Lots of questions on my Japan trip. Where to go, where to stay, and how to travel from one place to the other.
Will try and make it as short and detailed as possible, so here we go.
We traveled from San Diego to Narita Airport (Japan)… Narita Airport is aprox. 1:30 min away from Tokyo, so I wouldn’t suggest getting a taxi since taxis tend to be a little expensive in Japan. We took the Narita Express Train and arrived literally to Tokyo Station, which was 5 min away from our hotel.
We arrived super late so we just decided to sleep the night and wake up fresh for the next morning. The first day I was shocked on how clean the city was and no trashcans to be found…. a must in Tokyo is the Senso-Ji Shrine full of history and temples around…. another must see is obviously Shibuya Crossing, it’s where all the massive corporates are and people are walking so disciplined from one corner to the other just to get to work… it is definitely an experience and there is so much to see there and also vintage shop! As you all may know I went during Cherry blossom season and the blooms were unbelievable! We took this mini boat on the Imperial Palace, which to me was my favorite part of Tokyo. It was just so magical and the weather was just perfect for a ride in the river ( tip bring cash everywhere! most places do not accept credit car
On our last night in Tokyo we decided to go eating to the “Piss Alley” … literally hole in the wall places, with amazing things to try out. We loved a bar called Albatross, if you end up going you should definitely try it out!
We also went to Harajuku, which is must… personally my hubby and I didn’t love it… it’s mostly for kids and for that materialistic experience that nothing matters but cotton candy and ice cream.
Tokyo was a fun experience since it has that New York busy city life … we were now ready to experience something more chill but at the same time cultural and that’s when Kyoto came to place.
We took a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto ( tip get the JR Pass for the bullet trains you will end up saving soooo much money and you can use them as much as needed for 7 days ).
Kyoto places to see:
Fushimi Inari-Taisha (great for hiking and for photos!)
Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion ( one of the most beautiful gardens in Kyoto )
Bamboo Forest ( a must and the shrine next to is one of the most colorful shrines full of blossoms)
Gion ( Geisha town! So good for eating and drinking too )
We ended up staying just for 2 nights in Kyoto, which to us was more than enough… next morning we took another bullet train to Hakone ( my favorite part of all the trip) … Hakone is known for their hot springs and amazing hotels … also mount Fuji is there and with amazing views if you get lucky to see it.
We stayed in a hotel called Hakone Kowakien Ten-Yu … Honestly highly highly recommend it… it’s literally everything included with breakfast and a 7 course meal you guys will definitely love. Ahmed loved it so much we ended up staying one more night there.
Hakone there is not much to see but more to relax, since most of our trip was kind of hectic with a lot of walking and touristing, this was a nice escape from all the cultural madness.
As I mentioned we stayed there for 2 nights and then came back for one more night in Tokyo… stayed at the Gate Hotel, which again highly highly recommend it! One of the best views in town with great amenities and service is incredible.
I can honestly say Japan has been by far one of my favorite trips so far, people are so nice and polite, it just makes you feel at home… Again travel with cash, make sure to get the JR Passes, and bring your phone with translator (most people speak very little english ).
Hope this helps !