Favorite Things To Do In Japan

We knew we were going to Japan for our honeymoon even before we were engaged so finally getting to plan our dream trip was so exciting! I vlogged most of our trip (see the vlogs here) and a lot of you wanted to know our favorite places to go in Japan/Tokyo so I thought I would round up the highlights of our trip (in order)…

  1. Going to a Japanese onsen (hot spring). This was by far my favorite day of the entire trip. Even though I was 19 weeks pregnant, that didn’t stop us from taking a day trip to Hakone and booking a private onsen for two. Although I only stuck my feet/legs in, it was WELL WORTH the trip! This was probably the most expensive thing we did during the entire trip and we didn’t think about the cost once because it was so memorable. Booking a private hot spring is a must to do if you are staying in Tokyo because it allows you to get out of the city for a while and spend some time amongst Japan’s most forested and rural areas where you get to experience a completely different way of life for the Japanese culture. We took what’s called the Romance car (even though it’s a train) to get there from Shinjuku Station and it took a little over an hour.We stayed here and booked the level II room and then explored the town of Hakone before our appointment and browsed the sweetest little shopsjapan-honeymoon-trip-53IMG_3065japan-honeymoon-trip-82. Eating sushi at the Tsukiji fish market. If you’re sushi lovers like Doug and I, you won’t want to miss out on this experience. Although I only had a few pieces of salmon sashimi since I was pregnant, the whole trip to the fish market was incredible! Not to mention it was the best sushi we’ve both ever had in our lives.japan-honeymoon-trip-50japan-honeymoon-trip-513. Attending a Japanese baseball game. Okay, I’m going to admit that at first this wasn’t at the top of my list of things to do on our honeymoon, but since I knew how much Doug loves baseball and the Japanese culture (he’s part Japanese), I knew seeing his face light up at the thought of going to a game was going to be worth it. I put this on my own personal list of favorite things to do not because Doug loved it, but because it was an entirely different experience than I thought it was going to be – in the best way. Getting to see the Japanese people so enthralled in this sport through their chants and team spirit was unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the states!japan-honeymoon-trip-524. Eating the best food. We went to a restaurant right across the street from our hotel for the best ramen of our lives (I got the spicy miso), here for the best curry (I got beef based with regular spice, tonkatsu, and vegetables), and the best sushi was at the Tsukiji fish market! They also had crepe shops on almost every corner, which was surprising to me.Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 3.17.45 PMScreen Shot 2016-08-05 at 3.22.23 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 3.23.54 PM IMG_2889 Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 3.21.50 PM

A few more things about visiting Japan if you’re interested…

If you plan on staying in Tokyo throughout the duration of your visit, be prepared to do A TON of walking. It was a little hard for me since I was in my second trimester, but I powered through as best I could! Seriously though, don’t worry about looking cute each day because the humidity will take all that away in about an hour. I would recommend wearing walking shoes each day instead. This was more of a cultural experience than a vacation I would say. Doug and I aren’t ones to lounge around on a beach sipping margaritas (I reserve those times with friends instead). We prefer to have a true experience of what it’s like to live in another culture and you really get that in Tokyo!japan-honeymoon-trip-4 japan-honeymoon-trip-3 japan-honeymoon-trip-13japan-honeymoon-trip-7japan-honeymoon-trip-16Start dealing with the time difference one day before you leave (16 hours different than CA). Since it took a day for Doug and I to fly there, it meant that we forced ourselves to sleep on the plane so that we would have plenty of energy when we got to Tokyo in the morning so we didn’t waist a day of sight seeing.japan-honeymoon-trip-1The Japanese are the nicest group of people we’ve ever met. I’m not even exaggerating either. Every single person was willing to go above and beyond to help us get somewhere, interpret something, and just generally be excited for us that we were there learning about their culture.japan-honeymoon-trip-18Be prepared to eat very unhealthily. While the Japanese are considered to be some of the healthiest people in the world, their diet is completely different than the western side of the world so for me, it was hard to find any healthy foods to eat. Their diet usually consists of rice (for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), fish/pork/tofu, vegetables, snacks, and a small amount of fruit. We mostly ate pork bowls (guidon), curry dishes, ramen, udon, and sushi while we were there. Fruit was also so expensive. $24 for one bag of grapes and $12 for one single peach! I’m not really sure what the fruit pictured above was…Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 3.18.49 PMMake your hotel the home base for your travels. We chose the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku and LOVED it! The staff were the friendliest we’ve ever encountered and our room and bathroom were perfectly clean and well kept. Although our hotel was perfection, we however wouldn’t recommend staying in Shinjuku if you are traveling with family or if you like a more upscale environment. Shinjuku is home to the busiest railway system in the world and also a red light district, so it gets pretty interesting at night, although we weren’t at all scared for our safety at any time throughout our trip. Next time we would probably stay in Shibuya as it’s home to upscale shops and has a more quieter/cleaner vibe. (Pictured above is the view from our room.)japan-honeymoon-trip-2Learn basic Japanese phrases before coming. The Japanese respect you 100 times more if you make an effort to respect their culture (i.e.: greeting them in Japanese, bowing as a courtesy/saying hello, handing over money with both hands, etc.). They have so many subtle cultural cues that when practiced can get you a far way with any Japanese person. Every time Doug spoke to someone in Japanese they never expected it and their faces lit up with appreciation every time.

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