Do you know how it feels to fall in love with a country that you know you can’t be there anytime you want? The breathless sight when you see another picture with spectacular images, the heart beating fast when you read more about its culture and customs, and the endless excuses you find when someone says some bad stuff about it?
I guess this is how love at first sight feels like. ❤
I’ve never experienced it in my love life, but traveling can make up for it too, and now I see how it feels.
For me, it was Japan.
My sweet-bitter memories are there to remember. And to make the matter worse, I remained a member of all the groups I have subscribed and vloggers I followed for it when I planned the trip. I read about it almost every day.
It’s my dream country, and I would like to share with you our experiences from the beginning of our planning until the end of our trip — all home-planned, based solely on our favorite leisure activities and choices for spending quality time together.
Planning the trip was one of the most challenging parts.
Firstly, we have tried to get in touch with an agency; maybe, maybe we would have some useful tips about things to do in and around the locations we would have stopped.
I am a bit picky about such things, as I want advice about off the beaten track spots and not very crowded touristic places. As a consequence, the agency idea failed lamentably; as many times it happened to me when I explained my wishes (which are not that common apparently 🙄) to a professional, but they tried to get for themselves a lot of money, forgetting about my desires. So, what happened is that from our given budget we have ended up with a plan that doubled our budget, and we thought…uuuuhm, neee, thanks.
That’s when I took the planning in my hands and for almost 4–5 days I was just doing this, checking reviews, blogs, facebook pages, asking questions, until I came up with the perfect plan for us:
- 4 days in Tokyo;
- 2 days in Fujiyoshida;
- 3 days in Kyoto;
- 2 days in Miyajima;
- 1 day in Nara
- 2 days in Osaka and
- 1 day in Wakayama.
I know that for some people this schedule might sound a bit in a rush; I have followed a lot of blogs and facebook groups to know that opinions are very split and some people prefer to stay more in each of these cities.
However, for us, it was the best trip ever, we haven’t felt rushed, and we have enjoyed every single moment.
We took our time in each city, haven’t run after all sightseeings possible and impossible, after all the towers and temples, after all the shops and restaurants. We have picked some “must visits” in each city and after we’ve revised it during the day. In the following posts, I will talk more about our personal choices in each of the towns we’ve visited.
And that is precisely my advice: always, but always, think about what YOU want from a trip and plan it accordingly.
So, up we go, to the story of our two-week honeymoon to Japan!
Thanks for reading!
Ana Following my ikigai