New Year, New Country: I’m Going to Japan for 2015!

Everytime I arrive at work, the first thing I see on my screen is the photogenic sight of Chureito Pagoda. It’s standing there in Fujiyoshida with its striking crimson beauty, overlooking a sea of cherry blossoms and the snow-capped Mount Fuji in the distance.

Then I tell myself, “Go earn them coins, Andrew!” and open an excel file.

Well, it looks like I’ll need a new wallpaper soon. In three months time, I’ll be witnessing the very sight that’s been staring back at me whenever I need a quick motivational boost.

Chureito Pagoda, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Chūbu, Japan

[Image Credit: sillygrrrl]

2015 already looks amazing, doesn’t she?

A Brief Look at My Upcoming Japan Itinerary

Day 1-3 (Tokyo)

Few things in Japan are more iconic than the cherry blossoms, and with a visit to both Ueno Park and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo is where we’re pinning our best hope to witness the full bloom.

And then there’s the inevitable sensory overload: the hustle-and-bustle of Shibuya, the bold fashion of Harajuku, the street culture of Yoyogi Park, the upscale shopping paradise of Ginza, and of course, the imposing Tokyo Tower standing proud amidst the neon-lit metropolitan. If time permits, we might squeeze in Gundam Front Tokyo, Fuji Terebi and Rainbow Bridge.

Adding a dash of traditional Tokyo, we have Sensoji Temple and Imperial Palace planned for our Tokyo itinerary as well.

Day 4-5 (Kawaguchiko, Fujiyoshida & Hakone)

This is where we begin the hunt for the elusive Mount Fuji. We’ll start our morning on the picturesque Lake Kawaguchi (our best bet) before moving to Chureito Pagoda (hopefully the cloud stays clear and the sakura is still blooming).

From that point, we’ll head to the Hakone resort town to relax. The next day, we’ll do some of the classic round course involving Hakone Tozan Railway, Hakone Ropeway, Owakudani Hot Spring, Lake Ashinoko Boat Trip and Hakone Shrine.

Day 6-8 (Kyoto)

The cultural capital of Japan has plenty of rich culture and old-school charm to offer. We’re planning to visit the geisha district of Gion, stroll through the Philosopher’s Walk, watch a Samurai Kembu Performance and experience a traditional Tea Ceremony.

Other than that, it’s a string of gorgeous shrines, castles, temples and heritage sites: Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu Dera, Sanjusangendo, Nijo Castle, Kikankuji, Ryoanji, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Shugakuin Imperial Villa, Ginkakuji and Heian Shrine.

Day 9-11 (Osaka)

We have Umeda Sky Building and Osaka Castle in mind, but other than that, not much has been planned for our Osaka itinerary yet. Probably a food hunt around the city, or probably wind down a bit and let Osaka surprise us on its own course.

And that’s the end of the trip.

Looks like there’s a lot of things, and we’re prepared to drop a few things in case if the schedule gets a bit tight. But what do you think?

Any fantastic place that I missed out? Or perhaps any overrated destinations that you wouldn’t recommend to visit?


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ken says:

    Even though this is an old post, I must ask, did you visit the Tokyo Skytree?


    1. Andrew Darwitan says:

      Hi Ken, yep I did visit Tokyo Skytree. It was a good experience. 🙂


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