Where do I Travel Next?
What do Majority of people have in common when it comes to choosing what to spend their hard earned cash on? After all the bills are payed, the dogs are fed, and more than enough food in the fridge, what else do people spend their hard earned money on? No, it’s not the new Play station 5 with backward compatibility coming out at the end of this year though that sounds like a good alternative! No sir, if you ask a bunch of people what they’re saving up for, more often than not, there will always be a small portion dedicated to TRAVEL. Whether they’re small out of town trips or exciting international getaways, traveling is just an exhilarating part of life and the opportunity should not be passed up. So what better place to go this 2020 than the Land of the Rising Sun; where the food is fresh and delicious and every sight you see has picturesque Instagram photos waiting to be taken and shared with your loved ones( cause we all know that’s why you really went). So jump into our list and let us show you why Japan should be your next travel destination for 2020!
1. Amazing Japanese Food
Of course food is the first thing on the list. In fact, even if it were the only thing, it would still make Japan worth coming to.
Everything you can eat has excellent quality control and freshness you would not find elsewhere. It wouldn’t be uncommon to find yourself having full meals in a convenience store often (hello Family Mart and Lawson). Not only that, as a foreigner, do not be surprised to find all the dishes you normally consume be prepared a bit differently and “Japanized”, as people here have catered Western dishes and adjusted the tastes to their liking (e.g Club Sandwiches, Hamburgers, etc). But remember when in Japan, it is always great to try all the local dishes as well, as who wouldn’t wanna unwind with a glorious bowl of pipping hot ramen on a cold winter night after you have spent the day exploring? I know I would.
Foods to try:
Sushi and Sashimi – Vinegar rice usually topped with raw fish and nori, dipped in a light soy sauce mixed with Wasabi. Widely popular in Japan and one of the more famous delicacies.
Japanese Curry – Famous comfort food that is closely linked to the Indian curry but uses less spices and is said to be more sumptuous and gives an Umami taste. Usually eaten with Deep Fried Pork Cutlet, Deep fried Seafood or Hambagu (Japanese version of hamburger steak).
Ramen – Traditional pulled noodles in a pork bone broth, though broths may differ per area. Several areas in Japan have their own take on making ramen so do not be surprised to find different tasting ramen across the country.
Takoyaki Balls – A ball shaped treat usually eaten as a snack made from a special batter and cooked in a molded pan that is usually filled with vegetables and Tako (Octopus). If ever you’re in Osaka, make sure to drop by Dohtonbori for their famous Takoyaki balls.
2. Great Quality Public Transportation
One thing about Japan that may differ from other countries you may visit in Asia is the Public transportation system. The trains and buses stick to a tight schedule and are almost always on-time, every single day. You will see people from all walks of life on your daily commute from salarymen, tourists, students and other people of different professions. The railway system is connected all over the main cities and will be your most efficient mode of transport while you tour the streets of Tokyo or Osaka. Though it would be wise to avoid rush hour as it tends to be hectic.
Fun Fact: Shinkansen
The Shinkansen aka Bullet Train is a connection of high-speed railway lines in Japan. It spreads across Japan from the southern Kyushu Shinkansen line all the way north to the Hokkaido Shinkansen line. If you want to go to the further regions of Japan, this would be your fastest bet. The Shinkansen goes up to 320 km/h and the experience is said to be very comfortable, people are said to buy bento boxes from little stores at the Shinkansen gates to consume during the ride. How neat!
3. Visit World Famous Shrines
Japan is home to some of the oldest and well-maintained shrines in the world. During peak season, you will see them packed with tourists and locals alike, making offerings and basking in the positive experience they are partaking in. If you want to wish for blessings for the future, this should definitely be a destination for you. Try starting with the Meiji Shrine in Shibuya, Tokyo as it is more accessible for first-timers who are just getting acquainted with the Tokyo area. Just a reminder, proper etiquette should be observed at all times during your visit. Some shrines require you to remove your shoes and hats. While photography is allowed within the premises it is mostly prohibited inside the buildings.
4. The Thrill of Theme parks
If you are a fan of amusement parks and enjoy the experience of visiting different themed ones then you can add this to your itinerary. Here are two of the most famous amusement parks you can visit near Tokyo and Osaka. Just remember to allot a whole day to each of these destinations.
Tokyo houses the famous Tokyo Disneyland, which if you did not already know, is the most famous amusement park chain in the world. You will be able to see street performances at all times of the day, feast on turkey legs as you stroll through the magic kingdom and meet all your favorite Disney characters dance and strut their stuff. That’s not all, every 8:30pm in front of the main castle, a firework display is on show for everyone to enjoy!
Universal Studios Japan (USJ)
In Osaka you will be able to visit Universal Studios, the main counterpart of Tokyo Disneyland. Here you will find attractions like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you will be able to partake in their famous butter beer, be outfitted for your first wand at Ollivanders, buy some chocolate frogs at Honey Dukes and take a photo by Hogwarts Castle itself! And if you aren’t a fan of the Harry Potter series, there are other attractions for you like Despicable me, Snoopy, and Shrek themed rides. If you are a fan of 4D Attractions, they have a Spiderman and Sesame Street themed ones as well.
5. Manga and Anime Fan Culture!
Manga and Anime fans rejoice! You are in the land where all your favorite shows and manga have originated. You will be able to find the merchandise of all your favorite shows all around the place. From toys, to printed shirts and themed merchandise, your options will be endless.
For avid fans: Akihabara
Akihabara is well known for electronic shops and Anime. Also called “electric city”, you will be able to find niche anime shops, all kinds of electronics ranging from cameras to smartphones, and video game shops that sell all the beloved old school and modern Nintendo titles you could ever want. There are even multi-leveled gaming arcades with every video game you can think of. If you ever find yourself in the area, be sure to check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Ariston – omoroi life