The End

Where do I even begin? That was the most fun and interesting three months of my life. It’s super cliche but I know why people do it. I’ve made so many new friends all around the world and can’t wait to visit them in the future although I think the English ones will be the easiest ones to see for the moment while I work my butt off to get myself out of debt…

Some reasons why I’m happy to be home at the moment.

  1. Not having to live out of a back pack
  2. Access to all my clothes
  3. My cat!

But you don’t want to read that! You want to see what some of my highlights were! Well my friends, you are in luck as below are some of my highlights while I was away.

  1. Getting stoned at Jimmy Eat World when a random guys passed me a joint. I’d never been so high in my life.
  2. Laying in a hammock on a Fiji beach, watching the world go by.
  3. Flying a small plane in New Zealand.
  4. Ross and Athena’s wedding in California.
  5. Climbing the Sydney bridge.
  6. Visiting the glow worm caves in NZ.
  7. HOBBITON!
  8. Singing “I Want It That Way” at open mic nights and at every karaoke opportunity.
  9. Riding 35km on a bike through some beautiful New Zealand scenery with mountains in the background.
  10. Hugging a koala bear.
  11. Japan…I just love that country so much
  12. And of course…everyone I met!

Like I said on the previous post, this page will go on a break until I decide what to do next with it. I’ll probably end up with more food posts as I love eating and of course, when I visit a new country!

Thanks for joining me on this journey 😘

Japan tour complete!

So that’s another tour done! I’ve always wanted to go to Japan and it definitely did not disappoint! After another early morning start we were off to the see Bamboo Forest! I’m holding my phone in the second photo as I was video calling my best pal at the time and wanted to include her in the shot haha.

My favourite dog 😍

Once we’d taken enough social media photos of the forest we trekked up a “mountain” to look at monkeys at the aptly named Monkey Mountain.

View of Kyoto from the top of the mountain.

After that we went on an elegant boat ride featuring the beauty of the seasons (their words not mine).

Our final train ride to Osaka (my balls). It was also at this point that I left my bag on a train but Japan being the lovely country that it is I managed to get it back with all my stuff in it. Phew.

Our last speech by our tour guide extraordinaire Jack as we embarked on a food tour which would end in surprise surprise Karaoke! What did I sing? You already know if you’ve been following this blog 😉.

Group shot outside the running man sign.

Octopus balls.

Assortment of deep fried meats.

I didn’t take many photos after this as I got very very drunk. Thanks to all the guys on the tour and to our guide Jack who made sure we all had an amazing time. Special shout out to Ben who did my washing twice on this trip for me.

So it’s nearly home time for me! One more country to go and it’s the homeland of Hong Kong. I’m looking forward to seeing some family who I haven’t seen in years and eating dim sum until I explode.

The red torii gates

After an early start we headed to one of the most important shrines in Kyoto, the Fushimi Imari Shrine. It’s famous for its thousands of tori gates and leads into a wooded forest trail.

A quick train ride led us to the next destination which was the Higashiyama District which is one of Kyoto’s best preserved historical district.

The five part act of me drinking from the love fortune which hopefully blesses me with eternal love…something along those lines anyway.

We had a free afternoon so headed to Nari Park which is famous for the deers who bow down to you when they offer you food. The below is the first thing I saw when I got there…

BOOP! Ok this is a short one was its 1am and I really wanted to write something down. I can’t believe I’ve only got one day left of the tour. It has gone really really fast and I’ve made some good friends on it. I was “gifted” tonight with a Japanese pornography magazine which i have promised to take home with me. Really hope I don’t get stopped at customs as it will be an awkward experience.

The way of the samurai

This morning we headed to one of the oldest dojos in Japan where we were going to learn the basics of Kendo – the way of the sword. Our sensei was a fourth generation samurai who had many fascinating stories with my favourite being when his dad taught him the art of seppuku which shocked him enough to stop speaking to his father for over 12 years and move to America to gain western culture. They talk now by the way just in case you’re worried. He definitely picked on me (must be that Asian bond) and I won my 1v1 match against my American friend Dan (that’s revenge for leaving England).

