Tag Archives: Nikko

Week in Review – Sightseeing in Japan

I haven’t blogged as much I would have liked to these past two weeks. It was a bit of a whirlwind traveling with my parents: up and out rather early each morning to sightsee and taking lots of trains all over to different cities. In under two weeks we managed to visit Tokyo, Nikko, Kyoto, Shimoichi (where my sister lives), Hiroshima/Miyajima and Osaka. Phew! It was a lot, but if you ask my mom she’d say that we didn’t do enough. I had such a fun time seeing different parts, from busy streets of Tokyo to the picturesque island of Miyajima which is inhabited by tons of tame but hungry deer. Traveling with the parents was cool – and not just because we got sweet hotels (well of course that was a perk!) Japan is so different from Europe or other countries that my parents visit, and so it was a learning experience. There really isn’t much English around, most times you’ll find a sign that reads MAP or INFORMATION but then you can’t decipher places or streets because the only English was the title. Also, half the time we had to just guess about the food we were eating. We weren’t always right. Neefs has been a good tour guide, telling us all about the traditions and foods in each area and using her beginner language skills to translate whatever she can. She’s still learning but she still helped out big time! My parents left for home yesterday, even though my mom wanted to stay and backpack. It was fun having the family reunited again – that hasn’t happened for close to two years I think? And Neefs and I are both spending the holidays in home sweet home SoCal too.

Lake Chuzenji in Nikko

Kegon Falls in Nikko

Tokyo skyline

Gion district in Kyoto


Golden Shrine and Imperial Palace in Kyoto


Right about now a plane has just landed carrying one groggy, clueless American boy: Timmy is in the house! Japan, brace yourself. I don’t know how I managed to convince my best friend to fly out and travel with me but it’s happening. It’s his fist time traveling internationally and I’m also clueless about Japan so this should be interesting. We’ll be backpacking together for the 2 weeks that he’s in town – I’m sure I’ll have lots of great stories to report back. :) We’re heading to the island of Kyushu tomorrow! I think, anyway – I still have yet to book tomorrow’s hostel. Goodbye sweet fancy hotels, its back to backpacking for meee!

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Nikko is a beautiful small town a few hours north of Tokyo. It has gorgeous landscapes with huge trees and rolling hills. We did an overnight trip there and spent the afternoon wandering through the World Heritage temples and enjoying the open air. There is also a beautiful lake called Lake Chuzenji where we relaxed for a while and enjoyed the view. Tomorrow, we head to Kyoto – so, so busy! I don’t think I’ve quite adjusted to the time zone here yet because I keep wanting to nap every few hours. But hopefully that’ll change soon, starting tonight where I plan on sleeping for more than 3 hours. Good night!

Lake Chuzenji

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Something Fishy’s Going on Here: The Tokyo Fish Market

What the heck, I’m in Japan? Last week I was in Italy and this morning I was in NYC and now I’m here.

Majorly surreal.

Japan has been very cool so far. What a different type of trip from Europe! I met my parents and sister in Tokyo this past weekend, and we spent a few days checking out the busy streets and exploring beautiful temples in the outskirts of the city. This morning my parents and I woke up at 3am (yes, you read that right) and went to the fish market. A friend of mine just recently told me about a show he watched on tv about it and how interesting it was, so I knew I couldn’t miss it. We got to see GIGANTIC pieces of fish pieces and witness some of the auction. After that, my dad and I stepped into one of the small sushi restaurants next door and had the freshest sushi I have ever had in my life. I’m a fan of eel but this eel was on a whole other level. So soft and delicious, and my dad commented on how it didn’t even have that fishy taste a lot of sushi has. I was very proud of my dad because he does not eat sushi, but there he was next to me eating squid and whatever else I put on his plate for him. Sushi at 6am – now that’s a first!

Tokyo Fish Market - 5:30AM


The freshest unagi I have ever had in my life!


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