Sunday, January 21, 2024

impression of my second trip to japan

my first trip to japan was during x'mas and new year period back in 2018-19. we planned to go the following year but damn ccp virus aka covid. though the world has opened up for a while we still waited a bit before travelling overseas again. just in case.

i reposted about the previous trip in previous post. after reading it again, i find that my experience is slightly different this time. mainly because we spent most of last trip in tokyo. we spent more time in osaka this time. accomodation in osaka is cheaper.

  • streets are cleaner in tokyo. but people are less friendly in tokyo.
  • but in tokyo people are more likely not afraid of communicating with you, with google translate
  • some shops don't like you to take photos - tried to explain i wasn't taking photos of their products but was using magnifying app to read (because i'm old!) or google translate (because there's no english literature) but they still think i was taking photos. so frustrating. i didn't have this problem last time.
  • some shops have signs that explicitly say something like you're welcome to take photos and share!
  • due to weak japanese yen and crazy inflation in australia, things in japan are so cheap!
  • food is so good, so cheap and so yummy!
  • except fish markets, in both tokyo and osaka - that's a place where they suck money from tourists. food is still good.
  • we visited more theme parks this time. 
  • food in disney is very expensive! there are cheaper non-restaurant food too, but they're just ok and not very filling.
  • imo universal studio has the best food in all the theme parks we visited. it's more expensive than eating locally but quite reasonable.
  • and oh, food at fuji-q has improved this time - there are more food stalls and restaurants.
  • if you're like me and don't like to get on 'advanturous rides', visit tokyo dome if you're in tokyo. there's a small shopping center next to it.
  • if you're in yokohoma, there's a huge shopping mall next to cosmos world. i only had time for 1.25 levels.
  • i love looking at beauty products, but i hate i have to use my phone to read labels and instructions via google translate - sometimes it gives funny translation
  • they are so cheap. i would have brought home everything if i understand what they're for.
  • i did have some good find. check my instagram.
  • public transports are good at major cities - no need to check timetable. 
  • we stayed a few nights at fujiyama. it's considered small town and you need to check bus and train timetables there. sometimes you can't get on a bus because it's full :(
  • i really enjoy how quiet public transports are. there are rules not to talk on the phone. we need this rule in australia!
  • there are less annoying tourists from certain big nation this trip. this has made the trip more pleasant.
  • which side do you stand on escalator are different in different cities. i find it extremely confusing during the few days of intercity day trips. luckily we are tourists and people are more forgiving.
  • i miss toilets in japan! esp when there are stubborn shit, sorry tmi...
it's more than a month since returning from the trip. i already want to go back again!

my first impressions of japan

note: this is a repost of what i wrote about the 2018-19 trip. 

i spent x’mas and new year in japan. it was my first time visiting the country. and i’m so impressed!

  • the streets are so clean. even in super crowded streets.
  • the air is so fresh. no smokers walking on the street. smokers do it at designated area. why can’t australia do this?
  • public toilets are so clean. even the inferior ones (which has unpleasing smell) is still very clean.
  • some toilet seats are heated! it was really cold when we were there and heated seat is a bonus!
  • the only complaint is the toilet paper. it’s only one layer and you need to pull hell lots!
  • staffs at theme parks, stations etc are very polite and cheerful. what a contrast to station staff we have over here – when opal card was first launched and some commuters were slow at the gate, staff shouted at them to move faster! 
  • people are very polite and helpful – was at coin laundry trying to work out how to use it because there was no english instruction. someone assisted us with his limited english and google translate.
  • the food in general are very yummy - i posted a lot of yummy food photos at my instagram at @_prettymom.
  • food at theme parks are very yummy too!
  • food was also cheaper than expected too - if you’re not going into those really expensive high class restaurants.
  • the only time we got bad food was when we didn’t have much choice.
  • railway system is complex yet convenient. it takes us anywhere! google map was our best friend giving directions which lines to take and which platform to go to.
  • there are markers at platforms where the doors are, which is very convenient so you’re always close to the doors. why can’t we do it here?
  • the station / train could get very crowded but not chaotic.
  • i thought the language could be barrier but their english is better than expected. and in most places you can use mandarin (probably due to huge number of tourists from mainland china).
  • i love the IC cards. it’s not only for trains but you can pay with it at most stores. and you can use in many cities. unlike here you need different cards for different states.
  • shopping malls are almost everywhere i visited.
  • i love the variety of beauty brands and products. although most them are in japanese and have no idea what they mean - can only try to figure out from the kanji.
  • taxi drivers are crazy - ok, we only got on one taxi which took us from airport to hotel, because it was late and hungry and we didn’t want to spend time working out how to use public transports. it was like riding in racing car, speed constantly at 150km/hr!

i’ve only been to tokyo and osaka, and day trips to kyoto and hiroshima. this may or may not apply to the whole country.