Monday, November 21, 2022

Japan Road Trip 2022: Arrival in Japan

Traveling to Japan from Bosnia and Herzegovina takes some time, but it's not as complicated as I thought it would be. It only takes one layover in Istanbul and in a "short" 15 hours travel time you are there. There is a lot to do before you get there though. Japan has only recently gotten out of lockdown so everybody is still very cautious over there. It wouldn't stop me from enjoying my time there. The trip was a big undertaking with many stops and relied all on public transportation. Fortunately public transport in Japan is the best in the world. Everything runs smoothly and on time. Something that I would grow to love about this country. 

This post is part of a multi-part travel series from Japan.
For the other parts click here
.

We arrived and Hanada Airport, and got our 14-day Japan Rail Pass. It's a essential tool when traveling through the country. With the pass you can use various JR lines (Japan Railway), shinkansen trains (bullet trains), the Tokyo Monorail as well as the Miyajima ferry (which I will talk about later in this travel series).


After the long flight it was time to head to the first hotel, which was the APA hotel close to Haneda Aiport. There was so much adrenalin going through my body that sleeping right away was not an option. We went for dinner first in a small 24h chain restaurant. Everything was so delicious. We also browsed a little convenience store. So many colors, products and unique packaging. I was flabbergasted.


Only the next morning, when I woke up, did I realize that we were situated in a very cute little alley. Japan is very safe, so the thought of back alleys and streets is not a alarm raising one. I remember the sunrise very well. It was a glorious sight. At 6 in the morning the sun came out and I immediately knew why Japan was known as the country of the rising sun.


The breakfast in the hotel is sweet bread with chocolate running through it. It would be the first in a line of many sweet breakfasts. Even the food I wouldn't consider sweet, like eggs, were very sweet in Japan. We had to get used to that. The road kept calling and we took the train to Shinagawa Station in Tokyo. We planed to leave Tokyo immediately and go on our road trip, which would ultimately lead us back to Tokyo for the last stretch of our travels. So I only got a brief glimpse of Tokyo from the train while we were making out way to the first bullet train journey!



We boarded the Shinkansen train to Odawara. It was a great experience. The bullet trains are really fast. As we raced through the country, so did my thoughts. Only yesterday I was in my home and now I'm at the far east of the world in a train taking me to destinations unknown to me. This was my first big road trip since the 2018's Pacific Northwest trip. It was all very exciting.

At Odawara station a sweet older lady helped us get the right local bus to Hakone, which was the first main stay of our journey. The bus ride took 50 minutes, as we arrived to the Green Plaza Hotel in Hakone. It was a onsen hotel with traditional ryokan rooms that have tatami mats as flooring. The hotel was really beautiful. Though we didn't want to spend too much on accommodation we really went all out here.

So we arrived in Hakone, right in the foothills of Mounain Fuji and the amazing Ashi Lake. Before the sun set we went to the lake and nearby forest and I will bring you more sights and stories from there in the next part!


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22 comments:

  1. Mersad This trip already looks amazing and yes it is a very different culture than you are used to but just embrace it. Thanks for hosting and I hope you have a great week ahead

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    1. Thanks for visiting. Yes, we embraced Japanese culture with open arms and it was so easy to do actually.

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  2. Interesting picture of you--- It must have been a wonderful trip! I'm looking forward to more.

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    1. Thanks Bill. It was unlike anything I had visited before.

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  3. Japanese roadtrip is the best especially along the railway routes. You have a very good capture of Fuji!

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    1. We really lucked out on that. More in the next part.

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  4. ...a fabulous trip that will never be able to take. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. this is the first time I have seen photos from Japan, anywhere at all. it doesn't look like I thought it would. that rising sun is awe inspiring and the trains looks so clean and comfortable.

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    1. The trains are out of this world. I will post more images from the railroad in the upcoming parts.

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  6. It's been a while since I've visited your beautiful site. I see you are still traveling but was surprised to see that you have been off to Japan. That takes lots of planning. I love these photos. Everything is so colorful and that rising sun was perfect. I'll come back for the next installment.

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    1. Thanks for coming back. It was a lot of planing indeed, but it was worth it in the end.

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  7. I've never been to Japan but I know others who have, and someone there at the moment. They have all enjoyed it. It must be amazing to see Mt Fuji. So happy travels, stay safe, and thankyou again for the linkup.

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    1. Thank you for visiting. More Mt. Fuji in Part Two!

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  8. I never planed or thought of a vacation in Japan, I can’t tell you why. But for sure it is a adventure cause everything is so different. Thanks for sharing the first impressions.

    Greetings

    Nova

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    1. I was really amazed by it. You will see why, as the travel series progresses.Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Thanks so much for your visit, and so interesting to have a virtual tour of Japan. It seems strange that you have travelled so much, but you do not appear to have travelled to Africa which is where most of my travelling has been. We are due to return for two months in February and March so watch this space :-)
    Take care and keep safe, Diane

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    1. I have so many travels still ahead of me I hope and would love to visit Africa as well. If you have recommendations for a first visit there let me know.

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  10. What an amazing trip this is it. Very cool.

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