Hope you’re having a wonderful day.
A s you can imagine, this post is about my trip to Japan last summer, a post that is completely overdue. Nevertheless, I’m so happy to have a free afternoon to write about this incredible travel in Japan.
It’s true that I shared some photos on Instagram and you probably saw a couple of impressions here and there but now this is the official article about what I did, where I went, what I ate, where I stayed in Japan.
Full disclosure, no tourist traps or stuff like that cause I love keeping it real and if you have been following me for a while now, you know that’s the tea.
Ok, so we decided to visit this magnificent country last year and on July 20th everything became real. After a super long aeroplane ride, we arrived in Tokyo Japan on the 21st of July.
As you can imagine, everything is huge, there are a lot of people everywhere and to be completely honest, everything is super expensive… like just the tickets themselves are around 1700 euros and that’s only because we found a great price on a site.
The public transport is, of course, expensive as well, seeing that the minimum wage in Tokyo is about 7,50€ per hour. But of course, Tokyo people being as bright as they are, they gain much more than that.
As you can imagine, the services are amazing, people are super respectful and welcoming… it really does take the stress away.
I don’t know how they do it, but they’re always smiling and are super polite. It makes you want to be a better person. Everything is clean and this country is so organized from the way to walk on the street right down to the spotless toilets in the metro station (you should see Brussels; oh wait. you shouldn’t.)
I felt the need to be like them, to be as polite and as nice .. and of course, I really would like to praise how much they work and how they like to give 100%!
Anyway, back to Tokyo I stood at this beautiful hotel called Shiba Park which is well located near public transport and that was amazing. Now I have arrived KO from my long plane ride so I went directly to sleep for a couple of hours. I’m way beyond that time where I would be crazy to neglect my sleeping hours and I definitely didn’t take a vacation to come back more tired than before.
So what to see in Tokyo?
There is A LOT to see in Tokyo. Like the city is so freaking huge and I only had like just a few days to visit it, so I kinda did the tourist thing and went to popular placed like Ginza (obviously shopping freak here), then Akihabara (for arcade games and geek stuff that I am totally into), I went to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, the Gundam statue ( life-sized), Shibuya street etc…
I walked so much like everywhere in Japan because it’s so different from the rest of the world and even simple things like houses or metros are very nice to check.
For public transport, you pay what you travel. It’s not like in Brussels where you take a ticket and you can use any transport for one hour no matter the direction or if it’s with a metro, bus etc… no, in Tokyo you pay exactly your itinerary and once you’re out, you’re out; you have to buy a new ticket.
This can be quite expensive of course… and if you literally have to pay for everything, I would suggest a 5000 euro budget all included if you plan on visiting more than Tokyo like going to mount Fuji ( that I didn’t do because I’m not that fan of climbing and maybe I’ll see it on another occasion) for like two weeks.
Of course, you can settle for a lesser budget if you are not picky and don’t mind staying in hostels, eating noodles etc...
You can surely afford to save up on a lot of things and you can do free stuff like walking around and visiting places that are free.
Eating wise, you can find a variety of cuisines, but mainly, of course, you have their Japanese cuisine that I mainly like if I know what I’m eating.
Beef is super expensive ( thank the Lord if you’re a vegetarian) because beef is quite expensive and you can pay like min 30 euros for a dish which is kinda insane and more expensive than here.
There are so many themed coffee shops and like the anime vibe is everywhere.. you have virtual reality, arcade games… it’s crazy and you can never get bored in Tokyo if you have money to spend.
N ow I went in one of these places in Shinjuku called Maid Cafe or something similar where I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
It’s was soooo funny … like at first I was a bit sceptical of the milkshake price (20 euros and you only have the right to stay a half an hour, otherwise you have to pay more), but the whole theme was that the girls-maid there would put on a show.
For me, it was extremely funny because I didn’t know what was happening. There are so many things to do in Tokyo, I would need days to write even though I stood there so little time.
After visiting Tokyo, we wanted to do something special. Something usual tourists did not often choose to do – to visit a Japanese island. Most of the tourists visiting Japan travel to the usual Tokyo – Kyoto – Osaka destinations and most of them don’t even realize the existence of these amazing islands.
For me, honestly, I chose to lay down on a beach and just enjoy vacations as it should be – sea & sun.
That’s my ideal vacation type… I’m not made for climbing, going on a bike or walking until you drop (ok maybe the last part I had to do, but I didn’t like it, lol).
So we landed in Okinawa on July 25th on this little airport and we were kinda freaking out cause we took a hotel on a super little island called Sesoko that we got to very late in the evening right before the reception at the hotel was closing.
We stood in a little hotel called E-horizon that isn’t the best in the galaxy, it’s super tiny but very affordable and to be honest, the island was really small and our options were more than limited.
We really wanted to stay on this island in the middle of nowhere just so we can have that tranquillity and avoid crowded places because there are a lot of people everywhere.
Sesoko is very beautiful and wild… I really enjoyed my time there. After a few days of rest, we also went exploring the big island itself and discovering some lovely places.
If you have the time, I recommend visiting Churaumi Aquarium and then exploring the island by bus. We walked a lot… at a point, I even started crying lol. My shoes actually fell apart after this trip.
From Sesoko we traded the beach and its wilderness for a couple of days at the Ritz Carlton Okinawa which is one of the most amazing hotels that I stayed in.
I did a full article on it, so don’t hesitate to read it.
From there, we went to Naha and we stood at Hotel Palm Royal which is this huge hotel that I previously wrote on my blog as well.
Naha is more metropole.. more city.. a lot of people.. the sky train that is a must-see and also Shurijo Castle where you can attend a tea ceremony (homemade cookies included ! yummy !!).
For me, Naha is that city next to the seaside that is always busy… kind of like Constanta in Romania.
But it was very lovely and I was so lucky to be able to visit this much in a short amount of time.
So Japan is definitely an interesting destination to visit at least once in your lifetime and I do hope to be back there again sometime...