I’m Going to Japan: For Five Weeks!

It started as a two-week trip to Japan, then the more I looked into the country, the more I knew two weeks just wouldn’t be long enough. Somehow, my little Japanese jaunt has progressed into a five-week highlights of Japan marathon. So. Excited.

Starting in Tokyo and ending in Hokkaido up north 35 days later I’ll be doing at least the following…

  • Dizomeshiki Firefighter Parade in Tokyo
  • Tokyo Sumo Wrestling Championship
  • Otaru Snow Light Path Festival
  • Sapporo Ice Sculpture Festival
  • Sunday dress up in Harajuku Park
  • 10 days in Tokyo to find the weirdest things possible
  • Skiing in Niesko
  • Taking the bullet train (the Shinkansen)
  • Exploring the history and aesthetics of Kyoto
  • Visiting the Nagano snow monkeys

No need to Google any of them, follow along on here and you’ll learn all about them as soon as I do.

The route through Japan

I'm going to Japan!

This trip has taken me ages to plan. I soon realised that other than sushi and sumo wrestling I didn’t actually know much about Japan, including the geography and what to do there. The current planned route looks a little like this, but all could be subject to change…

Tokyo – Osaka – Kyoto – Nagano – Nara – Hiroshima – Yamagata – Hokkaido

I’ve got a brilliant rough itinerary and along with a few days free for spontaneity, it’s going to be a LOT of fun.

How expensive?

Everyone says Japan is expensive, from the prices I’ve researched I think it’s going to be a bit like spending five weeks in London. Ah well, YOLO and all that. Obviously I’ll be working as I go, and I have a few pounds saved up – can’t think of anything I’d rather spend it on than a five-week sushi fest.

I’m mixing up hostels with budget hotels and a few fancy ones thrown in for good measure. To me Japan is intriguing, fascinating, disturbing, kind of weird, and definitely interesting. I need to go, whatever the cost.

Only a few days until my leaving date of January 3rd. From now on the first month of 2015 will be forever known to me as Japanuary. Konichiwa!

Have you been? Any recommendations?

Cheers for the Flickr pics sachs and stuckincustoms

A Bizarre Maid Cafe Experience in Tokyo
Five Cool Theme Parks I Really Want to See in Japan


  1. by zoomingjapan on December 22, 2014  11:16 am Reply

    Hey, I'm glad to hear you chose to visit Japan next.
    I've been living in Japan for 7 years now and have travelled EVERYWHERE here. If you have any questions or doubts, feel free to ask me. :)

    If you happen to be in Hokkaido in February, definitely check out the famous Snow Festival.
    The snow monkeys in Nagano are a great choice. Make sure to also visit nearby Matsumoto Castle. One of the most impressive Japanese castles out there.

    If you don't want to do too much of going back and forth, than I'd do the following instead:
    Tokyo - Nagano - Kyoto - Nara - Osaka - Hiroshima - Tokyo - Yamagata - Hokkaido

    Enjoy your trip! ^^

    • by Vicky on December 22, 2014  9:07 pm Reply

      Ah thank you very much for the advice! I will definitely be in touch after Christmas as I'm pretty clueless. I'm definitely going to the Snow Festival and cheers for the headsup on the castle. You'll hear from me soon!

  2. by Charlie on December 22, 2014  1:34 pm Reply

    Ah, I'm so incredibly jealous!! Japan is top of my list of countries to visit but I decided to remove it from my rtw itinerary because of price. I've decided to visit on a later trip when I won't be watching every yen! Can't wait to read about your experiences and get some inspiration. Have an amazing time!

    • by Vicky on December 22, 2014  9:05 pm Reply

      Yeah, people keep worrying me about the price but I'm just going to go for it :). I'll definitely do a 'costs' article when I get back to let you know how I get on. Thanks Charlie!

  3. by Greg on December 22, 2014  11:13 pm Reply

    Sounds like an awesome trip. We did 3 weeks there in November and it was the highlight of our whole trip so far. Amazing country. Don't worry about the cost either - it really isn't that bad. OK the rail passes are expensive and accommodation can be (though hostels aren't bad) but food is amazing value - we rarely spent over 1000 yen (£5.50) per person for a meal - you'd struggle to regularly eat in London for that price. We ate 100 yen sushi until we couldn't eat another bite and it cost under a tenner. Entrance fees etc usually aren't bad either. Definitely not as expensive as people make it out to be.

    • by Vicky on December 24, 2014  11:38 am Reply

      Ah thanks for that Greg! In my research I didn't think it was that expensive but the first thing people say to me when I say I'm going is 'oo isn't that expensive'. Hopefully my years of living in London will have brainwashed me and I'll actually find it quite cheap. My hostel for the first three nights is only £13 and then I'm going in an apartment. I'll be alright. Very excited to try 100 yen sushi! Ahhh, can't wait!

  4. by Arianwen on December 28, 2014  5:28 pm Reply

    Japanuary! I love it! Well jel of your trip. But if all goes to plan, I'll be moving back to Laandan at the end of Feb so I'll be expecting a proper massive catch up when you get back!

    • by Vicky on December 30, 2014  6:37 pm Reply

      Oo that's exciting! Yes, definitely. Should be back in April, possibly, maybe :)

  5. Pingback : VickyFlipFlopTravels » Cool Festivals and Epic Holidays |5 Ways to Save Money at Theme Parks - VickyFlipFlopTravels

  6. by Ceri on December 30, 2014  1:14 pm Reply

    One of my favourite countries. <3 To be honest, I came back with more than half of the money I took with me and was really surprised by how UNexpensive it was. Then again, I spent a lot of time in Kyoto (seriously go there) and Osaka. Maybe somewhere like Tokyo is where it sucks your money.

  7. by Miles of Happiness on January 5, 2015  5:30 am Reply

    You gonna have so much fun in Japan! We simply fall in love when we went there. Japanese people are super nice, the food is incredible, the temples, the atmosphere, the parties, the fashion... I just wrote an article about Tokyo, that may interest you. Here it is: http://www.milesofhappiness.com/blog/48h-in-tokyo
    Enjoy you trip! Kampaiii!

    • by Vicky on January 5, 2015  9:42 pm Reply

      Thank you! One day in and loving it so far. Good tips on the sumo wrestlers – definitely need to check them out! I've been to Asakusa and Akihabara so far. Off to Odaiba today...

  8. by Laura on January 5, 2015  9:38 am Reply

    Hey Vicky,
    I've not been following your blog so I don't know what you like but I did a cooking class in Kyoto that was awesome. Not just for the amazing home-cooked food, but getting to cook and eat it in the home of a lovely local lady called Emi.
    If you're interested the website's www.kyotouzuki.com.
    Have an amazing time! And oh they have beer vending machines on the street!

    • by Vicky on January 5, 2015  9:40 pm Reply

      Hi Laura, oo sounds good! I'd love to have more knowledge about the food here – I'm a bit bamboozled in the restaurants at the moment. I'll let you know if I try it out :)

  9. by Jayne on January 8, 2015  11:19 pm Reply

    Bahahahaha Japanuary

  10. Pingback : VickyFlipFlopTravels » Cool Festivals and Epic Holidays |Just How Expensive is Tokyo for a Week? - VickyFlipFlopTravels

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