My Tokyo Holiday
I am a full Japanese university student born and raised in Australia. This is my first time travelling by myself, but I wanted to share my experiences. Fortunately, I am bilingual so I was able to communicate in Japanese, which helped a lot.
1/17/20 : Airport to Tokyo
Finally! After a long 9-hour flight consisting of sleeping, watching pre-downloaded videos, and more sleeping, I have arrived in Japan! Although it took another hour to get back to my hotel due to traffic, it was all worth the wait. After checking-in, it was time to get some dinner! First things first, when I think of Japan, I think… Ramen!!!
My long awaited first bowl of ramen in Japan. AMAZING. Nothing in Australia can compare to the deep and rich flavours of the soup. I really enjoyed the tonkotsu ramen and recommend it to everyone, however next time I definitely want to try the shoyu (soy sauce) ramen. After dinner, it was time to kick back and relax, and call it a day in my hotel room.
1/18/29 : Tokyo
Day 2 in Japan, waking up with a great city view of Tokyo makes me believe I’m still dreaming. Although it’s freezing outside, I decided to go to Ueno today. Ueno is such a lively place with pop-up food stores, restaurants and department stores, everywhere. These stores sell anything from clothing to seafood. Shopping in these areas was a blast, and you will definitely lose track of time. For lunch, out of all the many restaurants and shops, I just couldn’t resist the smell of ramen. I told myself if I have ramen I will get a different soup base… But here I am with another bowl of Tonkotsu ramen. Let’s just I could have had another bowl.
For dinner, I met up with my uncle, who had organized the flights and hotels for me. He invited me out for dinner at a nearby yakiniku shop (Japanese BBQ). The meat was oily and juicy, I absolutely loved it. I was so full at the end of it and I could barely move. After dinner I headed to my cousin’s house where we played some games to pass time. It was nice catching up with my cousins and playing games like we used to do when we were much younger. It was a very memorable night but I had to go home as the kids had school for the next day.
On this fine day, I decided to travel to Shinjuku. Although it was early in the morning this place was packed with people working, otherwise known as Salary-man or Office-lady in Japanese. One thing eye-opening about this place, is the number of tall skyscrapers and buildings in the area. I would recommend going to the Tokyo metropolitan government building, if you would like a free but incredible view of Tokyo. The main city areas are also great with streets consisting of shops ranging from clothing, restaurants, and Godzilla statues. For lunch, I had sushi. The sushi was great! I loved the toro dishes which are the fatty areas of tuna and salmon.
After lunch, I visited a shrine near Shinjuku. It was a very interesting experience displaying the cultural and traditional side of Japan. The people at the shrine were all honourable which conveyed a strong message that respect is a major focal point in Japan. I found it very interesting that tall buildings surround the shrines, yet you feel a sense of peace and calmness in such a busy city. After visiting the shrines, I was off to Shin-Okubo, otherwise known as Korea town. Shin-Okubo is full of Korean restaurants, cosmetics, and anything KPOP related. For dinner, I stopped at a Korean shop selling a dish called Cheese Dak-Galbi which is spicy stir-fried chicken assorted with melted cheese. For anyone who “Loves” cheese, this is a must try dish. After a long day of walking around and taking the subway from place to place, I settled down back in my hotel ready for the next day.
