Japan is one the most popular country people want to visit. It has great food, culture and entertainment! We just went to Japan, let’s have a look at the beautiful country!
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Nothing much on Day 1. A long plane ride to Japan on Delta Air.
Catching a glimpse of Japan.
We took a Shinkansen (or bullet train) from Narita Airport to Tokyo.
Airbnb was the choice for accommodation due to it’s price. It was an eye opener of the interior of a house in Japan. We stayed in Shin Okubo, or what is commonly known as the Korean Town in Japan.
The busiest traffic light in the world, the Shibuya Crossing was pretty interesting. Man! It was crowded with people crossing the road and trying to take a picture. It is dangerous to take a photo in the middle of the road in our homeland, but it is perfectly normal here!
After some light shopping at Shibuya, dinner was in a restaurant at Shin Okubo. The tuna-don was really fresh.
Early day to the Tsukiji Fish Market. Place where the freshest fish of all are sold at. If you want some good sashimi, this is the best place to come to. They had the live bidding of raw tunas interestingly. Honestly, this place is a food haven.
below are just a few delicacies. We can’t upload them all, the team is salivating thinking back about it.
Monster spotted! No seriously, it’s a Tuna, as a whole. It’s huge.
Talking about size, I also spotted some huge crabs.
The restaurant’s queue wasn’t too long there. Sushi for lunch before setting off for my next destination, it was the freshest sushi we ever had!
We walked through Ginza.
Seriously $200++ for a melon?
A peek at the Tokyo Imperial Palace. This place was huge. Surrounded by water, it must be hard to invade the castle in the past.
There is a park at the west side of the castle. It is clean and relaxing.
There was still about a week before the cherry blossom blooms, but we managed to view those that bloomed early. Couples, you would love the scenery.
The east side is referred to as the East Garden of Imperial Palace, it is where the main garden is. Probably the area where the emperor liked to chill at. The old structures are still there.
The picture above is a guardhouse. Guard duty, anyone?
Inside the garden, we had no idea what species they are, but they are beautiful.
We headed to the streets of Ginza.
Ramen for Dinner, DUH!
More shopping after that. Before sleeping, we had Yoshinoya for supper. Honestly, it was not too different from those in Singapore.
Had a(nother) beef bowl rice. This time, it is from the Matsuya chain. The best beef bowl rice I had.
It was a rainy day, so we hid inside Takashimaya at Shinkuju. Window shopped here and ate some snacks.
It was still raining. Had no choice but to move on. Japan is famous for their temples/shrines. we visited Meiji Jingu/Meiji Shrine next. Another beautiful place.
Sake vs Wine?
Near the main shrine, there are some Japanese prayers to wish for whatever you desire. You can either purify yourself or write on the wooden board, which we have no idea what it is called.
After the shrine visit, we proceeded to Harajuku for street shopping. It was narrow and packed with people (again).
A popular place here is the Calbee factory. That’s right that potato chip brand. Chips are freshly made here and they taste heavenly!
More shopping and food adventure follows. For people hunting for branded or exclusive clothing, Harajuku is a good place to come to. Use Google Maps to navigate through the many alleys and reach the stores you like.
Anyway, we found Pablo cheese tart store hidden in one of the alleys.
Back in Shin Okubo, We had sushi (kinda meh) for dinner/supper. Not the best, buy still better than most places in Singapore.
Kaminarimon is the destination today. Another freezing rainy day. Another temple visit. Despite all this, this is also a gorgeous place.
A nice view of a small garden beside the main shrine. Good for a walk with your partner!
Hope we have fans everywhere too!
Luckily, there was also indoor shopping places. And is that a samurai shop?
After food and more shopping, we went down to Ueno Park. Luckily, we managed to see more cherry blossom. A very calming place and a good place to relax at.
If you feel like it, you can rent a square to have a small picnic. Not much people are picnic-ing as the rain just stopped.
