Japan Adventures

Thursday, 17 November 2016
Hi guys! So something pretty crazy happened a couple of months ago-my family won a trip to Japan! We had a limited time that we could take the trip so we went at the start of October. After all the fun (ha) of exams in the last few weeks, the trip feels years ago already! However I have some lovely photos that I thought it was about time I shared. I hope you enjoy this little glimpse of what we got up to! 

The flight from Cairns to Osaka was about 7 and a half hours, and we arrived fairly late in the evening. This view was something pretty special to wake up to on the first morning! We stayed at the Parkfront Hotel which is right next to the entrance to Universal which was pretty exciting, to say the least. Our first day was spent attempting to navigate the train system despite speaking absolutely no Japanese and exploring the Osaka Castle. We did pretty well finding our way around, and I really enjoyed the Osaka Castle despite the crowds and heat, which took some getting used to. I'm a huge history fan and would totally recommend getting an audio guide, as there was very little English translation on the displays inside and I was a bit disappointed not to learn more about the story of the castle!

The second day we went to Universal Studios- I have a seperate post about it up already which you can read here if you missed it. It was my very first theme park experience and I had the most amazing time- Harry Potter World was definitely the highlight for me!

After spending a few days in the city we got the train out to the country, to an area called the Wakayama Prefecture. Here we had three incredible days of walking, staying in traditional accomodation and exploring the cutest little towns. We walked a couple of sections of the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route which was absolutely stunning. The track mostly went through the hills and forest between small rural towns and featured lots of shrines and sacred sites. I felt so privileged to be walking in the footsteps of so many people who had walked the same route for hundreds of years beforehand, it was such a special experience! It was very hot and humid though so we worked up a sweat with all that walking! 

One of my favourite places was the Hongu Taisha Shrine, it was such a peaceful and lovely spot! We walked an hour and a half over a hill on a small section of the Kumano Kodo to reach this- the picture really doesn't do the size of it justice, it was absolutely incredible!

After our time in rural Japan, we spent the day travelling back to Osaka by train. Our flight home was the next evening so we spent our last day adventuring to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and gorgeous gardens in Kyoto. It took me a lot of effort to take this photo as there were so many people walking past it was near impossible to get a photo without people in it! The gardens were stunning as the leaves were just starting to turn colour for Autumn. The gardens were immaculately looked after and so beautiful even when shared with lots of other people! 

After all this exploration it was time to fly home and go back to reality! Sadly this meant I had to part from my family again and travel back to uni for the last few weeks of my semester and exams. At least I got to go back with some incredible memories to treasure!

This trip has given me just a tiny taste of Japan and I now want to go back and explore properly as soon as I can! Have you been to Japan? Where were your favourite places to travel to?
Kate x