You may have noticed that the scenery has changed a bit in my pictures and that’s because it HAS! That’s because a few months ago I relocated from sunny Southern California to The Land of the Rising Sun (seriously, the sun rises crazy early).
So I thought I would share what I’ve been up to and what I’ve learned over the last few months!
Trains are the way of life. I’m still trying to navigate the train systems – like figure out if I need to be on a local or express train. I had never been on a train before living here, so this has been quite the experience. There is also train etiquette – everyone is pretty quiet and you don’t invade other people’s space. They are also very clean! This is kind of surprising since public trash cans aren’t as common as they are in the U.S.
Noodles are on every corner. You won’t find many drive thru fast food restaurants here with the exception of a McDonald’s here and there, but you will find sushi and noodles spots everywhere! And ramen is amazeballs here!
No drink refills. Unlike dining in the U.S., you will have to pay for each cup of soda in most restaurants. But you will get unlimited water and many places have pitchers of ice water right on the table! Also, there is no tipping and the servers rarely check on you because they want you to enjoy your meal without being interrupted.
Treats are everywhere! While we are on the topic of food, you will also find donut shops, ice cream, pastries, crepes, etc. on almost every block. Sweets are a big deal here and it’s all delicious! You will also find KitKat bars in all types of flavors like wasabi and wine flavor!
Starbucks isn’t the same. You will find Starbucks all over Japan, but their drink options aren’t quite the same as they are in the U.S. (no pumpkin spice lattes here) 😦 And the drinks are also a little sweeter than they are back home, but I’ve tried some interesting flavors as well like the Almond Milk and Granola Frappuccino!
Vending machines. Speaking of coffee, you can find it in any vending machine. Cold or HOT! That’s right, you can get hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate right out of the vending machine! And you literally can’t walk more than 10 steps without passing a vending machine in Japan.
Toilets. Toilets are either really fancy or really primitive. 😉
Playgrounds. The parks in Japan are unlike anything you’ve ever seen! So much larger and complete with streams, bouncy areas, zip lines, roller coaster slides, etc. Even the adults have a great time!
Manhole covers. You can find art everywhere you look, including the street! Even the manhole covers are beautifully painted!
Nature. You really don’t have to go far to appreciate the nature in Japan! There are gardens everywhere, beautiful forests, and the trees are so unique and gorgeous!
Temples. Temples are everywhere and they are quite sacred so do as the locals do as respect the grounds. Also visit the Big Buddha! It looks just the way it does in the history books!
Narrow Roads. The roads are pretty narrow here which takes some getting used to…as well as the whole driving on the left side of the road deal. There’s also tons of pedestrians so you gotta watch out for people riding bikes and crossing the street.
Tokyo. Tokyo is enormous. There are so many different districts and things to look at…you could easily get lost for days in this city. Harajuku has some pretty amazing shopping spots and the architecture is unique and beautiful! Shibuya Crossing (Pedestrian Scramble) is insanely busy and a great place to sit and watch all the traffic!
The people. The people here are so friendly and many will try to speak as much English as they can when speaking to you. They are so polite and will help you if you are lost!
I’m still adjusting to this new life, but trying to enjoy the ride. 🙂 Stay tuned for more updates on Japan and I will continue to share the SWAG as much as I can!
And continue to enjoy the view! 🙂
Have you been to Japan? What was your favorite part?
I’m off to explore!