20/1/2020 : Tokyo
Today was a very chill, relaxing day. After sleeping in, I met up with one of my high school friends at Tsukiji. Tsukiji, famous for its seafood and fish markets, however for lunch I had Monja-yaki which is like a thin pancake fried on a pan. I really enjoyed my pork and kimchi monja-yaki and I recommend it to anyone who likes okonomiyaki. After a delightful lunch, we walked to Hamarikyu Garden, located at the mouth of the Sumida River. This garden is such a breath-taking place, with trees and ponds scattered all over the area. After walking around such a peaceful place, we stopped at a teahouse where we had traditional confectionates and matcha green tea. The interesting thing about this is you must eat and drink in certain ways to respect the culture. This was our first time, where we looked like monkeys trying to figure out how to enjoy our meal. After a walk back to the main street areas, we fancied some sushi. Tsukiji being famous for its seafood, it was necessary for us to try the fresh seafood. After having sushi, the day before, it was a good opportunity to compare the sushi. I had no words for the toro dishes… the fat on the fish simply melts in your mouth. The prawn sushi was also amazing, as well as the salmon. It’s hard to say but I really enjoyed the sushi at more than my previous experience. After a late lunch, I returned to my hotel area where I met up with my uncle. He had reserved a table for dinner at a nearby yakiniku shop. Yakiniku, which is Japanese B.B.Q, was amazing. The marbling on the meat was so juicy and lovely when accompanied with some rice. I literally felt like I could not move after I ate too much beef. Nonetheless it was such a memorable experience
21/1/2020/ : Tokyo
After waking up from yesterday’s feast, I was surprised to find myself quite hungry for some food. Whilst in Japan, it is a necessity to visit the convenience stores as they have literally everything to survive. What’s better is that it’s cheap… I picked up some rice balls and a drink for under 300 yen. After my breakfast I met up with my cousin where we planned to go to the Tokyo Tower. We visited the One Piece tower, a popular Japanese and manga (cartoon and comic book). It is such an amazing place for people who like the Japanese culture of manga and anime. With memorable scenes that can make you tear up and give you goosebumps. However not everything was all happy and sunshine as after buying some t-shirts at the One Piece shop. I lost it somewhere on the train while coming back. I was so sad about this we decided to call it a day and return back to my hotel. After taking a nap, I decided to head out to Ueno to make myself feel better with some ramen. This time I went to a shop called Ichiran. This shop was packed full of people where the waiting line was so long you must wait 40 minutes to get in. Although the wait was long, it made the food taste even better, where I would say the ramen here was the best so far!!! Ichiran has a very interesting one-person booth system, as well as choosing your own thickness and richness of the broth. It was a very amazing experience where I drank all the soup as well as ordering extra noodles 2 more times. I went home satisfied forgetting what happened during the day.
22/1/2020 : Tokyo
Today I woke up in my hotel freezing my feet off. It was 8 degrees colder than usual, and as I opened the curtains… It was snowing!!! Apparently, it rarely snows in Tokyo, however today was one of those rare days. It was snowing so much, some trains had stopped moving, thus every station was packed with people. Despite the crazy wait to get on the subways/trains, I decided I wanted to check out the electricity town of Akihabara. Akihabara is full of electrical appliances and otaku culture (nerdy/geek). People from all ages can enjoy this town with shops ranging from gaming centres to anime figure shops. I personally enjoyed this place with every shop bringing back childhood memories of TV shows I used to watch. Unfortunately, the snow made it very hard to move around, as well as closing a few shops for the day. Although some shops closed, the bigger shops including the Akihabara Yodobashi-Camera (electrical-appliance shop) were still open. This massive shop has 8F with each floor consisting of different electrical equipment. You could spend half a day in this store and still be on the 4F… After a very long browse through the shop, I decided to go back home and get something to eat. However, with the snow stopping the trains it was near impossible to get on my train back home. After panicking for a good 30 min, I decided I would try to walk home. Little did I know, the snow was way too dangerous for me to walk home in, so I stopped at a family restaurant nearby to kill some time. The family restaurant was very warm and cozzie and the food there was very cheap and delicious. After relaxing and waiting for a few hours, the snow had settled down a little. The trains were then working again and so I caught the train back to my hotel.
23/1/2020 : Tokyo
Today I planned a few meetups with my friends from Australia. During the day I met up with one of my old soccer friends who is now studying in Japan. He showed me around Shibuya, where the famous crossing is in Japan. The amount of people in Shibuya was eye-opening even on a weekday. We had lunch at a nearby restaurant which was famous for katsu nabe which is crumbed pork cutlet inside a hot pot. Unfortunately, my friend still had to go to class, so we parted ways as I got ready to catch up with my other friends. For dinner I headed to Omotesando which is a famous place for fashion and teenagers. I met up with my Japanese exchange student friends as they took me to a dessert place that was very popular. We first had some omelettes that was very nice, but the main star was the dessert. Eggs’n things are famous for its pancakes with ridiculous amounts of whipped cream. It was way too much for my friends and I to finish, as we struggled to finish it all. After dinner we had to call it a day due to it being university exam week. It was sad that I didn’t get to spend more time with them but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to meet with my friends again.
