When I was young, I always love watching anime after coming home from school. I remembered that one of my favorite anime was Nana. The series derives its title from the name of the two main characters, both of whom are called Nana. Nana Komatsu is a small town girl who goes to Tokyo to follow her boyfriend and college friends, with the hope of having her dream life. Nana Osaki was in a popular punk rockband in her hometown. She goes to Tokyo with the goal of making it big as a singer. The two Nanas meet on the train ride to the city. Later, they run into each other again when they happen to check out the same apartment, and the girls decide to become roommates. The series chronicles their friendship and their lives as each chases her dreams.
Well you might be wondering, why am I talking about anime in a travel blogpost? This anime made a great impact on my perception of Japan. This anime makes me want to travel to Japan, experience the life and culture there. Well, this anime made me fall in love with Japan. So if you ask me, what brings you to Japan? My answer would be Nana. =)
Ultimate Japan Tips & Tricks
Here are 9 Ultimate Tips to get around Japan easier. I’ve compiled it just for you!
1. Get a train card– Train cards are very convenient as it is like a prepaid card. You can use it for other transportation modes as well, like buses, airport transports and even certain stores & vending machines. You can get this card at train stations where you buy the train tickets.
2. Get a train app– Trust me, it is a life saver and it’s much easier to navigate around Japan. All you have to do is type in the current location you’re at and the destination you want to go and it will show which train you need to take to get there.
3. Always carry cash– Most stores don’t accept credit cards including departmental stores, restaurants, etc. So it is safer to carry cash around than hoping to find a store that accept cards.
4. Use Haneda airport instead of Narita- Most flights uses Haneda but there are flights that uses Narita airport. Try to opt for Haneda as Narita airport is further and takes longer to get to downtown Tokyo City.
5. Don’t tip– You don’t have to leave a tip for cab drivers, restaurant, etc. (they will chase after you and give you back your money). If you are happy with their services, just say thank you instead of tipping them. They would really appreciate it.
6. Use google translate– Especially the camera function, where you can just take a picture and highlight the foreign word and it will translate for you. Simple as that!
7. Taking shoes off – Most probably you would have to take off your shoes before entering the changing room when you want to try clothes on in departmental stores. So be ready!
8. Use face covers – Some departmental stores requires you to use face covers when trying on clothes. Just put it over your head before trying on the clothes so your make up won’t get on the clothes.
9. Conbinis is awesome– Conbinis, short for convenience stores in Japan are not like your regular store. They have everything- snacks, clothing, hairdye, you can mail packages, pay your bills, buy concert tickets, etc.. awesome! Example for Japanese conbinis are family mart, lawson, etc.
Places To Go
Kinkaku-Ji (Golden Temple) – Kyoto
– TheKinkaku-ji (金閣寺 “Temple of the Golden Pavilion”), officially named Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺 “Deer Garden Temple”), is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan.
– Kinkakuji was built to echo the extravagant Kitayama culture that developed in the wealthy aristocratic circles of Kyoto during Yoshimitsu’s times. Each floor represents a different style of architecture.
Really love the rich history of Kinkaku-Ji and it’s beautiful Golden Pavilion.
Fushimi Inari – Kyoto ( the red gates )
– Highest density of red gates. They have shops, rest stops and restaurants. To get to Yotsutsuji intersection, it takes around 35mins from the main shrine.
-It is famous for its thousands of vermilion tori gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings.
The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds.
Shibuya – Tokyo
-Bussiest district in tokyo
Popular for 3 main things – scramble crossing, hachiko & shopping.
One of the popular departmental shopping stores is Shibuya 109
Shibuya scramble crossing
The Hachiko Statue in Shibuya Tokyo celebrates the life of Japan’s most famous dog, Hachiko, and his legendary loyalty to his owner.
The true story of Hachiko the dog, who was a golden brown male Akita Inu (a Japanese breed from the mountains of northern Japan), who would arrive at Shibuya Station every afternoon just to wait for the return of his master Professor Hidesaburo Ueno. This pattern went on for just over a year, until one day in 1932 Professor Hidesaburo Ueno did not return. He had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while away at work and died.
To many Japanese, pets are as well loved as children, and may even serve as a substitute for those who choose to forgo child-rearing.
Cycling in Tokyo
Senso-ji in Asakusa – Tokyo
– Tokyo’s oldest and most visited buddhist temple
– The outer gate, Kaminarimon is the most recognizable icon of the entire the city
-Beyond this gate, that is the Nakamise St shopping street where you can buy souvenirs and local specialty items
– The main temple includes Hozomon, the inner gate, the 5-storey Pagoda & of course the main temple itself.
– Japan’s tallest building
– 2 main observation deck, tembo deck & tembo galleria
Hope you enjoyed reading through my travel experience in Japan. There are more places that I visited, I shall do another blogpost in the future!