Tired of Europe or no longer inspired by beach travel? So you've got the right scenario where I'm going to show you an absolute friend a picture of the world - the world of Japan. To be more precise, I have 5 cities of this island state - Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe - waiting for you on my journey. Get inspired by the serene beauty of nature along with Buddhist temples, discover Japan's rich history through historical museums and enjoy the beauty and elegance of a real geisha! There's still a lot of stuff waiting for you in my script. You're gonna love this.) Even better, you'll be able to see Japan from all over the place, exploring the country by car. Convenience, comfort, sluggishness - the main postulates of a car trip.
Well, you flew to Tokyo. Start your journey by visiting one of the coolest Japanese restaurants, which is already in the script. And don't forget to walk around Tokyo!
The most delicious seafood is almost in the heart of the city! Even in the photos they are so appetizing that you want to try ;) And what portions!
We have a long way to go from the capital of Japan to Osaka! That's why we've prepared some of the best places for you to stay on the road. Magnificent landscapes, exquisite Japanese cuisine, hot springs and parks will meet you and leave unforgettable feelings and emotions! It's a great opportunity to see other Japanese cities along the route and then tell your friends about how you've been rounding huge Japan ;)
The cafe attracts with its unique design and modern interior. It's a great place to have a big breakfast before you go. There's wi-fi, they accept cards.
The first point we're staying at is this magical flower park in Yokohama. In addition to the bright blossoming plants, this park offers a breathtaking view of the city and Fujiema. Early in the morning, you can catch the dawn that shimmers in the ocean. Unspeakable beauty! There are many other places near the park that might be interesting. For example, the Shinto temple of Aqatsuma, the Buddhist temple of Chisokuii and others.
Another atmospheric place is the endless beach in Shizuoka. Leave your car nearby and go along the shore, listen to the sounds of noisy waves and dream!
Next stop, juicy steaks! Tender meat with side dishes, spices and marinades is served here, and very high prices justify the quality of dishes. You can pay with a card.
Don't miss the shopping street in Karia. Here you can buy a variety of souvenirs or just wander around the malls - in case you like it! Nearby there are a couple of parks, small lakes, gas stations, several restaurants and cafes.
When you're tired of driving long and sitting in the car in one position, you should relax! Visit the hot spring in Yokkaichi and get back on the road. You can also try a massage, which is a great way to clean up your body.
This restaurant used to be the most popular place in Fushimi, but still retains its traditions - there are always many guests here. Cozy interior, you don't have to wait for food. In the dessert menu there is an interesting dish - Blanc Monge, made with cream and tofu. Reminds me of Panna Cotta. You can book a table, cards accepted.
Our starting point is Osaka City. A port and commercial city with modern architecture and many nightlife facilities, but at the same time with a rich cultural heritage. Tonight, you're going to plunge into this atmosphere completely.)
That's the case when not only are the plates big, but the portions themselves! A delicious breakfast is provided. Tourists like omelette and salads, and there's also deliciously brewed coffee. The cafe is open from Monday to Saturday from 7:30 to 22:00 and on Sunday from 11 to 22.
A huge park with a beautiful lake, you can go for a long walk, visiting every corner. It's very quiet and quiet, there's no fuss. There is a botanical garden and you can even ride horses. During the period of cherry blossoming the whole park is filled with a gentle pink palette and turns into a fairy-tale romantic place from which one does not want to leave.
We start with the historic Osaka Pearl, the castle. Initially, this castle may seem like a huge rich house, rather than a place that was guarded by samurai for many years and underwent numerous threats. The castle was built in 1583. The Japanese ruler and general Toyotomi Hideyoshi honored this castle very much. He made it his residence, and then his son used it. The castle has survived more than one war for power within Japan. Battles were fought between the Tokugawa shogunate and the Toyotomi clan, where Toyotomi was defeated because of fewer troops. The castle has been reconstructed, but it has failed: a fire, a lightning strike. 20 years ago there was another reconstruction, after which the castle looks so powerful and beautiful. Be sure to check out the museum at the castle. There is the story of the great Hideyoshi, the model of the battle for Osaka with the small figures of the troops, as well as the weapons of the samurai and the statue of Hideyoshi. When you leave the museum, take a walk along the park where the castle is located. It's a huge garden of 100 hectares, there's a lot of cherry trees and the air is fresh!
