Prepare for Japan, how I did it. Part II

by Ron

Also available in: Nederlands

Obviously, something important was missing in part one, the travel plan. I thought it would be fun to add a small list at every destination of two things I want to visit and a local specialty I would like to try.

October 25th I will spend they day inside the airplane, I hope I can sleep the better part of the flight. Would be great to arrive well rested. At Narita airport first, exchange my voucher for the JR rail pass and then take the train to Tokyo.

A list of what to do and eat inside the plane.

  • Look outside and watch the world pass by.
  • Hopefully, I will get good food from the KLM staff and a nice glass of wine, maybe two or three glasses.
  • Might be able to sleep better after the wine.

October 26th until October 31

I rented an apartment close to the fish market in Tokyo. Might eat some fresh sashimi from the market now and then. So I can explore Tokyo after a healthy breakfast. I am curious about the apartment. I think it’s situated in an excellent location to visit Tokyo, on the other hand, Tokyo is huge. Won’t be spending all days in Tokyo; I want to see Mount Fuji and also like to visit Kamakura, perfect for two side trips out of town.

What I want to see and eat in Tokyo.

  • Visit the busiest crossing in the world, Shibuya crossing (the scramble). Yes, I will be careful crossing it.
  • Play Pachinko. The best way to compare it is with a casino in a weird way. From the balls you win, you pick up a price, that price you exchange for money. It’s a workaround for gambling since it’s not legal in Japan.
  • Eat Sushi on the biggest fish market in the world, Tsukiji fish market (close to my apartment). Maybe visit the auction early in the morning, need to get up at 3 a.m. for that, only 120 spots.

Of course, I want to see much more than that, will just go with the flow don’t want to over-plan my trip either. Besides, I travel alone so won’t have to worry about someone wanting to do something else.

November 1st and 2nd.

I will stay in Nikko. There I will spend my time visiting temples and enjoying nature. My hotel is a one minute walk from the train station, nice and central. Therefore perfect upon arrival and departure. Nikko is supposed to be a worthwhile trip.

What I want to see and eat in Nikko.

  • Visit Toshogu shrine. Unfortunately, a part of the shrine is under renovation.
  • Go and see Kegon waterfall, hopefully with beautiful fall colors.
  • Eat Yuba (Tofu Skin), a traditional dish in Nikko. No idea what to expect from it.

November 3rd and 4th.

Nagoya will be the place to be. I will just spend half a day in town, planned a side trip to Kiso Valley the second day. Who knows, if I am not too tired I will head into town to enjoy the nightlife.

What I want to see and eat in Nagoya.

  • Since I don’t have a lot of time in the town itself, I like to visit Nagoya Castle. Maybe have a bit more time if I leave early from Nikko.
  • Not really in Nagoya, the side trip to Kiso Valley. There I want to hike from Magome to Tsumago.
  • Eat Miso Katsu, Fried pork in breadcrumbs, then dipped into a hot miso sauce. Served with white cabbage and rice, sounds delicious.

November 5th and 6th.

My journey takes me the island of Miyajima just off the coast of Hiroshima.

What I want to see and eat in Miyajima/Hiroshima.

  • Without a doubt visited Peace Park and the Hiroshima museum.
  • Climb Mount Misen on the isle. Or take the ropeway up the mountain, depends on the weather and if I am fit enough.
  • Enjoy Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki for dinner.

The downside of visiting place for just two days is that it’s hard to change sightseeing plans in case of rain, guess I will bring an umbrella.

November 7th until November 13th. I will visit Kyoto a city filled with temples and more, also the perfect place to enjoy the beautiful fall colors. During that visit, I will leave town to spend one night somewhere else in Japan.

I will visit Kyoto a city filled with temples and more.  Also, the perfect place to enjoy the beautiful fall colors. Somewhere in the middle of that stay, I will leave town to spend one night somewhere else in Japan.

What I want to see and eat in Kyoto.

  • This one is easy, visit the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji).
  • Another easy one, Fushimi Inari Shrine and their climb the mountain under the thousands of Torii Gates.
  • Something with Tofu most likely Yudofu soft Tofu with vegetables in a broth.

Somewhere in the middle of my stay in Kyoto, I will travel to Mount Koya to visit Koyasan and spend one-night temple lodging. Kept my Kyoto apartment for that night, so I pay double, upside my big backpack can stay in Kyoto.

What I want to see and eat in Koyasan.

  • I must visit the ancient cemetery and Okunion temple.
  • What I want to do, spend the night at a temple.
  • Food is easy, dinner and breakfast are included. Wonder what the monks will prepare for me.


November 14th and 15th.

For my last destination in Japan, I travel to Osaka. Probably spend the day of arrival in Osaka and make one more side trip the next day.

What I want to see and eat in Osaka.

  • Pay a visit to Osaka Castle.
  • If I am going to make a side trip, it will be to Nara.
  • Food, not sure maybe Teppanyaki.

November 16th, I fly back to The Netherlands. A Little bit scared that I oversleep and miss my plane, not a morning person. The flight is twelve hours; funny part is that I leave at 11 a.m. and arrive the same day at 3 p.m. Timezones can be weird like that. Probably really tired when I am back home.

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