Japan was the most amazingly weird place I have ever been. Totally worth the 21 hour solo flight around the world and $4,000 credit card debt that took almost a year to pay off (I underestimated the value of the yen vs. the U.S. dollar- oops). Here is an overview of some random thoughts I jotted down throughout the trip, before I forgot anything.
-Go to the pet stores- they sell monkeys, kangaroos and other exoticness there.
-Ride the Shinkansen (bullet trains that travel up to 186 mph). Recline all the way and enjoy the wi-fi.
-Check out a baseball game. Weird but awesome.
-Watch a game show on TV. I had no idea what they were saying, but they looked so happy that it made me feel happy.
-Sing karaoke!!! Use the tambourines!
-Go to an onsen. Outdoor ones are better. Bring your own towel.
-Eat the pastries and ice cream. Try the crazy flavors (tofu, curry, sesame, sweet potato, wasabi to name a few).
-Eat oni nomi naki.
-Eat at a conveyor sushi place.
-Eat tako yaki from the street vendors (extra great when you’re drunk!)
-Sakuraniku= raw horse meat. Just know that before you order.
-Check out the Don Quixote store. It’s like Wal-Mart on acid. You can buy toilet paper, whiskey and a kangaroo at the same check-out counter.
-Clubs have lockers in them.
-Kids typically speak better English than adults. Ask them for help/directions.
-Shrines and temples on every street
-Go to the monkey park. Take the hike and feed the monkeys at the top. Also a great view of the city.
-Check out the Gion district. Lots of cool temples, shopping, and this is where you could see a real geisha. They come out at night.
-The subway system is mostly hidden/non-existent. Unless you figure out the secret, the bus is the best way to get around.
-Party in Shibuya. Lots of great little bars and clubs.
–Club Womb supposedly has the biggest disco ball in a club, but you’ve gotta like heavy house music to enjoy it.
-Great shopping in Shibuya as well as Harajuku.
–Takeshita Dori: this is where the Harajuku girls hang out. BEST. PEOPLE WATCHING. EVER.
-Omotensando Hills: great street in Harajuku for high end shopping and awesome boutiques (birdbath rings!)
-Don’t bother with the Imperial Palace. Nice gardens, but you can’t even see the palace because there are huge walls around it.
-Check out Nagoya Castle and the park just north of it.
-Shop in Sakae and Aeon for nice stuff and Osu Kannon for cheap souvenirs.
-Takashimaya (in Nagoya Station) also is a great department store. They randomly have the Vivienne Westwood wedding dress that Carrie Bradshaw wore.
-Check out the Osu Kannon Temple. Watch out for the thousands of pigeons who are not afraid to mob humans with food.
-Club id in Sakae- five-stories and ran by an American. His name is Thomas.
-Don’t waste your money at the aquarium at Nagoyako (Nagoya port). The ones in Osaka and Okinawa are supposedly much better.