Japan Week 4: Obon

Monday started of with a real nasty typhoon. With no concrete plans for the day I thought it best to just stay indoors and have a rest day with a weather like that. Also having been awake half the night because of my new neighbours, I really had no energy to go anywhere to begin with. Luckily by Tuesday the weather had calmed down considerably and I was ready to venture out. Read more

Japan Week 3: Walking

The week started with Sumiyoshi Matsuri. The last of the season in Osaka and my (final) chance to wear my yukata. I was honestly quite nervous about it. Putting it on by myself with no proper mirror to work with and going out attracting even more attention that I normally would. But my mind was made up, this was my only chance. And I did it! I put on my yukata, double checking to do it the right way, tied my obi, added the obijime and put up my hair. I opted to leave with my flip-flops instead of my geta to make sure I could actually walk. I met up with a fellow Couchsurfer and we went to the matsuri together. We participated in the ritual of walking through the circle of straw and had some shaved ice. Read more

神戸 Kobe

Kobe, a city less than an hour away from Osaka by train, tucked away between a mountain range and the sea with lots of former foreign settlements. It really reminded me of Qingdao with its European influenced architecture and seaside parks and boulevards. It makes for a perfect day trip from Osaka.

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Tenjin Matsuri

Travelling in Japan during the summer might not be the best and brightest idea one could have, especially for someone coming from a colder and much drier climate like myself. The heat and humidity are truly on a scale of their own. Not even a week had passed since my arrival and I had already encountered someone passing out on the street due to the weather.

But luckily summer in Japan does also come with its perks, one being the summer festivals, also known as Matsuri. A great opportunity to enjoy and experience life like a local.

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Japan Week 1: Osaka

After an eventful journey from Qingdao to Osaka, I was finally in Japan. I had quite high expectations and I can’t say I’ve been disappointed so far. Everyone is super nice and polite, the streets are clean and safe, and the food! The food is just simply delicious, no matter what and where I eat. And yes, there are vending machines absolutely everywhere… But what’s up with the lack of free WiFi at restaurants or even et McDonald’s and Starbucks?

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23.7.2016 Heat

The weather was getting hotter and I was getting more tired of it. My skin was irritated and burning and was showing no signs of improving. We decided to head to Central Park to find a place with less traffic and more space and fresh air.

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22.7.2016 A City, The City

When I think about a city, I think about New York. But if this is what a city is, I never want to live in one. A town is the best I can do. Today was the first day to really explore New York and I can’t say I liked it too much. I don’t regret coming or staying for two more days. I mean it’s definitely one of a kind and worth seeing, but not worth returning to. It’s simply too crowded, too hot, too humid, too expensive and overrated.

The day itself started nicely when we took the East River Ferry from Queens to Downtown. We were able to enjoy the cool breeze, beautiful skyline, all the bridges and plenty of space. After departing from the first ferry we went straight for the next one, The Staten Island Ferry. We took that one back and forth and saw the Statue of Liberty from as close as we were going to get.

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