|Above, Senso-ji and pagoda in Asakusa. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
If you are contemplating a trip to Japan and never been there before, Australia's Herald Sun has a new article on what to see and do for first-timers. Itg is especially useful if one is traveling there solo.
It begins with:
Celebrity chef David Chang flies there for the food. Pop singer Gwen Stefani finds trends in Harajuku. I finally travelled to this island nation in May. You know it, the place of sushi, samurai films and Sony Walkmans. Japan. One of the most fascinating places in the world.
CNN presenter Anthony Bourdain considers Tokyo the most exciting city to visit alone. Though I’m partial to independent travel, I wasn’t comfortable tackling the world’s most populous city (of 37 million people), let alone its home country, solo.
So, in need of a primer, I signed up with On the Go Tours’ Tokyo to Takayama trip: eight cities in 14 days; a flexible itinerary; licensed Japanese tour guides; and travel via buses, subways and bullet trains. Mingling with locals appealed more than sitting in an airconditioned coach.
Each tour caters to a maximum of 16 people. Together, we were thrown in the deep end on day one, thrust into Tokyo’s biggest and noisiest festival, Sanja Matsuri.Japan may seem intimidating to someone who has never been there, but after about a day or two wandering around, one's confort level there skyrockets pretty fast. The people there are very friendly and helpful, so don't be afraid to ask (many do speak English to a degree) at a tourist center at a major train station.
To read more, go here.