We were lucky enough to explore quite a bit of Japan. On this trip, we covered Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Fuji lakes and Takamatsu. Japan has a unique flair that I really admire. It is an exotic place with a style that cannot be found elsewhere. The future and past seem to be somehow blended in a way that just makes the country so desirable. Tokyo held a fast pace and is very spread out, while Kyoto was like a magical old world with a small town feel. You may see girls in kimonos and people holding delicate umbrellas to shield the sun. There were many enticing restaurant options along the river walk and all were so gorgeously designed. I now see why many artists have been inspired by the Japanese. The food was served on delicate plates and arranged so nicely; it was almost difficult to ruin the perfect placement of each piece of sushi. I very much enjoyed the surprise of how each meal would be served and later wandering around the lush gardens and historic temples that this area offered.
Mount Fuji was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I consider myself fairly active, so I thought that this would just be a long hike, but not overly strenuos. I was mistaken… I was the longest hike with many challenges! It was certainly a long way to the top. The incline was steep in many areas and sometimes crowded with tourist groups. In addition, hiking early in the morning to see the sunrise lent to hiking in complete darkness; headlamps were worn and we did the best we could climbing around in the dark. I probably fell three or four times as coordination has never been my strength. While, it was not the most comfortable activity I have ever participated in … It was worth it! We made it to the top, we saw the sunrise and made it all the way down with only a few bruises 😉
Osaka and Kyoto are tied for my favorite areas. Osaka had a distinct elegance and grace about it . The residents were stylish and warm; The restaurants were equally as charming and continued to serve aesthetic looking courses. The streets were so very charming and modern. I could never tire of wandering around this lovely city.
Finally, Takamatsu was the last on our list and the place where we found ourselves back at the airport. It was a sleepy little coastal town. The view that the train ride into town offered was very nice and really unexpected. We travelled over crystal blue water and could see islands in the distance. Japan is definitely a place where I enjoyed spending my time!