Japan Vacation Trip Report
Since we didn't get to go on any real vacations in 2012 due to moving,
we decided for 2013 we should go somewhere new, different, and
exciting. We threw out lots of different ideas. Tyler really wanted to
go back to New
but Erin and I wanted to go somewhere new. We had never been to Asia,
so we thought it would be a good place to visit. I've always been
intrigued by Japanese culture and their technology. Once we did a
little bit of research, we found out how much amazing history there was
to see there as well, so we booked tickets for Tyler's spring
break. This was Tyler's 2nd trip out of the country and quite a
bit different than New Zealand. The nice thing about New Zealand
is how similar it is to the US. Except for the long plane ride,
New Zealand is about as easy a foreign country to visit as you can
find. But because of that, it also doesn't really give you a
chance to experience another culture. Japan definitely gave us
this opportunity. From the language barrier, to the cultural
differences, to the crowds, Japan was certainly an experience like none
we have ever had before.
Some of the items we brought with us:
- We saw about 20 flavors of Kit Kats (including Green Tea, Wasabi,
Soy Sauce, Blueberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Cheesecake, Rum Raisin,
Dark, Waffle, Vanilla, Cinnamon Tea), but most of them were limited
edition and super expensive.
- Green Tea Kit Kats are good. Anything else green tea
flavored is awful.
- Other American brands with interesting flavors: Pringles (saw
about 8 of those including Butter, Ketchup, Soup) and Cheetos
- Tyler's favorite flavor of Pringles: Ketchup.
- McDonald's Shaka Shaka chicken is bad, but BK's Hot Snack Chicken
is great. Both were on the 100 Yen menus.
- Don't ever try the Ume sauce with your chicken nuggets at
McDonalds. Seriously, it is awful.
- If you ever go to Japan, you absolutely must go to the basement
of a major department store and check out the food markets. They
are simply amazing. I've never seen such immaculate care put into
every single piece of food displayed.
- The service in Japan is almost universally excellent, from fast
food to hotels, even with though there is no tipping.
- It is hard to find hotel rooms in Japan large enough for a family.
- Japan is way cheaper than most people expect. You can find
good food in the cities for under ¥1000 per person a meal. Nice
hotel rooms can be found for around $175 night in most major cities.
- Don't underestimate the cost of public transportation. You
can easily spend ¥800 per day on subways and trains per person, which
isn't a ton, but adds up quickly over a two week trip.
100 Japanese Yen = ~$1.05 at the time of our visit. Easiest
way to do the math: take 2 zeros off the price and add 5%.
Day 0 - Fort Collins, CO to Tokyo, Japan
Day 1 - Tokyo Skytree, Ryogoku, and Asakusa
Day 2 - Ueno and Akihabara
Day 3 - Mt. Takao and Harajuku to Shibuya
Day 4 - Shinkansen to Osaka and Aquarium
Day 5 - Osaka
Day 6 - Arashiyama and Kinkakuji
Day 7 - Fushimi Inari and Nara
Day 8 - Hiroshima
Day 9 - Kyoto
Day 10 - Shinkansen to Tokyo and Risupia
Day 11 - Odaiba
Day 12 - Sumida River Cruise and Cherry Blossoms
Day 13 - Rainy Day and Flight Home
Food and Souvenirs
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