Travel: My First Visit to Japan in Winter

Have you ever took a trip somewhere and tell yourself, that’s it, I’m moving here. This was my “that’s it trip”.

Taking ANA was such a good choice, as soon as I stepped in the cabin I feel like stepping in Japan. Best airplane food I’ve ever had! Everything was so thoughtful and comfortable. I felt like with Japanese air attendant everything will be ok.IMG_7414
If you are a first-timer, two things you need to remember, make sure you take off shoes when needed, try not to disturb the peace. Japanese people might be the nicest people in the world, but they have their limits.

Japan is not cheap, especially transportations are very expensive. Since things to see is spread out and from one end to town to another can easily cost $20. you don’t want to jump back and forth.

Very important, don’t take taxi, you can pay as much as your flight ticket if you go far. When you take night trains in Tokyo, the whole train smells like alcohol and if someone accidentally light a fire the whole train might just explode. why do you think all the drunk Japanese people still taking trains.

Keep cash and a change pocket, even though most places take credit card in the city, small business still can only accept cash. get pasmo Card for the machine for trains inside Tokyo, saves a lot of time than having to get ticket each time.

Let’s see my travers starting in Tokyo.

Day 1: Tokyo Asakusa

It was and still is my favourite area in Tokyo. It is the oldest neighbourhood and maintain the traditional look of Japan. I visited the famous temple Sensō-ji, where every Instagramer got their picture taken.

There are lots of perfectly made Japanese snacks along the streets, and I ate a lot of them. I ate my way through the temple and that was the best part. You can get a bad fortune like mine, tie it up so the wind will blow them away. If you have a good one, keep it in your purse so it will follow you.

What really amazed me was the details and cuteness of everything here. I sent a postcard from this panda shaped post box. Honestly it’s too cute I was worried if it actually works. It works if you also wondering.

In the afternoon I walked cross the river to Tokyo Skytree. I was surprised actually seeing Mt Fuji from the top.  Sensō-ji Sensō-ji Sensō-jiJapanese post box AsakusaTokyo SkytreeTokyo Skytree

Day 2: Tokyo Meiji Shirne & Shibuya

I know Meiji Shrine because one of my close friend got married here, I remember seeing lots of beautiful photos taking inside this shirne.

It is located in the forest, very close to Harajuku shopping street and Yoyogi Park. which is major attractions I didn’t know about at that time. But spending whole morning here in the sun and just walking around the forest and gardens feels great.

One thing I love about Japan is all the plants are perfectly shaped like art. ALL OF THEM.   Tokyo Meiji ShirneTokyo Meiji ShirneTokyo Meiji Shirne

Shibuya is not my favourite area, too hectic. But you have to see it to say you’ve been to Tokyo. It is very cool to see the tall buildings and big signs of, well you have no idea what they are but it’s cool. It’s also a big nightlife spot.

I stayed in Shibuya for 10 mins already tired of it. I’ve crossed the Shibuya Crossing, the busiest crossing in the world and of course you can’t even find me in my crossing picture.

Shibuya Tokyo

Day 3 Shinjuku & Roppongi

Shinjuku is similar vibe as Shibuya, I really loved the pink lights near Shinjuku Station. and the train station full of stuffed animals for no reason.

About not disturbing the peace, there is a picture of me laughing out load on the street and a Japanese lady looking at me like wtf.

I loved Golden Gai for bars and restaurant, I like how small they are and you can easily talk to people that way. I talked to couple Chinese tourists the whole dinner it was great.Tokyo ShinjukuTokyo Shinjuku stationTokyo Shinjuku StationTokyo Shinjuku

Roppongi is what I think Tokyo like as a kid watching anime. I loved seeing Tokyo Tower  at night with flaming colored lights. That am I really in Tokyo feeling and my eyes filled with sparkles. Tokyo Tower

Day 4: Kawaguchiko

I took a bus from Shinjuku station to Kawaguchiko station, to see Mt Fuji. It was extremely lucky that fluffy snow coming down on the bus ride.

I got off the bus freezing my ass of but crazy happy. The snow still feathery and keep felling the rest of the day.

By the time I went out for dinner, The whole village was white and bright. I followed the lights and find a Japanese bbq place. The hot sake and fire warmed my heart immediately.Kawaguchiko Japan in snowKawaguchiko in snowKawaguchiko in snowKawaguchiko in Snow Kawaguchiko in snow

Day 5: Lake Kawaguchi, Mt Fuji & Fuji Q highland Lightshow.

Next morning I jump out of bed with excitement and head to Mt Fuji after breakfast. I don’t think I ever finished makeup so quickly.

You can take the hop-on hop-off  Red Line to go around Lake Kawaguchi. When you get all the way on top, it’s very close to the mountain. I have a picture of me sitting by my snowman enjoying the view.

