In 2018 time was right to explore Japan as a tourist, so I began my trip of Tokyo (東京) – Osaka (大阪市) – Kanazawa (金沢市) with a friend of mine.

At first, I had to meet with him since I was traveling from Milan while he was from Zurich; we organized making sure to arrive at the same time in Tokyo in order to be able to optimize our time and be respectful of our timetable. My friend was able to get in Town an hour before my arrival, which gave him time to rent one of those small rooms for a quick nap and take a shower. I was very exited as I was going to play the part of the tourist guide for my friend, being the first time in Japan for him.

Day 1

Since we landed in Tokyo (東京) in the morning, we had plenty of time to get to the hotel, ready ourselves and dwell on one of my classical destination every time I go to Japan: the ronin tomb att the Sengakuji Temple (泉岳寺). I was eager to show the temple to my friend and I was very pleased when I found out he was happy about it.

After the tomb, we headed to Shinjuku (新宿区), in the area near the station, to begin our holiday with a glimpse of the big and technological city of Tokyo (東京).

The Sengakuji Temple in Tokyo
Mordas approaching the ronin tombs
Some ronin tombs
Shinjuku

Day 2

In the morning we visited the Tokyo Tower (東京タワー) where we were able to get to the top and enjoy the beautiful sight of the city below us, then we moved to the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum (新横浜ラーメン博物館) for lunch. Once again, our journey took us back to Tokyo (東京) where we consumed our dinner at the Mouko Tanmen Nakamoto (蒙古タンメン中本 渋谷店) Ramen Restaurant, where I never stop saying that I ate the best ramen ever in my life.

Just before laying down for some well deserved rest, we took a quick peek at the Shibuya (渋谷区) area near the restaurant.

Tokyo from the top of the Tokyo Tower

Day 3

On day 3, we moved to Kamakura (鎌倉市) as my friend expressed the desire to see the the Kōtoku-in (鎌倉大仏殿高徳院) temple where you can find a huge statue of Buddha. We spent the remaining part of day in this area, exploring the surroundings of the temple and relaxing with a wonderful walk inside nature.

At a point, we almost risked of loosing our way as we took a wrong turn during our hiking. We realized soon enough that we were off track, so we turned around, retraced our steps and found the right path, leading us back to the train station where we were able to get back to Tokyo (東京).

Near the Kotoku-in temple

Days 4 & 5

We left Tokyo (東京) behind us and moved to Osaka (大阪市) during the fourth day. After a good night rest, the next morning we traveled to Himeji (姫路市) as we were bound to visit the Himeji Castle (姫路城). As always, the imposing fortress is a beautiful sight to see, with its white walls and its incredible stories, like probably the most famous one about Okiku’s Well and the ghost haunting the keep.

Himeji castle

Days 6 & 7

At the end of the week, we dedicated a couple of days to see Kyoto (京都市); we spent time visiting the Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺), Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺), Higashiyama Jisho-ji (東山慈照寺) temples and journeying trough the city itself.

Kiyomizu-dera

Day 8

On day 8, my friend and I got to Hiroshima (広島市) to see one of the two towns afflicted by the first nuclear bombing in our history; visiting the museum the Japanese people had created for the occasion, it has been a very touching experience for sure.

Standing building in Hiroshima
Mordas in Hiroshima
Hiroshima

Day 9

Our next destination was Nara (奈良市), where I finally could see the deers at a close range. You know what? It’s true! You can approach them and feed them, but be careful, they are going to eat everything they can, including your helpful guide on how to go back to the train station via bus.

Mordas with a friend
Mordas with a friend

Days 11, 12 & 13

During the final days in Japan, my friend and I traveled to Kanazawa (金沢市) and Komatsu (小松市), north-west of Tokyo (東京). There, we were able to visit a couple of more temples and some interesting areas around.

Komatsu
Mordas working in Komatsu

Final day

On the last day, we booked a room at the Narita airport, ready to embark on the flights that would have taken us back to Europe; Milan for me and Zurich for my friend.

In the end, I have great memories of this holiday as I spent a wonderful time in a Country that I have fallen in love with during the past years; thank you again Japan (日本) for gifting me with this wonderful trip in Tokyo (東京) – Osaka (大阪市) – Kanazawa (金沢市)!