Hi blog, long time no talk. You’re probably wondering why I’ve seemingly abandoned you since November. Well, typing posts on a phone isn’t my favourite, but my laptop is sitting in storage somewhere in Killarney, after my former housemate kindly shuttled it back to Ireland for me.
Meanwhile, I’ve been busy. Apart from some bus rides here and there, I haven’t exactly had a ton of time to sit down and compose posts. You see, since our working holiday visas in Australia finished at the end of November, we’ve been on the move.
I know that the weather in Tasmania, especially in its many wilderness areas, is famously unpredictable, but when I saw “snow” on the forecast for Steve and my recent hike on the Overland Track that runs between Cradle Mountain and Lake St. Clair in the island’s centre, I imagined we might be encountering a few flurries, maybe even walking through a dusting of settled snow along the path.
Finally last post with recommendations for Japan! Thanks for sticking with me. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, I hope I’ve offered something useful. If you’re a Japan expert, I hope you’ll give me recommendations for my next trip that will definitely happen someday! Click here for my recommendations for Tokyo, Hakone, Nara, and Kobe, and Osaka, or read on about my favourite city of all:
I wasn’t sure what to make of Kyoto at first. As it was our last stop, I went in thinking I had seen all the temples I could handle, walked into all the little shops I could possibly walk into, eaten all the delicious things I could possibly eat. And then Kyoto proved me so very wrong. It became my favourite city we went to in Japan, and the number one I would recommend for anyone planning a trip. It has everything from the modern to the traditional, from the serious to the playful, and some of the best of every possible type of cultural aspect of the country.
Osaka is such an interesting city. Significantly smaller than Tokyo (2.7m people compared to the bulging population of Tokyo’s 9.3m) but double the size of cities like Kobe and Kyoto, it doesn’t feature the high-tech, futuristic style of Tokyo or the classic look of Kyoto, with their modern and traditional areas separated carefully, but instead mashes up new and old into one. Although it got just edged out by Kyoto as my favourite city we went to in Japan, it was probably the one I was most excited to visit (and if you have any wonder why, just read my “What we ate” section below).
If you missed my posts on Tokyo and Hakone/Nara/Kobe, check them out! Otherwise continue on for my recommendations on Osaka:
Here’s part two of my recommendations for Japan! I’m going to include three sections in this one: Hakone, Kobe, and Nara, as we only spent a short time in each. To read about what we did/what I’d recommend in Tokyo, click here. And check back on Monday for recommendations on Osaka and Kyoto!
Let me start by saying that this is not a definitive guide to Japan, or of the cities I visited there. It is not a guide to secret, off-the-beaten-path, locals only spots, or anything you probably can’t find in another blog post or pinterest page. Obviously this is true of pretty much every travel post I write, but for some reason people seem *really* obsessed with finding the “hidden” Japan in so many travel articles I read, the restaurants that would never deign to have an English menu or the shops whose doors have never been darkened by tourists, so I’m just going to make it clear that this is not that. This is just the places Steve and I went that we really enjoyed, because I have a bunch of friends planning trips to Japan who asked me for recommendations. So here they are. I’ve split the posts up because they’re super long, so today’s post focuses on Tokyo. Check back for my recommendations for Hakone, Osaka, Nara, Kobe, and Kyoto! I’ve bolded my best recommendations for easy reading. And I’m already daydreaming about another trip someday, so please do tell me your favourite things that I missed!