Curious what backpackers do in Japan? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

280 travelers at this place:

  • Day196


    March 15 in Japan

    Die olympischen Winterspiele in Nagano sind mir noch in bester Erinnerung, nicht zuletzt wegen des üblen Sturzes von Hermann Maier, der danach ja zum Erstaunen aller trotzdem noch zwei Goldmedaillen geholt hat.
    Dass ich 20 Jahre später vor dem Starthäuschen der Olympia-Abfahrt stehe und die Piste in Happo one runterkarve, wäre mir nie in den Sinn gekommen. Glücklicherweise habe ich mir in den letzten Jahren ein wenig geografisches Wissen angeeignet, sonst hätte ich das Häuschen wohl nicht gefunden. Ich dachte nämlich lange Zeit, dass Nagano in Spanien liegt. 🙈🙊🙉
    Das Dörfchen Hakuba liegt auf einer Höhe von ca. 800 m ü. M. Der Höchste Lift der 9 Skigebiete rund um Hakuba ist gerade einmal auf 1'831 m ü. M. Schneemangel scheint hier aber ein Fremdwort zu sein. Aktuell liegen immer noch etwa 350 cm auf dem Gipfel.
    Wer hier nach Après-Ski Stimmung, Restaurants zum draussen sitzen & Liegestühlen auf der Piste sucht, wird nicht richtig fündig. Es geht hier primär ums Skifahren. Trotz des Sulzschnees, der sich bei knapp 20 Grad relativ früh am Morgen bemerkbar machte, war die einzige "Outdoor-Bar" im Happo one nicht gerade gut besucht. Vielleicht läuft am Wochenende mehr, aber irgendwie scheint man hier andere Prioritäten zu haben.
    Read more

  • Day197

    Snow Monkeys

    March 16 in Japan

    Gestern noch knapp 20 Grad, heute fielen die Temperaturen fast auf den Gefrierpunkt und es hat dazu noch ein wenig geschneit.... Brrrrrrr.... Für einmal war die Kaltfront nichts Schlechtes, denn um die "Snow Monkeys" zu sehen sollte es schon ein wenig kalt sein. Die letzten Tage war es ihnen nämlich nicht zum Baden zu mute (Konnten wir auf der Webcam verfolgen).
    Wir mieteten ein Auto, um zu den im heissen Onsen badenden Affen zu fahren, die etwa 1.5h von Hakuba entfernt leben. Mit dem ÖV wäre es zu umständlich gewesen dorthin zu gelangen und da wir ja nun seit dem Mario Kart Event unsere japanische Fahrerlaubnis haben, fuhren wir gleich selber ohne geführte Tour dorthin. 👌
    Es war wirklich sehr lustig anzusehen, wie sich die Affen im heissen Bad wärmten und es augenscheinlich sehr genossen. Die Analogie zum Menschen ist teilweise wirklich frappant.
    Was gibts schöneres als sich in einem heissen Onsen von den kalten Temperaturen wieder aufzuwärmen. Zurück in Hakuba, genossen wir dann ebenfalls unseren hoteleigenen Onsen. Einziger unterschied zum Affenonsen, Männer und Frauen werden strikte getrennt, wie es sich in Japan gehört.
    Read more

  • Day7


    March 19 in Japan

    It took us a while to get organised this morning. April and I attended to the washing but then realised that there was no dryer so we had to ask if there was a laundry about. April was given a map with directions and off we all went. Eventually after asking a couple of road workmen we were still unsure as to the location of the allusive launderette. A Japanese man stop and assisted us to a house saying that it was what we wanted so we went in but it was an empty house which we walked through. Luckily we weren't found out and charged with breaking and entering!. Not long after this April found the establishment on the corner. After depositing our clothes we then went in search of a somewhere for brunch . We had a delicious meal at Bruno's and met a couple traveling around like us I think they were from a Scandinavian country. They shows us photos of blossom in Ueno gardens that had just come out. We picked up our dry washing and headed back to our room to consume some pastries on the balcony and workout want to do this afternoon.Read more

  • Day6

    Tokyo Tales

    July 4, 2017 in Japan

    Back on the Bullet Train from Kyoto to the nation’s capital, Tokyo. From the train I caught a glimpse of Mount Fuji shrouded in mist. There was no snow or cherry blossom - it could easily have been Ben Lomond.

