Let’s look at some ideas about Japanese people which I had personally or which I heard from other Europeans. Many of them are actually not true, while a few have been confirmed by our trip.
Note that this is based on 15 days of traveling across Japan and is by no means a representative and comprehensive picture of Japanese people, their culture and habits. It is only a result of observing how some of them live, how they interact amongst each other and how they react to us as gaijin (foreigners) during our stay in Japan. Continue reading “10 facts about Japan and Japanese people: true or false?”
Since we arrived in Japan we have already seen quite a bit of the daily life, cities and nature in this country, but there is so much more to explore! This is why we decided to travel as far as Kyushu, at the western end of the main island of Japan, to stay in the mountains for a couple of days and experience a traditional ryokan and onsen. Continue reading “Discovering Kyushu’s onsen paradise”
After Koyasan, we decided to do a short stop at Himeji Jo, Japan’s most impressive medieval castle and its first World Heritage listing, before reaching Hiroshima where we would stay for a day. Continue reading “The best of Himeji Jo and Hiroshima”
You don’t just visit Koyasan, you have to deserve it! From Kyoto it’s a 3-hour ride only but we took 7 different transportation means to get there, the last one being a cable car that takes you all the way up to Mount Koya, at around 1,000m altitude. Continue reading “Koyasan, one of Japan’s most sacred places”
I have no clue if anyone says this about Kyoto but after 3 days I can confirm that we’ve passed by hundreds of temples and we didn’t even visit half of Kyoto districts. 6 temples really stood out and these are the ones I’ll talk about below. There are surely many more worth your time, but we didn’t want to race through each temple and miss their unique atmosphere and scenery. Continue reading “Kyoto: the city of a thousand temples”
On our first day in Kyoto, we thought it would be more interesting to walk than to bike. As a result we walked for more than 8 hours, starting at Nijo castle in the morning and ending our visit at Miyozudera temple as the sun set. It’s a fantastic itinerary to discover the old streets and habits of Kyoto, but if I did it again, I would definitely rent a bike! Continue reading “Kyoto streets: the blast from the past”
After Tokyo we decided to go to Kyoto, like most tourists do (or the other way round). Kyoto was high on our list, but little did we know that the area we had rented our apartment in, called Saga-Arashiyama, had lots to offer too.
Here is a list of what you can do in Saga. If you are planning to visit with kids, it’s the best place to stay in Kyoto, and you will soon understand why. Continue reading “Saga-Arashiyama, a children’s favourite in Kyoto”
There is not better way to experience traditional Japan that to try an onsen. Onsen are thermal baths with usually at least one hot spring.
Here are some tips if you are experiencing onsen for the first time. It’s pretty intimidating I have to admit as you think you are always on the verge of a major faux-pas, but I have to say that at least in the women’s part, I felt no pressure at all and only encountered kind and curious looks. Continue reading “Experiencing a Japanese onsen for the first time”
Here’s a short recount of our Tokyo adventures. 3 days, 4 buddhist temples, 3 Shinto shrines and loads and loads of different foods. Continue reading “Tokyo delights: temples, food, shrines and more food”
I was really looking forward to my first trip to Japan this Spring. First time for hubby and me, and the trip was a surprise gift for him, as he has studied martial arts since the age of 14 and shiatsu massage for the past 10 years. And it was going to be two weeks just the two of us, a parent’s wet dream 🙂 Continue reading “Travelling to Japan in times of terrorist attacks”