Proof that my itinerary for Japan was as crazy as I described:
“I put together an itinerary that planned my days to the hour, included all price estimates (in both JPY & USD) of every activity and wrote down not only the addresses, but also step-by-step directions to each destination. I even had the names of each place typed in Japanese just in case I ended up having to ask someone for help who didn’t speak English because this way, they would at least be able to read their own language (crazy, right?).”
Yes, I still have it.
I know, I know. I went a wee bit overboard. But I wanted everything to be perfect. PERFECT. Anyway, I’ll try to include as many of my Japan pictures as I’m okay with posting (my photography skills weren’t the best).
Japan Itinerary 2015
Tokyo Hotel Information (4/4/15-4/11/15):
APA Hotel (Higashi-Nihombashi-Ekimae)
〒103-0004 3-12-14, Higashinihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Check-in: 2PM Check-out: 11AM
Directions from Haneda Airport:
Airport Limited Express (Toei Asakusa Line) > Higashi-Nihombashi Station (Toei
Asakusa Line) [About 35 minutes (No transfer)]
Sunday (April 5): TOKYO
1-1 Kitanomarukoen, Chiyoda 102-0091, Tokyo Prefecture
5 minutes on foot from Tokyo Metro Kudanshita Station or Hanzomon Station.
Go to Kudanshita subway station and get out of exit 2 and walk towards Budo-kan.
I was also supposed to ride one of those little boats, but it was raining so they were closed *cry face*
- Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Take the JR Yamanote line to Shinjuku, south exit; walk east down Koshu Kaido, a main thoroughfare. Or take the Toei Shinjuku line to Shinjuku-Sanchome.
I showed Shahan this picture and he said, “You edited this too much, it looks fake.” Then I showed him the original. He shut up because it looked the same. This is just what it looks like. Japan in April ftw.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Center
Twin Observatories (45th floor)
North Observatory open daily from 9:30 AM to 11:00 PM.
South Observatory open daily from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
There was some sort of convention going on so the entire bottom floor was filled with people, but you can’t see them because they’re out of frame hehehe. There were also security guards by the elevators on every floor (five of them, I think), and every single one of them watched me as I walked back and forth across these bridges, gawking and holding my GoPro because this architecture is SO COOL.
Monday (April 6): TOKYO
- Tsujiki Fish Market (Sushi Dai)
Restaurant Hours: 5AM-2PM
Sushi Dai, Japan, 〒104-0045 Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji, 5−2−1
¥4,000 (33.30 USD)
Walk in from the gate, with the fruit and vegetable market on your right, pass the off-limits loading zone and turn left at the main road. Walk three short blocks, then turn left again down a small side street. Sushi Dai is the second shop on your right. Look for the faded green doorway curtains.
I do have photos of the sushi I ate, but y’know I’m not about dat life anymore so instead, look at this cute old man that was working at Tsujiki. You can’t really tell from the photo, but he’s SO SMALL. Like four feet tall *cry face* Also, everyone was zooming around in the funny looking cart the guy in the back is driving. There was also sooo many people driving around, but it all seemed seamless and smooth, like everyone was on their own specific track or something.
- Owakudani Hike
By JR Tokaido Shinkansen you can access Odawara in about half an hour from Tokyo or Shinagawa Station, but note that only Kodama trains and selected Hikari trains stop at Odawara Station. (Hakone Free Pass ¥4,000)
This is a Shinkansen (bullet train) BLASTING through the station. The give a warning over the intercom for everyone to step behind the line before it comes through. I can barely follow it on camera as it leaves ha.
My first time on the Shinkansen (with another one passing in the opposite direction).
Owakudani is a station along the Hakone Ropeway between Sounzan and Togendai.
Sounzan is accessible from Hakone-Yumoto by Hakone Tozan Railway and cablecar
with a transfer at Gora Station.
The Hakone Ropeway. When this view first came into sight, I was actually facing away with my back to it. Then everybody sitting across from me started standing up and taking pictures so I knew something was up. I turned around and my mouth dropped. I’m grateful because I was sitting with my back against the front-side window, so I was rewarded the best possible view.
A hiking trail leads from the ropeway station to the peak of Mount Kamiyama and
continues on to Mount Komagatake from where you can catch the Komagatake
Ropeway down to Lake Ashi. The hike takes about 4.5 hours.
Mototsumiya is a short walk from the top station of Komagatake Ropeway, which
departs from Hakone-en at the shores of Lake Ashi.
Two subway lines, two train lines, a Shinkansen, a cable car, a suspended cable car, and a ferry later… The Hakone Shrine!
