Japan’17 – day 5

On the fifth day in Japan we woke up near Mt. Fuji. We climbed up the many steps of the Chureito Pagoda and nothing could really prepare us for the views. Mount fuji and cherry blossoms. What a perfect combination.

Seeing Mt. Fuji on full display, framed by the cherry blossoms is one of those things that one should really have the opportunity to do once in their lifetime. It was dreamlike.

Around lunch time we went back to Tokyo, where we ended up strolling around aimlessly, as we like it.

As I write this, I feel sickened by what happened in Manchester. Kids and teenagers…

When is this going to stop?

Japan’17 – day 4

On the fourth day in Tokyo, we had decided to go and see Mount Fuji. It was supposed to be a day trip but we ended up staying around for the day.

The views around Fujikawaguchiko are breathtakingly beautiful and I’m sure I did not capture that with the camera.

The ryokan we stayed in had great views for the lake, and it was wonderful to relax after so many hours inside trains, and being squashed by tourists. I wanted to take the opportunity of staying at a ryokan with an onsen to try it out, but unfortunately, tattoos were forbidden, which was a shame. I guess I have to save that for another time, for another onsen.

It’s thursday already! Weeks are flying by and I can’t wait for July.

Japan’17 – day 3

This last weekend was… overwhelming. Everything happened.

On our third day in Japan, we had a rough night with L. She was throwing up every couple of hours throughout the night, and it was quite overpowering. We didn’t know what to do except try to make her feel comfortable, as best as possible, to the best of our ability, and it was also a bit scary. However, the next day she was back to herself.
We stuck to the neighbourhood, just in case.

While exploring around, aimlessly, we encountered a suburban Tokyo that we didn’t know before. It felt a little bit different, calm, relaxed and almost familiar, in a way.

Have a great week!

Japan’17 – day 1 & 2

On the 12th of April we flew back to Japan.

Travelling by plane with a 1 year old is no easy task, but travelling by plane for 11 straight hours, is daunting. However, the kid is a champ, and everything went smoothly, despite the lack of proper sleep.

As we were on the train to Tokyo, I could already see the cherry blossoms all around, and it was such a beautiful view — we were arriving in Tokyo by the end of the cherry blossom season, so we thought that we were not going to be able to see a lot of them.

Everything was a bit overwhelming that day/night. There were so many emotions flowing around. And we were back in Harajuku, our neighbourhood. Our Airbnb was super close to the station, and that was extremely convenient, specially this time around.

After leaving our stuff at home, we walked around Takeshita street and the neighbourhood for a bit, determined to enjoy every single second of this trip.

After a good night sleep, without any agenda, we walked around the city. We went to Shinjuku Gyoen National Park, which was still full of cherry blossoms and so so beautiful.

It felt like a dream to be there.

It’s no secret that Japanese try to perfect everything they do, so I expected to see a lot of decor, allusive to the cherry blossoms, but I was completely mesmerised by the way they celebrate it. Even our airplane had sakura related stickers all over on the inside! And the displays of shops and restaurants everywhere were so well decorated with branches of sakura trees or stickers, everything beautifully arranged… It was such a sight.

I’m so lucky to have been able to see all this.

Hope you have a great week!

Kamakura and Kyoto.

Last time we were in kamakura we ended up not taking a look at the great buddha, so this time we couldn’t miss it. 

After Kamakura we stopped in Yokohama for a nice light dinner. It was amazing to see how much it had grown since we were last there back in 2013. 

We then hopped on another train to Kyoto. We had to come back. However, we were surprised to see just how touristy this city has become. It is packed nearly everywhere, and it’s frankly a bit disappointed. We are “used to” a quiet Kyoto, with nearly nothing but locals, specially after night time, and we have found none of that. It is true that this is a busy tourist time, around spring, and that Kyoto, being smaller than Tokyo, you are bound to find more foreigners…but still. 

Now don’t get me wrong, it is still beautiful, and the memories made here will never fade away. 

Fuji-san and Kappa street.

It’s been amazing to be back in Japan. To see the cherry blossoms has been a dream come true for me. Other than that, we have found a Japan that we didn’t know yet: one where eight people out of ten says our daughter is kawaii (cute), actively saying it out loud and even stopping to talk to her. However, we were also politely invited out of a restaurant when we walked in with her in the stroller – it remains to be discovered if because of the stroller or the baby in it… 

We took the train to get to lake Kawaguchiko, one very near Mount Fuji. Seeing Mt. Fuji for the first time was absolutely incredible. Everybody knows mountains are big, but I had never seen something this big. Fuji-san is massive. Incredibly powerful looking, and it’s no wonder the Japanese consider it sacred – I think it has to do with the eruptions that occurred before and people thought it was a god’s doing (Asama, I think? – too lazy to check now). 

There are a lot of tourists around here now, something else we hadn’t really experienced before, and there were a lot of them in one of the last trains we took. It was a bad experience, that one. Too hot, too crowded, too long. So we ended up staying at one of the ryokans next to the lake for the night. The next day we explored around and climbed up to Chureito pagoda, to have a full view of Fuji-san. With the cherry trees and the mountains views…it was mesmerizing. 

Today we went back to Asakusa and Kappabashi dori. We walked a whole lot, but we saw many things we missed the other times and we walked the old streets of Tokyo around these neighborhoods that are just so heart filling.

Hope you’re having a great week! 

Back in Harajuku.

Last time I was in Tokyo, leaving the city, I had a gut feeling that we wouldn’t be back by ourselves… and here we are, with a baby in the stroller, back in Harajuku. 

It’s been amazing to be back and seeing the cherry blossoms. For such a long time I watched anime and wondered how beautiful all those sakura’s petals falling like snow all around would look like. 

The cherry blossoms’ season is gone, that’s why it’s so beautiful and special, but there are still a lot of cherry trees around that have flowers, and it’s just gorgeous! 

We don’t have a lot of time, so we’re trying to enjoy it the best possible way.

Have fun!