What we loved…
Food – Mmmmmm! Ramen! Sushi! Kobe beef! Udon! Japanese Omelets! Hay-seared meats! Barbecued squid! It’s all rich with delicious flavors and completely addicting! Anything you want, Japan can deliver, and deliver well!
Preservation of History – Japan has preserved their history, their culture and their historical buildings and artifacts better than any other country I’ve visited. I suppose this is partially because they were the world’s biggest bullies for a very long time so no one was destroying all their shit. Historical bullies or not, Japan’s culture and history is well preserved and on display for your viewing pleasure.
Great Place to Wander – Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nara, Tokyo, wherever. As I just mentioned above, Japan has done a wonderful job of preserving their history, yet they are also super advanced and modern. From peaceful zen gardens to sensory overloading pachinko halls. From ancient temples and palaces to colorfully cartoon-like Harajuku street. I don’t always recommend this, but when traveling Japan, it’s a great idea to just get lost! Allow for some days to just wander or bike around. No plans needed – you’ll quickly realize that there’s no end to “just stumbling upon” something awesome when traveling Japan.
What we didn’t love…
Refused Service – Rob and I were refused service at a number of different restaurants when traveling Japan. And we weren’t even our usual dirty backpacker selves. We were there during school break from Korea, meaning we were dressed like clean, put together tourists, who could pass for having money. We’ve never experienced this anywhere else in the world. They simply didn’t want the hassle of having to deal with foreigners. How rude!
Idiotic Subway System – Japan has one of the coolest train systems in the world. It’s insanely expensive, but it’s great. Then there’s the Tokyo subway system, correction subway systems. That’s right, not all the subway lines are owned by the same company, so you need different tickets for different subway systems, ugh! Good luck figuring that one out!
Too Much to Do – Japan is one of those countries that you simply must go back to many times. You want to see it in spring when their cherry blossoms are in full glory. Then you want to go back and enjoy some summer baseball games and visit the beaches. Fall brings entirely new colors and textures you can’t miss. Then there’s winter – hit the slopes, relax in natural hot springs, then explore the country while covered in glistening snow. You can come in each season, and still not do or see everything that Japan has on offer. You’ll just never feel satisfied that you’ve conquered this country in its entirety.