Six months ago today we embarked on our trip to Japan. So it felt fitting to post about the first portion of our trip today. We were there for 8 days (well, Jason was there for 9… lucky duck) and we were able to squeeze a ton of things into the last minute itinerary.
I recommend getting a Japan Rail Pass. They offer it at a discount to tourists, but the catch is, is that you have to purchase it BEFORE you get to Japan. We got ours from a French company- ‘The Japan Experience‘ So with the JR Pass in hand, the main island was our oyster. And a beautiful oyster everything turned out to be.
Once we landed at the airport, we had a little misadventure trying to get money out of an ATM- but! we found out that you can get money out at the 7/11 ATMs and from the Post Office ATMs… buuut that’s about it for people who bank through Chase and Bank of America.
Ok! So after figuring all of that out we departed the next morning for Nagoya and Kyoto. One of my wonderful awesome friends, Sarah, lives and teaches English in Nagoya. It’s pretty awesome to have the chance to see friends from forever ago. And she of course knew all the best spots in town! It was a delicious feast of epic proportions. And I have a newfound love for okonomiyaki. <3 After Nagoya, we caught the last train offered on the JR Pass to Kyoto.
The photos are a bit out of order, so bare with me- it was 6 months ago. Kyoto has so many amazing temples that it’s hard to keep track of.
On the first day, we attempted to make it all of the way up to the top of the Fushimi Inari Shrine- hahaha, that was an epic fail. We got 2/3 of the way up before we saw on the map that there was another hour’s worth of climbing, so we called it, wandered back down and found a bright yellow stand serving okonomiyaki at the entrance gate.
On our 2nd day in Kyoto, we had an early start to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, I recommend getting here super early, before all the tourists come in on the buses- it’s much more peaceful. After the bamboo grove, we wandered through the Kameyama-kōen Park, over the river, and ended up at Arashiyama Monkey Park- Iwatayama. The monkeys were quite glorious running around everywhere, and you could feed them pieces of banana.
We also ended up at Toji Temple, which probably looks amazing during the cherry blossom bloom. And then we were off! To Nara and Osaka- that’ll be tomorrow’s post. 🙂