    Well, if I thought the other Japanese cities were busy, Tokyo is in a league if its own. What a huge city, teeming with people everywhere. A city of contrasts too, with noise, neon lights, huge concrete and steel buildings, as well as quieter areas with old wooden houses, temples and shrines. A myriad of train lines and subways - and yet everything seems to run on time. People seem smartly dressed, politely waiting in line even during rush hour.

    In my two and a half days here I have seen only a fraction of what is on offer. My hotel is located in the popular Asakusa area, and is adjacent to the magnificent Senso-ji temple which is thronged with people day and night. I visited Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower - the only structure to beat it is Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. It was an exhilarating ride to the top and great views, although a bit overcast. I had a pleasant morning sail down the river to the traditional garden of Hama Rikyu Onshi Teien. I enjoyed more green tea in a lovely tea house in the centre of the small lake. (Their green tea is an acquired taste, Anne - thick and foamy like pea soup).

    I had an interesting free tour of the gargantuan Gotham City style Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building including its impressive Assembly Hall. I had Veritable Vera the Volunteer showing me round (on my own), and she kept laughing and saying how she wanted to see me in a skirt (I assume she meant kilt).

    Most of the rest of the time was spent wandering around Shinjunku - the modern heart of Tokyo. You can find anything you need here (and plenty you don't). There are some crazy things. They have what's known as Maid Cafes where girls in costumes serve food and drink in a cute manner with their voices screeching in high pitched tones. A girl in a candy striped short maid’s outfit and feather duster tried to tempt me in, but I just told her, ‘sorry, hen, but I've already got a cleaner’. There are Butler Cafes too, where buff guys try to tempt the ladies in. (Now, I don't have a butler!). There are even Cat Cafes, offering the chance to spend quality time with up to 50 pussies without the commitment of ownership. The nation is devoted to cartoons, which are prevalent everywhere, and there are even museums dedicated to the culture of Anime and Manga.

    There is a whole range of accommodation available from luxury hotels to capsule hostels. They also have what are known as Love Hotels. Instead of having to spend the whole night, you can rent a room for a ‘Rest Period’. Like Elsie in the song ‘Cabaret’ they rented by the hour. Due to the humidity I was fair wabbit, and felt like going in for a wee lie doon masel!

    There are literally thousands of restaurants and you really are spoiled for choice.

    Well, packing tonight for the long journey home tomorrow (although not as long as the journey to get here). Still pleased that I managed to travel overland (and sea) from Scotland to Japan by public transport - and no flights. I have been on a variety of other transport however - local train, Eurostar, Trans Siberian, tram, bus, subway, marshrutka, ferry, trolley bus and the Bullet Train, as well as Shanks’s pony! It's been the experience of a lifetime, and an adventure I will always treasure. Thanks for following my rambles - it's been great fun!
    Read more

  • Day195

    Tokyo ist ja schon ein wenig verrückt und vorallem spielbegeistert. Da erstaunt es nicht, dass man mit Go Kart's und verkleidet als Mariokart- oder Comicfigur mit 60 km/h durch die Stadt düsen kann.
    Die Firma MariCAR bietet dies an und zusammen mit einem Guide hatten wir 2h lang einen riesigen Spass und konnten Tokyo aus einer ganz anderen Perspektive erleben.
    Damit wir jedoch in unsere Kart's steigen konnten, benötigten wir eine japanische Fahrerlaubnis. Wir mussten zuerst unseren Füherausweis auf japanisch übersetzen lassen; der internationale Führerausweis wird hier nicht akzeptiert. Die ganze Aktion ging erstaunlich schnell und ohne Probleme über die Bühne, da die Dame beim japanischen TCS englisch konnte 👍
    Wenn man an Tokyo denkt, stellt man sich viele Menschen und überlaufene Strassen vor. Das erste trifft mit Sicherheit zu, die Strassen jedoch sind weniger befahren, als in jeder Stadt in der wir bisher waren; alles fährt Metro.
    Wenn ihr also einmal in Tokyo seid, müsst ihr das Mario-Kart-Erlebnis unbedingt einplanen. Es lohnt sich auf alle Fälle und man kommt sich teilweise vor wie ein Filmstar, wenn man an jeder Ampel von hunderten Leuten fotografiert wird. 😎
    Read more

