Japan Trip Stats

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Here are the facts and stats from my 24-day trip travelling through Japan:

  • Hostels stayed in:5
  • Longest time awake: 36 hours (climbing Mt.Fuji)
  • Photos taken:Over 4000 (including ones used for my time-lapse)
  • Mountains Climbed: 2
  • Bullet trains: 5
  • Weight lost: 1.5 Stone
  • Lost maps: 3
  • Packets of m&m’s consumed while climbing Mt.Fuji: 6
  • Films watched on flights: 4 + 2 TV series
  • Distance Walked: 367.8km
  • Budget per day: £15 (around ‎¥2000)‎
  • Money left: £0

 

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24 Days in Japan: Photos (Final Instalment)

The last set of images I post here from my time in Japan. This final instalment features features images from the main cities we visited; Tokyo, Hiroshima & Kyoto.

 

I loved my time travelling in  Japan and can’t wait to go back to explore some more. Next up on this blog will be photos from my short but brilliant time exploring North Wales.

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24 Days in Japan: Photos (Part II)

The second instalment featuring photos from my time in Japan. This set includes photographs taken from the top of the Tokyo Sky Tree Tower (the tallest in the world) and night-time exploration in the Tokyo suburbs of Asakusa and Shinjuku.

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24 Days in Japan: Photos (Part I)

A selection of images from my time in Japan. Including night shots and sun rises photographed from Mt.Fuji and the surreal beauty that Tokyo provides. You can read my Japan Travel Diary here.

 

 

More to follow  from Japan as well as photographs from my recent trip to North Wales.

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Japan Diary: Day 023 & 024 (Our Last Day)

Day 023 & 024 

Tokyo & Flying Home 
Our flight home to England (via Dubai) was at 9pm so we planned to spend the day with our friend Shiori, as she lives in Tokyo it was a sure thing we would find where and how to get the train for the airport.

Our last day summed up our experience in Tokyo. We battled our way through the busiest train station in the world, followed by the busiest street crossing in the world. But as usual it’s all worth it to see the temples, the stunning scenery and meeting the lovely (99% of the time) locals.


Shiori took us all around Shibuya and Harajuku showing us all the cool stuff we didn’t know existed or missed the first time.


Shiori then took us to Harajuku park, it was filled with people playing volleyball, singing and having picnics. It seemed like a perfect time to sit down and take it all in before we left Japan. Both being illustration students Juna and Shiori drew and I took some photos (which I’m sure will be on this blog once I get over the jet lag).


With 23 hours worth of traveling ahead of us we knew we were going to need energy and food. So we opted for over-the-top crepes. It’s apparently very fashionable to walk down the main fashion lane in Harajuku eating a crepè. I ordered a chocolate brownie, banana and whipped cream crepè. It was delicious although the majority was whipped cream so I consumed my weeks calories in one go.


After a sad goodbye to Shiori and her pointing us in the direction of our first of four trains we went down to the platform. Just as the train approached Juna started stamping madly, the kind of stamping you do when you have pins and needles. Only this was triggered by her feeling a bug in her shoe. She panicked thinking it might bite her, sat down on the platform and whipped her shoe off. Luckily it was an ant. But by the time this discovery was made our train had been and gone.


To make up lost time we got on the airport express train which although a little more expensive is as informative as you can get. It tells you which terminal your flight is and the easiest route to the gate.


After a very long wait to check-in which included Juna’s bag breaking we made it to our flight. I optimistically took my shoes off and buried myself under the complementary blanket and planned what films to watch. But we then experienced the emergency lighting as the electrics failed, this repeated 3 times until Nelly Fertardo blared across the speakers letting us know the electric was back up and running again. We then took off, everyone was a bit nervous but we were assured the issue was solved and sure enough we arrived in Dubai safe and sound at 3am.



We then had a five hour wait till our connecting flight home. Thankfully we got given a free meal voucher to spend at the airport, so we splashed out on a McDonalds. But as we kept flying through different time zones this ended up being our 3rd breakfast.


We then failed to catch up on sleep in some very uncomfortable chairs, looked through all our photos from the last 24 days and boarded the 7 hour flight home. After watching Deadpool, Spectre and The search for freedom the time seemed to fly by (no pun intended).



I was then gratefully picked up by my mum and Nan from the airport and managed to last till 7pm. I then slept for a solid 12 hours.
As much as I am happy to see all my family and friends I already miss Japan. I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been. We met all kinds of brilliant people; young, old, on their own, with friends, with family and Japan had something different to offer all of them.