We go to another historic site - the Sumiyoshi-Taishi Shinto sanctuary.
This perfectly sliced steak in the photo is too attractive to try ;) Miyazaki beef as well as other types of meat will be cooked here with you. There's wine and beer. Interesting note: there is a menu for tasting that you will not find in every restaurant. You can book a table in advance, the cards are accepted.
This is the name of the tomb of Emperor Nintoku in Sakai. The tomb was built in the 5th century AD. If you look at it from above, it looks like a keyhole. The tomb mound is 486 meters above sea level, which is higher than the Great Pyramid of Pharaoh Hufus in Egypt or the tomb of the first Qin emperor, Shi Huang. The Nintoku Tomb is the world's largest tomb by area. Entrance to the tomb is prohibited, but you can visit the outside of the tomb, located in front of the double ditch with water. If you just walk through the territory, you can see that the tomb looks like a big mountain.
The next point is the observation deck on one of Japan's tallest buildings. A ride on the elevator to the roof is already breathtaking, because it rushes at an unrealistic speed. Elevator's transparent, you'll see everything! The view of the city is amazing, that during the day, that in the evening - the emotions are the strongest. On the 59th floor there is a cafe where you can relax and enjoy the view of Osaka from the panoramic windows.
At the end of the evening, you can also take a walk in this beautiful park.
We can compare the kitchens by tasting Chinese dinner now. Book a table in advance. And there's plenty of cocktails to suit all tastes, they'll always diversify your evening ;)
Well, it's time to look at Osaka from the entertainment side! Today you'll visit the famous Universal Park, walk down Dotonboree Street and see the American neighborhood of Americamura.
Breakfast at a good cafe near the hotel. Visitors recommend all kinds of coffee, they're magical here. The cafe is open from Monday to Saturday from 7:30 to 22:00. On Sunday the cafe opens later - at 11:00. There are places on the street.
Universal Studios Japan is one of the most popular parks in Japan. There are 4 such parks in all. The park has 9 themed areas, which are dedicated to the famous Hollywood movies made by Universal Studios. 1. "Universal Wonderland: This part of the amusement park is aimed at families with children. 2. Amity Village Entertainment Complex: for lovers of thrills and feelings of fear and adrenaline. 3. "Water World": Battles and competitions in water. 4. "Harry Potter's Magic World is one of the most impressive areas dedicated to our favorite movie! Visitors say that after her visit no parks are more impressive ;) 5. "Jurassic Park are water attractions, and dinosaurs everywhere. 6. "San Francisco: A fire from the movie "The Vortex of Fire." 7. "Minion Park": Remember the cartoon "ugly me"! 8. "New York": rides with all the famous Spider-Man 9. "Hollywood: Here you'll ride the Hollywood Dream - The Ride - Backdrop and Hollywood Dream - The Ride. There are restaurants and shops almost all over the territory, the same thematic ones. The current schedule of the park and prices are published on the site of the park. The rides usually open from 8:30-9:00 and are available until 19:00-22:00. There could be queues.
Without entering the museum itself, you can enjoy an unusual modern building, which, incidentally, has two more floors underground. The museum has exhibits of modern Japanese and international art, photo galleries and sculptures. Photographs aren't allowed, though. There is a film about the life of foreign artists with English subtitles. For connoisseurs of art, it's perfect!
You can dilute your diet with American cuisine or just visit a place where you are better understood in English ;) Visitors note sandwiches, burgers, wings, and especially the helpful staff. There is also a bar with a full range of different cocktails. You can pay with a card. The restaurant is open every day from 11:00 to 23:00
Osaka is considered a popular meeting place for tourists (because it cannot be missed) and locals. Running man is a symbol of Glico, a confectionery brand in Japan that has existed for 80 years. He's turning into a huge neon sign at night. Here tourists always take a lot of photos from different angles, it will be fun to look at it! Or maybe you'll be a member yourself.)
