Japan? Yes Japan!
A few years ago I was not immediately enthusiastic about this proposal, I remember it well: on the other side of the world for the first time, in two, with a backpack. So I organize: tickets, itinerary prepared, insurance done and medicines taken .... but I still remember the agitation of the night before departure. Years later, I have wonderful memories of those places, of the encounters and of the East, never was any trip like this? nailed it!
The flight to Japan? really long so the first day I recommend a short itinerary to orient yourself. In Tokyo you can? visit the Imperial Palace (Metro stop: Hibiya), its garden and its imposing walls. In the seventeenth it was the largest castle? big in the world! Gi? from here you will be able to perceive the style of Japan: ancient places flank the skyscrapers of this megalopolis.
Then move by metro (Metro stop: Nogizaka) and go to the Roppongi district:? was one of the most? trendy in Tokyo today? the center of business, but will it happen to you? to walk both in the midst of skyscrapers and under very high statues of animals,? famous giant spider in Roppongi Hills!
In the north-east of Tokyo c '? the Ueno district: there are hills full of shrines and temples, but in the surroundings there are also many shops and some of the most popular ones. old town restaurants. Spend a day in this area relaxing in the park. The architecture of the temples? majestic and at the same time linear. A Ueno in the park c '? a pond with a temple, accessed by a walkway. Even if in the distance you can see the tall buildings on this island of tranquility? you experience another atmosphere.
With the Metro go east (Asukasa stop) you will find the time Senso-ji: a large Buddhist temple. There? a large brazier with incense at the entrance whose smoke, it is said, wards off disease.
If there remains ap? a little more time? south c '? Akihabara: a crazy neighborhood full of lights,? the electronics district!
In the neighborhood of Roppongi c '? Tokyo Tower (Metro: Kamiya-Cho) :? high more? of 300 meters and? the tv tower. From the Japanese? considered a mole in the city? that disfigures the landscape, but in reality? with the evening lights it has a completely different effect! Can you? to rise above, to the top, the view? beautiful!
Another neighborhood worth a stroll? Ginza:? very modern, at times it reminded me of the worldliness? from New York, but? what me? liked Japan: see how the new? was created around the historic sites and the transition area between the two? net. The atmosphere, the vitality, the rhythms, change completely.
Take the Metro to Shibuya Station and when exiting the station follow the signs for "Hachiko Square": a small square dedicated to the dog, what are you waiting for? long his master, stories of great love. There? the statue of the dog surrounded by benches and trees ... I wanted to run to my four-legged friend,? a place that touches the heart!
Leaving this small square with the trees, you will feel catapulted into another world: streets, skyscrapers, traffic, lights. Shibuya? the neighborhood known for having the most? traffic in the world: six roads cross each other and when the green lights to cross all move in a thousand directions. I remember walking through the intersection about four times, with my nose up, feeling very small and losing my bearings each time!
From Asukasa station take the train with the Nikko Line to Nikko. After two hours of travel you will arrive in a small town in the mountains surrounded by woods:? one of the most? significant of Japan.
Will you walk among pagodas, temples, the most? famous? the Rinno-ji temple, while the shrines are the Tosho-gu and Futarasan-jinja. It is in this complex of temples that you will see the three monkeys of I do not see, do not hear, do not speak ... They really exist! There are also large sculptures of warriors whose role? to protect the entire area. The big draw here? the Shinkyo bridge, or the sacred bridge:? in wood, crosses a river and? full of legends.
Mi? really liked this place: it conveys a calm that is difficult to feel, despite the tourists the pace flows slowly. You feel absorbed in the middle of the forest: there are no noises, if not leaves and wind, the architecture as it is? different from ours always leaves you speechless.
From Tokyo to Kyoto to get around I used the very fast Japanese trains, the Shinkansen, with a pass purchased months before on the Japanrailpass.com website.
Kyoto? the ancient capital, has a different aspect from the new one: although modern it has more? traces of the country's history. Buses are used a lot and there are only two subway lines, in short, very different from Tokyo!
Arrive by bus to the ancient Nijo-jo castle: you buy the ticket at the entrance, don't you? need to book, you enter a well-kept garden called Shinsen-en. You will see large spaces with beautifully decorated walls, gardens with bonsai and plants perfectly in line with the castle.