I am currently editing the first of two films which I made during my time in Japan. They will posted up on this blog along with photos from my trip within the next couple of weeks.
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Japan Diary: Day 022

Day 022:

Tokyo
I am writing this tipsy and tired after toasting our last night in Tokyo. So apologies in advance.

We woke up on our last full day here in Japan to rain. We thought this might hopefully make it easier to leave but somehow I doubt it.

We got ourselves ready in the cleanest and most uncreased clothes we could find and headed to Harajuku (the trendy district). We first visited the main shrine there. Unlike most of the others we’ve seen it wasn’t at the top of a hill (thankfully) and was instead set among a forest backdrop. Even in the rain it was beautiful and Juna and I managed to get through the full praying process without getting the steps mixed up.



The main shopping street was bustling with teenagers and a few tourists. All the shops were wacky with most dedicated to a specific cartoon character or socks… It didn’t take us long to get into the shopping spirit including the buying of novelty socks.


We then felt we should see Tokyo’s Imperial Palace before we go. By the time we got there the palace was shut but most people we have spoken to said its not worth going into the palace as the gardens are better. The gardens were huge and took us an hour to look round. They surround the castle and the moat but are full of bugs that want to bite you. It’s weird having such beautiful gardens and an Imperial Palace in the middle of modern high rise buildings.


Having walked and shopped most of the day we stopped off at an independent burger restaurant. The burgers were so good Juna wanted to go in for a second one but just before she did the zip on her fanny-pack broke and she lost the courage too.

For our final night we headed to Shinjuku where Juna got her wish of more food. We watched it being made right in front of us as we sat in a small bar drinking Japanese spirits and vodka. And rather dramatically as Juna took her first bite of noodles, Celine Dion came on, all very bizarre and weirdly not the first time we’ve heard My Heart Will Go On this trip.
We then left to get the last train home while coming up with hypothetical reasons we can’t get on our flight tomorrow. After stocking up with midnight snacks at the local convenience store we had to stumble around the 10 other beds in our dorm in pitch black to get to our beds. Hopefully we didn’t wake anyone up, but from the shuffling I heard I think we may have.

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Japan Diary: Day 021

Day 021:

Tokyo
Today we began by waving off our new friends Eddy and Eric as they left to make their way to Mt.Fuji. And with Juna bandaging her blister up using one too many plasters making it look like a dramatic war wound we were ready to go.

We first returned to Ueno park, home of the National Tokyo Museum which houses original Japanese artworks dating back centuries. Unfortunately we got there and it was a children (plus their parents) only day. We considered tagging along with a Japanese family but thought it may look at bit too obvious. So instead we enjoyed the free entertainment of the park buskers. There was a brilliant band made up of 3 women whose energy and enthusiasm in the heat was as good as their musical talent. Their rendition of Under The Sea was a particular favourite. The most hilarious bit came when a cute kid started dancing with the band, but temptation proved too much and he starting stealing money out of their box. This led to his mum running up embarrassed and teaching him how to return stolen money.


We’ve both been wanting to get a few souvenirs from Japan so we decided our next trip should be to the Skytree. A massive, mad shopping centre in the base of the tallest tower in the world. On the subway I got talking to an Australian guy who had just arrived from Korea. For the first time I was the one able to give advice on where to visit, I felt the pressure. I was extremely jealous, after Japan he is traveling through Indonesia and then around Europe.


We then arrived at Skytree and started the most successful shopping spree. We got everything we wanted including a Tokyo mascot teddy bear and some clothes. Although by far the worst purchase we made was ice-cream. We both got different flavours but had the same reaction. Despite the flavours being tasty both ice-creams had a weird fishy aftertaste. Something which doesn’t go well with tiramisu flavour. After a few spoonfuls I had to throw it away.


This evening we met our friend Shiori who lives in Tokyo. We were planning to go for dinner in Shinjuku but it was too busy and crowded as it was the Godzilla Japanese sequel premiere. There was security everywhere and film fans camping out. So instead we took the subway a couple of stops to a smaller suburb and home of Shiori’s favourite sushi restaurant.

The restaurant works by you taking a ticket and waiting for your number to be called (a bit like a glamorous Argos) but as our number was so far down the line we decided to visit the arcade next door while we waited. Within the arcades are crazy photo booths which make you stand in ridiculous poses then lets you edit them. Although initially sceptical it turned out to be a good laugh and it prints out stickers of the photos for you to keep (or throw away never to be seen again).


The restaurant was brilliant with the sushi conveyor belt winding around all the restaurant booths. The food was really tasty and super cheap for Tokyo, it came to £14 for all 3 of us, and you don’t tip in Japan so a cheap night out all round. The weather is meant to be bad tomorrow so we’re going to plan the day in the morning.


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