10 facts about Japan and Japanese people: true or false?

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?”

Kyoto: the city of a thousand temples

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”

Saga-Arashiyama, a children’s favourite in Kyoto

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”

Experiencing a Japanese onsen for the first time

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”