There are so many reasons to visit Japan, here is my top five!
Japan has a rich history filled with culture dating back centuries. Wondering the streets of any of Japan towns you will come across relics from years ago all with legends, myths and stories connected to them. Every town and city has an abundance of temples and shrines, Japan’s history is steeped in religion, and still today locals come to visit these age old sites to worship, even amongst the crowds of tourists.
Japanese food is amazing! From Bento Boxes to Crepes, from Udon to green tea Icecream, all Japanese food is delicious and fresh. Food in Japan can be an art form, windows fronts display what they have on the menu, enticing you inside to try what they have to offer. My favourite places were in some of the back streets where you find yummy, cheap, filling meals made and served quickly. I also loved grabbing quick, on the go meals and snacks, at the seven elevens/family marts. There you can get meals of noodles and even dumplings heated up for you on the spot by the cashier!
Shopping in Japan, in particular Tokyo, will blow you mind! I don’t even like to shop, but just being in a shop in Tokyo is an experience in itself! Japanese shops can go either way, they have conservative stores selling basic “ordinary” styles to the stores that sell quirky, niche items that can only be found in Japan! If you are an anime fan, Japan is the place to find all your merchandise, it’s not necessarily cheaper than at home, but there is more variety and plenty more to choose from. Japan has plenty of good quality second hand stores selling some great, typically Japanese clothing items, in fact Shimo – kitazawa has these types of stores lining the streets, its the place to go to find quality used Japanese clothing and accessories at a great price! My favourite for picking up cheap little souvenirs or other “must have” items was the one yen shops and Daisio! My daughter especially loved the beauty products at Daisio, ( trying to work out what they were was a challenge!) but she found the face masks were amazing!
After all the hustle and bustle of the major cities of Japan, we really needed some time in nature to reboot and “chill out!” Japan has some amazingly beautiful nature areas to explore, some not far away from city centres and some within the city. Amongst the cities in Japan you can always find some green space or parklands, my favourite was in Tokyo, the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden was a very large space smack bang in the middle of the city and the perfect place to relax. But it just outside the cities that you will find mountains to climb, fresh air to breathe and peace and quiet and if you are in Yamanouchi at the end of the trail you will see the Snow Monkeys!
The people of Japan are beautiful, polite, helpful and very respectful. There was a few times we were a little bit lost, and there was only once that someone basically fobbed us off, they obviously didn’t feel confident enough to help. Most of the time the people of Japan were very willing to help, even if they didn’t speak English very well, sometimes they even approached us if we looked a little bewildered! They showed so much respect for everyone, even in the busiest of subways nobody bumped into you in the rush to get to their next destination and they never pushed pass you to get onto a train. They were so polite that I cannot tell you how many times I heard “Arigatou” (thankyou!) off the Japanese people!
So there is my top five reasons to visit Japan!
Have you been to Japan? What is your favourite reasons to visit?
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