If you missed part one of my Japan travel diary, check it out here! Tokyo was an amazing city and we could have totally spent a month there with plenty to do! However, I loved spending a few days in Kyoto for a much needed change of pace. It was incredible to really experience the center of geisha culture and visit all the temples!
The beauty of Gion was astounding and we got the chance to eat at a few tiny but amazing restaurants. I’m talking shoes left at the door and the restaurant holds only 6 people! It was so interesting (and delicious). We also picked up a pastry pretty much every time we passed a bakery (and also a Lawson which is their 7 Eleven but the desserts are so yummy). I could never get enough red bean!
Tenryu-ji Temple, Kyoto. We went for the temple but I got sidetracked by the beautiful gardens first! So many gorgeous flowers and delicately placed shrubbery. A must see!
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. I found this gem on one of my favorite Instagram accounts and it definitely didn’t disappoint! It’s so magical and photos don’t do it justice! To avoid the crowds, I’d recommend going early in the morning. Don’t be afraid of using the trolley or bus systems either! They’re easy once you find on the right one.
Osaka Castle. What a sight! It was so cool to walk up to the castle and look out over the moat and city! We also stopped by the Kit Kat store afterward – so many unique flavors available! This dress is PERFECT for wedding season and is such a steal. Brides, it also comes in white!
Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto. Definitely a must see! So pretty and it’s actually gold when you get up close!
Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto. We hiked through these beautiful tori (hence the messy topknot) right before sunset! If you have the time, definitely go all the way up and you won’t be disappointed!
So excited to share a few glimpses of our recent trip to Japan today! In case you missed my Instagram takeover on @liketoknow.it, you can shop each look beneath the photo and I’ve included a brief note about where it was taken with tips! If you have any questions or would like me to send you my Google Map of saved locations, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
All in all, Japan was one of my favorite trips yet. The food was amazing, the culture was so inspiring, and we had a few friends along for the journey which made it extra special! Japan had been on our list for a while and I’m so glad we went during cherry blossom season. There is nothing quite like experiencing such a beautiful country during this magical time of year! Everyone was out and about, enjoying the flowers (which also meant it was a little difficult to get photos sometimes) but scroll through to see what we got! If you have the opportunity to go, definitely do it.
PS. I’ll be sharing the rest of the photos soon so stay tuned for a special focus on Kyoto and Osaka!
Ueno Park, Tokyo. Tip: try the street food and bring a blanket for a picnic! This exact photo (from various different angles) is on the memory cards of many Japanese strangers too – I felt like a little bit of a celebrity on our trip because people took photos of me wherever we went. Some tried to hide it, some were so blatant about it I couldn’t help but smile. Others made super creepy comments to me after snapping a photo haha! If your tall and blonde, be prepared!
Palace Hotel Tokyo. A short walk from Tokyo Station. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, try T’s Tan Tan inside the train station – it was so delicious we went back twice! Even Matt loved it!
Japanese Ice Ouca. I tried strawberry, kiwi, and sweet potato! Sweet potato was definitely… confusing for lack of a better word! Also, don’t eat the seaweed flakes with the ice cream – they are intended as a palate cleanser and aren’t candied despite the fact they look like it ;)
Tamagotchi Store, Harajuku. I totally squealed when we discovered this gem! Can we say flashback to the 90s? Obviously, I’ve ditched the stretchy Disney matching sets and opted for a much more sophisticated asymmetrical sweater now but I totally geeked out over this!
Takeshita Street, Tokyo. One of my favorite stops on the trip! We went back three times just to admire all the street fashion! Things to try: bubble tea, crepes, huge cotton candy treats, and all the little shops!
Meiji Jingu Stadium, Swallows vs. Tigers game. Surprisingly, this was one of the most fun moments on the trip. It was incredible to see all the traditions the Japanese fans had (and partake in a few along the way). It’s also BYOB and they have so many fun chants you can’t help but sing along!
Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens. Shinjuku was one of our favorite parts of Tokyo especially at night! We went to an owl cafe (we got to pet a baby owl!) and a Japanese pinball arcade (they don’t allow photos or snapchat) both of which blew our minds! We wandered the streets at night and just explored everything we could including cute little alleys, a shop filled with those claw games where you grab a stuffed animal (we didn’t succeed), and drinks at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.
Chigdorigafuchi Moat. A pretty romantic (and comical) experience watching your bae row a boat under the cherry blossom trees, especially when it’s windy!
Louis Vuitton, Ginza. We wandered the streets of Ginza after an early morning trip to the Tsukiji Fish Market. It was still pretty quiet since we were up early but the architecture is so beautiful! Matt made fun of me for wanting to take a photo too (seen here). Typical.
Tokyo Skytree. On a clear day you can see all the way to Mount Fuji but even on a cloudy day, it’s worth the trip up! Do the fast pass to avoid lines as it’s only a few dollars more!
Shibuya Crossing. We watched thousands cross every time the light turned green for about an hour! Such a great place to observe the hustle and bustle as well as wander in and out of the shops!
Meiji Jingu Gardens. We visited the shrine first and then the gardens on our last day when we had a chance! So serene and peaceful!
Prada Store, Aoyama. How cool is this bubble wall? We stopped by Clinton St. Baking Co for a really yummy brunch after a little shopping!