Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto was a huge contrast to Tokyo. Jess and I stayed at a traditional hostel in a quiet area of Shimogyō-ku, void of the bustling nightlife and seediness of Shinjuku.  

It’s too hard to pick a highlight from Kyoto. Although Jess and I were only in Kyoto for a few days, we visited so many beautiful spots.

We checked out Ginkakuji Temple (and its garden), Nanzenji Temple and Kiyomizudera Temple on our first day.

Our second day was spent in Nara (I’ll share photos from this day in a separate blog post).  

But it was our third and final day in Kyoto that was the most busy. First stop was Kinkakuji Temple, an impressive piece of architecture with its top two floors covered in gold leaf.

Next was the district of Arashiyama where we walked through the famous bamboo groves, enjoyed a rickshaw ride and visited the Iwatayama Monkey Park.  

We ended the day at the torii gate-covered hiking trail at Fushimi Inari Shrine. 

Moto-Hakone, Japan

One of my highlights from Japan was a day trip to Moto-Hakone, a popular area for viewing Mount Fuji. Unfortunately, due to the weather, we were unable to see the mountain on the day we visited. Instead, Jess and I enjoyed the beautiful town, surrounding scenery and a nice meal for lunch.  

Tokyo, Japan

Japan was beautiful, captivating and extremely different from anything I had experienced before. From the buzzing streets of Shinjuku to the natural wonders of Minoo Park, my girlfriend Jess and I jam-packed our days in Japan with a plethora of sites and experiences.

First up was Tokyo. We stayed in Shinjuku for three nights, exploring the bewildering (in the best way possible) city, Shibuya and surrounding areas.  

The abundance of convenience stores (or Konbinis in Japanese) soon became our best friend: a go-to spot for a cheap breakfast, energy drink or a sneaky vodka beverage. 

Vending machines were also found literally everywhere. They were full of weird and wonderful drinks and ice-creams, and even the occasional range of cigarettes.

Things never seemed to stop in Tokyo. The people kept going and the cacophony of sound continued well into the night. And the train stations were always bustling whether it was early morning or late evening.

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