December 1st, 2016
Ohhh mann, this was such a dream come true! I’ve been dreaming to come to Japan, for who knows how long. Most of my inspiration to venture here comes from me being such a huge fan of Japanese anime for quite some time now. I admire the Japanese culture so much and their values. Their design aesthetics in both fashion and architecture have such an appeal to me. Honestly I just love Japanese design in general haha, they’re very considerate yet still conservative. My expectations were exceeded; Japan is even better in person. I don’t even know where to start with sharing this 9-day experience…
All right well we flew to Tokyo from Hong Kong, but first had to transfer flights in Beijing, which was interesting. I didn’t get to see much of Beijing because it was pretty foggy, was hoping to spot the Great Wall but oh well. The international transfer process in that airport sucks, we nearly missed our flight because the immigration workers like to take their sweet time and getting from the transfer area to your gate takes FOREVER. But we made it so I’m not going to complain.
Tokyo we have arrived. Now getting through immigration here takes like 5 seconds, super smooth. Slipped right through immigration, grabbed my baggage, exchanged money, and taxi *snap snap. First thing, I noticed was the infrastructure. These streets are paved smoother than the shiniest baldhead, and getting from the airport to the city area you have to go through the longest tunnel I’ve ever driven through.
Also, language barrier is there, but it’s manageable. I can’t have a full conversation about life with a local but I can ask locals in English for simple directions and I’ll get a response after maybe two or three tries. I wasn’t in need of directions though, the train maps and directions have English translations so with that and Google maps I had no problem getting around. Most restaurants have English translation menus, some you have to request for the English menu, so no problems there either.
We stayed at Airbnb’s as it’s the cheapest option, and how could you not want to experience living like a local. The first area we stayed in was Sasazuka, a fairly nice and peaceful location, besides the busy highway nearby. There are local restaurants and supermarkets nearby, and on the sidewalk there’s separate bike and walkway lanes. For the second half of the trip we moved to Osaka, which has the same qualities as Sasazuka just a bit more busier streets. I wanted to take a trip to Kyoto, but it’s quite expensive to make it down there, and it gives me a reason to come back to Japan haha (not like I need a reason). We did make it to Mount Fuji, Lake Ashi, and all over Tokyo. I’ll get more into the adventures in the next post.