  • Day44

    Tokyo arrival

    April 27, 2017 in Japan

    Made it. If I have one useful piece of information about the Tokyo subway to pass on it's this. It's not like London where trains are tied to lines, so unless you actively change train you will stay on, say, the Northern line. Nope. That confused me and I haven't seen it written anywhere. Luckily a station guard (literally) pushed me onto a train and it went where I needed, through a number of Keikyu Main Line stations to Asakusa Line stations.

    Then it's a short and very pleasant walk from Asukasa station to my hostel. It hadn't looked much on the Google live view thing, but the area has a really nice feel. I'm gonna be ok here 😥

    Just by way of contrast with last week's thunderbox, I now have a heated toilet seat! Which reminds me of the toilets at Hanida airport. They play the sound of running water; to encourage or to mask I know not!

    I'm not exaggerating when I say there must be 300 small restaurants and cafes within 5 minutes walk of where I'm staying. All rather bewildering, but I've found a shop that sells milk and got a hot pork dumpling at the same time, so immediate problems solved!
    Read more

  • Day93

    Shinkansen to Kyoto

    August 21, 2017 in Japan

    Today we took the speedtrain Shinkansen to Kyoto (2,5 hours train ride for 450 Km) incl a smoking room - very nice! Arrived in our very japanese appartment with a private onsen (hot bath, not that you need that with the heat and the humidity but oh well) on the balcony and checked out the neighbourhood. Looking forward to our first night sleeping on the floor...

  • Day45

    Tsukiji Market and Skytree

    April 28, 2017 in Japan

    I had a packed day yesterday. My hostel put on a free walking trip to Tsukiji (fish) Market and surrounding outer markets and local shines and temples in the morning, which was really interesting.
    I found my own way back and stumbled across a little square with a statue to Chirori who became the first certified therapy dog in Japan, and a reflexology installation (pic!).

    In the afternoon I wandered over to Skytree. You get a ticket to the lower viewing deck at 350m, then another to go to 445m if you wish, and from there there's a curved ramp that takes you up to 451.2m. It was only when I got to 445m that I realised there was some sort of anime story going on about a Skytree attack. I'd missed getting stamps at lower levels so couldn't see the film (as far as I could tell!) but the AV displays were fun anyway.

    I noticed I felt just a little queasy much of the time. My couldn't see any movement but my ears must have been able to sense a very slight sway.

    Then the loveliest thing happened. I'd noticed a girl (maybe 14?) casting sideways glances at me. As I sat waiting for sunset she was sitting near me with a man ( her dad?). Suddenly she leaned over and offered me a little bag of fishy snacks - a child's squid snack according to reception at my hostel. Then another, then some crackers and finally some sort of mild sherberty sweets. We couldn't understand a word each other was saying, but it didn't matter. When they left she wished me a hearty goodbye then ran back a couple of minutes later to pat me on the shoulder and hold my hand. Very sweet. I guess she was intrigued by my appearance ( I mean facial features and hair rather than my bedraggled backpacker look!) and encouraged because I was friendly.
    Read more

  • Day51

    Greenery Day

    May 4, 2017 in Japan

    I just about managed a quieter day today; not racing around Tokyo like I'm on a mission, but ambling around my local area discovering little things. That felt better, though following every thought that 'that looks interesting over there' or 'while I'm here I could just ...' does end up tiring too!

