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Japan Trip Pt. 1

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

Four years ago, my husband, Wes, and I took a two-week backpacking trip to Japan and holy moly was it AMAZING. I still think about it all the time and want to go back to experience more of the country. In the two weeks we were there, we went to Tokyo, Hakone, Yamanashi, Nara, Kyoto, Nagano, and a few other little stops along the way. This was our first major overseas trip for vacation, and I had no idea what to expect. I planned everything out in advance and had us on a busy schedule. While we were able to experience a lot, I wish we would have left more “free time” to be spontaneous and interact with the locals (Locals always know where to go!).

We learned very quickly how wonderful the people are in Japan. I didn’t calculate the time change correctly so we weren’t able to pick up our MiFi device when our plan landed. So, there we were, two people who didn’t know how to speak Japanese, didn’t have a map, and had no idea how to get to their hotel for the night. Thankfully, there was one major train out of the airport that went to Tokyo, so we knew the right direction to head in. On the train, we met a couple of people who were able to help us out with directions to our hotel and, thankfully, we made it there fairly easily thanks to the impeccable public transit. The next morning, we picked up our MiFi device and the real adventures began!

We found this little cafe in Sugamo right by our hotel that had THE BEST eggs and toast. The eggs had this crazy golden color to the yolks and the toast was fluffy and soft on the inside with just enough crunch to the outside. We went back three times while we were in Tokyo even though we rarely revisit a restaurant while travelling. The coffee there was so simple and tasty. It was a perfect blend of iced coffee, brown sugar, and milk. I don’t know exactly how they made it, but it was great. We also checked out the fish market that day and had the freshest sushi I’ve ever experienced.

Clearly we started our trip off eating a ton of food. Priorities though, right? ;o)

Some other things we did while in Japan:

  • Visited the bamboo forest in Arashiyama

  • Pet and fed deer in Nara

I can’t emphasize enough how awesome the people were that we met. Even though we learned some key phrases and words in Japanese, it was still difficult to communicate at times. More than once when we were having a conversation with someone who spoke little English, they would bring their phone out to help us translate to better understand each other. We also met a gentleman in Tokyo Station (which is freaking ginormous) that approached us when we looked lost and went out of his way to show us to the platform we were looking for. He never once gave us the impression that we were an inconvenience and as soon as we got to our platform, he said bye and took off running in the other direction! We assume he went out of his way to help us and had to dash to get to his own train. I don’t think he knows how much of an impact he had on me and Wes.

Even though Wes and I try to visit a new country every year, I can’t wait to go back to Japan. I’ve learned so much more about the country since vacationing there and look forward to experiencing it all.

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