9 things I’m hoping to do in Japan

by saynotospandex

We will be in Japan for 14 days, and I’m really, really excited!

This would be my 2nd trip to Japan, having spent 1 1/2 weeks in Hokkaido touring Sapporo, Otaru, Asahikawa, Noboribetsu & other parts of Hokkaido.

But I’m still excited because this time round, it’s just me, the BF to take down Japan on our own time, and target. YAY!

Here’s a list of things I’m hoping to do in Japan:

I love hot springs! I was at one in the morning 6am before breakfast, after breakfast/before lunch, after lunch/before dinner, after dinner/before sleeping when I stayed in a onsen ryokan – that makes it 4 times in 1 day!

I love how the water, laden with healthy minerals makes my skin feel smooth, and I always end up sleeping very well right after that!

The most surreal experience I had in Hokkaido was the outdoor onsen I was at. I remember sitting in that wooden onsen tub, submerged in steaming hot water, while the little snowdrops fell on my face as I took in the glittery night view of Hokkaido across me. It was one of the most quiet, beautiful experience I had in my life.

These traditional bath houses are an pleasant experience of Japanese hospitality! Feasts are usually provided for you, right from breakfast onwards, and these are delicate meals prepared way in advance for each guest. That is also one of the reasons why these ryokans do not accept walk-ins as the chef needs time to shop & prepare for meals.

The traditional Japanese style bedroom is so cute & comfortable! No mattresses! Just a futon! 🙂

A terribly happy experience where you wake to eat, take an onsen, eat again, take another onsen bath, and then eat, onsen bath, before you have a good sleep!

Tonkatsu (breaded pork fillet), sushi in Tokyo, takoyaki (octopus balls) & okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes) in Osaka, yudofu (tofu hotpot) in Kyoto. And my precious Kobe beef – I can still remember how that slab of Kobe beef tasted so damn good!

I don’t know how complete a Japan trip would be without at least catching 1 sumo wrestling match! But it’s gonna be really hard to arrange as wrestling matches only take place in Fukuoka during the time we’re there and there’s nothing much to do there besides the sumo match!

I was almost afraid the BF would suggest we climb Mt Fuji – hahah! But we’re both not so happy people when we’re cold, and that’s probably why he didn’t suggest we climb Mt Fuji!

We’re going to catch the view from across a lake or somethin’! PHEW!

Autumn will be ending when we arrive in November, and I hear the the autumn leaves are gonna be spectacular! In Japan, people keep track of hanabi (cherry blossoms) reports, and also koyo (autumn leaves) report so they know the best time & place to see these marvellous sceneries! Nikko is known for her autumn colors!

I hear that the Gion entertainment district in Kyoto has the highest odds of spotting geishas hurrying along for their evening appointments! 🙂 I would do anything to take a photo of a geisha! Do you know that the ochayas (teahouses where geishas perform) only allow entry if you’ve been introduced by an existing customer?

Some say that shrines in Japan are like sheeps in New Zealand – you get the idea! I have to admit I’m never much into cultural stuff. I remember getting excited in Vietnam when I visited all the emperor’s tombs, but by the 4th emperor, I was yawning and thinking how many more to go! We’ll probably have to alternate the amount of shrines-visiting & uhm eating we do then, as the BF is really psyched about the shrines part!

I have no idea which part of Japan I’ll be in on 30 November but I’m hoping to have a nice, happy one there! I’ll be happy to end that night with some Kobe beef maybe?

Of course we will be doing a lot more than the 9 things above, like visit Harajuku on a Sunday, see some fanciful aqauriums where a whale shark resides, and go to the famous Dotonbori and take a photo of the famous running Glico man neon sign!

Best of all, I’m going to be doing all these with the Bf, with a backpack and our trusty guidebooks, and hiking boots. The last time my Gortex-wannabe boots came out was during my Kinabalu hike, and I’ve not washed them since! Just took them out to wipe off the Kinabalu mud and dirt! Gross, I know but I really hate those ugly but functional boots. Can’t imagine I’ll be seen in trendy Shinjuku or Harajuku in my ugly hiking boots but the BF has demanded that I wear these and not other fanciful boots because we are going to be doing a lot of walking. And he knows I’m gonna be a “liability” if I walk more than a mile in fancy boots which are neither skid-proof nor waterproof. My shoes always give me problems when I’m travelling. Either water has gotten in and my toes are threatening to drop off, or it’s the usual blisters problem or they are too tight and my toes are rubbing against each other and I can’t walk any faster.

It’s gonna be a crazy 14 days, catching overnight trains (we might miss the bullet train experience afterall as we’re trying to save money by taking overnight trains that will have us arrive at Kyoto early in the morning at 7am!)

I cannot wait! 🙂