We’re back in Japan!!! Third times a charm so they say, and this is the case for this trip. After the disappointment of not being able to go for the Olympics in 2020 and 2021, we finally made it back. Back at the start of the year Kate and I booked our flights assuming we would be able to enter the country imminently. We booked for December as a nice end of year treat. Lucky we waited so long as the borders in Japan only opened late October, but that is fine with us as come December, we were all go!
For this trip we are joined by Madeline, Kate’s sister, which makes a nice change as we get to play tour guides for a couple of weeks, exploring Kyoto and Surrounds, Hakone, and Tokyo. So follow us on this 2 week adventure 🙂
Our Friday was a long day of travel. Flight changes meant we flew over through the day, and then had to try and get through immigration as quick as possible, get our rail passes, and then on a train to Kyoto. There was a chance we would miss the last train, but thankfully (teething issues with their new requirements aside) we got through reasonably smoothly, and made our way to Kyoto.
We arrived at about 10pm, and thankfully we could self check in to our apartment home we had for the week. A gorgeous and spacious traditional style home was waiting for us, which made a lovely change from the small rooms we were used to here in the past. It even had a lovely courtyard for some additional serenity. The night was just winding down after a big day of travel and getting some rest.
Being the early morning person I am, I was up at about 6:30am so headed off for a walk. I wanted to try and secure some tickets for things that I couldn’t do from outside Japan. First was the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, and sadly, I had to be a Japan resident with local mobile phone. Foiled. But I was successful on the second, tickets to a gig in Nagoya for Sunday night. Yassss! Finally I would get to see my current favourite Japanese punk band, Otoboke Beaver! But that will tomorrow’s post.
Once the girls were up, we got ourselves organised and decided to jump on the train to Nara. We thought it would be a fairly relaxing way to settle in, get fresh air and stretch the legs without being too much travel. So we headed back to the station, on the train, and off we went.
Nara is basically wandering to temples and being chased by deer. That makes it sound not that interesting, but it really is a delightful place. It has an air of calm and peace, even when there are hordes of people. Thankfully, not that many there, so our wandering was pretty relaxed.
We did the ‘typical’ circuit visiting the main temples and sights. So here is a bunch of pics of temples, deer, and Japanese maples. Oh, with some food thrown in obviously!
Back in the apartment and I get to finish the night with a boozy version of one of my favourite Japanese sodas. Yassss! Tomorrow a day exploring Kyoto and then off to Nagoya for some rockin’ out.