    Anyhoo I had a great start as the only person at the Taiko Drum Museum. They have a really interesting collection of drums and other percussion from all over the world, and most you can play. Super cool fun.

    Yesterday I got a tip-off about a local supermarket with a much better range, so I grabbed some bits for a picnic lunch and headed towards Sakurabashi (great x-shaped bridge over the Sumida River) and the parks on both banks. Really that sums it up, but I found some interesting bits and pieces along the way.

    And I had my first drink of coffee in over 20 years (eugh!) all down to walking past a Buddhist temple and ending up in conversation (being a BH they were out on the street greeting people). One lady nipped to buy me a coffee, which was very kind of her, but utterly undrinkable for me, so we watered a bit down - happy all round!
    Read more

  • Day52

    Samurai & Ninja Safari

    May 5, 2017 in Japan

    Yes, really!

    I was offered a free trip this morning by 2 guys drumming up custom for their ... erm... theatrical sightseeing trip around Asakusa. It started off in a normal way, picking out the local sights...then it all went panto!

    There's a wicked ninja warrior creeping round the streets, a brave but slightly dim Samurai, a moon-walking Geisha and other incidental characters played by innocent bystanders. All wrapped up with plenty of slapstick on and off the bus. A complete hoot, and free because they had TV cameras on board and wanted a larger crowd. As it was there were only 7. Brilliant fun 😂Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Japan, Иапониа, Jeupun, Gyapan, ጃፓን, Chapón, Iapan, اليابان, ܝܦܢ, জাপান, Xapón, Nihun, Yaponiya, ژاپون, Япония, Hapon, Японія, जापान, Japang, Zapɔn, རི་པིན་, ᨍᨛᨄ, Япон Улас, Japó, Nĭk-buōng, Япони, Chapan, ᏣᏩᏂᏏ, ژاپۆن, Japonsko, Japòńskô, Ꙗпѡнїꙗ, Japonya, Japańska, ޖަޕާނު, ཇཱ་པཱན།, Dzapan nutome, Ιαπωνία, Japanio, Japón, Jaapan, Japonia, ژاپن, Sapoo, Japani, Japon, J·apon, Gjapon, An tSeapáin, 日本, An Iapan, Hapõ, जपान, જાપાન, Yn Çhapaan, Ngi̍t-pún, Iāpana, יפן, Japanska, Japán, Ճապոնիա, Jepang, ꏝꀪ, Giappone, ᓃᑉᐊᓐ, pongue, იაპონია, Japun, Япон, Njabani, Жапония, ជប៉ុន, ಜಪಾನ್, 일본, Ниппон, Iaponia, Giappon, Giapun, Zapɔ, ປະເທດຍີ່ປຸ່ນ, جاپون, Japonija, Japoneja, Japu, Japāna, Японмастор, Japana, Японий, Nipono, Јапонија, ജപ്പാൻ, Jepun, Ġappun, ဂျပန်, Япония Мастор, Djapan, Xapon, Ji̍t-pún, Japane, Binaʼadaałtzózí Dinéʼiʼ Bikéyah, Japounii, Jaappaan, ଜାପାନ୍, ਜਪਾਨ, Giapon, جپان, جاپان, Japão, Ubuyapani, जपान्, Дьоппуон, Giappuni, Jáhpan, Zapöon, Japuonėjė, ජපානය, Japonska, Iapani, Jabaan, Japoni, Јапан, IJaphani, Japůńijo, ஜப்பான், జపాన్, Japaun, Жопун, ประเทศญี่ปุ่น, Ýaponiýa, Siapani, Siapan, Yapan, Tāpōnē, ياپونىيە, Giapòn, Japonii, Nhật Bản, Yapän, Sapoŋ, Ниxуудин Нутг, IJapani, יאפאן, Orílẹ́ède Japani, Nditbonj, i-Japan

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now