I went in Japan two times since last year. A trip full of discoveries, surprises, and emotions.
The first time, I went with a friend during the Hanami season ( during the spring with pink flowers everywhere ). And after having thinking a lot about Japan, I bought plane ticket the next year again and traveled alone backpacking.
I tried for my first time couchsufring, also booking youth hostel the same day, going where I want, when I want, and do what I want at the moment.
And well, I moved a lot, from Tokyo to Kyoto, Naoshima to Kurashiki, Magome and Tsumago..
In both trips, I had the opportunity to enjoy a lot of things, vising touristics places, chilling, laughing, having bad time, going to the country sides, going on places outside the box, and creating memories.
I do have some super things I want to share with you. So, let's see my favorites things during those trip !
Naoshima and Teshima 🗾
Naoshima and Teshima are two small islands near the Shikoku island with no more than 3500 people each. They are called "Art Island".
You can find very original art things :
I am personally a sightseeing/landscape lover. You can find a few outstanding views..
I really liked walking through the street or by bicycle while listening music. I was thinking about nothing but appreciating the moment.
My first night in Net/Manga Coffee 🛏
During my first trip in Japan, we arrived with a friend at Tokyo the 5th Sunday night. 17 hours of flight. I slept maybe three or four hours, but I was very excited when we arrived at the airport. I was like "Shit, I'm in Tokyo right now!". We then took the last train from the airport to Tokyo ( Shibuya ).
The check-in of our appartement was the next day, so it was midnight, we were in Shibuya, one of the big locations of Tokyo and we had no accommodation for the night. Even worse, we had no GPS. We were located somewhere in Tokyo, with the language barriers, without internet connection to communicate, without GPS to localise ourselves.
Finally we found what we can call a “Manga Coffee”, it is a place where you can find computers and manga, drinks and food, open 24h/24h, in where you can pay to have a room for X hours.
But it is a little more special because there are different types of rooms in those Manga Coffees, for example the default room have only a computer and a chair, but we can find also what we choose for the night : a room with a bench. I slept maybe 2 hours thanks to my friend snoring.
Park Hyatt Bar 52L 🍹
Lost in Translation is a movie realized by the amazing Sofia Cappola.
Exhausted by the time difference, by a country that seems different and the boredom, Bob and Charlotte are forming little by little a friendship. Sofia, the film director, tried to show us through deep musics the simple and special everyday life in Japan
The picture below is when I went to the bar where Bob and Charlotte took a drink at their hotel. It is in the 52 stage. Gret view, great feeling, great moments.
Shibuya morning and Shibuya night are different for me. The night is special. This place at night is like smoke. You see it, but when you try to reach it, there's nothing there. You maybe think you know it, but you will still be amazed by the atmosphere.
Sunshine 60 👁
I tried different observatories, from famous to unknown, and I really liked this one, the Sunshine 60 observatory. Especially when it's cloudy, I appreciate the views more than ever.
Meeting people was amazing.
On the bottom left, It is Yoshio. I discovered him on Youtube with his piano melodies. I was looking for relaxing musics to study and found his composition, Tsutsuji. Then I listened his others musics on Itunes, found his blog, then his Facebook. Before my backpacking trip in Japan, I really wanted to focus this trip on meeting people. So I reached him through Facebook and scheduled a day together. We went to a Temple, ate together and finally went to the Manga International Museum where Itsu draw our portrait.
On the bottom right, it is Takatoshi and Haruka. I met them in my backpacking trip in the May Tokyo iOS Meetup in where I gave a presentation talking about the Core Spotlight framework. We met again one or two days later with Takatoshi where we went to the Odaiba artificial island eating and playing different kinds of sport together ( Baseball, football, volleyball, badminton.. ).
What's amazing there is that I met Takatoshi and Haruka again in San Fransisco a month after during the Apple WWDC!!!
Appreciate the moment and remember that it's holiday 💃
Most of the time, I schedule what I want to see, where I want to go, but I had the opportunity to see and appreciate amazing things by not respecting my planning.
For exemple, during my first trip, me and my friend decided to go for our last day to Hiroshima and Himeji for the castle. And you know what ? We saw near the castle a ninja casting :
Taking some time alone
I wouldn't have appreciated that much my second trip without taking some time alone and going in the adventure.