The next attraction is Zutenkaku. She's got an observation deck, too, by the way. Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 9 to 21.
Nayuta bar is a very interesting and even hidden place, small in size, so cozy. Interesting feature - no menu. Just tell me what you wanted to do, you'll get it done without a problem. It's better for those who don't know much about cocktails and worry that the cocktail will not taste good. The bar is open from 17:00 to 3:00. On the way or after the bar, take a walk down Shinsaibashi Street, it's not far away. That's where the American neighborhood of Americamura is. Lots of shops, you can shop.
How can a trip be without this amazing city? Kyoto is the former capital of Japan on Honshu Island and is known for its numerous Buddhist temples, shrines, imperial residences, gardens and parks. Today, you will experience the atmosphere of Kyoto and the famous sights with a great history and magical legends.
One of the most popular take-away shops in Kyoto. Sweets here are at the highest level. Visitors are advised to try original candied beans, for example, or try real Japanese green tea "Senca" or branded mochi. The staff understands English well. Could be short lines. The shop is open from 8:30 to 17:30.
We start with the Eikando temple. It was founded in 853 by Shinju monk and used as a Shingon Temple, but in the 11th century, under the influence of Yokang, the head of the monk, it became a Jeodo-shu Temple. In the temple there are National Treasures of Japan, such as Yamakoshi Amida, and also Buddhist paintings from the Kamakura period (1185-1333). On the very territory of the temple, where you will walk, there is a large number of maples. The colour palette here is fantastic, especially in spring and autumn.
The next famous historical site is the Fushimi Inari Taisa Temple. This is the main sanctuary for the Inari female deities. Inari is responsible for tea, rice, sake and fertility. The sanctuary is located at the foot of the mountain (233 meters above sea level). You have to go through a lot of steps to get in here. On the way you'll see a lot of candy shops (there are famous fortune-telling cookies), as well as small temples located along these steps. Tourists say it takes up to 2 hours to get up, but it's worth it! Almost every temple has a statue of fox chicken. Some foxes have a key to a rice barn in their mouths. Legend has it that they're ways to get into a man through his nails.
Kodai-ji Temple was built in 1605 by a woman named Kitáno-no Mandokoro. She created this temple in memory of her late husband, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After 1789, the temple went through fires, but was able to survive and is now in excellent condition. The Japanese government has classified the Kodai-ji Temple as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. Tea ceremonies are also held here on a regular basis, in which you can take part ;) The entrance costs 600 yen.
The restaurant is located on the 11th floor of Kyoto station, in the area of "The cube". Visitors are delighted with the delicious pork, crispy shrimps in garlic sauce and free dressing for salad, rice and miso. The price corresponds to the quality. You can book a table, payment by card, too. The restaurant is open every day from 11 to 21:30, and on Saturday from 11 to 22.
Kinkaku-ji, or the Golden Pavilion, is aesthetically reflected in the water of Kyokochi and is located among small islands with pine and rock formations. This temple is considered one of the most famous in Kyoto. There is also a small tea house in the blossoming garden. Pleasure is assured! The entrance is 400 yen.
Kiyomizu-dera is a temple ensemble, which includes many buildings such as a prayer hall, pagoda, the main temple, where the goddess Kannon is located, a canopy for the bell, rooms where the sutras are kept, and a horse stall. The whole complex is the national cultural heritage of Japan. The name of the temple translates as "The Temple of Pure Water". The temple is on the UNESCO list. The entrance is 300 yen.
Let's end the evening at a cozy restaurant. Try the plum wine and the chicken vinegar breast. The restaurant is open every day except Tuesday from 13:30 to 22:30.
On this day you will have a rest from Buddhist temples (there will be only two of them) and plunge into the art of Kyoto - national museums. And you are also waiting for two of the most elite and secular blocks of geisha, which must go through each!
One of the most famous museums in Japan. Here you will find a collection of not only Japanese art, but also art from other Asian countries. Half of the exhibits have the status of national treasures of Japan. Many of them used to be kept in the palaces of emperors, ancient temples, residences and private collections. There's also a large archive of antique photo materials. It's also interesting to know if there are any water reservoirs and gardens on the territory. Entrance to the 500 yen museum.
