My first solo trip to Japan, I have always wanted to go to Japan for personal experience. Having supported and promoted the beauty of Japanese foods and Sake for so many years I wanted to see it for myself, catch up with friends, enjoy authentic Japanese food and explore the best sights in Japan and Sake breweries. It was a trip I just had to do so i finally did it.
My first impression of Japan was it was bigger than I expected and actually being there and seeing it is a total different experience. Unless you know where to go and what to do in Japan you have so many choices where to start.
When I started my trip I was expecting it was going to be difficult because I travelled by myself. But I was ready to for the challenge. Japan is so busy and fast, I didn't expect I could follow the pace of Japan as it is totally different to Perth. I easily adapted to Japan's fast pace environment and could plan anything I wanted to do.
I didn't expect to do heaps of shopping simply because normally I can't find anything I like. The stores in Japan are so diverse you definitely can't stop shopping in Japan. I tell you , you will go crazy because they have this thing called tax free and it is contagious.
Food is definitely what I expected. Japanese food is different quality and taste compared to in Perth. It was so affordable as well. I didn't expect that it was going to be affordable to eat good food in Japan even in restaurants.
I didn't expect to travel that fast to see many places in each prefecture but I amazed myself and my friends that I could do it once I understood how to go. I gathered information and resources I needed to be able to alter my trip in the between. I didn't expect that I wouldn't feel tired, my mind and body just kept going. It could be because of the excitement of being in Japan in general that gave me adrenaline to conquer that many prefectures in just 11 days.
I went to 3 Sake breweries, Hakutsuru in Kobe Prefecture, Sawahime in Tochigi Prefecture and Hakkasian in Niigata prefecture and, famous Yamazaki Brewery in Kyoto. I went to 6-8 destinations and 6 prefectures.
Osaka Minoo - falls. A beautiful natural waterfall which you have to take a 30 minute hike to see but is definitely worthwhile. Kobe - Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum Kyoto - Kibune Shrine, Golden Temple and kawadoko dining. Tochigi - Sawahime Brewery Kawaguchiko - Mt. Fuji viewing Yokohama - Cup Noodle Museum Niigata - Hakkaisan Brewery
Japan is really clean and the customs are different to ours. For example, when you go to a change room you must take off your shoes before changing and wear a cloth mask to cover your foundation to prevent it getting on the clothes you are changing into. In Hotels you must always take off your shoes and wear the slippers given to you. In Japan they have public baths which is really open to everyone. Japanese people are very accepting of this custom of bathing in natural spring water which is very good for your skin. Japanese people eat rice in the morning and fish whereas we eat toast and egg or bacon. After you finish you have to tidy up yourself and take it back to the kitchen.
It was really diverse you want to go outside of city to see the real natural beauty of Japan, in the city you mostly find glorious food with endless selection to try. I wanted to experience the real Japan style and tradition. Japan has been always presented themselves as a piece of art through their culture and tradition.
Definitely would be travelling to other parts of Japan :)