One of the most enjoyable activities I’ve done and I felt like I was shown you the real Japan. I needed a piss just before we started and the lesson was two hours long. You can imagine the relief I felt when I finally was able to relieve myself.

A quick break at home to get freshened up and then we got on a cramped bus to head to Kinkakujicho to visit the golden pavilion temple which was given to the last shogun general. The gardens leading up to it was beautiful as well!

Then it was time to zen out at the Ryogen-In zen temple where they had 5 zen gardens. It was great until I could hear some dude click his SLR camera constantly.

The above is a very well acted photo of what being on the bus was like haha.

Thanks for reading!

Memoirs of a Geisha

I mean, I’ve woken up to worse views in the morning!

We headed to Kyoto in the morning but not before heading to the morning market in Takayama. below you can see a cookie based coffee that I had. It was probably one of the best coffees I’ve had and eating the cup afterwards was a bonus.

Chopsticks with my name on it!!

The long walk to the hostel.

Great name for a shop and yes I went to McDonald’s as well. They had a burger with a hash brown and I couldn’t resist.

We had a tour this evening learning about geisha culture and it was very interesting. Did it make me want to watch the film I mentioned in the subject title? Probably not. We managed to see two of them during our walk and apparently it is very rare that it happens so that made me happy.

The shoes the geishas who are learning have to wear!

Chocolate!

Our amazing bar host!! Yeah two drinks got me a bit merry haha. Tomorrow we are having a kendo lesson with a real Japanese samurai which I know is going to be a once in a lifetime experience.

The one with the temple stay

Today was an early start but I didn’t mind as I got to ride the bullet train. This bad boy speeds along at over 300km/h and had the most comfortable seats as well. Along the way we also got to see Mount Fiji which was in-cred-able!

The front of our accommodation in Takayama city which retains it’s traditional Japanese architecture.

There were 11 different varieties of Sake to try and yes I tasted all of them, and yes I was very drunk afterwards.

The bedroom! It’s like laying on clouds.

Hida beef which is apparently better than Kobe, but since I’ve never had Kobe i can’t confirm it but I can tell you it was delicious.

Ended up in a Japanese bath house fully naked with some members of my tour group.

Tomorrow we head to former capital of Japan, Kyoto to see Buddhist temples and imperial gardens.

Mount Hakone

Wouldn’t it be great to see Mount Fuji? We attempted to do this from the beautiful Mount Hakone which is also home to some lovely smelly sulphur and black eggs. To get there we needed to travel on 4 different modes of transportation which included two trains, a tram and a rope walk. You don’t actually walk on a rope by the way.

The view from the top of the hostel and below is outside of it.

After the failed attempt to see the “Fuj” we boarded a pirate ship for a lovely 30 minute cruise around a lake as the sun was setting.

It was cold ok!

We ended the night with a curry based hot pot dish and then we all had to pick a guilty pleasure song that the others in the group had to guess. I picked Flo Rida – Low and no one guessed it was mine! I had thrown people off the scent all day but to be fair I only managed to get 3 out of 19 song choices correct…

I learnt to make sushi!

Today was fun! Started the day at the Tsukiji Fish Market where I ate a sea snail and then learnt to make one of my favourite foods! I’m sure you can work it out by the title of this post. Needless to say it tasted great and I’ll probably forget how to do it when I’m home…

Once we were done eating I tried to go to a dog who I follow on instagrams’ shop but it was closed. I later found out that the shop closes on Mondays. SUPER! After a quick freshen up back at the hostel we headed out to the super cool area of Shinjuku.

Cheers!

This is where the cool people play Pokemon Go.

This place is nicknamed “Piss Alley” because the whole alleyway didn’t have a toilet, you can work out the rest. Food was good there though!

Cheers to Shinjuku!

One of the main attractions of Tokyo is the Robot Museum. This is a 2 hour show full of music, dancers and of course robots. I’ve put a small video down below so you can experience some of the madness. I cannot recommend it enough and I will not spoil any of it (unless you ask me of course).

