English language school in the heart of the Japanese Alps, and English language learners sharing their experiences online. Teachers post regular items about teaching, learning tools, events in the school, their day to day experiences living & working in a foreign country. Students post on whatever takes their fancy - book reports, festivals in home towns, postcards from business trips etc. A little Brit of England in the guts of Japan!
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.