As it turned out, not only did my mum decide to come and visit us while we were spending two weeks travelling Japan, but her visit happened to fall on Mother’s Day. Anyone would think she’d planned it that way! Of course, having not seen her in the best part of a year, we wanted to plan something pretty special, and decided we’d treat her to dinner.
This is based on our itinerary for Japan, but with some improvements and bits that we missed due to bad weather / jetlag etc. This two week Japan itinerary gives plenty of time to see the highlights in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima as well as some extra day trips to see even more of what Japan has to offer. Ideally you’ll be able to spend much longer than this, but this is a great two week outline to help you plan your trip.
Japan is well known for its interesting and sometimes unusual culture and our visit didn’t disappoint. From a live action robot show to making sushi, and from exploring the ancient temples of Kyoto to hand feeding tame deer in Nara, there are so many things to do it can be hard to work out what to prioritise fitting into your trip. If you have a couple of weeks to explore these are our all time top 10 things to do in Japan, that will mean you make the most of your time in this amazing country.
Japan is famous for its food culture worldwide and with good reason. From teppanyaki to takoyaki there are an enormous range of dishes to try, from the delicious to the downright strange. Most people have encountered sushi, ramen or Teriyaki, whilst many have heard of the notorious Fugu (pufferfish) – which, if prepared incorrectly, can poison you. There are still many dishes though that are not so well known, some of which turned out to be amongst the best meals we had on our travels.
We’d decided it was essential to block out a day for visiting Nara from Osaka as we knew we wouldn’t have enough to occupy us in the city for the 3 days we had booked there. Not to mention we were desperate to see the thousands of adorable deer that roam free around huge areas of the city! Luckily we weren’t disappointed and had an amazing day exploring one of Japan’s ancient capitals – one of our first glimpses into this history after spending the initial few days of our two weeks in Japan in Tokyo and Osaka.
Bit of a random one as no one I know could accuse me of being green fingered, but turns out we’ve spent time visiting some awesome gardens on our travels and we wanted to share them with you. When we bought our house, one of the top items on the list of ‘must haves’ was a garden.
We were so excited to be able to go to a sushi making class in Osaka, Japan. After starting our cooking class challenge this is definitely the food we were most excited to learn how to cook, and even better my Mum was able to join us when she came out to visit us in Japan for a couple of weeks. Family bonding time and cooking new food all in one evening – what more could you ask for!
Kyoto is the best place to visit if you’re looking for a little slice of Japanese history, away from the skyscrapers and craziness of Tokyo and Osaka. I’d say you need at least 4 days in Kyoto to see the highlights. Our trip was seriously busy but we managed to cram in loads – from temples and tea ceremonies to beautiful gardens and some great restaurants. Prepare yourself now, this post is a long one, you might want to get a cup of tea and get comfy – luckily I’ve included about a million pictures so if you like you can just look at those to get you through to the end 🙂
For most people the images that come to mind when they think of sakura (cherry blossom) season in Japan are probably of blue skies and sunshine, beautiful trees in full bloom and people chilling out in parks enjoying spring picnics. Whilst I’m not here to dash all of your hopes and dreams and we definitely had some incredible days admiring the blossoms, visiting Japan in sakura season isn’t necessarily the experience you might expect.
As I write this, we are 24 hours from arriving in Japan, one of my most anticipated countries on our epic round the world adventure. You see to me, Japan has it all, culture, tradition and bags full of history. The people are thought to be some of the most respectful in the world, the food is awesome and even the technology in the bathroom is second to none. For me though, Japan has always stood out for two main reasons – Samurai and Manga.