I also have a picture of window full of cats, which I’m still confused about by today. Japan in Snow KawaguchikoJapan in Snow KawaguchikoMt Fuji in SnowCat hotel Japan

On the way back from the lake, there is another wonderful discovery. Ide Sake Brewery, It is a family owned brewery since 1840. That day I visited happen to be their anniversary, so there’s a mini festival, a small tour and sake tasting contest. I of course won the contest and got free bottle of sake. It’s a skill I’m very proud of. Ide Sake BreweryIde Sake Brewery

In winter the amusement park Fuji Q Highland will have a light show. This is the first time I saw Eiffel Tower sparkles and it couldn’t have been more perfect (with Disney voices).Fuji Q highlandFuji Q highland

After drinking and seeing the lights, I came to this Grill fish restaurant Sanrokuen. It looks very old fashion from outside, even more old fashion from inside. You have to sit on the floor, that’s the only way. I thought this might limit how much I can eat so I get up from time to time stretch and got back at it again. Take notes of this.

I don’t consider myself foodie so I normally don’t recommend restaurant. But when I eat food like this, my whole world just lighten up and I will never forget this day.

Sanrokuen KawaguchikoSanrokuen KawaguchikoSanrokuen Kawaguchiko

Day 6: Back to Tokyo off to Kyoto

Before heading back, I went to the Onsen (Japanese hot spring) near Fuji Q, the Fujiyama Onsen, it was my first real Onsen experience. With the view of Mt fuji is even better. IMG_8427Across the street from Kawaguchiko Station, there is a family owned restaurant I really liked. The sun, the view of Fuji and Soba noodle with extra wasabi completed my first to Kawaguchiko Kawaguchiko Station

This captured how excited I am taking the bullet train to Kyoto. They look so futuristic and it was such a smooth ride.

Shinjuku Station JapanJapanese Bullet Train

This is my first coffee inside Kyoto station.the girl made those seems very pleased by the huge amount of excitement I expressed.Japanese latte

Day 7: Kyoto Tō-ji & Gion

Even though winter might not be the best season for visiting Tō-ji, I still really enjoyed the simple and peaceful feeling walking around here. Kyoto Tō-ji Kyoto Tō-ji

In the afternoon I walked to Gion to see the sunset. there are so many cute girls wearing kimono walk around here, and some couples as well! I start to picture myself walking around here in Kimono with umbrella, it was a beautiful picture. GionGion Kyoto JapanGion Kyoto Japan

Day 5: Kyoto Fushimi Inari-taisha, Nijō Castle

I’ve seen so many pictures taking here at Fushimi Inari-taisha,they all looks like nobody here but themselves. But truth is, this place is super crowded even on a cloudy day. The rows of Torii gates seems endless.

What I remember was several Korean tourists were dragging their big suitcases while climbing up the hills inside the shire, and I regret so much not telling them there are corn  lockers just about every corner in Japan.  Fushimi Inari-taisha Fushimi Inari-taisha

Nijō Castle As much as this castle and the view impressed me, this Japanese Construction sites really blew my mind. How can you be so cute and thoughtful on everything.

At night I look up saw the Kyoto Tower by the Kyoto Station with sparkling tree, I captured this moment. Nijō Castle Nijō Castle Japanese construction signKyoto Tower

Day 6: Osaka Castle & Dōtonbori

I have to say I really love everything about Osaka. I am all about castles and drinks comes to traveling, and they have the best ones. Japanese bullet train

Osaka Castle is so beautiful from every angle, and when your dress matches the castle, you take pictures. Osaka Castle Osaka Castle

Dōtonbori has so much energy I can’t believe this city is so alive every night. Osaka is famous for the squid balls, Takoyaki,  and even though majority Japanese speaks very little English, the guy selling Takoyaki were able to tell me ” my balls very big”Dōtonbori Osaka YakitoriOsaka night

Day 7: Tokyo Odaiba Onsen

Odaiba Ōedo-onsen-monogatari is the Disneyland of Onsen. I absolutely loved dressing up in Yokata (bath robe), drink, eat and seeing everyone does the same thing.

One thing did embarassed me a lot, when I step into the toilet, I had to wear this shoes only for toilet, rest of the time barefeet. Out of habit I walked around with those toilet shoe and got stares like “You disguss me”, and someone manage to tell me without English I should stop that shit immediately.

Odaiba Ōedo-onsen-monogatariOdaiba Ōedo-onsen-monogatariOdaiba Ōedo-onsen-monogatariOdaiba Ōedo-onsen-monogatari

Day 8: Tokyo Station & Imperial Palace

Tokyo Station is one of the busiest station, but it seems less busy and more organized to me, I enjoyed looking at this beautiful architecture and walking to Imperial Palace from here.25659657_1590512291028518_8923405021652677920_nTokyo StationImperial Palace seems humble, with the Japanese simplicity it just feels so pleasant. That moment I sit in the sun outside this palace, I stared at the open space and it just feels like home to me. Imperial PalaceImperial Palace

Day 10: Narita International Airport

One of the feel times I wasn’t sad about leaving. I was excited to go back, start saving money and prepare to come back again. And next time, I’m staying.IMG_9291Tokyo Narita Airport

Love, Julia

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