Note: this is a really long overdue post. It’s been about 2 weeks or so since I’ve been back and I’m just writing this post haha. Typical me.
Anyway, this is not a day-by-day recap of the trip. It’s more of a what-I-felt-throughout-the-trip kind of post.
First of all, I have to thank Amanda for being such a great and accommodating travel partner! It’s highly unlikely she’ll see this post but that doesn’t mean thanks aren’t in order (though I have thanked her IRL too hehe). But yes, she was a really amazing travel partner. Tokyo was really more of my dream destination for a grad trip rather than hers so I’m forever grateful for her to saying ‘yes’ in the first place since my parents were adamant that I not travel solo or travel with guy friends only (still quite sore over this point but oh well what can I do). We even took a totally impromptu trip to Mount Takao to hike! By impromptu I mean looking up on Google that very same morning haha. I love spontaneity. And even though hiking isn’t my thing – I gave up halfway up the 3.1km nature trail – she still was so sporting and encouraged me all the way 🙂 I knew that our personalities wouldn’t clash on the trip but still it’s very nice to see a trip go well with no hiccups behaviour/personality-wise.
Takaosanguchi station. Even their railway stations are so pretty oh my.
Hiking up the mountain. It was around this point where I started regretting the decision to take the natural route instead of the easier trail haha. Still. Good memories made. Also, doesn’t this look like a scene off My Neighbour Totoro? 😀
The view I was rewarded with at the halfway point! Cool winds made it all the more worth it. And that’s Tokyo in the distance. Didn’t realise we had travelled quite a bit outside the city.
That didn’t mean that our trip was completely smooth-sailing though. No, it was far from that haha. We got lost so many times even I was astounded. The highlight was during the second last day where we planned to go to Chiba, just outside Tokyo to take in the countryside and get away from the city for a while. Being city-kids and Singaporean kids at that, we both thought that Chiba was just an MRT station – at most, maybe a housing estate like Pasir Ris or Choa Chu Kang. But nope. It turns out Chiba was a whole province and that the places we wanted to see were scattered all over. Hahahaha. So we settled on Sawara in the end and it was beautiful! It’s pretty much preserved from the Edo period so there were all these beautiful traditional houses separated by a canal in the middle of the street which was very cool.
Sawara is so beautiful. We went on a weekday so there was really nobody out on the streets exploring like us. It was amazing. Felt like we were in our own time bubble.
A post about Tokyo or Japan in general would not be adequate without any mention of the people there. I swear, they are the most friendliest people I’ve ever met. Beats even the Scots which I thought was pretty high up there on the Friendly Chart already. They really do help you out when you’re in need; sometimes without even you asking. Many trainmasters and just ordinary people have come up to us after looking at our lost faces and offering advice on how to go on our journey even though they can’t speak fluent English. I did catch some Japanese that they were saying (thank you anime and J-pop) but it was basically just a sign and body language communication. It’s amazing. And the service from the shops! I bought a scone on the way to Narita on the last day and the sales lady gave me a small tote bag to put the bagged scone in. A tote bag. For a scone. Wow.
Me and Amanda on the plane back to Changi. 5 days but it was a really great trip!
Safe to say that I really did enjoy myself on this trip. Tokyo was my dream for so long and it was the perfect place to go after ending my undergraduate education. I can’t wait to explore more of Japan and the world once I’m permanently employed hehe.
(Hint: I’m already planning a sisters-only trip to Seoul/Korea in Oct 2017 once the sister is done with her N Levels. BTS, PHJ, SJK, wait for me pls.)
Side note: all photos were taken with my iPhone 6 so apologies for any graininess! Also, they are all unedited since I am a complete noob when it comes to that haha.