Life has kind of been non-stop these last few days since I got back from Japan. And by “life” I mostly mean “work”. I keep thinking it’d be better if my department manager hadn’t gone on holidays straight after mine (which means I now have to do the things she’d usually do), but it’d probably be reasonably hectic regardless.
I miss being on holidays…
Since I’ve been back, I’ve had at least two dreams (that I can remember) about either going back to Japan, or going back to the snow. I’ve also had a great time telling everyone about my holiday, which has had me constantly thinking, “oh, I should include that in a post on my blog”. If only I had the time to write it all!
I figured, for now, I’d settle with posting an itinerary overview. This was the first time I’ve had to plan a major holiday on my own. I mean, I did travel with a friend, but since the whole thing was my idea in the first place, she was happy to let me do all the planning. That’s putting a lot of trust in my decision-making capabilities…
I reckon it turned out quite alright in the end, though. I did get a fair bit of advice from others who had been to Japan, and I also have a couple of friends who live there, so that was handy too. I kind of understand now why everyone was so happy to give advice about travelling around Japan because I kind of have that feeling too, like I want to pass on all this great stuff I’ve learnt about this great place.
But I digress. Let’s get to this itinerary overview:
- 3/02 (Friday) – Morning flight to Japan via Cairns. Arrived in Tokyo just before 7pm.
- 4/02 – Explored Tokyo
- 5/02 – Flew to Sapporo (mid-day flight)
- 6/02 – Sapporo Snow Festival
- 7/02 – Day trip to Asahikawa, including a visit to Asahiyama Zoo, and the Asahikawa Snow Festival
- 8/02 – Day trip to Otaru, including a visit to the Snow Light Path
- 9/02 – Flew back to Tokyo (mid-day flight)
- 10/02 – Mt Fuji, Aokigahara Forest and Ice Cave tour
- 11/02 – Explored Tokyo
- 12/02 – More Tokyo explorations (it’s a seriously big city)
- 13/02 – Travelled to Kyoto via Shinkansen (bullet train) early in the morning; began exploration of Kyoto
- 14/02 – Visited temples, etc around Kyoto
- 15/02 – Travelled to Hiroshima via Shinkansen (stayed overnight here), and visited the Peace Museum
- 16/02 – Explored Miyajima Island, and returned to Kyoto in the evening
- 17/02 – Travelled to Osaka via Rapid Train (not to be confused with Shinkansen – I feel like I could do at least an entire post about Japan’s trains and stations)
- 18/02 – Spent the day in Osaka before flying back home (8pm flight)
- 19/02 (Sunday) – Arrived back in Brisbane (flew via Cairns again) somewhere around 10am
And that’s basically it in a nutshell.
Highlights for me would definitely be the cities/towns we visited in Hokkaido (Sapporo, Asahikawa and Otaru) because, honestly, that was the primary reason I wanted to go to Japan at all. Our day on Mt Fuji was also amazing; and I’d say Hiroshima and Miyajima Island were highlights too.
But, really, everything was great. And, I suppose, if I had the option to redo it, I’d probably keep it all the same. Well, except that the last two days were kind of random because we were actually meant to fly out on the 17th, but our flight got delayed by 23 hours (more on this in a later post …probably), so we had an extra day for Osaka, but we hadn’t really planned on spending any time there, so neither of us had researched it at all.