Japan is a country I’ve dreamed to visit ever since I was in primary school. Learned about it in social studies class, I was fascinated by the history and culture, enamored by its beauty.
As interesting as Japan was in handbooks, it was infinitely better in real life. Just one day into our two weeks in Japan and we were formerly in love with this awful country.
Two Weeks in Japan
We decided that spring would be a great time to spend two weeks in Japan. I specifically wanted to witness the cherry blossom season, which had long been on my Japanese wish list. Spring turned out to be a nice time to visit Japan, and although places were frequently veritably busy with other trippers and lodgment were more precious, the beauty of the cherry trees made it all worth it! I knew incontinently into the planning process that two weeks in Japan wasn’t going to be enough. There were so numerous intriguing and beautiful places to visit Japan, so numerous effects I wanted to do. It was insolvable to fit them all into our two-week Japan diary and I plodded with having to cross places off the list.
As delicate as it was, we were veritably pleased with the two-week Japan diary I put together. I created a well-rounded trip that allowed us to witness both the traditional and ultramodern aspects of Japan. Our two-week diary included small mountain municipalities, bustling metropolises, places of literal interest, and relaxing natural areas. As first-time callers to Japan, we felt this diary allowed us to enjoy the stylish of Japan in two weeks. Then’s a look at what we managed to see and do with two weeks in Japan, including studies about our time in each position. We hope our diary gives you some ideas of places to visit in Japan and helps you plan your own two-week trip to Japan.
Day- 1 Hiroshima
Half a day, 1 night
Our first full day in Japan was spent traveling from Tokyo to Hiroshima. It was a four-hour pellet train lift, so we arrived just after noon. This gave us full autumn and evening to explore Hiroshima, which we plant to be sufficient.
Hiroshima is a place we wanted to visit because of its literal significance. Important of our time was spent wandering around the Peace Memorial Park visiting the numerous monuments devoted to the victims of the first infinitesimal lemon. It was an eye-opening and humbling experience. We felt that the megacity of Hiroshima has done a great job creating a beautiful space to recognize those affected by that ruinous event.
While we were awaiting Hiroshima to be all “ dusk and doom”, this wasn’t the case at all. The megacity itself is relatively seductive– veritably clean, quiet with a lot of nice premises and walking paths along the gutters. We especially enjoyed visiting the repaired Hiroshima Castle. There’s a gallery inside the beautiful five-story main keep and the grounds contain a sanctum, some remains, and many other structures, all girdled by a culvert.
The only thing that dissatisfied me was that there was scaffolding covering the Atomic Bomb Dome, making it delicate to get a good look at it. Every three times the megacity does a full check of the remaining structure to ensure its condition is saved as it was incontinently after the infinitesimal lemon was dropped.
Day -2 Miyajima Island
1 day, 1 night
Miyajima Island is fluently penetrated from Hiroshima. It’s a 30 nanosecond train lift from Hiroshima to Miyajima Station, also a 10 nanosecond ferry lift to the islet. We caught an early train and set bottom on the islet by 800 am, giving us a full day to explore (which is what you need!)
Miyajima was the place I was most looking forward to visiting during our two weeks in Japan and it didn’t fail. By the end of our trip, it was still our favorite place in Japan! We had an awful day visiting Miyajima’s numerous tabernacles and sanctuaries and exploring the top of Mount Mosen. The views from over there were spectacular and it’s always nice to be girdled by nature! In addition to our hike on Mount Misen, watching the Sunset behind Miyajima’s Floating Torii gate was a favorite memory.
There was nothing we didn’t like about Miyajima. It did get really busy with excursionists during the day, but numerous didn’t feel to venture far beyond the main tabernacle area. Getting up beforehand and spending the night helped us avoid a lot of the day trip crowds.
Still, I’d say the small deer that bat the islet can be a little pesky If I had to pick one negative, however. They will try and steal food out of your hands and some will indeed try and scuffle open your pack if they smell commodity in there. One stole a leaflet out the fund of my camera bag and masticated it all up!
Day- 3 Himeji Castle (Overnight in Osaka)
1 day, 1 night
On our way to Osaka, we decided to stop in Himeji for many hours to visit Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From Miyajima Station, it was a 90- nanosecond train lift to Himeji. After visiting the castle, we continued on the train for about another hour to Osaka. We just used Osaka as a place to sleep, as we were too tired to go out exploring.
