Japan has always been on my bucket list since I was young and enjoyed watching Japanese anime such as Sailor Moon and Mobile SuitGundam Wing. Those shows were a driving motivation for me to get a better understanding of what life was like in a country halfway across the world. I finally saved enough money for a two-week vacation and it was everything we hoped for and more.
My Irish/Croatian husband is conversationally fluent in Japanese while I don’t speak it at all. So everywhere we went, people would be utterly confused or pleasantly surprised to find out that they had an easier time conversing with him instead of me!
My favourite memory was when my husband and I got lost trying to visit the Wazuka tea fields in Kyoto during a day trip from Tokyo. We hopped on the wrong bus line in a rural area and ended up heading toward the hills in the opposite direction of where we needed to go. Despite some language barriers, the locals kindly helped us out and a bus driver even offered to take us back to the transfer station free of charge. Dave and I were so grateful for their assistance and if we hadn’t gotten lost, we wouldn’t have had the chance to interact with the local people in this capacity. Sometimes I get so caught up with making sure everything goes exactly according to plan that incidents like this serve as a little reminder that the point of travel is to learn new things and come to terms with unpredictability. – Amery
Top 3 Tips
1. Head to Ladurée Tokyo Ginza for an elegant afternoon tea for two. If you’re lucky, you can sit in the balcony area which has a great view of the busy streets below. You can watch shoppers go by as you sip your drink and munch on French desserts.
2. Our favourite restaurant was this amazing sushi place called Itamae Sushi Akasaka. Excellent food and the menu items are conveniently listed in English for non-Japanese speaking tourists.
3. If you are on a budget, I highly recommend grabbing a few of your meals at Family Mart, Lawson, or 7-Eleven convenience stores. They have locations on every block and at train station platforms, so you can’t miss them. My husband and I were able to eat a yummy breakfast of rice balls for just $6 USD total! They have other great food options such as pasta and rice entrees as well.