Top seven things to do in Japan

The other day as I was sorting though my dusty bookshelf, attempting one of those spring cleaning exercises. I came across an old haunt. My travel journal from Japan.

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Opening up my hand crafted diary the memories flooded back. I was transported to the squeaky clean Tokyo airport, where order and efficiency dictated. I remembered walking down the scenic pink and white cherry tree blossom lined streets, hearing business men in suits chatting away quietly on their headsets.  My mouth watered as I viewed the perfectly organized displays of fresh sushi in shop front windows.

9 years ago I was fortunate enough to be taken across the North Atlantic Sea, American continent and The North Pacific Sea to the small, unique and magical island of Japan. My uncle (who lived in Japan for many years) and aunty (born in Japan) showed me around their charming country. While I was only 13 my interest and love for exploring had been hatched.

We stayed with my aunties family in their meticulous traditional Japanese home in Tokyo. Their garden was carefully looked after with Bonsai trees and other such shrubs neatly pruned. The house was spotless, with bamboo flooring and an incense filled shrine room  . The house walls were not set in a deep foundation. Hence when earthquakes struck, their house remained standing and just swayed slightly.

We visited numerous exquisite places in the two weeks:

The Tokyo Tower – 333m high and weights 7,000 tonnes, it has spectacular views across the city.

Bullet Train – while this is not an attraction as such, it was a fabulous experience and way to travel.

Printemp department store – this is a enormous store in Ginza with all shops imaginable. I loved the stationary shops. Make sure to eat in Moss burger – the tastiest fast food I have tried to date.

The Golden Temple (Rokuon-ji) – the entirety of the majestic temple was created out of gold – such a delightful sight. The garden has 15 rocks which only God can see. This is because 15 is the perfect number for Buddhists.

(Following visiting the Golden Temple You can visit the Nijo Castle and Ginkakuji in the same day.)

Temple Sanjusangen-do – homes 1001 Buddhas which took 100 years for craftsman to create. The building itself is the longest wooden building in Japan. We wrote wishes on candles and then lit them in front of the Buddha.

Open air sculpture museum – this was great fun with interactive sculptures, such as long slides, sofa eggs you could jump on and other weird and wonderful sights.

Disney land – Is a great attraction for all, take pictures with all the well-known characters, roam through the haunted house and journey down the water slides.

Other top tourists sites include: Kyoto national museum, Meji Shrine, The Imperial Palace, Asakusa, Aqua Park (Odtiba).

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