24/1/2020 : Tokyo
The next few days were some relax days for me, as I went to my uncle’s workplace to help with some English related problems. I tried my best to help but my Japanese wasn’t very good to help him too much. After a few hours I decided to head out to get my JR pass, which allows me to travel on any JR line in Japan for a certain amount of days. I found it very efficient and smart buying the JR pass because I was planning to travel around a lot more in the upcoming weeks. I walked to Tokyo station where I could buy a JR pass. As I was about to leave I found an underground street which was known as character street. It had several characters that brought back memories for me. Characters from popular anime/manga, Ghibli, Disney and many more. I didn’t buy anything as it was very expensive to buy souvenirs here but it was very nice to look at characters that I used to love. After that, I went to Shinjuku where I met up with my friend. We had ramen again… it was just too good to resist. Ramen was the same as usual delicious. After an early dinner we headed to the city where I bought a set of earphones and a phone case for myself. The night life of Shinjuku was very beautiful with lights that light up the buildings like illuminations. After absorbing the lights of the city, I decided to call it a day and went home.
25/1/2020 : Tokyo
Today I made plans with my uncle and cousins, however my cousins were feeling very sick because of a common flu in Japan. It was apparently really dangerous, as many people get sick and can’t move for a week. Fortunately, I was fine and therefore could function normally throughout my trip. During the day I had lunch with my uncle at a local curry shop. The shop was very interesting as it was a Mexican curry shop in Japan. The curry itself was very spicy, as I am bad with spicy food, I struggled to eat the curry. After lunch I headed back to my uncle’s work, and helped him with some more problems and issues they were having with English. In the afternoon, I decided to go shopping for some souvenirs and gifts for my friends and family that I was going to visit in Japan. I wasn’t able to find anything special besides a whole lot of food and snacks for my cousins in Osaka. For dinner I went to my uncle’s house for one last dinner before I left Tokyo tomorrow morning. We had Shabu Shabu, which is a hot pot with fish broth. The meat was tender and very yummy. I also tried my very first malts beer, which was very dark in colour. I didn’t enjoy it as much but there’s a first time for everything. After dinner I went home early and packed my bags to get on an early train to Kyoto the next day.
26/1/2020 : Tokyo – Kyoto
Today was my big day to travel to Kyoto. Thankful to the JR pass, I was able to ride the shinkansen very early in the morning. My plans for the day was to meet up with my friends from Sydney, but I had got lost inside Kyoto station. Eventually I met up with my friends and went to a famous ramen restaurant for lunch. My friends didn’t want to take the train for anything in Japan, so we walked around a lot. Firstly, we walked to a sweets Café that had a cute puppy with nappies on. The sweets were very interesting and unique with cotton candy as the sugar of the drinks. We also shared an ice cream that looked like a pot plant. Secondly, we then went to a manga museum. The museum was an old school that had been reconstructed to be a museum about the history of Japanese comics. This place is full of manga, and very intriguing for any manga and anime fans. For dinner we walked to a famous samurai Cafe. Unfortunately, the food was a bit overpriced but the experience was good. We got to look at samurai swords, shurikens and armor from the samurai era. After dinner my friends and I walked around discussing our plans for tomorrow. We said our goodbyes and I went to my hotel that I was staying at. The hotel was a capsule hotel themed like an aero plane. It was very interesting and spacious but the best thing about it was… it was very very cheap.
