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April 2019

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Must Stops for Japan

Before I jump into the list of places I think you should visit, please keep in mind this: YOU WILL FEEL LIKE YOU HAVEN’T SEEN ANYTHING AT ALL BY THE TIME YOU LEAVE.

Japan is so big, and has so much stuff to do, you will feel frustration because you won’t be able to tackle everything. We stayed in Japan for 2 weeks and still left feeling like we didn’t even do 20% of what we wanted. I really advice everyone to be patient and understanding. Between train travels, walking and sightseeing you will only be able to do so much.

In our whole stay we went from Tokyo to Mt.Fuji and then went down to Osaka and Kyoto. I’ll be talking about accommodations further on, so keep a look out.

teamLAB Borderless – Honestly, the pictures don’t do it justice. This experience is inside a mall (unexpected) and you have room after room of interactive visuals and activities to experience. You can easily spend 2.5 hours lost in here and you probably won’t see everything. Make sure to try as much as possible, and leave the floating lanterns for last…you will be making a line for that one.

Disney Sea – This amusement park is so worth it! You have rides and views that are unique to Japan only. When looking into parks, I chose this one because every other option just had the same things the US parks have. This one is done amazingly! Everything from decor, how the park flows to rides was so enjoyable. Even better was the $66 entry price. Definitely something worth adding!

Mt. Fuji 4th Station – Although we only got to the 4th station since the 5th was closed due to climate issues, it’s still worth it. You take the bus at the Mt. Fuji station and ride all the way up. You’re greeted by beautiful scenery that’s still covered by a bit of snow. Once you’re up it’s all about getting the right spot for pictures. This is an activity that can be finished in 30 minutes and you’re good to continue with your list of activities. From what I hear, the 5th station has a lot more to do.

Lake Yamanakako – We stopped here on our way back from Mt. Fuji. We exited the bus around station 137 so we could walk the whole lake. At the end of the lakes you have a lot of restaurants so it’s a good way to finish off a day of activities. Plus, you’ll get glimpse of Mt. Fuji that are just amazing.

Osaka Aquarium – It’s gorgeous and you get to see whale sharks! The whole aquarium layout just makes for an easy way to make sure you see everything. The amount of sea life they had in there was just amazing and instructional.

Nara Park – Lets get the whole deer thing out of the way (Nara park is much more than that) I suggest you get the feeding out of the way because it loses it’s appeal pretty quick. The deers tend to get impatient and mean pretty quick. After that, walk over to the big castle in the middle of the park and go behind it. I suggest getting lost in the shrines that are all around the park. The shrines tend to be deserted since the majority of tourist stay in the castle area. Nara park is absolutely beautiful and you can find so many spots if you walk far enough. I’m also attached to this park now, since it’s where I got engaged.

Fushimi-Inari Shrine – The famouse orange column shrine was beautiful but incredibly full when we got there. I suggest getting there around 7 – 8am in order to avoid crowds. I got all the way up to the 6th station (20 minutes before the summit) before giving up, but I still had a beautiful view of Kyoto. When coming down, try to take the back roads if you want to see mini shrines and unpopulated areas. Plus, a coffee shop we found…but more on that later.

Iwatayama Monkey Park – First thing, get here right when the park opens at 9am and you’re in for a 20 minute hike. Once you get up there it’s monkey central! They roam the park freely and keep their distance. You’ll have park rangers all over so you’re in good hands. You can also feed the monkeys from the safety of a house they have up there. It’s such a fun experience!

Bar Mimi – A cool stop for those who like exclusive and small bars with professional and passionate bar tenders. It was an unexpected but amazing experience!

HEP 5 Mall – I’m adding this one so you can see Japan’s fashion in one place. You’ll have so many stores to choose from in different price ranges. This whole mall is pretty big so make sure you check out every spot.

Don Quijote MEGA Store – Um…you just have to come here and check it out yourself. You’ll see EVERYTHING and anything you thought possible.

Honestly there’s still so much more I could add but I had to condense it down to places I spent a lot of time in or had a big impact.

Have any of you been to any of these?