Monday, 18 May 2015

Guest Blog: Tom & Damo's adventures (Part 1)

Skytree selfie
Hello all!

Just to introduce myself, my name’s Tom and I am Damo's friend from England. We became friends at university in the UK, and now although Damo is living 5713 miles away we still keep in touch!

I have been travelling in Asia the last couple of months including stops in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, all of which I had a fantastic time seeing some amazing things. Whilst I was in Asia I had to take the opportunity to go and see Japan, having never visited before.

I flew into Narita Airport, Tokyo, and was welcomed by Damo and his family. After being treated to a very traditional British beef roast dinner in the evening we made our way the following day on our adventures. First stop was Tokyo, and having only seen pictures of it on television, I was amazed by how busy it was and all the amazingly colourful lights everywhere. We stayed in a capsule hotel (something I think is unique to Japan!) which was a strange experience. We almost felt like cattle, having so many people staying in such a small space. We visited some temples in the city and went to the base of Tokyo Skytree. The evening was filled with good traditional Japanese food and many, many beers!

"Let's nick it!"
After a very hungover morning, we made our way to Tokyo station to get the Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto. I was amazed how quickly they travel and how smooth the ride was. Trains in the UK are slow and always late, so this was a complete contrast! Arriving in Kyoto we picked up a rental car and after attempting to get used to an automatic (in the UK all cars are manual) we made out way around Kyoto. Visits included going to Kiyomizu-dera and Chion-in amongst others.

An okay view from Kiyomizu
On the outskirts of Kyoto we also visited one of the Onsens. This was to be my first of many Onsen visits during my stay. I loved the hot spring water, and after a long hard day visiting Kyoto's sights, was well needed. Sitting outside with a slight cool breeze, but with lovely hot water was the perfect balance.