27/1/20 : Kyoto – Nara –
I was originally going to meet my family in Osaka, however my friends were going to Nara to go to the deer Park. So, I decided to go with them to Nara. We met up early in the morning again to train to Nara. The trip to Nara was only a 1-hour train ride from Kyoto so it wasn’t too far. We decided to have ramen again… this time at another famous ramen restaurant in Nara, not too far away from the station. This place served bubble ramen, the soup had foam / bubbles of the pork bone soup. It was amazing and perhaps the most memorable ramen I have had yet. We then walked to the main streets of Nara where we found stores making mochi. The men there work hard all day making fresh mochi for customers. The red bean mochi was very nice and very cheap. We then walked around the deer park that was up ahead, but we were terrified of the deers attacking us. My friend had bought crackers that the deers love, and we couldn’t get anywhere as the deers surrounded us. After spending some time at the park, we stopped for some tea at a kudzu mochi Cafe. Kudzu mochi doesn’t have much flavour so the kinako powder added the flavouring to the chewy mochi. I enjoyed the kudzu mochi, however, my friends found it very bland and weird. We decided that we were still hungry after the light snack, so for dinner we went to a fancy restaurant to have omurice (omelette on rice). It was my first omurice in Japan, and as expected… it was delightful. The gooeyness of the egg and the sauce of hayashi (beef stew) was really something special. After dinner we went back to the deer park, where we saw the annual mountain burning of Nara. The festival had some markets with street food aswell as fireworks. The fireworks in Japan were truly amazing, and doesn’t compare to anything in Australia. After the mountain lit up in flames, we travelled back to Kyoto as fast as we could to avoid the crowd. Because I hadn’t planned to stay another day in Kyoto, I slept over at my friends place that evening.
28/1/20 : Kyoto – Osaka
On this day I made plans to see my uncle and cousins from Osaka. I woke up really early to get on the train to Osaka. Since it was from Kyoto it only took around 2 hours to get to Osaka, where my uncle picked me up and decided we were going skiing for the day. I hadn’t been skiing for at least 3 years, so I was very excited to ski again. The trip to the mountain was long, but it was definitely worth the wait. The snow was really soft and powdery, but it was very cold. After a few warm up runs on the small Hills, we went to the top of the mountain. The view from the top was amazing! The snow shined beautifully on the other mountains. After a few more runs down the hill, we had lunch at the restaurants on the mountain. It was really warm and cosy inside, where I had chicken katsu curry for lunch. The food was nice and hot and made the experience 100 times better. After relaxing for a bit, we decided to ski to the opposite side of the mountain. The snow there was very thick and it was a struggle to ski down the hills. After skiing down the hills and falling over repeatedly… we realized the ski lifts had closed down. Unfortunately, it was already the end of the day, so we headed back home. After a long trip back to my uncle’s house, I had a nice long bath for the first time in Japan. For dinner we had motsu nabe, which is a hot pot with the hormones/gelatonised fatty parts of the cow. It was very heavy with oil so I didn’t enjoy it at all. After relaxing and watching TV we went to sleep early as we were all so tired from skiing all day.
29/1/20 Osaka – Nagano
I woke up today quite early because I was going to see my grandmother from Osaka. My uncle drove me to shin Osaka where my grandma was staying. My grandma had made us deep fried prawns, fish and chicken for brunch. She loves her fried food, which was a bit hard for me to eat, since I had motsu nabe yesterday. We looked at some of my dad’s old photos of when he was really young, and watched some TV until I had to leave for Nagano. Nagano was a 4-hour trip from Osaka where I was going to meet my grandma from my mum’s side. I used my handy JR pass to go to Nagano which was all included in the pass. Nagano is famous for being very cold, and as expected it was freezing. Weirdly enough, there was snow around Nagano. My grandma from my mother’s side came to pick me up as I was going to stay at hers for 2 days. By the time I arrived in Nagano it was already dark, so it was time for dinner. My grandma was also going to give me deep fried prawns that night, so I wasn’t really feeling fried foods. My grandma and I went shopping where we got ingredients for sukiyaki (hot pot with sweet soy base). We also got some basashi (horse meat sashimi) which was very interesting. Dinner was the typical situation where grandma prepared way too much food for me. I could barely finish everything with the amount of food on the table. After dinner I had a bath and relaxed until I called it a day.
