We returned from Japan only a few days ago. If one asks me to express my impressions only in one sentence I would reply: we have been on another planet, another world. Japan is unique, Japan is worth being one of your lifetime travel experience, and I want to be lucky to visit this country one more time.
Needless to say how deeply impressed we have been with Japanese culture, mentality, nature (blooming Sakura in April), food, traditions, skyscrapers and shopping, but the main treasure is Japanese people – the most amiable and polite, calm, responsive, respectful for themselves and for strangers, – we hardly could remember any other corner in the whole world where we had met so many kind and nice people!
The idea to travel in Japan was born spontaneously in two weeks before our flight. We didn’t know anything about this country beside Sushi, Sakura and Geisha, so chance to discover the unknown and mysterious spot on the world’ map seemed to be very attractive.
Best way to travel inside Japan is by high speed train as country has the best rail network in the world. All visitors should consider to order JR Pass via mail (JR Pass is not available to order and buy in Japan) . As I mentioned we didn’t have enough time to get our passes at home, so we asked for delivery directly to our hotel in Tokyo.
There was one more unplanned incident from which our journey has started after landing in Tokyo: we didn’t get our baggage and ,as it turned out, we were not supposed to get it Ever in Japan. Being unaware of this fact, of course, slight but descending hope of getting our baggage and warm trousers back (especially on rainy Japanese mornings) made us hopeful, a little bit anxious and wiser. Why? We understood that we could travel without baggage at all, two weeks in one pants and shoes. Less things in our hands made us more operative, easy to move from hotel to hotel, change location, take longer paths and enjoy our flexibility.
First days in Tokyo we climbed on Tokyo Tower in Minato-ku to enjoy the night view from 250 meters height (not the highest pick but the coolest one).
Our first Japanese dinner in the local restaurant near our hotel was so tasty. We tried real Unagi (grilled Eel in sweet soy sauce on the rice pillow) first time in our life and since then it became my favorite Japanese dish.
Next day we fell in love with a gentle, cotton-pink Sakura, the buds turned to full bloom and magically decorated the whole country! So there’ll be a lot of pictures of these unbearably beautiful trees 🙂
I need to mention some useful tips for traveling in Japan in a right way. First you should be ready for the fact that the majority of Japanese doesn’t speak English but still can explain everything with gestures. Anyway all streets names and metro stations are provided with English. A second thing: there’re no addresses as you used to get it in the rest of the world – no organized numeration along the streets (everything is divided into areas with some level of granularity: sub-area – ku etc.). From this point I recommend to provide yourself with a pocket wifi device that could be rent for one week or two and won’t let you be lost in Japan (only rare restaurants and shops have their own wifi that makes it very difficult for orientation and emergency connection without internet and language).
We went to famous Ginza District with special mission to find some change clothes, but were immediately immersed by the world’ largest variety of shops, boutiques and restaurants. I suppose at least two full days should be devoted for Ginza – it’s all about art of shopping 🙂
One more typical Japanese dish – soup with slices of duck, green leafs, noodles and something else, rice water for aperitif and sake – it’s sweet, about 17% strong and reminds me dry martini 🙂
For our second evening in Tokyo we followed special recommendations for best bars and restaurants with stunning night views on Tokyo. Our choice – Prince Park Tower’s 33rd-floor Sky Lounge Stellar Garden – amazing bar with incomparable Japanese cocktails.
Next day we walked in Park Ueno and took part in Spring Festival, many locals came out there for picnics under Sakura.
Time to finish the day with Sashimi before we would go by Shinkansen train to Japanese second megalopolis Osaka next morning.