Japan ∞ Osaka ♦ Hiroshima ♦ Miyajima ♦ Tokyo ♦ Kyoto
Some cool things to explore in Osaka was the Umeda Tower - a 360 sky view of the city, the Pokemon Centre, Dotonburi for the infamous food. I discovered Kushi-katsu in Shin-Omaya and have never looked back (could literally dream about this!). We also stumbled upon this popular toast cake in Pasela Resorts and between 2 small girls we were able to demolish the French Toast Tower Cake.
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~ Spa World ~
~ Universal Studios Japan ~
Without a doubt a night on the island of Miyajima is a great experience. This way you can be one of the first to get that amazing view of The Great Torri, the largest Torri Shrine and even get an opportunity to get close while the tide is low. Also a great way to experience Japan away from the busy city by staying on the island.
We got a great deal at Miyajima Villa by booking early. I was even able to opt for the Junior Suite by booking months in advance - this being said you would have to be extremely organised to know your exact dates and itinerary, something we usually are NOT however I do remember briefly winging the first part and making sure we stayed a night on the island.
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On our way to Miyajima we made a stop at Himeji Castle. Now Japan definitely has many castles with so many recommended castles to visit including Osaka Castle however we chose to visit this one and I personally preferred this beautifully designed traditional castle. Just managed to catch a glimpse of cherry blossoms when we arrived 🌺
~ The Road to Tokyo ~
Continuing our journey to Tokyo we planned a stopover at Hakone. Now from the images we definitely wanted to stop by the Hakone Shrine and see Mount Fuji from Lake Ashi.
To get to Tokyo from Osaka, this is when you get to experience the bullet train! From the platform this is definitely a sight to see when the train literally bullets past you and you're half left wondering what just happened. But once u get over the confusion of the Kazomi and Nozomi bullets trains (we didn't realise we had got on one that apparently wasn't part of the JR pass but to be fair they all did look the same), getting around Japan definitely seems fast when you are on one of these bad boys. Tokyo being one of the biggest cities introducing these bullet trains definitely seems like a necessity for this country.
~ Lake Ashi ~
Possibly due to bad timing, when we arrived at Hakone down in Lake Ashi, the Hakone Shrine was under construction... in saying this we didnt read anywhere about this which defintiely would hve altered our itinerary so we personally didn't have the best time in Hakone which was also quite an effort to get to with no view of Mount Fuji from the Lake.
~ Yunessun Onsen ~
Arriving in Tokyo was something else. Everywhere you turn there are flashing neon lights and large billboard signs. Welcome to the big Japanese City! We stayed in Nishi-Shinjuku (my rookie error I saw that the hotel I booked was near a station and booked it thinking it was part of the JR line but turns out it wasnt. Also thinking Nishi-Shinjuku was moments away from Shinjuku...lol). Luckily me and my sister are the type of travellers who are up for walking the streets of Tokyo, though be warned Shinjuku station is a BIG station, we actually got lost for a good 45 minutes in the station itself.. so try to remember you're orientation when u get on and off the trains!
~ Cherry Blossom Hunting 🌺 ~
~ Showa Kinen National Park ~
~ Odaiba ~
Something that got my attention months earlier was the Digital Art Exhibition by TeamLab Borderless. By the time we came to Japan it was at the peak of the type. As much as you plan your trip there will no doubt be people. We decided to go to Odaiba early and try our luck beating the crowd but we came to the conclusion that people are just everywhere. Although we still managed to experience the exhibition we generally prefer places that aren't crowded, but still seemed to be the token tourist thing experience. With some foresight we planned our trip to Odaiba knowing we had to get another mode of transport around the island. We figured it was better to get a day pass for the Yurikamome (another transport mode) so that we can explore Odaiba.
~ Fish Market ~
The best part of our trip to Odaiba was stumbling upon this beautiful tulip garden outside one of the large shopping centres. Noticeably there was A large crowd of girls just sitting in a long line waiting for the shops to open whilst this beautiful garden was only moments away. Me and my sister thorough enjoyed our little hidden gem we had found which is our favourite part of travelling 🌺
~ Tokyo Skytree ~
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~ Ghibli Museum ~
Visit Hayao Miyazaki's Animation World – Ghibli Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Japan. It's also one of the most difficult to obtain tickets!
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~ Robot Restaurant ~
If you're up for a laugh full of lights and gadgets then a visit to the Robot Restaurant is worth a few moments of entertainment. I managed to find this great deal on Voyagin with great deals on Japan attractions. I do remember thinking during the show what did I get myself into but towards the end there was a moment of cool tricks. To sum up the Robot Restaurant it definitely defines Japanese robots and randomness in the simplest words.
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~ Quirky Cafes and Restaurants ~
~ Getting to Mount Fuji ~
~ Fushimi Inari Shrine ~
You can't go to Japan without walking through thousands of Inari Shrines and vermilion torii shrine gates. Enjoy this feeling of De Ja Vu as you meander through these shrines to Mount Inari.
~ Mount Inari ~
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~ Arashiyama Bamboo Forest ~
Wondering through the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest as you appreciate the beauty of this path. If you want that beautiful sunrise it definitely is worth getting early and avoiding the crowds!