I finally got around to writing this post after coming back from Japan over a month ago. Life has been crazy with work and school. But I’m finally graduating and won’t have to worry about that stuff anymore.
For spring break I went on a school trip to Japan. We stayed in Tokyo and Kyoto for the week. This trip was absolutely AMAZING. I fell in love with Japan. I’m so sad how short the trip was. I had a great time and met some really cool people there.
Since it was a school trip majority of our itinerary was planned out.
Travel to JFK airport for our 14-hour flight. It was pretty brutal sitting through that but we finally arrived at Haneda airport and had drivers take us to our hotel. In Tokyo, we stayed in Shinjuku which was great because our hotel was walking distance from all the hotspots. The hotel we stayed in was Hotel My stay Nishi-Shinjuku.
Once we checked in a freshened up we met up with our group coordinator for a group dinner. Sadly I was so tired that I forgot to take a few pictures of the food but our menu consisted of takoyaki, sukiyaki, tamagoyaki.
Our first day in Tokyo started off by going to the Tokyo Station Museum. the exhibit feature architecture designs.
Our second stop was the Tokyo National Museum.
We visited our professors family’s home. they took us to a local shrine and taught us how to pray. Afterward, they took us to a local ramen spot down the street.
After our long day, we headed back to the hotel. We had some free time so my friends and I decided to do some Karaoke, go to an arcade, and roam around the city.
Our tour guide was able to get us tickets into the Ghibli Museum the famous animation studio on in Japan. You’re not allowed to take pictures inside, only the outside.
After the museum, we took a train to the Ginza neighborhood to see the last act of a kabuki theater performance. After the show, we got dinner at a conveyer belt sushi near the Tsukiji fish market. Best sushi I’ve ever had!.
Later that night our tour guide took a few of us to Akihabara which is the popular anime district. We went to an anime store and one of the arcades to play a few games for the night.
we had to wake up super early take the Bullet train to Kyoto. after the two train ride, we arrived at the Kyoto station. Our hotel was conveniently located across the street. We stayed at the Ibis Styles Kyoto hotel.
We had some free time at the station to get lunch and my friend’s and I got Okonomiyaki. which is a savory pancake.
After lunch, we took taxi’s to go visit Kyoko Ibe’s house. She is a Japanese artist who had an exhibit at my university. My professor got in contact with her and asked if we could visit her studio while in Japan. Her home was up in the mountains of Kyoto. She was a sweet woman who showed us how she creates her artwork. She even offered snacks and tea.
After our visit to Kyoko Ibe’s home, we headed back to the hotel for another group dinner. We were given a little free time before dinner so my friends and I stopped into a Daiso and Don Quixote store. If you ever get the chance to visit these two stores, they are great places to buy souvenirs.
We had to get up early and take the subway to Nijio castle. Luckily we did get to see some of the cherry blossoms start to bloom.
After Nijo castle, we headed further into Kyoto to the Gion district and visited a Kenn-Ji Temple. We had free time to get lunch real quick and my friends and I found a place that served curry. After lunch, we headed to a private Tea ceremony performance at Camellia Flowers.
The rest of the night we roamed around Kyoto. I bought a lot of souvenirs and matcha tea. We even saw the festival of lights and fox wedding parade.
Once we got back to the hotel, My friends and I got more conveyer belt sushi and sake inside the Kyoto. We went bar hopping and made friends with some locals.
For our last day in Kyoto, we visited the famous Golden Pavilion temple. I finally got to try Dango which is a sweet Japanese dumpling. We got another round of ramen for lunch.
Our last stop of the day was to Fuji Inari shrine.
Our last day in Japan, we traveled back to Tokyo. and we had a Free day to do whatever we wanted. So my friends and I decided to walk around in Shinjuku. We went to the Observatory deck at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. It has an amazing view of the city. shopped a little at Uniqlo and the Daiso store again for last minute souvenirs.
As we were walking around we stumbled upon this alleyway with a whole bunch of small bars. little did we know that it was called Piss Alley, which is a famous spot for getting a bite to eat. You pick out 3 types of meat and vegetables and the cooks grill it right in front of you.
We had one last group dinner with our group coordinator at a local restaurant near the hotel. To finish off the night my friends and I went bar hopping with some friends we met the night before.
We spent the morning packing our stuff. My Friend and I grabbed breakfast real quick at a local cafe. once we were all packed we headed to the airport for a 12-hour flight back to America.
This was an incredible trip and an amazing opportunity. I love Japan and will try to visit again. I hope you guys enjoyed this post. If you have any questions about traveling to Japan feel free to ask me.
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