For anyone who ever migrates to Japan, consider coming here for a family day.
Lunch was a small bowl of salmon and roe don at a small shop in some random alley near Ueno. The best!
We proceeded to Akihabara by train. This is the place where animes/mangas and electronics prosper. A very fun looking place. Definitely worth a visit if you are hunting for a figurine or trying to buy a slightly cheaper PS 4. Not much photos of the shop as most of them prohibit using a camera.
Look at all the Yu-Gi-Oh cards. How is this still a thing? There are also Duel Masters and Magic cards. Other unknown cards were put for sale too.
This place is flooded with capsule machines. Wonder how much money is in those machines..
Wonder what the shop sells. These adult shops are openly displayed in Japan.
Talking about adult shops, we headed to Kabuchiko, the “Geylang” in Tokyo.
Not a very pleasing meal and it was slightly overpriced.
Kabuchiko is rumoured to be flooded with Yakuza so we did not stay there for long. We shopped around Shinjuku before turning in for the night.
Time to travel far away. The whole day was spent at Hakone area, the place to see Mt Fuji. A long Shinkansen train was taken to Owadara. Bought the Hakone pass and began our journey. We managed to try a bento during my train ride.
Had to change to a ferry (like a pirate ship) for the climb up the mountain. A scenic view can be spotted from the ferry.
Then we changed to a cable car… So many modes of transportation.
A good day as the fog is not that thick. During the ride up, Mt Fuji was visible. It’s that random big white patch.
Finally, we reached the top of the mountain. It was mind-blowing! It was the first time most of us saw snow! The view is also breathtaking. Rising volcanic gases! Out of so many first experiences we ever had! This was definitely one of our favourites!
Again, another spot to get a faint sight of Mt Fuji. Snow was everywhere and kids just love it.
Of course, how can we forget about the black ice cream and black egg sold here? It was a good snack in the cooling scenery.
Enough of this mesmerizing place. We headed to the next location. These train junctions are always our favourite spots to snap a picture.
At the edge of Hakone, we arrived at Gotemba Premium Outlet. Factory Outlet of a wide variety of branded goods and hopefully a discount. Yes, discounts are Singaporeans’ favourite. Another hour of bus ride, another hour of sleep.
We finally got to try the Japan Curry at a food court.
For Pokemon lovers, there is even an official Pokemon Store here. Plushies, Pokemon toys and many Pokemon related stuff can be found here.
We recommend heading to Hakone the next time you are in Japan. Before heading back home, we stopped by Ueno and had Unagi Rice Bowl for dinner. This is another fresh Japan delicacies. Maybe only at top-notch restaurants, you can’t find any better ones in Singapore.
Related: 6 Greatest Things About Singapore
Before going the Osaka, where we will be staying for the rest of the trip, we had Sukiya’s beef rice bowl. It’s better than Yoshinoya’s but not as good as Matsuya’s.
It’s a 2h 30min Shinkansen ride from Tokyo to Osaka. It was a mix of sleep and enjoying the glimpse of the rural Japan.
After arriving in Osaka and moving into another Airbnb, the adventure in Osaka begins. Dotonburi is the heart of Osaka. Food, Drug stores and Clothing stores are everywhere. Everything could be found here.
We tried the dish we have been craving for. Takoyaki. The first 2 pictures are my favourite ones. Guidesify recommends and you should definitely try it! The third picture is the one that’s rated number one, but it was not that nice compared to the one from the first store. We don’t know the name of the store as none of us knew Japanese, sorry!
Feeling rich, we tried the Luke’s Lobster. It is fresh lobster stuffed inside a bread. Nothing special, just lobster and bread. It is fun watching the preparation though.
Do not claim you had been to Japan if you did not give Ichiran Ramen a try. That’s what we had for dinner. We chose the option where we got our own booth. We made the soup extra rich and it was amazing! Another dish that Guidesify recommends!