Himeji Castle is a veritably beautiful structure and was lately restored when we visited (it was the castle’s opening weekend after the main upkeep was closed for 5 times). The castle’s elegant surface wowed me when it first came into view. The bright white makeup and intricate, cosmetic designs that beautify the structure are part of the reason Himeji is considered Japan’s finest castle. The castle’s grounds were also veritably beautiful, especially since the cherry blossoms were in bloom when we were there. I preferred just sitting in the demesne, gaping at the stunning armature, to actually traveling the innards of the main upkeep.
To be foursquare, we didn’t enjoy our “ stint” of Himeji Castle. I use the word stint approximately because there was nothing to see inside the castle’s main upkeep. There was nothing on display, there were no information boards, nothing. Just bottom after bottom of empty rustic apartments. Indeed if there had been particulars on display, we’d noway have been suitable to see them. There were so numerous people in the castle that we were shoulder to shoulder, being channeled through hallways and narrow, steep staircases at a crawler’s pace. We tried to give the castle the benefit of the mistrustfulness, allowing perhaps they just hadn’t put the vestiges back by yet after the restoration. Also, perhaps it’s not always horrifically busy. There-opening after a long restoration, coinciding with cherry blossom season, presumably greatly inflated the usual caller figures. Either way, Himeji Castle sorely ended up being an unwelcome trip experience.
Day 4 Koyasan
1 day, 1 night
From Osaka, Koyasan was about a 2 hour and 15 nanosecond trip involving many train transfers, a string auto lift up a small mountain, and a short machine trip into the main city. A lot of people do a day trip from Osaka, but considering the quantum of trouble it took to get to Koyasan, and all the awful sights, we were glad we stayed the night in order to completely witness all that Koyasan has to offer.
We really enjoyed our time in Koyasan and it was one of the highlights of our trip to Japan. Koyasan is a sacred area on Mount Koya with numerous beautiful Buddhist tabernacles and monuments girdled by timber. We could feel the history and the church as we walked around the city. Staying overnight in a Buddhist tabernacle was a great way to get a deeper look into the traditions of Japanese religious life. We visited many tabernacles, but my fave was the DANJO GARAN COMPLEX, one of the two most sacred spots on Koyasan. The two-story vermillion and white abbey was veritably emotional! My favorite part of the day, however, was walking through KOYASAN ’S LARGE NECROPOLIS, an ancient cemetery with over sepultures!
Visiting Koyasan was an enriching and satisfying experience and there wasn’t much we didn’t like. At night there wasn’t anything to do, so we (and most other guests at the tabernacle) were in bed before 800 pm. Being the picky eater that I am, I plodded with the traditional Buddhist submissive refections that were served at the tabernacle, but I knew to anticipate that.
Day 5 – Nara
1 day, 2 nights
Nara was about a2.5 hour train lift from Koyasan. We stayed in Nara for two nights but only spent one day visiting the spots. For our coming day, we used Nara as a base for exploring Yoshino and Horyu-Ji Temple.
Nara’s main magnet is NARA PARK so that’s where we spent all of our time. The demesne is a large area with tabernacles and sanctuaries but maybe more famously, domestic deer. We had a lot of delightful petting the deer and feeding them “ deer crackers” (which you can buy throughout the demesne). Todai-Ji Temple is Nara’s most visited tabernacle, and for good reason. Todai-Ji is the largest rustic structure in the world and houses the world’s biggest citation statue of Buddha. We were blown down with how massive the statue is-I suppose the Buddha’s hand was high then I am!
We plant Nara demesne to be relatively touristy in places, but the worst was actually inside Todai-ji Temple. I allowed it was tacky to be dealing monuments inside the Great Buddha Hall, right across from the statue. There were also novelties for trade lining the pathway to the exit. Sure, they need plutocrats to keep, but at the end of the day Todai-ji is a tabernacle, a place of faith, and it should feel like that, not a request. Having a bunch of people buzzing around buying stuff really cheapened the experience and, in my opinion, disrespected the tabernacle.
Day trip from Nara
Our train trip to Yoshino took about 2 hours from Nara, including transfer time.
Our trip to Yoshino may not have turned out as I had envisaged, but we enjoyed it nevertheless. It was nice to spend the day in a quiet mountain city, girdled by nature. Yoshino is a suitable city with a cornucopia of scenic views, beautiful auditoriums, and, of course, tabernacles and sanctuaries. Our favorite place in Yoshino was Gunpoen Garden, at Chikurin-in Temple. The theater has a tranquil pond girdled by cherry trees! Another thing we loved about Yoshino was the people. Each over Japan, we plant the people to be veritably polite and helpful, but in Yoshino they were exceptionally kind, going over and beyond to make sure we were comfortable.
