Trip date: June – July 2016
I can’t contain my excitement for our Japan trip! Months have gone by, which make me both happy and sad, but the day has finally come! I guess time goes by fast when you are busy, busy. I wanted to get a short blog of some sort out into the world because I currently have some free time aboard this flight to J-town [edit: now laying in bed in a hotel in Japan]. Late last night, an idea of doodling on a map of Japan crossed my mind, and voila! See up top for my masterpiece. I just colored in an outlined map actually and drew some dots. 🙂
These will be our destinations for the trip. We’ll be hopping around Japan for 2 weeks, flying into Tokyo then heading south to Yakushima the day after. Then, we will make our way back up to Osaka and Kyoto and wrap up our trip with the summit of Fujisan. 😀
Everyone has heard of the three main cities we’re going to (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto) and probably not much about Yakushima because just look at the map – it is way, way out of the way. At first, I was reluctant to go here when my boyfriend suggested it, but after researching the island, I found out that there are tons of outdoorsy stuff to do. Of course, right down my alley. Plus, it’ll be cool to share my experience on a place that hasn’t been too popularized by tourism. Will let you guys know if it’s everything and more!
If you’re curious about what we’ll be up to, see my overview below of what our itinerary looks like and what main sites/activities we’re planning to visit/see. Not everything is set in stone and plans can always change, so there may be some updates. I didn’t contribute much to the logistics planning of this trip…only contributed big ideas of where to go and things to do. As such, Nicholai took care of all the routes/hotels/transportation details hehe. He also Excel-ed the crap out of our trip. Plenty of information to share if interested, and I’ll probably go into more detail, as our trip plays out, with subsequent posts.
Day 1: Tokyo (buffer day before making the trip down south)
— We haven’t really decided what to do on this day yet. On our last trip to Japan that lasted 3 days, we actually did a ton of Tokyo exploring, so not sure where to revisit this time.
— Possibilities: Tokyo Skytree, Tsukiji, Akihabara
Days 2 – 5: Yakushima (UNESCO World Heritage site)
— Check out the oldest cedar tree, Jomon-sugi. 4-6 OR 9-10 hour hike to the tree’s location…Need to fact check some of these blogs on the time, but for now, going to leave that there.
— Possibly catch some turtles lay eggs and eggs hatching on the beach. This spectacle only happens a certain time of the year (between May – August), and it could be the cutest thing to see or very anticlimactic. Up in the air for now.
— Hikes through the green, moss covered forests of Yakushima – namely Yakasugi Land and Shiratani Unsuikyo, which upon looking up pictures, resembles scenery out of the Avatar movie- so mystical. This one’s got me all antsy pantsy. 🙂
— Onsen (hot spring) that opens up to the beach
Days 6 – 10: Osaka/ Kyoto (home base in Osaka and day trips to Kyoto)
— Couple of shrines, especially Kinkaku-ji (famous golden temple)
— Ride bikes around town and geisha watch
— Arashiyama (bamboo forest)
— Nishiki Market
— Fushimi – Shinto gate and temple
— Maybe Universal Studios in Osaka
— Get back to Tokyo on Day 10
Day 11 – 12: Climb Mt. Fuji (coming from Tokyo)
— Start morning of Day 11 and sleep in a mountain hut that evening until midnight
— Summit Fuji for sunrise Day 12, head back down, and back to Tokyo
Day 13: Depart Tokyo in the evening 🙁
As you can see, our trip is essentially broken out into two big chunks since we wanted to spend enough time in each destination and do everything without feeling rushed. Hopefully, things will go smoothly! My next blog posts will be broken into three parts – Yakushima, Osaka/Kyoto, and Mt. Fuji – in order to give appropriate coverage to each. I am locked, loaded, and ready for adventure!