Despite taking Japanese for four years in high school, I have never once visited the country until this winter. I took full advantage of already being in China and our long winter break and went on a solo trip to Japan. I’ve read so many posts about the importance of solo travelling, as an unforgettable experience and a time to reflect within. Although I did do a lot of self reflection, my favorite part was the freedom to go wherever I wanted whenever I wanted.
I spent a total of ten days in Japan, during which I went to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. I absolutely loved the scenery, the food and the culture Japan provided. I spent three and half days in Tokyo. Even though it was quiet rushed, I was able to hit most of the places I wanted to go (talk about efficiency) with only the Tokyo Tower missing from the list. However, I was able to see it from afar through the free observation deck in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building.
Before going to Tokyo, the one goal I had was to visit a cake buffet. I have a major sweet tooth and cannot resist the temptation of any strawberry shortcakes. During my trip, there were times I forgone actual meals for a cake set. However, even with my love for sweets, I was defeated by the cake buffet. I don’t know how many pounds I gained from this, and to be honest I really don’t want to know. The food, especially dessert, is so amazing. The portions are not huge, so you don’t feel stuffed after eating (but it also means if you’re hungry or have a big appetite, you might spend twice or three times you usually do for food).
Being a New Yorker who are not the nicest people you’ll meet, I was astonished by the politeness and orderliness of Japan. I have never seen people who actually line up on the subway platform as the sign on the ground indicated. I felt extremely rude if I didn’t bow back to the other person, from the convenience store to the restaurant. I also had a mini breakdown because I couldn’t figure out which side do people usually line up (and this changed between cities!). I have also never went to and prayed at so many shrines and temples in such a short amount of time. In conclusion, I will definitely visit Japan again and if the opportunity rises, I want to move there for a couple of years.