• Michelle's Monologues

A to Z Travel Blog - Japan

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

Gosh, they say "time flies when you're having fun" I must be having lots! I don't know about you but it just seemed like the other day I posted about Incredible India and now we're almost halfway through November. I must admit I'm running a little behind schedule. Sorry, it's either feast or famine in the world of freelance. You can guess which one it has been of late. Will be back up to speed by Christmas. Sorry, I know... it's the C-word. Last from me on that one till December.

Excited to say hello "Konnichiwa" to the exotic land of Japan. You might be familiar with the movie Lost in Translation or/and Godzilla? I used to love watching the cartoon Godzilla, not realizing until I was completed some research that Godzilla originated in Japan. It was the anniversary of the origin movie on the 3rd of November. Such a great animated cartoon with historical references such as The Lost City of Atlantis. Amazing what inspires you to travel the world!

It was a dream come true when we finally visited a few years back in one of the most beautiful times of the year to celebrate Sakura - Cherry Blossom. This time can vary depending on the weather conditions we managed to see them in late March. No matter what time of year you visit, i'm sure you will have an amazing time.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small about of money to keep the blog running. You get lots of great information, at no extra cost passed to you.

Japanese Cherry Blossom - Prunus serrulata ©MDHarding

A to Z Travel Blog - Japan

There is so much to see and do in Japan, with little time as well as the language barrier we opted for a tour. This took us by bus, bullet train and boat to see the major highlights not to be missed such as The floating Torii Gate, Hiroshima and much more.

Would you like to take a twin holiday to both Beijing and Tokyo? To discover more click here.

Torii Gate, Hatsukaichi, Japan ©MDHarding

Reaching Japan

We travelled with Virgin Airlines from London to Tokyo which took just under 12 hours. There are many airline's to choose from, though I believe that the last Virgin Atlantic flight flew back in 2015 and was taken over by ANA.

Views Across Tokyo ©MDHarding


If you can order your Japanese Yen currency online then you will get a better rate and also save yourself the hefty airport additional handling fee of between £5 - £10 per transaction. The Post Office credit card also offers good exchange rates and charges no fees per transaction. So don't let the bank eat away at your hard-earned cash. Go treat yourself to something delicious!

Japanese Wild Deer Eating a Delicious Guide Book ©MDHarding


There are lots of interesting local savoury and sweet treats to enjoy. Local markets offer a wide selection from fish, meats and something resembling deep-fried custard creams on a stick. Yum!

If you are visiting the active volcanic valley area Owakundani in Hakone, also known as "Jigokudani" meaning "the Valley of Hell". You might like to feast on the local delicacy of black boiled eggs.

Owakudani, Hakone ©MDHarding

What You Need To Pack

Pack comfortable clothes, depending on the time of travel you might need water-resistant ones and don't forget your walking shoes! Can't find what you're looking for? Can highly recommend Craghoppers for all your travel clothes needs and accessories.

Top Tip: Pack light so you can go shopping and buy new technology, crafts and gifts for friends/family.

Top Highlights Not To Be Missed

1. Bullet Train


2. Mount Fuji


3. Geisha Experience


4. Traditional Tea Ceremony


5. Zen Japanese Gardens


6. Ama (lady free divers) Pearl Divers at Mikimoto Island


7. Hiroshima

The A-Bomb Dome is the only remaining structure in central Hiroshima, which predates the atomic blast of 1945.


8. Castle's, Temples & Shrines


9. Ogimachi Village

The UNESCO World Heritage Site's of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama are remote regions in the mountains of Gifuand Toyama. Famous for their solid houses built in the Gasshozukuri architecture style. Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer", as the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. The architectural style developed over many generations and is designed to withstand the large amounts of heavy snow that falls in the region during winter. The roofs, made without nails, provided a large attic space used for cultivating silkworms. Some of the houses date more than 250 years old. You can see the traditional way of life with rice fields, zen gardens and large koi fish.

Shirakawa-go Village ©MDHarding

I hope you have enjoyed reading and inspired to visit. If you are planning on visiting during Cherry Blossom it is not too early to book! A very popular time to travel with visitors and locals alike. As always, would love to hear from you if you have any comments/questions. You can contact me via email click here. Happy Travels:) x

All photographs are copyright ©MDHarding If you would like to licence or use a photograph please email: enquiries@MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

#AtoZTravelBlog #Japan #Sakura #CherryBlossom #Shopping #Nature #ToriiGate #TravelBlog #Travel #Tokyo #Kyoto #GoldenTemple #Hiroshima #PearlDivers #MikimotoIsland #TeaCeremony #GeishaExperience #MountFuji #BulletTrain #MDHardingTravelPhotography

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