January 2020 Travel
Although early January was plagued with insomnia, I finally cured it just before my 10 day trip to Japan! Japan is soooo expensive. These breakdowns don’t include my flight ($60 to Fukuoka, $200 from Tokyo to Busan), or my JR Rail pass ($280). The only reason I think I could go to this country was because the flights were not very expensive.
I only spent one night in Fukuoka, but I would love to go back. While I think I saw most everything Fukuoka is known for aside from the beach and Yatai stands, I really want to go back. In what would be a continual trend, I generally enjoyed the smaller, lesser known cities of Japan over the more well-known. I already miss the quite zen and traditionalism of the town! Check out my post on Fukuoka!
Hostel: 40,000won ($36USD)
Food: 2000Yen ($18USD)
Shopping: 2000Yen ($18USD) (400yen postcards, 1600 gift for a friend back home)
I was really only in Osaka to stay at the Ritz-Carlton. I got to stay there for free as a gift from my mom who has a lot of hotel points. Thanks mom! I couldn’t really figure out what to do in Osaka, clearly I’m missing something. But I went to Osaka Castle and had a lovely food and sake tasting!
Hotel: Free! Using Hotel points
Food: 600Y ($5.50) Quick cafe break
Activities: $58.50 (Osaka Castle Museum ticket 600Y, Sake and Finger food tasting dinner $52USD)
Transport: 230Yen Bus ($2)
I loved Nara! I originally was not sure about taking time out of my busy schedule to visit. But I’m so glad I did. The only thing I regret is not scheduling more time in this awesome town! Although it’s much smaller than Kyoto, that makes it feel more manageable. Still, I missed a lot of things I’d love to go back to see.
Food: $10 (Maple Bread $1, Fresh Mochi $1, Matcha Tea cafe $8)
Activities: $23 (Deer cookies $1.50, Temple Stamp $2.50, $12 Temple Entrance fees, $7 Garden entrance fee)
Shopping: $23 ($18 Temple Stamp Book, $5 postcards)
I did enjoy Kyoto. But I think you need careful planning and a lot of time in the city to not get overwhelmed. I constantly had to fight myself from rushing through places to get to the next one. And then, much like in Fukuoka, the day I had planned to visit zen temples in Northern Kyoto, it rained. So I just skipped them altogether and wound up hanging out downtown. Which actually worked for the better because I couldn’t stress 😀
Traditional Hotel: $144
Activities: $231 (Tea Fields tour: $114, Late Night Tour Incl. Dinner: $38, Postcard Making: $43, Temple Entrances: $17, Onsen: $25, Garden Entrance $9, Temple Stamps: $10)
Shopping: $44 (Tea $19, Traditional Sweets $25)
Tokyo and I just didn’t click. I often felt like I was wandering without a plan, getting caught up in shopping instead of doing something meaningful. I still did some really fun stuff, I loved the activities I took part in. But the city itself…I didn’t often find myself wandering by something and having to stop to check it out. There weren’t really any surprises? I’m not sure what went wrong. Either way, for the next trip I’m not planning to stop in Tokyo, especially given it’s expensive and uber-crowded.
Activities: Incense Making $70, Borderless Museum Ticket: $30, Oedo Onsen $24, Tea/Alcohol Tasting $55
Shopping: $57 (Postcard: $2, Gifts: $20, Pajamas: $35)
And that was my January 2020 Travel! I hope you got some ideas for your trip 😀
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