Don’t believe how nice it is? Just look at the bowl!
More shopping ensues, until it’ supper time. We decided to get an ice cream and a cake from Pablo. They are nice, but the cheese tart were more worth it.
It’s Gyoza for breakfast today. We had it for our 15 min Shinkansen ride to Kyoto.
We arrived at Fushimi Inari-Taisha. This place is crowded. Very very crowded.
Alright, the above picture doesn’t say much but was just the entrance. Inari means fox so I believe they worship the fox. That’s just a wild guess. Look, they even have statues of the fox!
This is a shrine, so there are again many forms to offer your prayers. There is the wooden board where they modified it to the signature red arc. Another board if for you to toss the money and ring the bell.
This place is famous for the signature red arcs. It has a lot of red arcs, all donated. Probably by big companies. (we accept donation too…) And look at how narrow the walkway was.
If you stray off from the main path, you can see beautiful some gardens. A good place to have a break if you want to stay away from the crowd for a little while.
Enough of snacking, we hopped on the train and proceed to the next area. During my walk, we saw a nice little playground. Personally, sandy playground is my favourite. Wish we were still kids. Playground trip anyone?
Try the Matcha ice cream when you’re in Kyoto. Not just a normal matcha ice cream, it is a blend of soybean and matcha. A very fulfilling meal.
After a lot of walking, we finally reached the Bamboo Forest. Do you want to have your field camp here? It’s very cooling and a very relaxing place. We had never seen many bamboos before. They are at least 10m tall.
Soba was the next dish we could not afford to miss.
Be warned, the next place was astonishing! At Togetsukyō Bridge, kids get to run around, people having photo shoots. Couples would have a nice date here. Guidesify recommends you to drop by this place!
We travelled back to Dotonbori. Dinner was sashimi. the tempura was very nice. The salmon and tunas are just wonderful. Top-tier. Words can’t describe it. You have to try to know it.
Next consisted of Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba. Veggie lovers would love the Okonomiyaki. Yakisoba was good.
We visited Osaka Castle today.
Another cherry blossom.
Everyone was taking a picture of this statue, so we followed suit. Probably some Japan King or General.
Circling around the castles, we braved the cold weather and quickly took some photos of the castle exterior. You have to pay for premium entry to see more.
Not sure what the queue was for
Next stop was Orange Street. This is another place to find rare and exclusive branded goods.
Back to Dotonburi, we had a pork rib ramen. The pork rib is soft and delicious. The soup was average.
We tried a melon bread. Basically an ice cream bread.
Kyoto’s Nakagyo Ward. This is the place well-known for geisha.
Had no idea what they are celebrating or what ritual they were performing.
We were extremely lucky and fortunate to be able to have the Kichi Kichi Omurice by a walk in instead of making a reservation! Months of reservations are needed for this! It is the most expensive meal we had in Japan.
In Japan, you will be walking a lot. So that’s good. And Kyoto is a stunning place. Enjoy the view!
In addition to walking, you will also need to climb steep slopes and stairs a lot. That’s because Japan is a mountainous country. Climbing my way up..
Look! Didn’t expect a Hermes store to be hidden here.
We decided to walk through the housing estate just to see how their neighborhood looks like. It just feels so peaceful.
Finally, after all the climbing, we reached Kiyomizu-Dera.
The shrines look very majestic and reddish. Surrounded by cherry blossom trees, this place is also very marvellous too.
Finally, we managed to get a beautiful view of Kyoto. This photo does not do the view justice.
Before heading to the station, we saw the lighted up Kyoto tower.
Since this was the last night, we stuffed ourselves with 3 dishes!
Had a pork cutlet don before my Shinkansen ride from Osaka to Tokyo.
Last-minute shopping at Narita Airport.
Bidding our farewell to Japan during our evening flight on Delta Air.
Back to reality. Do like and share to let us know that you are interested in this type of content. Till next time!
Last updated on March 15th, 2020.