Near the castle c '? the Imperial Palace, but to visit it? It is necessary to apply for an authorization from the tourist information office of the city. Though ? a simple structure? very impressive: if you happen to be in April it will be? lovely to see the cherry blossom here.
An old district of Kyoto is called Okazaki, almost all buses and the subway stop here:? composed of wooden houses, in the internal streets there are many restaurants, many of which do not even speak English, but the welcome? guaranteed! Are you lucky? here you can see the Geishas: they walk fast, they don't stop, but seeing one leaves you speechless!
You go back in time for these uphill streets: you will pass by many temples and pagodas. Starting from the north you can? descend along the "Philosopher's Path" and you will see all the temples well.
Walk around this area calmly, it will take you about three hours, but you will see and live in the heart of Japan.
From Kyoto take the train and you will arrive at Fushimi Inari Shrine, one of the largest shrines. ancient from all over Japan.
It is one of the most popular places fascinating I've ever seen.
It is a large Shinto shrine that rises at the foot of the mountain made up of many portals, called torii, all orange. You will walk under the bulls, take a long walk. And do it all, up to the top, take your time: isn't there? nothing but these torii and the sound of the wind.
To get there: from Kyoto take the JR Nara line train.
In the southeast side of the city? c '? the ancient Gion district: along the river, there are wooden houses and many restaurants with exquisite flavors.
Is this where I am? happened to see a Geisha: she walked fast, elusive, she looked just like a little girl with a face like that? white and big eyes, see one will leave you? of putty!
There are various temples here too, I point out the Nishihongan-ji Temple.
Northwest of the city? although there are fewer attractions, there are a couple of temples absolutely worth seeing. Taking bus 12 you get to the Ryoan stop:? here the Ryoan-ji temple what? famous for its rock garden. It is a rectangular shaped Zen garden with white gravel and small fountains. Not ? cos? easy to meditate for the quantity? of tourists, but? still used today for contemplation.
Continuing the walk in the park you will arrive at the Kinkaku-ji Temple or the golden pavilion. It is a three-story all-gold pavilion dating back to the th century. Is it built in front of a pond and its reflected image? exceptional with the colors of nature around.
From Kyoto move to the last destination what? an hour away and? Osaka.
The city? ? very industrialized and technological: skyscrapers, roads built on more? levels and even pass between one floor and another of the buildings!
Among all the skyscrapers of Osaka, what stands out the most? ? Umeda Sky Building: reminds me of a robot with two towers like legs joined by an upper platform.
In the midst of all this c '? the ancient castle of the '500. Is it a reconstruction,? very large and the pu? visit inside even if? rather bare.
At night ? illuminated and with skyscrapers in the background? a really nice contrast!
In Osaka there are many shops, the area more? animated is called Minami, while in the evening move to the Dotosmburi district. It is the entertainment district, you will find Karaoke in every corner, and also restaurants, including many Street food.
From Osaka station c '? a train bound for Himeji, a town with a large castle. Once you arrive at the station, follow the signs and you will be there in 15 minutes on foot. The castle ? built of wood and surrounded by walls that have incredibly resisted the attacks of the Second World War.
Inside the walls, in addition to the castle, there are other buildings surrounded by greenery, flowers and small groves.
Remember: in every place you visit, remember to get a stamp. At the information point of each visited place you will find stamps representing the place you are about to visit. It is an original memory, I have filled my guide!
Nara deer park:
Nara? a small town? accessible by train from Osaka,? famous for its park with around 1500 deer. You will enter a large park where between temples and pagodas there are deer free, can you? feed them and they approach without fear. Also in this park at the end of the walk, you will find the Todai-ji temple containing the largest bronze statue. largest in the world. It is a statue of Buddha, really impressive:? tall, large, lit only by candles. This creates a nice effect why? coming from outside, with the light of day, the eyes take a few seconds to get used to, but then the effect? incredible!
On the top right of the temple c '? a strange wooden column with a hole in the base: the legend says that whoever manages to pass through it will have? a year of luck.
Not ? was my case aim ?, but many try!
On the last day, treat yourself to one last stroll through the busy city? why? then c '? to take the train back to Narita airport, what? in Tokyo. Even if the trains are very fast, consider the times well.
There are trains from Osaka that go directly to the airport, since? one of the main in the country.
The one in Japan? an incredible journey ... Have a nice trip !!