The places that we visited were Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. My only wish was that we stayed longer. The way I would describe Japan is a stunning country with organized chaos. There are millions of people moving throughout the city with little to no disturbances whatsoever. It was actually quite shocking how everyone just went on with their business in a calm and controlled manner amongst a sea of inhabitants!
Japan is a very clean place and you could practically eat off the floor. The train station is busier that Grand Central and Penn put together at rush hour in NYC but you would never feel that way! Experience the bullet train! It is a must traveling at speeds of 160-200KM! A real thrill ride.
They say that the Japanese men work themselves almost to the point of death and after visiting and seeing the locals in action I am a believer! Our guides took us into the local neighborhoods to visit with some families. Japanese women tend to quit full-time work when they have a child only to return as part-time labor after a while. The same is true for the children in school! It is a country of hard-workers!
On a more positive note the scenery with the cherry blossoms in full bloom are absolutely beautiful. My friends and I traveled in mid-April. It was quite cold but manageable. The weather in June is rainy for the most part. But we traveled to Thailand this past October during rainy season and had no issues whatsoever, as it was not crowded with tourists and we got more personalized service. It did not stop us one bit!
I absolutely loved Tokyo, I loved the craziness, all the billboards and lights and hundreds of small underground bars that are so cool, each with a mixologist who is known for their special drink! So much fun! Definitely don’t forget to stop and see Shibuya crossing!!!! Great for taking pictures!
I suggest stopping into the porn shops. They combine porn with animation and cartoon. This combination makes for unbelievably weird statues which make great souvenirs. Be sure to pick up some magazines. They are crazy for lack of a better word!
Osaka was the first place we visited. It was not my favorite stop as I did not think there was much to see. We did a lot of walking around to the cool street food vendors and restaurants and the food was amazing. I was surprised to see so many American chain restaurants! The food is amazing and my suggestion is to try as many of the Japanese unique creations as you can! If you are a sushi lover like me, you will fit right in. I was in heaven!
Our last stop was Kyoto! It’s all about the scenery, the temples and the beautiful Zen gardens which were breathtaking. The cherry blossoms added to the beauty of this beautiful country. Don’t forget to check out the Bamboo Gardens.
I journeyed with an amazing group of people and we had an awesome time. So much so that we plan on going back in the summer! Our guides were great. The tours were fabulous with a mix of the local culture, education and off the beaten path neighborhoods! They treated us like family and we are still in contact with them today! At all times we felt safe, no matter where we were and what time we ventured back home. You will have the time of your life so enjoy it and you will come back with memories to last a lifetime! I promise that although it may be your first visit, it won’t be your last. There is so much to see!
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