Average cost p/day: US $90
Time frame: 1 week (for Tokyo – of course, there is the rest of the country still on my to do list!)
Currency: Japanese Yen
A wonderfully bizarre and absolutely stunning country, Japan is a place I’m dying to explore in more detail. I love everything about it. The culture, the food, the beautiful parks and gardens. But most of all…it’s the sushi! Sushi is everywhere. You can get cheap take away sushi from convenience stores or really fancy sushi at high-class restaurants. Go to a sushi train restaurant if you want to try a little bit of everything.
Another thing that makes me love Japan is that the people are so so sooo lovely and helpful. If you stop and look at a map on the street, chances are someone will offer you help. I once asked a man for directions and he didn’t speak a word of English but knew where I needed to go, so he walked me all the way there. The friendly locals make Japan incredible easy to get around – even in a hectic city like Tokyo.
In Winter, Japan is popular for skiing but if you’re not planning on hitting the slopes, then spring is the ideal time to visit. Specifically, you should try and make sure you visit during the Cherry Blossom season (March – April) to see the national plant in full bloom.
WHERE TO GO
By far my favourite city in Asia, Tokyo is modern, eclectic and quirky. To find absolutely everything electronic you could possibly imagine, head to the Akihabara area. We’re talking everything from massive department stores to tiny shops stocked with Nintendo 64 games. From Asakusa you’ll get a good view of the Skytree and find markets full of incredible treats, both sweet and savoury. While there, have a look around the Shinto Shrine and make your wish. While the Skytree undoubtedly offers great views of the city, you can get an equally impressive view from the Metropolitan Government Building – and it’s free! Shibuya is said to be the busiest street crossing in the world, and therefore makes an awesome spot for people watching. To get a good view over the intersection, go to the Starbucks and nab a window-side seat upstairs. Not far away, Harajuku is famous for its quirkiness. You’ll find crazy shops and countless people wandering around in costume. There’s plenty of quirky culture to indulge in while in Tokyo – such as the Robot Restaurant, where you’ll see a show that’s a strange mixture of music, dance, robots, half naked ladies and crazy costumes.
This gorgeous little town is a perfect day trip from Tokyo, giving you a break from the mayhem of city life. An ideal day here would be spent bike riding or walking around the lake. You’ll be able to see all kinds of beautiful and colourful plants, with Mt Fuji as the backdrop.
There are many other places in Japan that I can’t wait to explore, including Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima.