Thursday, April 12, 2012

Back From Japan Summary

Our trip to Japan was generally very good. It certainly served its purpose of forgetting everything about Malaysia for 10 days. We ate a lot of different foods, loved visiting the locals' neighbourhoods, and had luck on our side on many occasions including seeing the cherry blossoms. Did many crazy things like being in the middle of a typhoon and cycling in 3°C weather!

We visited 4 towns. Kyoto was best, followed by Kobe, Nara and lastly Osaka. Osaka was not at all to our liking, and we wish we hadn't gone there. The only good thing about Osaka for us, was having found a very cheap folding bicycle there, and getting the brand new iPad3. It also helped that our hotel at Fraser Residences Osaka had a washer & dryer in all rooms, such that I could wash all my clothes before coming home!

Kyoto had it all.
- Super efficient bus transportation
- Very clean city
- Many tourist sites to explore
- Buses & sites & maps are clearly explained in English
- People are more welcoming and used to tourists

Kobe was very interesting. It had mountain areas with plateaus and sheep. A hot springs area (Arima Onsen) to try out onsen. A quaint English town called Kitano, with buildings that look really European, including the home of Sherlock Holmes in Kobe! And best of all, lots of water and piers to make this an all-in-one city. Transportation is new and clean and a city-loop bus that brings you to all the tourist spots. We only had 7 hours here on our second last day, and wish we had spent 2 nights here instead.

Nara was generally good for seeing deers on the grounds of temples. It was a bizarre sight, and great to pet the deers. However, I was surprised that the deers were ever hungry. I expected tourists to buy the 150¥ snack for the deers. Not many do. When one does, get ready for deers to come running at you! We stayed 2 nights at an Eco-Friendly hotel, with hot spring facilities. This was great, we went a total of 4 times. Thumbs up to this town, for trying to be eco-friendly. It was certainly a change from the rest.

Overall, we spent about RM3900 for 10 days, including flight, food, transport, sightseeing and shopping. This amount excludes the iPad3 and folding 20" bicycle which I painstakingly lugged on my shoulder all the way home.

Quote: No one needs a vacation more than the person who just had one.

So please be patient for the details & photos of the trip.

Related posts:
Japan2012: Top 5 Favourite Restaurants in Kyoto - Part 1
Japan2012: Top 5 Favourite Restaurants in Kyoto - Part 2
Review: Super Hotel Lohas JR Nara, Japan
Japan2012: What Did I Buy Back?
Review: Hana Hostel, Kyoto
Japan2012: Kyoto 5D/4N Itinerary - Day 1
Japan2012: Kyoto 5D/4N Itinerary - Day 2
Japan2012: Kyoto 5D/4N Itinerary - Day 3
Japan2012: Kyoto 5D/4N Itinerary - Day 4
Japan2012: Kyoto 5D/4N Itinerary - Day 5
Japan2012: Nara 3D/2N Itinerary - Day 5,6,7
Japan 2012: Osaka 4D/3N Itinerary - Day 7
Japan 2012: Osaka 4D/3N Itinerary - Day 8
Japan 2012: Kobe Day Trip - Day 9 & 10 (Final) 

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