If you want to go to a place where people are so caring, the streets are completely danger-free, and the entire country is a one gigantic family, then Japan is where you should go. When you walk on the sidewalk and look around, you feel so safe and so peaceful. There is hardly ever a sound of honking of cars or an emergency vehicle. Everyone is just going along and doing their own thing in their own life and minding their own business. Japan may be the centre place of major earthquakes, but the place is the most peaceful place I have ever been to. So, now I’m going to share my experience with everyone about one of my best trips of my life.
There are so many things to see in Japan. Nine days aren’t enough if you want to see all of Tokyo and Kyoto. Let’s start with Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. There are two main towers in Tokyo, Tokyo Tower and the Tokyo Skytree. The Tokyo Tower is red and white and it’s base is similar to the one of the Eiffel Tower. According to pictures that I have seen, the tower lights up at night with beautiful golden light. The Tokyo Skytree is taller than the Tokyo Tower and I actually have been there. The tower is 634 metres tall and it has 29 floors. The view from the viewing area is incredible and you see everything in the Tokyo area. When you look out, it seems like the city skyline is endless. The city just never seem to come to an end. Beyond the city, are the mountains and you can almost see all the mountains in Japan, including Mt. Fuji.
Tokyo Disneyland is located just about 30 to 40 minutes away from Tokyo Skytree. Tokyo Disneyland is one of the best attractions of Tokyo. You cannot miss it even though you can take a two hour’s plane ride down to California. But, the experience of Disneyland in Japan is different. The best part of all are the rides and the roller coasters. There are two roller coasters that are really fun and I have been on both of them. One is called Thunder Mountain Roller Coaster. This roller coaster is outside and it has a theme of a diamond mine. I liked this roller coaster since it doesn’t go upside down. The other roller coaster is called Space Mountain. This roller coaster is a ride in pitch black darkness and you have no idea what is coming next while you are riding. This ride has a theme of a galaxy and so when you are riding it, it looks like you are having a ride through the galaxy. I went on this ride two time. It was one of my favourite experiences of Japan! If you like shopping, there is a perfect place in Tokyo called Harajuku. It is the shopping centre of Tokyo. There are so many shops and so many people! I almost became crazy. They have a five story tall shop called Kittyland and a four floor tall Forever 21! It’s the best place to go to for shopping in Tokyo.
On the first night, I stayed in a hotel. After that I stayed at a student’s home who was from my school’s partner school, Tamagawa School. This school is from kindergarten all the way up to university and it is huge. I got a tour of the school and I bet I didn’t even see 10% of it. That’s how big it is. They even have swimming pools there! Anyways, so I stayed at my homestay house for four nights and it was a very unique experience. I learned so many things about Japanese people and their daily life. One thing I learned was that they are really time punchual. Everything needs to be done on time. My family, on the other hand, we are always late and so when I was living with them, it was kind of hard for me to keep up. Another thing I learned was that Japanese people do everything very quickly and so they are able to do so many things in a matter of time.
Let me tell you more about Tamagawa School. This school is also IB like my school(my school’s name is Stratford Hall). IB stands for International Baccalaureate. IB schools have a different curriculum than normal schools do. Anyways, Tamagawa School and University are located in Tokyo and it’s a pretty cool school. This school’s size is huge. I don’t even know how to describe it. There are so many staircases, so many long and short hallways, so many turns, and so many buildings. I could get lost there even with a map. It would take me years to memorize the area. So, Tamagawa has been a partner school with my school for many years and there is an exchange program between both of the schools. Basically, every year, students from their school come to Vancouver and stay for a couple of nights at the campus/camping area in Nanaimo. Then they come to our school and they stay at our school’s students’ homes for four nights. When we go to Japan, we go right away to the students’ homes after one night and stay there for four nights. After that we go to Kyoto and then come back to Tokyo. We stay in Kyoto for two nights and then in Tokyo for the last night before departing back to Canada. Tamagawa School is from kindergarten to university, this is why their school is humongous.
Kyoto is a seven hours drive from Tokyo, but if you go by one of the fastest train in the world, you can get there in two hours. My group and I went on the Shinkansen also known as Bullet Jet that goes 300 km per hour and we reached Kyoto in exactly two hours. The ride on the Shinkansen was way comfortable than a seven hour cramped up bus ride. There was so much leg space and space to walk around. And guess what? A couple of days after my group and I went on the train, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, went on the same train and he was at exactly the same station as we were! That was so cool!
Kyoto is totally the opposite of Tokyo. This city is full of Japanese culture. There are shrines and temples everywhere. Compared to Tokyo which is all modern and urban, Kyoto is very rural. In Kyoto, we stayed in a traditional hotel and we had traditional meals and rooms. In the night, we had to sleep on the floor by putting layers of beddings to make it comfortable. While eating we had to sit on the floor and use chopsticks and I did not know how to use chopsticks. But, by the end I was pretty good with them. In Kyoto, we basically went to just temples and ancient palaces. One really cool place we went was the Kiyomizu Temple. We went there on the last day. I really liked this temple. You could see the entire Kyoto from the temple. It’s so beautiful. Also, there are so many shops on the way down when you are coming back(you have to climb a little to get to the temple, but not that much.). I bought a lot of things there and many gifts. I really liked Kyoto and I think it was kind of better than Tokyo.
If I was asked to describe every single thing about Japan, this blog would be really long and too boring. So, I’m going to stop right here. I really liked Japan and I’m sure that I have good chances of going back there in the future. I hope you will get a chance to go there, too. Thank you!
(The picture above is the Golden Temple in Kyoto)
If you have any questions about my trip, please comment below! And please provide your feedback!:)