The museum has a lot of trains of different epochs, from the moment of formation of railway transport in Japan to the present day. You can get inside some of the vehicles and see how they work. There's a part of the open-air museum with old locomotives.
To-ji is a temple about 60 meters high. Monthly on the 21st of every month a large flea market called Kobo-san is held on the territory of the temple. He's got a lot of Japanese salespeople coming over. There are handicrafts, antique clothes and furniture, children's toys, plants and food products. The To-ji Temple was founded in 796 by the Emperor to protect the city. In 823 he passed from the influence of the Emperor to the founder of the Buddhist sect Shingon Kobo Daisy. The ceremonial hall contains 21 magnificent images of the mandala, which encode the teachings of the Shingon, and the main hall of the temple is a combination of Chinese, Indian and Japanese architectural styles, and contains statues of healing Buddhas. Input 500 yen.
Between studying the history of Kyoto, we go to this restaurant. Tourists celebrate the condensed milk and red bean paste of mothi, huge portions and very friendly and helpful staff. The restaurant works from 12 to 18 every day. The restaurant is located in the Gion area, the most elite and popular geisha area. So don't rush out, take a walk around the block.
Another place where you can see real geisha in a real kimono, which will entertain you, sing and dance.
Ponto-to is another no less popular geisha neighborhood, and there is also a beautiful park with a cherry blossom.
In the evening you can enjoy a pleasant dinner in this place. The restaurant is open every day except Tuesday from 11:30 to 14:00 and from 18:00 to 22:00. Cards are accepted.
You'll be in two cities today, Nara and Kobe. In Nara you will find wonderful deer, as well as a meeting with the Big Buddha, and in Kobe you will taste the most delicious beef of the kobe.
Shikuem! We start the day with a breakfast in a luxurious historical restaurant at the hotel, focused on French cuisine.
The temple was built in 752 by order of Emperor Shomu, and was to head all the Buddhist temples in Japan. Its main hall, Daibutsuden, is the home of the famous Great Buddha of Nara. The statue, which is 15 meters high, weighs about 25 tons.
After the temple, take a walk through the parkland. The sweetest thing about this place is the deer. You can feed them and pet them, they're not afraid of you at all. The Todai-ji Temple Complex occupies a large part of the northern park. As you pass by, you can see small buildings and structures scattered across the area. The Nandaimon Gate is a large wooden gate with two tall, formidable statues depicting the Queen Guardians of Nio. Two other interesting places there are Hokkedo (Sangatsudo Hall) and Nigatsudo Hall.
Kasuga Taisya is Nara's most famous shrine. The temple was built at the same time as Narah and is dedicated to the god responsible for protecting the city. The temple was reconstructed every 20 years, but then this rule was abolished. There's a meeting room in the temple, you can come in for free. There is also a paid inner zone, where you can get acquainted with the sanctuary rooms. The farthest hall is the main sanctuary. In the forest around the temple there are various small shrines, 12 of which are located along the path, they are dedicated to the 12 gods of luck. The Shinen Mano Botanical Garden is just a short walk from the main temple complex of Kasuga Taisya. It presents about 250 plant species described in Manyoshu, Japan's oldest collection of poems dating back to the Nara period. The temple is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Input 500 yen.
After a walk in the park we climb the mountain, where the deer are also walking. The view of the city is wonderful, and there are fewer tourists than in the previous places. The entrance is paid.
Another ancient Buddhist temple is Kofuku-ji.
Well, it's a delightfully beautiful garden! Photos are insanely inspiring. Getting aesthetic pleasure is ensured :)
Your evening remains free, but that doesn't mean you have to stay in a hotel all this time! We're going to Kobe for the world's most delicious beef Vagyu. You won't regret it! You're also gonna walk around another new town for you. In addition to the delicious beef, the restaurant has a full range of drinks and alcoholic cocktails. Cards are accepted. The restaurant is open every day from 11:30 to 23:00.
From Kobe back to Osaka. That's where the journey ends. In the rest of the time you can walk around the city, and then - the flight!
We're having breakfast at this little cafe, and there's a flight out of Osaka ahead.