The reason why our trip to Yoshino wasn’t relatively what I was awaiting had nothing to do with Yoshino itself, and everything to do with unfortunate timing and bad rainfall. Yoshino is one of Japan’s top cherry blossom viewing spots because of the high attention of cherry trees on the mountain pitches. Unfortunately, the trees were just starting to bloom in the middle of the mountain. Indeed if the blossoms were open, the rain and fog that agonized the day would have concealed the vale views I was hoping to see anyway.
Days 7, 8 & 9-Kyoto
3 days, 3 nights
Before leaving Nara for Kyoto, we made an early morning trip to HORYU-JI Tabernacle (an 11 nanosecond train lift from Nara). After our quick visit, we boarded the train for the roughly 1 hour trip to Kyoto.
While we may have been unlucky with the cherry blossoms in Yoshino, we hit the jackpot in Kyoto! We were lucky enough to be in Kyoto for full bloom, getting to substantiate the beauty and fests that accompany cherry blossom season. There are so numerous fantastic places to see cherry blossoms in Kyoto. We had a nice (albeit crowded) walk down the Champion ’S PATH, a well-given blossom viewing point, and spent some time in Maruyama Park, another popular spot to enjoy blossoms.
Indeed though we included so numerous beautiful places in our 3 days Kyoto Itinerary, I get the sense that there are numerous further we didn’t discover. Between the tabernacles, premises, auditoriums, old-world thoroughfares, and girding foothills, there was plenitude to feast our eyes on. However, I’d say that the shimmering Golden Pavilion (KINKAKU-JI Tabernacle) wowed me the most If I had to constrict it down, however. It truly is one of the Stylish Tabernacles IN JAPAN!
Our biggest struggle in Kyoto was getting around. There are only two shelter lines, which didn’t always serve where we wanted to go. Plus, we couldn’t figure out how to buy a pass/ticket because everything on the machine was in Japanese, except for the words Kyoto Station. There’s an expansive machine network but the lineups were long and motorcars were jam-packed. It was insolvable to walk every place like we generally do because the sights were so spread out. Armed with a long list of places we wanted to see, we decided to take taxicabs to save precious time. This brings us a small fortune, but we really misdoubt we’d have seen as much as we did without taking hacks.
Days 10 & 11-Tokyo
2 days, 2 nights
Tokyo was a 3-hour pellet train lift from Kyoto. We broke our time in Tokyo piecemeal into two different stays, 2 nights each. We allowed it would be nice to escape the big megacity by heading to the Mount Fuji area for many days. Mount Fuji is really easy to get to from Tokyo, so we chose to visit from there rather than Kyoto.
The stylish way I can describe Tokyo is to say, it’s an experience. The megacity is full of contrasts. Ultra ultramodern armature, polished shopping sections, and bright neon lights co-occur among quiet premises and tabernacles reflective of a more traditional Japanese life. It was delightful to witness a megacity so fully different from what we’re used to in Edmonton. For such a big megacity, Tokyo is veritably easy to get around. The shelter system is inconceivable- veritably expansive, effective, and easy to use. Being suitable to travel so far across the megacity in lower than half an hour made Tokyo feel much lower than it is.
Another thing we were impressed by was how clean Tokyo was and how safe we felt. With so numerous people, you’d suppose it would get a little rough around the edges, but Tokyo was tidy, orderly, and veritably enough. I especially loved TOKYO AT NIGHT when all the structures are lit up. We got a great evening view of the megacity from the Tokyo Skytree!
Being from a small city, I plant the quantum of people in Tokyo to be really inviting. There was one moment when we were walking on the sidewalk at the top of a small pitch, and there were people as far as we could see! Walking around certain areas of the city was delicate, especially in the rain (I kept getting hit in the face with screens!)As nice as Tokyo was, I plant it hard to connect with the megacity.
I plant myself feeling indifferent, not sure where I wanted to go or what I wanted to see. We’d get off the shelter and I see altitudinous structures. Also, we’d move on to another neighborhood and it was more altitudinous structures. I felt like we didn’t really “ see” anything, indeed though we covered a lot of ground in the megacity. Coming time I visit I’ll try to have further of a plan.
Days 12 & 13-Kawaguchiko and the Fuji Five Lakes
2 days, 2 nights
It was veritably easy to get to the Mount Fuji area from Tokyo by machine. It was a comfortable lift that took a little lower than 2 hours.
