, but famously procrastinate on. I will be using the Japan Bus Pass instead of the well-known and super expensive Japan Rail Pass (read more about other travel bloggers making this choice here). In this way, I am choosing to see less as I will be traveling slower. However, I will save a significant amount of money. Something I don’t mind at all because I prefer experiencing a local culture (the Japanese bullet train is even more expensive for Japanese citizens) over visiting yet another temple. Next to that, I will be staying Couchsurfing hosts and I might even venture into the unknown world of hitchhiking.
There is so much to do in Japan that it is hard to make a choice! For now, the following places are on the list, I have about a week left to play with so all tips are very welcome!
Figure out this country
Have dinner and drinks in Ebisu
Daytrips from Tokyo to
Hakone & the traditional Japanese Onsen (2 day)
Kamakura, view Mount Fuji
KANSAI region: Kyoto, Osaka and Nara
Discover Kyoto and Osaka
Visit a Kamadoko restaurant in Kyoto
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Visit an old friend in Osaka
Pet deers in Nara
Ine Bay, the Venice of Japan
Activities to do in any or every city
Try vending machine
Shop in a 100 Yen store
Eat something from Lawson
Get some Purikura photos aka the Japanese photo booth
I’m still on the fence on the following activities, some due to the price, others because I haven’t been convinced yet. If you think they are a must, let me know!
Tokyo Disney land
Staying in a temple
Staying in a traditional Ryokan
What am I missing on my list?
All sources for these photos can easily be found through my Pinterest board on Asian countries