Basking in the Land of the Rising Sun

It’s difficult to even begin explaining what Japan is like. It’s both clean and messy, chaotic and calm, stunning and scary, functional and fuck-knows-what-that’s-about.

We arrived in Tokyo on the 23rd of December 2017, cold and tired. It had been a long week of build-ups before the Christmas holidays and we were ready to leave sunny Sydney. We spent four days, three nights in Tokyo, exploring Ginza, Asakusa, getting lost in Muji, standing in awe of jaw-dropping architecture, saying hi to Hachiko, crossing Shibuya way too many times to count and oh, we visited a cat cafe!

My word for Tokyo is: overwhelming but more on that later. From Tokyo, we took the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto and saw Mount Fuji on the way! Two birds, one stone…or two cities, one train ride with an amazing view. I know it doesn’t work the same but just let me have this one.

Kyoto was pleasantly different from Tokyo. It was a lot more traditional, quiet and composed. I didn’t feel as lost as I did in Tokyo and it certainly is a city that’s easy to fall in love with. We filled my temple-visiting quota for the year, met beautiful strangers and stayed at a gorgeous 100-year-old home, amongst other things. 

Part of me is still digesting every bit from Japan, and I don’t mean the generous and nothing-like-it-in-the-world food. The journey is still taking its time to sink in and I’m only beginning to look back at all the adventures we’ve had. We’ll keep updating them as we return to the real world but for starters, you can always read about the way Kyoto makes me feel. 

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Pens&Lens was launched in October 2016 as part of a passion project by partners-in-crime, Mark and Lynette. Combining their love for travel, stories, people and places, they wanted to share the views of the world they see from behind their pens and lens.