Formerly again, bad rainfall led to a major disappointment but we tried not to let it ruin our fun. Rather than hiking around as planned, we stayed warm and dry by renting an auto. We did many stages around the lakes (which are beautiful, indeed in the snow), explored the near municipalities, and indeed drove as far as we could up Mount Fuji. My favorite place was the FUJIYOSHIDA SENGEN SHRINE, Kitaguchi Hongū Fuji Sengen Jinja.
I kind of like that it was decolorizing when we were then because it gave the place a whole different mood, compared to other Sanctuaries IN JAPAN we visited. Since we couldn’t be outdoors as important as we’d have liked, we spent a lot of time eating. Every mess we had in Kawaguchiko was fabulous. We had everything from houtou, a popular original dish, to Korean regale and manual pasta ( conceivably the stylish pasta I’ve ever had, and I’ve been to Italy!)
My all-time, biggest trip disappointment was that I didn’t get to see Mount Fuji ( piecemeal from the 5 seconds I saw it on the train to Hiroshima). On our first day, it was so stormy that Mount Fuji was cloaked in fog. The coming day it decolorized and thick shadows formerly again covered the iconic mountain. We planned 2 days in Kawaguchiko to increase our chances of seeing the mountain since I heard the rainfall is frequently uncooperative. Unfortunately, we weren’t veritably lucky.
Another unfortunate event was getting a flat tire in our rental auto. While at Fujiyoshida Sengen Jinja, Mike noticed a huge nail stuck in our tire. We couldn’t find the jack, so we asked some Japanese teenagers to help us. They called roadside backing for us, and later important confusion ultimately told the boys where to find the jack (under the passenger seat behind a panel, in case you were wondering). Poor Mike had to change the tire in the slush! At least one of the teenagers was nice enough to hold his marquee over Mike as he worked!
As if not seeing Mount Fuji and getting a flat tire wasn’t bad enough, the hostel we had was the wanton, most run-down place I’ve ever stayed. The carpets were full of stains, the walls were covered in smut. There were hairs and other mysterious pieces of dirt on the wastes. So, if you’re ever in the area, suppose doubly ahead staying at Kawaguchiko Hotel.
1 day, 2 nights
After Kawaguchiko, we returned by machine to Tokyo for another two nights. We spent one further day exploring the megacity, also did a day trip to Nikko to end our two weeks in Japan.
Nikko was a 2-hour train trip from Tokyo. We fluently spent the entire day exploring this World Heritage Site.
I really enjoyed visiting Nikko and allowed it was a nice way to end our two weeks in Japan. As a Buddhist-Shinto religious center, there are numerous sanctuaries and tabernacles to visit. We only went into one, TOSHOGU SHRINE, but I suppose we made the right choice. Toshogu is glowing! It was various, featured in gold, and covered in emblematic decoration, making it the most ornate sanctum we saw in Japan. Nikko is further than just tabernacles and sanctuaries, however. We happily left the crowds behind to wander around the demesne areas, especially enjoying the Kanmangafuchi Pools, a couloir formed by an eruption near Mount Nantai.
The train trip to Nikko ended up going us a lot of plutocrats, due to a misreading on our part. We planned to take the limited express train and at the last nanosecond realized we had to buy a reservation. I allowed it was odd we had to pay for a reservation since all our other reservations on a JR (Japan Rail) train were free. When we arrived at Nikko and showed our JR pass at the exit. We were told it wasn’t valid on a portion of the track (it was Tobu railroads, not JR). We showed our reservation ticket and luckily didn’t have to pay anything redundant. Still, we allowed the trip would be free with our JR pass. Now I know to pick a train that goes to Nikko station and not Tobu-Nikko!
Reflecting On Our Two Weeks in Japan
Japan was everything we hoped it would be and further. Since our return, musketeers have been asking what was our favorite part about our two weeks in Japan and we both answer-the people. The Japanese are some of the kindest, most polite, regardful people we’ve ever met. They may be reserved, indeed shy, but they were always willing to advance a helping hand, indeed with the language hedge. It was refreshing to be suitable to travel around a country and feel safe the entire time.
We didn’t worry about getting mugged, scammed, or being taken advantage of just because we were excursionists. Overall, Japanese society is veritably honorable. We witnessed exemplifications of that time and time again during our two weeks in Japan. It was that sense of trust, respect, and honor that made me feel so at ease in Japan. This is why I’m formerly craving for another visit!