Towards the end of our year long world tour in 2011, Noah and I spent 4 weeks touring Japan. For me, it presented some of our biggest travelling challenges to date. After all, we couldn’t speak a word of Japanese and I didn’t know if Noah could handle the crowds, the heat or the food. Furthermore, the tsunami and nuclear disaster had recently happened and we had conflicting advice about where we could travel.
As it transpired the trip was a resounding success! As members of Couchsurfing, and being a unique combination of mum and son, we got inundated with offers of free places to stay or have a meal. Consequently, we stayed with many wonderful Japanese families and learnt lots about their lives. It also wasn’t as expensive as I thought – although we did eat a lot of pot noodle style meals!
- Buying a train ticket (must be purchased outside of Japan) that allows you to hop on and off trains throughout the country, including the Shinkansen (Bullet trains)
- Visiting Nara, Miyajima, Fushimi-Inari-Taisha and Kyoto
- Trying to avoid accommodation aimed at tourists and ask for Japanese hotels/hostels. They’re much cheaper and often include very good breakfasts.