The days of fluffy rain are slowly coming to an end in the land of sushi, which means one thing, drunken parties in the park. These drunken park parties are more commonly known as Hanami and coincide with the blooming of the second most magical thing in Japan, cherry blossoms. Being a certified Japan expert, and having spent a total of one spring in Japan, I feel I am exceptionally qualified to give you all the insider hints as to the best cherry blossoms spots (how to see them and how to partake in a bit of public drinking). However, I’ve unfortunately only been qualified as a certified expert in the areas of Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Himeji and Takasago. I wasn’t interested in taking the elective of Tokyo, so I only have information for there from google, which I trust you all know how to use. However ,despite from my lack of education in all areas of Japan, I do know about the best areas of Japan, so let’s jump right into Melissa’s Guide to Cherry Blossoms.
There are things you instantly associate with Japan. Things such as sushi, geisha, robots, the widespread inability to speak English and, all things kawaii. For visitors to Japan, these are things to gape and exclaim over however, having lived here for almost a year and a half, these things now rarely make me miss a beat. But even I occasionally find myself laughing over something saying, that is so Japanese, hence this new series has been born. Only in Japan… is going to be a photo series, where I show you something that made me take pause and realise I am indeed living in Japan.
The first in this series is this Hello Kitty Car Park, I found in my wanderings of Osaka. Please enjoy.
When it comes to Japan there is no greater symbol than the giant that is Mt. Fuji. Standing at 3776 metres tall, this monolithic volcano even has its own emoji (🗻). Not even Mt. Everest can make this claim to fame. For millions of people, this is a bucket list destination and, as I bought my bucket from the same 100yen store as those other people, it’s a place I’ve also wanted to visit. Well, 2018 is the year to make my dreams a reality, or some stupid resolution like that, so I went to see this mountain for myself. Here is Melissa’s Guide to Mt. Fuji.
USJ, which is how cool people say Universal Studios Japan, pulls out all stops to celebrate Halloween in style. There’s themed food, attractions and best of all, a zombie apocalypse after dark. Although this is a simulated apocalypse, I did pick up some handy tips for the day ‘I am Legend’ will occur and we’ll all be faced with flesh eating monsters. Welcome to Melissa’s guide to surviving a Zombie Apocalypse.
As you may have gathered from my previous post, my parents came to visit me in Japan last week. I spent 8 days playing tour guide, giving them as much of a taster, of Japan, as I could cram into our limited time together. We managed to cover Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Arima and my current home town of Takasago, in that time. Also, while we were together, my parents brought me my birthday/Christmas present of a new DSLR camera. I therefore have a heap of photos of these places and I wanted a way to share them with you. I’m therefore going to be doing a series of travel related blog posts, highlighting the places I’ve visited while living in Japan. Hopefully these posts give you some ideas for your own travels to Japan, and also keep you updated about my life living overseas. And now all that’s out of the way, onto today’s blog post.
Characterised by its vermillion tori gates Fushimi Inari Taisha can be found a short train trip from the heart of Kyoto. This Shinto shrine is dedicated to the god, Inari. Primarily he is the god of rice, but also does a roaring side trade in being the patron god of businesses. Therefore, to get in Inari’s good books and to get business booming, many companies have donated tori gates to the shrine. Thousands of these gates now line trails spanning about 4 kilometres, on the mountainside above the main shrine.