Kyoto

Day 15 – Downtown Kyoto

First thing today is to go back to the Costume Museum, which is happily open this time. It’s a cute one-room affair with a miniature-sized diorama of an Emperor’s palace, with little dolls of all the people in costume. Very nicely done, and you can also try on a full-size traditional robe and have photos …

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Nara

Day 14 – Nara

Luckily the weather is much nicer today, still a little cold but bright and sunny. We get up early and catch the train (using our JR passes) out to Nara, about 45 minutes south of Kyoto. It’s Japan’s first capital city but now feels like a smallish town that centres around tourism. The main street …

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Kyoto

Day 13 – Arashiyama

Our plan for today is to do some ‘city’ stuff like museums, shopping and playing video games. First stop is the Costume Museum, just up the road from our hotel, only to find it’s mysteriously closed. I remember reading something about today being Kansai Culture Day, a semi-public holiday, so maybe that’s why. Hopefully it …

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Tokyo

Day 3 – Kichijoji & Studio Ghibli

Josh’s birthday, and the day we’d pre-booked tickets for the Studio Ghibli animation museum. We get the metro out to Kichijoji because I’d heard there are a couple of good shops and eateries there. Right opposite the station is a large network of covered-over streets of market-cum-shops selling not very exciting things like toiletries and …

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Tokyo

Day 2 – Shibuya & Harajuku

We get the metro down to Shibuya for some shopping. Initially get a bit lost on the walkways over the busy roads but eventually stumble across 109, a totally insane mall for teenage girls; little boutiques over 7 floors with obnoxious pop music blasting out of every one and dolled-up teenagers browsing. It’s pretty manic …

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Tokyo

Day 1 – Shinjuku

We probably chose the wrong flight time, because we get into Tokyo at 8am after a 5am start and 14-hour journey. After a fun bonus ‘guns and narcotics’ search at customs and a brief panic about which carriage to get on, we board a spotlessly clean train and enjoy the views of traditional-looking Japanese houses …

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