J 🌸A 🌸P 🌸A 🌸N 2024

As the offical end of summer approaches here in Sydney and Taylor Swift has wowed a lot of us here this weekend, I’m heading to Japan next Friday and am super excited.

It’s currently snowing in Hakuba. My partner Steve and his soccer mates – the 56er’s are currently there for 10 days.

Macca Ready for day 1 skiing

Steve suggested I fly over for a “few days skiing” after the soccer boys left …..

I’m not flying 9 and a half hours for a few days skiing, so as always, I have spent way too much time researching, scrolling and generally ignoring the world around me as I plan all the things I want to squeeze into the 14 nights I’m going to be there.

I have been known to cram 7 days activities into 4 ( in Vegas) so let’s see how I go this trip.

Of course the trusty Lonely Planet guides have had a work out, along with online platforms and my usual pre planning of outfits has also taken place, and the bag is packed and I’ve run it past my eldest daughter for approval. No daggy Mum outfits from me!

I’ve already changed my flight so I can have an extra weekend in Tokyo maybe with friends – we will see if they get “fomo” and if not I’m quite happy to wander and take photos and eat yummy food and potentially get lost all on my own.

I’ve chatted with neighbours, family, friends who have all recently just returned from Tokyo or Hakuba, so I’m up to date about places to see and eat right now, and am so excited to jump on that ANA flight next Friday and head to Tokyo. We got “Joyce’d- thank you Qantas from our trip last year, so we are going ANA and so far the contact to change flights etc. has been amazing. Steve said his flight last week, leg room and the lounge access -even with premium economy seats, was excellent and so we may have a new fav airline!

I’ll meet Steve Monday week after the boys soccer trip concludes with a Mario Cart driving experience in onesies through the streets of Tokyo, before we and head to Hakuba for a few days skiing.

Our friends have apartments in Hakuba, called Winterstorm and are excellent hosts. We will be skiing where they recommend and take us, always handy to have a local ski buddy and the mountain has lots of choice. We will also be visiting the usual tourist stops like Togakushi to see the stunningly beautiful cedar tree lined walk to a shrine and to have soba noodles the town in known for.

 

 

 

 

 

Then 6 of us will then travel to Ishikawa Prefecture to Kanazawa. Located on the Sea of Japan and known as “Little Kyoto” for its blend of traditional and modern life.

I can’t wait to stay here to see the beautiful Edo era castle and shrine, Tera houses and samurai homes as well as the Omichi Market, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.

It’s then onto Kyoto for a few nights of tradition and touring. We have booked a guide for a day down here recommended by a friend. Kenji is taking us off the tourist map and sharing some local hidden delights.

It’s then another Shinkansen train to Hakone to see Mt Fuji up close and enjoy a few hiking trails for a couple of days before we finish with 3 days in Tokyo.

As its also our birthday month (both Steve and I are March babies) we have a couple of special dinners booked and the rest, well we are happy with street alley food of yummy bowls ramen, strawberry topped soya bean goodies and who knows what else we will find. Although the boys are happy to stand at the beer vending machines, they were super impressed last time!

So if you want to come along on our next adventure, feel free to join us.

Mrs W and the Baggage handler – although Japan has this amazing Black Cat Baggage service which for a small fee, allows you to send your bags ahead to the next city hotel, so you can just take a smaller carry on or back pack onto the trains rather than lug suitcases…… what is not to love about that!

 

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