Three months after my return, I think it’s appropriate to write about my six-week trip in August and September.
And where did my steps take me this time? To Japan, Fiji and Singapore. It wasn’t quite a usual trip. It was a race. The toughest race in the world.
Before I go into all my experiences, thoughts, and tips, I would like to dedicate a few articles to Japan itself, because Japan is a country that incredibly surprised me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to explore all its corners, since my visit to Japan was basically our last training session for the September Eco-Challenge. So this trip was more in the spirit of sports – which was not a bad thing at all.
If I list my ten favorite countries today, Japan would be in this list. And what did I like about it?
I don’t often write about locals because I feel like it all depends on which people you come into contact with. You simply generalize your experience.However, the Japanese totally got me. I have never met such a considerate, polite, conscious and quiet nation. Imagine that you are in downtown of 10 million-people Tokyo, with thousands of people around you. Anywhere else you would be fed up with the noise after two days. But here it’s different. Many cars run on electricity and they honk only when it’s really necessary. When the Japanese talk to each other (or talk on the phone), they almost whisper, or cover their mouths.
I really appreciated this.
There is no need to defend the quality of food. I can’t imagine a place where they could have better sushi than at it’s origin. Whatever I tried was absolutely delicious.
- Nature & Sightseeing
I will write about nature the most, because obviously that’s my kind of a thing. From Fuji to incredible temples and shrines or waterfalls and forests.
This article, as the first of a series of five, includes photos and moments from three locations that did not fit geographically into any of the other articles. Those are Himeji Castle, Shiraito no Taki Waterfalls and Lake Kawaguchi with the iconic Chureito Pagoda.
Himeji Castle is the largest castle in Japan from 1333 and its magnificence is definitely worth a visit. Located in Hyogo Prefecture, you can visit it on the way from Osaka to Okayama. For 600 yen you will get a ticket that will even let you go inside the castle. Do that if you have time, because you’ll find yourself in a beautiful wooden interior, spread over six floors. The monument also belongs to UNESCO, which only proves how exceptional it is.
Chureito Pagoda & Kawaguchi Lake
You probably know these pictures. When you search for Fuji in Google images, you’ll also find the Chureito Pagoda. And what makes it so special? It has a wonderful view of Mt Fuji. Actually, the pagoda itself is beautiful too. And if you are in Japan in the spring, the view is even more spectacular thanks to the blossoming sakuras. Historically, it’s not very significant since it was built in 1963. If you have time, drive around Lake Kawaguchi as well – it offers epic views of Fuji too.
Shiraito no Taki Waterfalls
We discovered these waterfalls by coincidence on the way to Fuji. We arrived in Fujiyoshida in the afternoon, so there was no point in starting the climb this late. So we drove around the mountain and saw the sign to Shiraito Waterfalls. The entrance is 600 yen. The 1-km-long walk will take about an hour to finish and you’ll see several waterfalls on the way.
Alright, now you know how I feel about Japan. Next article will be from Tokyo! 🙂