Stood next to the Hachi statue. The story is that a dog used to wait for its owner everyday after he finished work but unfortunately the owner had a cardiac arrest at work so never made it back. The dog however kept waiting for its owner until it died and now there is a memorial for it. Cute right? Dogs are great.

Shinjuku crossing! One of the busiest intersection in the world. A place I’ve seen in one of my favourite games Persona 5 and in films. Managed to get to the viewpoint for free which is always a bonus. Leaving Tokyo in the morning to head off to see Mount Fuji! Weather permitting of course.

The one where I got to play with two otters

Before I talk about the subject title of this post I’ll give a quick rundown of the day.

Woke up nice and early for a traditional Japanese breakfast of boiled eggs, yogurt and a banana (not in the same dish…) and then headed out to the local market. After what was a seemingly endless walk through a crowd of people (little did I know this was not going to be the worst of it today) we went up the information centre to get a quick overview of the surrounding area

The centre of the pastry was filled with cream cheese and it was great! After eating we headed on the underground to Harajuku which is the main shopping district of japan. Here you will all the classic expensive brands like Louis Vuitton, Burberry and my personal favourite Apple.

A delightful lobster roll.

The above is the hipster clothing/eatery area of Japan and it was SO full of people. It took nearly 25 mins to get across to the other side just because of the above!

Yeah yeah it looks like take a shit haha. Some dude wanted to film us dancing with him for some sort of music video and of course I was happy to oblige.

After our amazing dancing escapade was captured we headed to the Meiji Shrine which is located in Shibuya, Tokyo. It is the shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.

Lucky timing as we got to see a traditional Japanese wedding reception whilst at the temple.

I wanted to go to a shiba inu cafe but it was fully booked so I made do with a owl cafe which I sort of regret going as I saw the poor creatures tied up with locks.

On the other hand I got to play with otters and meerkats which you can see below! The owner clearly loved them as he had plenty of food and treats available for the little critters. Maybe this was the second best experience of my life because as you know the koala bear is number one.

Ramen is bloody good out here but that was to be excited.

It was back to Akihabara for more some more computer games which is satisfying my lust as I really want to play the new Red Dead Redemption game (less than 3 weeks to go – not like I’m counting or anything).

Outside the biggest sex shop in Tokyo. Six floors for your sexual pleasure. No camera were allowed which is probably a good thing as I saw some weird shit in there.

Sushi making class in the morning, finally I can learn to do it and I’m going to make everyone jealous.

Maid cafes, arcades and meeting the new group

The titles for my blog posts are getting less inventive or maybe I’m just not funny anymore. I went to geek central Akihabara which is full of arcades, retro games, anime and VR porn cafes. Yeah that’s right, you can watch porn in VR in your own private room for a fee. Unfortunately I can’t tell you what it’s like but I’ve been assured people frequent them often. You can also get hand job/blowjob cafes too but this will stay an unknown subject in my life. I mean, why pay when I can…you know what I’m not even going to go there.

I also met up with my friend John who I went to university with over 15 years ago, damn right I’m old. It was lovely to see him and we hung out all day.

Ok so in the maid cafe you have to wear a bear hat and you get served by lovely Japanese ladies in maid outfits. I also got to see a song and dance show which was hilarious and fascinating at the same time. I couldn’t film any of it or take photos as it’s prohibited but I did pay for a combo meal which entitled me to the below picture. I fully recommend it and it’s a staple of Japanese culture. Don’t go by yourself though as that’s creepy.

After we headed for a wander into some retro arcade shops.

Snake? Snaaaaaaaake!!!

 

This bird made the weakest sound and I had to film it. Pretty sure it was mocking me.

Fried cheese, fried raddish, fried salmon, fried chicken…you get the idea.

Big old 7 floor electrical store selling everything you’d ever need.

The pagoda was built in 942 and the temple in 645!! Both stood the test of time until World War 2 ruined everything.

Ok think that’s it for this entry. This has been a fun one to write and I can’t wait for more fun with my new tour group.