30/1/20 : Nagano
Today, I hadn’t planned anything in particular, however my grandma really wanted to go shopping with me. We first went to Alpen Sports, which is a shop that sells anything sports related. Since I’m currently playing volleyball as a hobby of mine, I went to look for some balls, shoes and clothing. My grandma being the usual grandma… spoilt me with all the things I wanted. After shopping for some sports stuff, we decided to go meet my grandma’s sister. She currently lives in a retirement home as she is very old. It was wonderful to meet up and see that she is healthy. After saying my goodbyes, my grandma and I went to haveat a sushi train restaurant called kappa sushi. The sushi was very cheap so I had lots and lots of tuna and salmon. The tuna was very fresh and fatty, just the way I like it. I didn’t eat until I was full because I wanted to leave some room for sweets. For a snack we went to a cake shop that was strawberry themed. I bought a strawberry shortcake, strawberry cream puff, and some bread that was strawberry flavoured. We decided it was better to eat this with some hot green tea, so I saved the snacks for later. After buying my snacks for later my grandma really wanted to buy a suitcase for me. I agree that my current suitcase was old but I seriously didn’t want my grandma to buy a suitcase for me. But being the typical grandma… she bought me a brand-new suitcase. After relaxing at home and having green tea and my strawberry sweets, we got ready to go out for dinner. My grandma wanted to take me to a local ramen shop that my mum used to love. It was very busy and we didn’t get served for a while. However, the ramen was really worth the wait. I enjoyed the soy sauce base ramen as it was a different kind of ramen as the usual tonkotsu. We headed home after dinner as I needed to pack for tomorrows early departure.
31/1/20 : Nagano – Takayama – Shirakawago
Today was a big day for me, as I planned to go to Gifu prefecture. A friend I met in Australia invited me to come to Gifu, then he will take me around Takayama city. I got up at 5 to arrive as early as possible to Gifu. It took about 4 hours to get to Gifu where I met up with my friend. It was really nice to catch up with him and his family for the first time. His parents were really nice as they drove me around for the day. It took about another 2 hours to drive to Takayama. Takayama is famous for its hida-beef, so for lunch we had yakiniku. The Beef was really nice and oily which was exactly what I liked. We didn’t eat too much because we wanted to eat some street foods of Takayama. We bought Hida-beef sushi, crackers and some mitarashi dango (Mochi cooked with soy sauce). I really enjoyed the Hida-beef sushi as the beef was rare and so tender. I would have loved to have more however, it is quite pricey because the quality of the beef. After taking nice scenic photos of the town and bridges, we headed to Shirakawago which is a world heritage site. Many houses are spread over 68hecters of land, however due to the snow, it was near impossible to see the whole land. I managed to see just a few of these historic houses but the snow stopped me from going closer. The weather was getting significantly worse, so we decided to head back home where I was going to stay over at my friend’s house. They had kindly let me stay the night, so I had to pay them back somehow. I decided that Japanese sake would be a good way to show them my gratitude. We decided to go to a public bath which was very awkward since everyone was naked. I felt very embarrassed and shy, but it was natural for anyone in Japan. After quickly washing myself and getting changed as fast as I could, I left my friend and quickly walked to a bottle shop. I bought a bottle of sake for my friend and his family and returned back to meet up with my friend. For dinner we went to a Chinese restaurant which was my first time in Japan. I ordered a big set of ramen, mabo-don and soup. It was very cheap and delicious, however I struggled to finish it all. After dinner we walked back to my friend’s house where I presented the sake to his family. I really hope they enjoyed it as it was recommended in the store. We played some competitive games on the PlayStation to end the night.
1/2/20 : Takayama – Nagoya – Tokyo
After staying at my friend’s house in Gifu prefecture, I decided to go to Nagoya today. My friend had taken me to the Golden clock (a popular meet up spot), where I said my goodbyes to him. After saying goodbye, I met up with another friend who I planned to hangout during the day with. She took me to a very fancy Italian buffet that had a really nice view of the city. The main and buffet was very nice, but the dessert was the main highlight. The dessert was all strawberry themed and had everything from strawberry fondue to strawberry cakes. After trying to eat as much as I could, we decided to go shopping around the city. I didn’t really want anything in particular but my friend wanted to shop for some clothes. It was quite awkward walking around girl’s shops where everything was ladies clothing. I really wanted to gift my friend something, so I got her a bomber jacket. Again… I really hope she enjoyed the gift. After shopping for a few hours, we decided to go to a coffee shop to rest. We chatted for a bit until we realised there wasn’t much to do in Nagoya. Originally, we were going to have dinner together, but since we had a really big lunch, we couldn’t fit dinner in. Instead, we called it a day where she took me to Nagoya station where we said our goodbyes. I headed straight to Tokyo where I stayed at Roppongi Capsule hotel. It was the same company as the capsule hotel I stayed at in Kyoto. It was a bit pricey but since I enjoyed the stay before, I knew I would enjoy my stay here.
