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Japan @digital_expat | travel.mrfrias.com

Instagram: @digital_expat | Website: travel.mrfrias.com

Two weeks traveling around the island of the rising sun, visiting remarkable landmarks and tasting delicious food.

The following images represent the highlights of my trip and my recommendations for a trip to this great country.

Osaka

Osaka is a cosmopolitan city near the ancient capital, Kyoto, best known for its dynamic food and drinking culture, and famously outgoing people.

My trip started by landing at the Kansai International Airport (KIX), located 38 km (24 mi) southwest of Ōsaka Station. Approximately 1h 30m bus ride and JP¥1.760

Osaka offers plenty of places to eat and shop with captivating streets everywhere you go.

Make sure you visit the Dotonburi area during the day AND during the evening. You will get two different atmospheres, full of people and places to eat. And of course, do not forget to take a picture with the famous Glico running man!

Osaka’s Castle

The castle is one of Japan's most famous landmarks and it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century. The gardens surrounding it are just as impressive as its interior.

The castle serves as a museum that showcases centuries of japanese culture and centered around the castle and the Osaka city. The cost is JP¥500.

View from the Umeda Sky Building.

This view is definitely a must in Osaka and can offer a breathtaking view of the city and specially at night. The ride up the building is also worth the experience. The cost is JP¥1.000

Can you find the building that has a highway that goes through it?

Nara

Nara is located less than one hour from Osaka. Due to its past as the first permanent capital, it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples.

According to the legendary history of Kasuga Shrine, the god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital of Heijō-kyō. Since then the deer have been regarded as heavenly animals, protecting the city and the country.

One way ticket by train from Osaka to Nara costs between ¥670 and ¥800 and takes about 1h 30m.

Wild deer are roaming around the grounds around the temples and they are very gentle and even posing for the tourists. Make sure you buy them some of their favourite sweet deer waffles in sign of gratitude.

The temple in Nara is very beautiful and captivating . It is also the home of the biggest Buddha statue in the world with a height of 15 meters! Make sure you take some time to stroll around the grounds and feel the Zen.
Todaiji (東大寺, Tōdaiji, "Great Eastern Temple") is one of Japan's most famous and historically significant temples and a landmark of Nara.

Kyoto

Kyoto is most well known in Japanese history for being the former Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area.

You can reach Kyoto with the Keihan Main Line from Osaka's Yodoyabashi Station in about 1h 30m and ¥640 one way.

Kyoto is a very traditional city and a very popular touristic destination when coming to Japan. It has many landmarks and activities for some days of stay. Kyoto is also known as the capital of Geishas but they are respectable and hardworking people and rarely seen out in the open. If you are lucky (like I was) you can spot one running on the streets on their way to their next appointment 🎎

Bamboo forest

The walking paths that cut through the bamboo groves make for a nice walk or bicycle ride. The groves are particularly attractive when there is a light wind and the tall bamboo stalks sway gently back and forth. The bamboo has been used to manufacture various products, such as baskets, cups, boxes and mats at local workshops for centuries.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Shrine is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds.

Kinkaku-ji

"Temple of the Golden Pavilion"

It is one of the most popular buildings in Japan, attracting a large number of visitors annually. It is designated as a National Special Historic Site and a National Special Landscape, and it is one of 17 locations making up the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which are World Heritage Sites.

Kinkaku-ji is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Admission is ¥400.

A Ryokan is a type of traditional Japanese inn that has existed since the eighth century A.D.

Bedding is a futon spread out on the tatami floor. When guests first enter their room, they usually find a table and some supplies for making tea. The table is also used for meals when guests take them in their room. While guests are out, staff (usually called nakai) will move the table aside and set out the futon.

Kamakura

Located an hour from Tokyo in Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura is home to the Great Buddha Hall and a myriad of other historic buildings.

This is a great spot for a day trip from Tokyo if you want to get out of the bustling of the city. A one way ticket from Tokyo to Kamakura start at ¥920.

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

The Daibutsu of Kamakura is the second largest monumental Buddha in Japan, weighing in at 93 tons and reaching a height of 13.35 meters

Open times 8:00 to 17:30 (until 17:00 from October to March) and admission is ¥200.

Yokohama

Yokohama literally "horizontal beach", is the second largest city in Japan by population, after Tokyo, and the most populous municipality of Japan.

This city can be visited together with Kamakura in a day and if planned accordingly, you can spend JP¥2.000 on a round trip train fare.

This city has many attractions to offer but a firm highlight is the sunset view from Osanbashi, a contemporary pier offering pedestrian walkways & seating alongside the water with views of the city.

Tokyo

Tokyo (東京, Tōkyō) is Japan's capital and the world's most populous metropolis. It is also one of Japan's 47 prefectures, consisting of 23 central city wards and multiple cities, towns and villages west of the city center.

There are two main airports that connect Tokyo to the world. Haneda International Airport is located closer to central Tokyo than Narita International Airport. Almost all domestic flights land at this airport. There are fewer transportation options from the airport to central Tokyo, some of which require transfers, but the journey is much quicker and cheaper.

Japan is also known for its railway network and particularly the "Bullet Trains". If you do not have a Japan Rail Pass then the fare will be about JP¥13,620 one way. There are three types of train on the Tokaido Shinkansen line: the Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama. The Nozomi is the most frequent and the fastest train as it travels between Shin-Osaka and Tokyo in just 2 h 30m!

https://www.osakastation.com/traveling-from-osaka-to-tokyo/

Also another alternative to reach Tokyo from Osaka is by night bus. It takes about 6 hours and the prices start at JP¥3,600 for simple seats, but look further and you can find great deals on busses with private and full reclinable seats. Even with onboard entertainment! I highly recommend Willer Express.

http://willerexpress.com/en/bus/seat/cocoon/

Asakusa (浅草) is the center of Tokyo's shitamachi (literally "low city"), one of Tokyo's districts, where an atmosphere of the Tokyo of past decades survives

Asakusa's main attraction is Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. The temple is approached via the Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries.

Tokyo neighborhoods

Explore the vast variety of neighborhoods and areas that Tokyo has to offer. Tokyo is big and Tokyo is spread. There are over 1000 train stations in Tokyo that translate to an equal number of identifiable neighborhoods. Making sense of Tokyo neighborhoods isn't always easy. There are many guides that you can find online that will provide you with great and detailed information on what neighbourhoods match your interests.

Neighbourhoods I visited: Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ginza, Akihabara, Harajuku, Ueno and many other ones I don't remember anymore.

Japan is a mecca for obsessive geeks or otaku, and Tokyo has shops catering to every obsession

Go beyond sushi! can't have enough Japanese food

Japanese cuisine offers an abundance of gastronomical delights with a boundless variety of regional and seasonal dishes as well as international cuisine. Restaurants range from mobile food stands to centuries old ryotei, atmospheric drinking places, seasonally erected terraces over rivers, cheap chain shops and unique theme restaurants about ninja and robots. Many restaurants are specialized in a single type of dish, while others offer a variety of dishes.

Okonomiyaki is and will be my favourite of them all... but there are way too many as close seconds.
The largest urban city in the world...

Tokyo Skytree

The Tokyo Skytree is a television broadcasting tower and landmark of Tokyo. It is the centerpiece of the Tokyo Skytree Town in the Sumida City Ward, not far away from Asakusa. With a height of 634 meters, it is the tallest structure in Japan and the second tallest in the world at the time of its completion.

Admission fees: First observatory floor: JP¥2060, Second observatory floor: additional JP¥1030
Good night Tokyo!

Arigato Japan!

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Created By
Mauricio Frias
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Mauricio Frias | Digital Expat

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