Introduction and Conclusion

Mt. Fuji as seen from Hakone in 2011 and included since this post needs a photo
A summary of our 2012 trip to Japan

I'd  like to first say a big thank you to everyone who has been reading my entries on our trip to Japan! 

This is the final post and is intended to be both an introduction for people reading for the first time and a conclusion for everyone else.

In 2012 my girlfriend and I spent three a very enjoyable weeks travelling around Japan. When we got back I thought that I'd write a little summary of our adventures and somehow spent the next five months writing a detailed account of every little thing we did while over there.

Since I wasn't intending to write anything while we were travelling, I didn't always take the best photo's and trying to remember what we did and the order we did it was often pretty challenging.

When we were planning our trip we made great use of other peoples travel blogs since they often contained locations and information that was not available anywhere else and so were an invaluable resource. After writing about all our experiences I now appreciate what a massive amount of work it is and I really hope that someone will find the information contained within this blog useful.

I also hope to highlight how fun and rewarding a self guided tour around Japan can be and encourage everyone to go on a trip over there! You'll definitely have heaps of fun!

Also, please feel free to leave a comment!

I really enjoy reading them and learning that that automated robots are not the only entities visiting this blog*, I'll make sure to treasure and reply to each and every comment I get.

Please be sure to let me know if I've made any mistakes and if you have any questions about Japan, Japanese or the places we've travelled to, please be sure to ask and I'll definitely answer you to the best of my abilities.

A massive thank you to all those that already have said something!

If it wasn't for such comments I probably would not have been able to finish.

Our next trip to Japan in booked to start on Saturday 11 May 2013 and with that date looming we're now doing everything we can to prepare!

The following in a brief summary of each day of our trip with a link to the main post.

This is an overview of the preparation we did for our trip, where we went and what we brought with us.

We arrived at Narita Airport at night, got our rail pass sorted and caught the Narita Express to our hotel in Tokyo.
Early this morning we caught a shinkansen north to Sendai and then made a day trip out to the pine tree covered islands of Matsushima bay. 

Today's day trip was out to the mountainside temple of Yamadera. When we returned we spent some time looking around central Sendai.

Leaving Sendai, we caught another shinkansen north to Aomori. In the morning we visited the Aomori museum of Art and in the afternoon we travelled out to the nearby castle town of Hirosaki.

Today we travelled to the remote Shimokita peninsula and visited Osorezan, which is one of the three most sacred places in Japan and is believed to be the entrance to the Buddhist afterlife. In the afternoon we visited the Aomori float museum which houses floats from the famous Nebuta festival.

This morning we caught a train under the ocean through the Seiken Tunnel to Hakodate in Hokkaido. We visited Goryokaku Fort, had some delicious cheesecake and caramel, had a look around a preserved western style district before ending the day with one of Japanese three best night views at Mt Hakodate.

Today we caught another train all the way up north to Sapporo where we visited the Shiroi Koibito biscuit/chocolate factory, Odori Park, the Sapporo TV tower and the Sapporo clock tower.
This morning we travelled back down south to the hot spring town on Noboribetsu where we saw some sulphurous hydrothermal vents, had a foot bath as well as some delicious ice cream. We then returned to Sapporo and spent the rest of the day enjoying views of the city from the tallest building, a nearby mountain and a Ferris wheel.
We used our last day in Sapporo to ride around Moerenuma park on bicycles before visiting the 100th anniversary memorial park. In the evening we caught a flight down to Osaka.

Early in the morning we caught a train down to Okayama and then travelled out to the island of Naoshima which is famous for it's many modern art installations. In the evening we had a little bit of a look around Okayama.

Today we caught a train down to Onomichi and hired some bicycles and caught a ferry to Setoda. At Setoda we had a look at the Kosanji temple and then used our hired bikes to ride for about 50km along the Shimanami Kaido to Imabarai in Shikoku.
We finally had a look at some of the attractions in Okayama today and visited the Korakuen garden as well as Okayama Castle. We then travelled to Kobe and went on a tour up one of the support pillars of the longest suspension bridge in the world, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. In the evening we visited Meriken Park and Harbour land.

We started today with a visit to the giant outdoor robot statue Tesujin, which at eighteen meters tall is one of the largest in Japan. After the giant robot we then went to the Sorakuen garden near our hotel before getting a ropeway up the herb garden at the top of the Mt. Rokko mountain range. We walked down the mountain through the herb garden and stopped off at the Nunobiki waterfall near the base. In the evening we caught a cable car up Mount Rokko and enjoyed a night view of Kobe and the Kansai region.

Today we caught an early train all the way up to Tokyo where we visited Sunshine city and Otome road in Ikebukuro. We also had a look at Tokkyu hands, Harajuku and shibuya.
This was our last day on the rail pass and we used it to travel all the way to Nagano prefecture where we saw the hot spring bathing monkeys at the Jigokudani monkey park. In the afternoon we visited the Washinomiya Shine in Kuki, Saitama.

We spent today shopping at Nakano Broadway and Akihabara where I brought a large amount of cheap good condition second hand manga at various Mandarake stores.

Today we travelled out to Yokohama and went to the Zoorasia zoo. We then went to Minato Mirai and rode a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, visited the Cup Noodle Museum and went to the top of the Landmark tower, which is the tallest building in Japan. In the evening we walked to the end of the Osanbashi Pier before returning to Tokyo.

This morning we travelled down to the historical coastal capital of Kamakura. We first explored the often overlooked Taya Caves near Ofuna station before continuing to Kita-Kamakura and visiting Kenchoji and Engakuji temples. We then caught two trains to Hase station and visited the famous giant bronze Buddha of Kamakura as well as Hasedera temple. After Hasedera we caught the Edoden train to Kamakura and walked down to the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine, before returning to Tokyo in the early evening.

This was our last day in Japan and we used it to visit the Tokyo Sky tree, which at 634m tall is the second tallest structure in the world and nearly double the height of Tokyo Tower, which it was built to replace. In the afternoon we caught a train to Chiba twice and then hopped on our plane to fly back to Australia.

We landed back in Australia at the Gold Coast airport passed through customs and caught a train home.

*Don't feel left out though bots, I really do appreciate the work you do getting this website indexed in search engines.


  1. Jealous. Your first trip was great. We were there about the same time, I did a blog, http://domsergenihonmania.blogspot.com.au/ on my iPhone. Got too tired to finish it. Looking forward to going again and again.

  2. Thank you very much!! Especially for taking the time to leave a comment.

    It was actually our second trip though- our first trip was in December 2011. Just got back from our third trip a few weeks ago and am working on some posts for that trip too.

    I had a look at your blog and enjoyed reading it! How did you get into a cockpit in 2011?!

    It's very exhausting writing isn't it? I couldn't imagine having enough time to write a blog while travelling. I don't even have time to take note or anything.

    I can't wait to go again either!

    So much fun, so much to do!