Tokyo Nikko Nagoya Takayama Kanazawa Shirahama Kyoto 1/2 Kobe Hiroshima End
3 weeks in Japan...
la riketejo
© 2006 Éric Languillat

So of course, a trip to Japan has to start with Tokyo. First thing to do if you plan to travel by train is to get yourself a Japan Rail Pass. You need to buy it before you leave. You get a voucher that you have to exchange upon arrival. Of course, once I had it in hand, I found out that the first train I had to take was not part of that network, so I had to buy another one from one of these machines on which there is nothing but japanese signs, and corresponding prices of course. Fortunately, it did not take long before someone came to help me.
Alright, and then finally I met my friend Shuhei and I was tired and it was very hot and it was humid and it was Japan and I was happy.
About Tokyo, I would say that parts of it are up to the clichés...

And yeah, sometimes you can really get lost... but it's OK, this is hollyday time, just sit in one of the numerous cafés and have an expensive drink. Although I must say that generally speaking I did not find it THAT expensive (well, maybe also because I live myself in a pretty expensive city).

Right, and then it's time to see things that look a bit older...

I must say this is something that always impressed me... although this was only the beginning and the best ones were still to come. But hey, even after 3 weeks and an OD of temples, I could still be amazed by the smallest one in a tiny village. I understand some people can feel the same way when visiting "our" churches...

Tokyo is big so you may well spend days walking aroung without seeing or even realising that you're so close to the sea. But it is, and there is also a river on which you can travel on short distances, thus avoiding another subway experience (to be honest, I found the subway quite nice and not as packed as I thought it would be).

And the next thing you know, you're in a perfectly peaceful japanese garden, right in the city center...

I went to see a baseball match with Shuhei, this is the n°1 sport there. First I had to learn the rules of the game itself, then I discovered there were also some supporters rules, which I could not really follow as I did not have an umbrella (the umbrella by the way seems to be the ultimate accessory - at least in summer! - for women in Japan).

And if your team looses, it's OK too because there are tousands of people who distribute handkerchiefs out of every subway station...

I still need to get a few pictures for Tokyo, but instead of waiting for them, I suggest we leave now for Nikko, it's not that far...