Japan is one of the dream destinations for many people including me. I have been reading and watching Japanese cartoon since I was young and I do love Japanese food and products.
In the past, for Thais, we needed to apply for visa when going to Japan. Well, few years ago the rule has been changed. No visa required, if we stay in Japan less than 15 days. So, more and more Thais go to Japan for vacation.
May 2018 was my first time visiting Japan. I have been to Osaka and Kyoto. I chose these two cities instead of Tokyo because I do not like the capital cities much. From my experience, I live in Bangkok, a capital city of Thailand and have been visiting to many capital cities. I found out that most of them are full with people and are chaotic. I wanted my vacation to be relaxing and stress-free.
I myself like to travel on my own. However, this trip I intended to take my mom with me and decided to buy a tour package. Of course, it was less adventure, but it was more comfortable. The bus took us to everywhere and I did not do research and prepare much.
I have been there for 5 days 4 nights. The first day was nothing because we arrived at late night. The weather was nice for the following three days. The temperature was about 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Well, on the last day, it rained heavily. Here is the list of places that I have visited. Some places were nice as expected, while some were not.
Takayama is a mountain city in Gifu Prefecture. The streets that are full of traditional wooden houses attract me to chose the package tour that has Takayama in the itinerary. We visited Takayama on the second day of our holiday.
Shirakawago is a historic village which was registered as Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1995. After visiting Takayama, the bus took us to Shirakawago. The signature of this village is farmhouses which are known as Gassho-zukuri architectural style. The cute houses with big green mountains behind made this village charming.
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
On the third day, the first place we visited was Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto. The forest was not beautiful like I expected (the photos that I have seen on the internet were more beautiful). I did like Togetsukyo Bridge, the classic symbol of this area, and its surroundings more.
Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Pavilion)
Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Pavilion) is a Zen Buddhist Temple in Kyoto. This place was really crowded when I was there. Everyone is trying to take photos with the pavilion. What impressed me was the officer who told us the way to walk to the pavilion; he told us in Thai language. Wow!
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Then, the bus took us to Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. We walked for a while from the car park to the shrine. The highlight of the shrine is the rows of torii gates. I had seen a mini version of the torii gates as a souvenir many times. However, I was amazed when seeing the real ones.
Kuromon Ichiba Market
The fourth day of the trip is a free day which is the day that the guide would not take care us and we can go anywhere we want. I chose to spend time at Kuromon Ichiba Market, the food market in Osaka. My intention was to try the fresh food there and it did not disappoint me!
Shinsaibashi and Dotonburi
After filling my stomach with good food, It was time to go shopping at Shinsaibashi and Dotonburi. I was not sure for list of what to buy in Japan for you guys was, but for me and other Thais it would, of course, be cosmetics and snacks. If you happen to be in Bangkok and have a chance to visit a supermarket, you would definitely see many of products from Japan. Thais like Japan and its products. Besides, what I definitely would not miss is to check out the stationery shops there.
The last day, the guide took us to Todaiji Temple and Nara Park. But since it was raining heavily, we decided to stay on the bus. That’s all for my first trip to Japan.