2/2/20 : Tokyo
Today I met up with my friends from Kyoto in Tokyo. They were going to spend their time in Tokyo for another week, which was very convenient for me. I met up with them at Ikebukuro and decided to have ramen for lunch. The ramen place had a very long wait time as it was a popular tourist place. The ramen had very oily pork but the soup was very nice. After having lunch my friends really wanted to visit some anime related shops. We went to Animate store which is a 7-floor building full of anime/manga related goods. It was a little too extreme for me, however my friends really enjoyed it, as they were really into manga. Afterwards we went to a rabbit café that also had a special otter meeting event. The otters were very cute but feisty for food. The rabbits on the other hand were very chilled and sleeping in every corner. It was a nice experience to pet unusual animals that you wouldn’t see normally. We realised we had a lot of spare time to kill in Ikebukuro, so I suggested to go to a gaming center where you can play pool and darts. Although it was very pricey, it was lots of fun challenging your friends to darts and pool games. For dinner we wanted to try and compare Japanese KFC to Australian KFC. Although the items on the menu are a little bit different, the chicken itself was almost identical/similar to Australia’s KFC. We didn’t eat too much because we wanted to try the Ringo pie (apple pie) near the train station. In the morning we walked passed it and it smelt amazing, so we knew we were going to get it. After enjoying our apple custard pie, we planned our activities for tomorrow and called it a day.
3/2/20 : Tokyo
Today we met up at Ikebukuro’s Ikefukuro, which is the so-called meeting spot at Ikebukuro station. We planned to go to Odaiba city today to; shop, play games, and eat. The train ride was only 20 minutes from Ikebukuro, where we went to diver city of Odaiba. On the way to Diver city, we saw a massive statue of Gundam that lights up at night. Unfortunately, it was day time so nothing special was going on with the statue. We were all very hungry since we didn’t have breakfast, so for lunch we decided to have tsukemen (dipping ramen). I really enjoyed having tsukemen as it was a similar taste as ramen soup, as well as having the same noodles, but it was a different way to enjoy it. After lunch, I really wanted to take my friends to Spotcha which is a place where you can play sports and games against each other. For three hours we played a few different sports such as table tennis, soccer, baseball, basketball and badminton. Since it was a weekend, a lot of kids were here and it was very crowded. Due to this, we decided to leave early and get some ice cream to cool down. We had Green tea ice cream at this famous ice cream shop, however I found the green tea to be a little strong for my liking. As we ate our ice cream, we decided to go shopping for some clothes. I found a really nice leather jacket that I knew I wanted. We wanted to have dinner, however as we walked around the shopping center, we couldn’t find anything we wanted to eat. Eventually we settled with taco bell as we have never had it before. It was interesting/yummy, however it felt like I could make it myself. After sitting around and looking at the rainbow bridge, we decided to have an early night since we were tired from Spotcha.
