Japan Part 1: Shopping in Harajuku, Night Out in Shibuya, Mt. Fuji & Lake Ashi Tour, and Temples and Cherry Blossom Festival in Kyoto
Yes, there are a lot of photos and this is only part one of three. Part three, being my haul. I couldn't narrow it down without excluding wonderful memories of my trip, so please forgive me. I'm not the best photographer and my photos don't do Japan's beauty justice, but I still hope you like them. Surprisingly, no photos of sushi, though I do have a few crappy ones on my phone.
I visited Japan with my best friend, April, and her mum, and it was the most incredible first overseas trip. It was the best nine days of my life and my only regret is not being able to have stayed longer. Every day, I miss the country so damn much and even on the way there, I knew I never wanted to go home. Nevertheless, I'm happy to have so many unforgettable memories and experiences this amazing country has given me.
Shopping in Tokyo was so much fun, especially in Harajuku on Takeshita Street where all the goths and punks hang out. I just loved how quirky and fun the Japanese youth are with their style and the way they express themselves through their clothing with lots of crazy colour is something to be admired. I loved being able to finally shop in stores like Forever 21 and H&M, and when I saw Topshop, it was like a dream come true for me! I knew of Forever 21 and H&M in Tokyo, but not Topshop, so it was definitely the best surprise ever!
I couldn't get over how polite and sweet the Japanese people are - even if they speak little to no English, they'll try to help you as much as possible - which really made me think about Australians and how it wouldn't hurt us to be more considerate. We met some of the most beautiful locals and on nights out, got drunk with wonderful new friends, who I hope aren't the first and last time I see. We also couldn't get over how tiny everything was, especially the cars. Never in my life would I have thought trucks and vans to be adorable! Whenever we saw a baby truck, we laughed every single time!
The Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi tour we went on was absolutely breathtaking. Seeing snow for the first time in my life and making my first ever snowball was my favourite part of the day. So much fun! We also went up in a cable car to see beautiful views of the mountains.
After three nights in Tokyo, we rode the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto, which was a two and half hour train ride. It was so fast, at times, it felt as if you were riding a theme park ride! After settling into our new hotel, we didn't have time for much else, so we just had dinner at an intimate restaurant where we sat down in a little booth closed off by bamboo sliding doors. We couldn't understand a thing on the menu and we had the most adorable waitress who tried to describe everything to us using hand gestures! The next day in Kyoto, we spent the day exploring temples and at night, we went to a cherry blossom festival. Seeing the beautiful cherry blossoms all lit up felt like a dream. It was absolutely freezing cold, so we drank warm sake and stood near fires, all while watching the locals be drunk and merry celebrating their breathtaking flora. We definitely picked the perfect time of year to visit Japan!