I’ve always wanted to visit Japan, since the moment I started learning about it; I have absolutely adored the culture and the people for longer than I can remember. It’s a culture of contrasts; their incredible technology lives alongside their deeply held and revered traditions.
When the Small Child was talking about going overseas for schoolies, he’d cycled through a few different plans, finally landing on going to Japan with a friend after the end of year 12. Unfortunately being in year 12 the friend didn’t get his butt in gear, so that fell through; fortunately for me, the idea of the trip was still good, so it’s him and me for three weeks in Japan!
Budgets were considered, leave was calculated, flights and accommodation were booked. A week in each of three cities, Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto, with a few days for transit.
Flying to and from Osaka saved us a pile of cash, so we’re splitting that around the start and end of the trip. The Shinkansen will ferry us at the speed of squee between the major cities. People keep telling us about cheaper ways of getting between cities, but seriously? Super. Fast. Trains.
A giant document of plans has been iterated on over a few months, focusing around the idea of hitting most of the tourist spots, with a bit of a focus on cool teenage boy things (for me, who else?) but also seeing a lot of traditional elements as well.
The week around christmas we’re due to be in Tokyo, with KFC pre-ordered for christmas day - because KFC IN JAPAN FOR CHRISTMAS. I think it’s the first time I’ve been excited about the arbitrary commercialised nightmare in years.
Other Tokyo highlights:
- Studio Ghibli tour
- The Imperial Palace
- Akihibara (so. excited.)
- Shibuya crossing
- Shinjuku shopping
- Comiket, an anime/manga convention
- The biggest Pokémon store and the first official Nintendo store (recently opened)
Kyoto has a lot of ’traditional’ sights, with temples and castles and shrines. The Tori gates, the Bamboo Forest and the Golden pavilion will definitely be highlights. I’m really looking forward to finally exploring some of this ancient culture face to face.
New years’ eve we’ll be in Kyoto, so that’ll be fun to see what happens. SC can’t buy alcohol because he’s only 18, but I’m sure we’ll find a way to entertain ourselves. 😇
After Kyoto, we’ll return to Osaka for some more exploring before returning home.
One day’s booked out for a trip to Hiroshima; its terrible history has always fascinated me and their focus on turning it into a message for peace shows how mature they are as a culture.
There’s more anime and manga and things to explore in the Nipponbashi district and one of many Namco stores. At some point a Saké brewery crawl was added to the list - this’ll be fun!
So much to see and do - this is mostly a brain dump while I’m on the plane. More posts to come!
<Narrator> He says, looking at all the draft posts from his past trips…