While all of my family and friends are spending their summer holiday abroad, I’m sitting in my sofa dreaming about my own vacation this fall. I’ll be visiting Japan, a dream I’ve had for over ten years.
Many of my friends are surprised at my curiosity for Japan. Nothing to be surprised about, let me show you why I want to go to Japan so desperately.
- Studio Ghibli Museum: I’ve been a huge Ghibli fan since my childhood so I really really REALLY want to go to the museum. Even though some fans told me it wasn’t _that_ great, it’s still number one on my to-do-list. I want to see shorts I’ve never seen before, I want to be in a fairytale I don’t comprehend one word of and I assume I’ll want to buy everything in the gift shop. My sincere apologies to the customers after me.
- Kyoto: Look at all the World Heritage in Kyoto. Look at the tiny streets and great restaurants. Look at the culture, the geisha and the kabuki. And look at the…
- ... Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. One of the most photographed sights of Kyoto (and possibly Japan). I’m going to take an endless number of photos there and I won’t feel a tiny bit of shame.
- Onsen: Alright, I must admit I’m a bit scared for this one, but it’s a healthy anticipation kind of fear. Onsen are natural hot springs spread across Japan. We’ll be visiting at least one (in the countryside). I hope I don’t make a fool of myself since I’m usually not a ‘spa kind of person’. Fingers crossed!
- Mount Koya (Koyasan): A place out of dreams (or Ghibli movies). A sacred place. I hope to find a natural peace here, even though I’ll have to share my moment with other tourists.
- Nikko: Again a sacred place in Japan, with one of the most decorated shrines.
- Mount Fuji: Unfortunately we won’t have enough time to climb this mountain, but we will be travelling to one of the nearby villages to gaze and wonder.
- Tokyo: Also a bit nervous for this one, since I’m used to living in a tiny city. I’ll probably never forget Shibuya Crossing (one of the busiest crossings on earth). I suspect other highlights will be Tsukiji Fish Market and the manga/anime overload.
- Ryokan: We’ll be staying at some ryokan, a traditional Japanese guesthouse. One of them has its own onsen. Yikes! Unfortunately we were too late booking some of our preferred design or capsule hotels (even though we booked a year in advance!) but we still got the ryokan we wanted.
- Sushi: I’ll be honest. I’m going to bore everyone I know with sushi pictures and quotes. “Yes, this sushi place is great but it’s nothing like the one I visited in Kyoto/Tokyo/…”. Yes, I will be annoying once I’m back and my friends and family will have to endure. Sorry not sorry.
Now everyone’s sharing their holiday pictures and stories, I can’t wait to go. I’ll have to be patient for a few more months and then this dream can finally come true.
Still looking for some travelling tips so if you have anything you’d like to add, please feel free!
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Je kan mijn reisverslagen er eens op nalezen. http://yab.be/reizen/japan-2011/ en http://yab.be/reizen/japan-2012/ . Je zal het meeste hebben aan dat van 2011, aangezien ik aanneem dat jullie niet naar Hokkaido gaan.
What a great list! I studied abroad in Japan a couple years back and I’ve been to most of the places you’ve mentioned 😀
Okunoin Cemetery in Mt Koya is a very cool place to visit. My class walked through it at night and it was actually very tranquil — it was a very memorable night from my trip abroad.
I hope you have a great trip, Japan is great! Looking forward to reading more!
Thanks! We went to Okunoin Cemetery in Mt Koya: indeed a memorable experience! 🙂