Japanese flag

Sayonara, Y’all!

It’s about damn time I get to Japan. I’d first planned to visit back in 2010, when I was living in Shanghai, and my co-worker Rick hatched a plan to take a weekend trip to Tokyo. Trouble was, I couldn’t seem to find any genuine tickets on Chinese airfare brokers.

“The fare has risen,” each successive phone operator would tell me when I called to ask why my ticket wouldn’t book. Sadly, it always rose slightly above the threshold I could afford to pay, so I skipped out.

More recently, back in late 2012 when I was living in Bangkok, I planned another trip to Japan, this one encompassing the entire country. Unfortunately, the very day I received my Japan Rail Pass, I realized quite painfully that I could not longer put off the root canal I’d been avoiding. Strike two.

Outside forces have twice gotten in the way of me traveling to Japan, but I’m proud to announce that the third time is the charm in this case. In just a couple hours, I’ll be blasting off to Tokyo – and that’s only the beginning of my Japan adventure.

After taking in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the largest metropolis on Earth, I’ll travel on to the historical city of Kyoto, where there will hopefully still be some lingering cherry blossoms. I’ll hit up Nara on my way down to Osaka, then make a beeline to Hiroshima, after which I’ll take an excursion to insane “Rabbit Island” and then continue on to the island of Kyushu.

I’ll stop briefly in Nagasaki (I feel a trip to Hiroshima would be incomplete without one here, and vice-versa) before hiking for at least three days in Yakushima, a crazy-beautiful national park on the southern part of Kyushu. Then, I’ll make a complete u-turn and speed up to Sendai, for the sole purpose of visiting another animal-infested island – this one has cats.

The final phase of my Japan trip will take me to the 1994 Olympic host city of Nagano, which will be my gateway not only to the ubiquitous red-faced snow monkeys, and the city of Kanazawa, which I’ve heard described as the “Kyoto of the north” of the but a traditional “onsen” that is supposed to be the best in Japan.

Or, at least I think that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve got a rail pass, so it’s not terribly important that I set anything in stone now, although I do like to have a general idea of where I can go, even if I don’t end up getting there. Regardless, I’m just happy my Japan plans haven’t been foiled yet again!

Have you ever been to Japan? Do you have any tips for me?


Leave Your Daily Hell   Filed under: Japan

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is the author of 747 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Taylor March 31, 2014 at 10:29 am

sounds exciting, hope you have a blast!

Scott Humm March 31, 2014 at 10:29 am

I went to Japan back in 2008, so I can imagine a lot has changed.
I was fortunate enough to travel with a Japanese friend of mine, and there were some amazing places he took me that I wouldn’t have gone into had he not been there. My advice basically is, don’t be afraid to just wander into places that look quite closed off – everyone is super friendly (though they didn’t speak much English!) and welcoming. Have fun!

RenegadePilgrim March 31, 2014 at 12:51 pm

If you’re going to be on Kyushu, stop in Amakusa and see the Hidden Christian Museum. There are two in the area. Very interesting. My friend from college lives there. I could connect you if you want a local to show you around. I spent 10 days there in 2010 and it was AWESOME! Nagasaki is great too. Don’t forget to stop in Obama as well. 🙂

Melanie Fontaine March 31, 2014 at 4:43 pm

I hope you’ll have amazing time! I’m looking forward to reading all about it on the blog soon! 🙂

Jen @ The Trusted Traveller April 1, 2014 at 4:06 am

That’s great news! I was there just a few months back and fell head over heels for the place. Highly recommend a trip to Miyajima when your in Hiroshima as it really is beautiful and ridiculously photogenic. Check out the bar called Crazy Horse in Nagasaki (look it up on YouTube), had one of my best nights ever there. Ginza district in Kyoto is so beautiful and you might be able to spot a Geisha (I didn’t but friends of mine did). For a good view of Tokyo for free head up the Government Towers. Tempura Tsunahachi near Shinjuku in Tokyo, best tempura I have had and totally worth queuing for. Have a blast!!!

Robert Schrader April 2, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Thanks a lot Jen! I’m going to take some of your advice for sure!

Robert Schrader April 2, 2014 at 3:35 pm

My first post will be tomorrow!

Robert Schrader April 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Thanks for the suggestions!

Robert Schrader April 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Thank you Scott. I’ll take that advice!

Robert Schrader April 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm

I’m sure I will – thank you for the rich!

Hamish Healy April 9, 2014 at 12:09 am

I’ve been to Japan several times. TokYo, mostly. It’s a beautiful city. Expensive, but beautiful.

Robert Schrader April 9, 2014 at 6:26 am

Yes, it was so expensive. OMG!

zglar April 9, 2014 at 8:24 am

Hahah, what’s your budget for this trip? I’ve been wanting to go to Japan since ever, but it’s really expensive!

Robert Schrader April 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm

I imagine I will spent around 100 USD per day, not taking into account the transpacific flight. I’ll be doing a post on it when my trip is through, don’t you worry!

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