4/2/20 : Tokyo
My friends today already had plans to go to Harajuku and Shibuya. Since I didn’t have anything planned, I tagged along with them yet again. My friends first wanted to go Harajuku which is famous for its unique fashion sense. We first had ramen for brunch, which was quite heavy since it was early in the morning. We tried to walk off the calories by going to Takeshita-Dori, a famous street with different kinds of stores. There were many interesting stores from clothing, to food. I was quite intrigued by the food stores such as, the rainbow cotton candy, and the make your own potato chip store. We decided to share one even though we were quite full. As we slowly walked down the street, nibbling on our snacks, we tried to walk to Omotesando where there’s a lot of clothing shops. We first wanted to go to Tokyu-hands which has an elevator surrounded with mirrors of different shapes. Afterwards we walked to some other famous photo locations such as the “Now is Forever” wall and the candy clock. We walked around a fair bit today, walking from shop to shop, looking at clothing and souvenir gifts. We found on a travel application a popular gyoza restaurant. We knew we had to try it, so we ordered several servings of different gyozas. The gyoza had some Chinese influence and really made it something special. We were so stuffed with food, however we needed to go to Shibuya. We realised that it wasn’t a far walk from Harajuku, so we walked to Shibuya. My friends really wanted to see the famous Shibuya crossing and take pictures of it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite find the right location to get the right angle of Shibuya crossing. We had quite some time to kill, so we decided to go to a Karaoke shop. Karaoke shops were everywhere in Shibuya so we didn’t struggle to find any. What’s amazing about karaoke in Japan is that it’s very cheap per person and it also comes with free drinks. After singing for a few hours, I had to leave to go have dinner with my uncle and cousins. I met up with him at Machiya, where he took me to a nearby Indian restaurant. We talked about what I did over the past week whilst having some curries. The curry was nice, but I really enjoyed the naan bread the most. I decided that I needed to leave early to get some sleep for an early start the next morning.
5/2/20 : Tokyo – Fuji Q highland
Today was a very packed day as we decided to head to Mt Fuji/Fuji Q Highland. My friends and I really like rides, so we planned to go to Fuji Q. We all woke up really early and met up at the usual Ikefukuro. From there we took a really packed and busy train to several stations until we got to Fuji Q station. On the way we were able to get a really nice view of Mt Fuji. The view was really great and the snow on the mountain made it really special. As we got to Fuji Q Highland we knew we had to ride as many rides as possible. Unfortunately, the wait time for each ride was about 1 hour per ride. The rides however… simply amazing! I really enjoyed the rides at Fuji Q and can confidently say it’s my favourite ride I have ever been on. For lunch we had MOS Burger which is a famous Japanese burger shop. The food was a little bit expensive but enough to keep us going throughout the day. After spending the whole day riding every ride we could and taking pictures along the way, we tried going home a little bit early to avoid the crowd. The train trip back felt really long as we all took turns sleeping, so we don’t miss our train station. After a really hectic day, we really wanted to get something to eat So, my friends and I went to Shin-Okubo where I went in my first few days in Japan. I wanted to show my friends the cheese Dak-galbi, so we entered one of the restaurants at Shin-Okubo to order the dish. The cheese was quite heavy, but my friends enjoyed it. Sadly, this was our last dinner together, and I really enjoyed my time I spent with my friends from Sydney. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, where I spent most of my night packing my bags and doing laundry.
6/2/20 : Tokyo
Today was my last day in Japan. It was truly something special travelling alone and meeting up with friends from all over Japan. I really wanted to stay longer to meet up with more friends, however a part of me really wanted to go back home to Australia. For my final day I checked out of my hotel and went straight to my uncle’s workplace to drop my luggage off. Since my flight was at night, I actually had a lot of free time until then. I decided to go shopping for some last-minute gifts and souvenirs at Ueno. I didn’t quite find anything I wanted besides a lot of Kit Kats and snacks. After realising I wasn’t finding anything, I went back to my uncles to have lunch with him. For my final meal in Japan obviously I had to finish it off with… ramen! The wait time for this ramen was incredibly long and it felt like I was wasting my valuable time in Japan. However, this ramen shop was very unique because they made their own noodles right in front of you. The ramen itself was very unique, as it was a fish based broth. I really enjoyed the ramen however I think I preferred the tonkotsu broth better. After lunch it was time to head to the airport, so my uncle drove me straight to Narita airport. We arrived quite early, but I said my goodbyes to him and thanked him for everything he had done for me. I cannot express my gratitude towards him for organising a lot of the trip for me. After checking in, resting, buying last minute drinks and food, it was time to say goodbye to Japan. My 3 week adventure in Japan was truly eye-opening and a wonderful experience for myself.