In the words of Bilbo Baggins: “I think I’m quite ready for another adventure.”
I haven’t posted one of these kinds of updates in a while, so it’s really exciting to share the plans for my next trip. And, while I might not be disclosing the itinerary for a multi-month, round-the-world epic, I am thrilled to be sharing my plan for a 15-day journey around Japan.
The problem with becoming an adult and getting a real job is that you suddenly find yourself weighed down by quite a number of commitments. Dropping everything to travel, or even just saving up to travel, stops being quite so easy when you are no longer just ’employed’, but you’ve embarked on a successful career path.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to have a job I love, but that doesn’t stop me wistfully reminiscing about ‘the good old days’ where my time was split between making coffees to make money and travelling around the world. I will forever have itchy feet, so I’m doing my best to seize every opportunity to travel I have, even if I do have to fit things around my holiday day allowance, for now.
Seeing Japan has been a major dream of mine for quite a number of years now, so planning this one has been really exciting. The flights are booked – we managed to get tickets for £450 return – so come September 3rd I’ll be jetting off around the world. I’ve mapped out our planned route to give you an idea of where we’ll be.
The first stop is, rather unsurprisingly, Tokyo. We’ll be staying here for four nights after arriving on the 4th of September. When planning this we were really surprised with how high the quality of hostels seems, so we’ve opted to split our time between pretty looking hostels and a couple of incredible-looking ‘splurge’ hotels. Anyway, the first place we’ve opted for is Emblem Hostel in Tokyo.
Tokyo seems to have loads to offer so three days here should be pretty easy to fill. I’m also considering dragging Oliver along to Disneyland Tokyo. It’s relatively cheap compared to some of the other Disneys and I’d love to see how things are done differently in Japan. I really am a sucker for those Minnie Mouse ears!
After Tokyo, we’re heading to Osaka. We’re staying in a hostel called Bike & Bed for just one night, as we’ve heard there isn’t too much to shout about in Osaka other than Osaka Castle. Part of the reason we’re stopping off there is as a jumping off spot to access our next stop, Koyasan. This is a tiny village in the mountains and here we’re splurging on a traditional ryokan stay. Have you ever seen anything like this incredible hotel we’ve booked?
We’ve got just one night in Koyasan as it’s such a small place and the hotel is pretty steep cost-wise. After this, we’re heading to Himeji and staying one night in a reasonably priced hotel. Here the main draw is definitely Himeji Castle, but we’ve heard good things about the town itself, too.
From Himeji, we move to Hiroshima. We’ve picked a cool hostel in the city centre as a base, and here we’re going to explore the city and head off on a couple of day trips, as we’re staying here for two nights. From Hiroshima, we’re taking a trip onto nearby Itsukushima (also known as Miyajima), an island where we’re indulging in another one-off night of luxury at a pretty stunning hotel.
Next, we’re heading to Kyoto. There seems like so much to do here, plus it’s in a great location for a number of iconic day trips, so we’ve booked three nights here.
From here, we’ve got one night in Nara. You’ll know this place for its infamous deer population!
Our last stop is Hakone. We’ve got one night here before heading to Tokyo airport bright and early the next morning. Here, we’re really just stopping off in an attempt to get a few nice shots of Mout Fuji. After one more night’s sleep, we’re up bright and early to head to Tokyo’s Narita Airport where we’ll be making the 14-hour journey back to the UK.
If anyone has been to Japan or has heard any particularly great things about things to do at any point in our journey please let me know. Just comment below – any recommendations will be much appreciated!