- Sushi Sora (8PM)
Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-8328 Japan 2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi
Muromachi Dinner ¥20,000 (166.49 USD)
Tuesday (April 7): KAMAKURA, ENOSHIMA
- Kotokuin (Great Buddha of Kamakura)
8AM-5PM Â¥200 (1.66 USD)
4-2-28 Hase, Kamakura 248-0016, Kanagawa Prefecture
This may look nice and peaceful, but the day that I went here, they were filming some sort of TV show so an entire film crew + actors + fans of the show were mobbing around all over the place.
- Hasedera Temple
8AM-4:30PM Â¥300 (2.50 USD)
3-11-2 Hase, Kamakura 248-0016, Kanagawa Prefecture
These cute little monk statues were EVERYWHERE. Trying to fit in hehe.
- Enoshima Island Spa (Didn’t end up happening)
10AM-10PM Â¥2,592 (21.58 USD)
2-1-6 Enoshima, Fujisawa 251-0036, Kanagawa Prefecture
Wednesday (April 8): TOKYO
- Tokyo Disney
9AM-10PM ¥6,900 (57.44 USD)
Trying to smile, but I was actually freezing my tuchus off. Also, Tokyo Disneyland is meh. Same as home pretty much.
Thursday (April 9): KYOTO
- Fushimi Inari Shrine
68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto 612-0882, Kyoto Prefecture
Fushimi Inari Shrine is located just outside JR Inari Station, the second station from
Kyoto Station along the JR Nara Line (5 minutes).
Pro tip: Show up really early before the hoards of people come.
- Kinkaku-ji Temple (Didn’t end up happening)
1 Kinkakuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8361, Kyoto Prefecture
Kinkakuji can be accessed from Kyoto Station by direct Kyoto City Bus number 101 or 205 in about 40 minutes and for 230 yen. Alternatively, it can be faster and more reliable to take the Karasuma Subway Line to Kitaoji Station (15 minutes, 260 yen) and take a taxi (10 minutes, 1000-1200 yen) or bus (10 minutes, 230 yen, bus numbers 101, 102, 204 or 205) from there to Kinkakuji.
- Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Togetsukyo, Saga, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto 616-8383, Kyoto Prefecture
From Kyoto Station take JR Sagano Line (also known as JR Sanin Line). The one way
ride to Saga-Arashiyama Station takes 15 minutes.
I actually didn’t spend as much time here as I thought I would (it was a lot smaller than I had originally thought) so I also walked around the district of Arashiyama itself,
which was lovely, to say the least.
Feeding monkeys was also pretty awesome (the humans are inside the caged area, while the monkeys roam free).
Kyoto Hotel Information (4/9/15-4/10/15):
First Cabin Kyoto Karasuma
600-8099, Kyoto, Shimogyo-ku Bukkoji-dori Higashi-iru 4F Takanoha-Square
Check-in: 3PM Check-out: 10AM
Friday (April 10): KYOTO, HIMEJI
- Kiyomizu-dera Temple
6AM-6PM ¥300 (2.50 USD)
294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0862, Japan
Take the Raku Bus No 100 or No 206 to Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi bus stop and then walk uphill for about 10 minutes.
- Himeji Castle
9AM-4PM ¥720 (5.93 USD)
68 Honmachi, Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture 670-0012, Japan
From Kyoto Station take the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen to Himeji Station. From Himeji Station, the castle can be reached in a 15-20 minute walk or 5 minute bus or taxi ride along the broad Otemae-dori Street, which leads straight from the station to the castle.
- Koko-en (Garden)
9AM-5PM (Price included w/Himeji)
Lunch available until 3PM
I don’t have pictures with any of these plans because I ended up scrapping the whole day, and took a two hour train ride into the castle city of Matsusaka instead.
Taking a two hour train ride through rural Japan was one of the best decisions I ever made on this trip. My eyes were glued to the window the entire time, and the ever-changing scenery ranged from trees in every shade of green imaginable, to rice paddies, to flat stretches of grass, to the occasional hidden gorge with houses perched at the water’s edge, much like this one. I’m not quite sure how I snapped out of my daze long enough to take this picture, but I’m really glad I did.
I literally wrote this, but ended up going to Tokyo DisneySea instead.
BEST. DECISION. EVER.
I MEAN LOOK AT THIS DETAIL.
LIKE I CAN’T EVEN.
AM I IN EUROPE OR JAPAN?!
LOOK AT THIS TOWER OF TERROR. JUST LOOK.
And leave it to Japan to take it to this level with their churros smh.
Be back at Haneda Airport by 9PM.
Japan trip over.