Two Weeks In
Updated: Mar 25, 2019
Now that we are 2 weeks into our travels I’d say we are basically experts in all things travel & Japan related (kidding of course). But we certainly have covered a lot of ground in Japan and have had our share of travel highs and lows.
Let’s start from the beginning. We were of course incredibly excited to embark on this adventure, starting with a short visit to LA, staying with my cousin Mimi & her husband Daniel for a night. All was good until we were pulling up to their apartment and realized we left our Japan Rail Pass vouchers back in NYC. If you have not been to Japan before and are not familiar -- these are essentially paper vouchers you need in order to access the trains in Japan that foreigners need to purchase ahead of time, and they are not cheap. For reasons beyond my comprehension, there is nothing you can do without having the paper vouchers in hand (they don’t accent photocopies, scanned images, receipts, etc). So, after a bit of panicking and lots of quick research - we found a solution. Thanks to my parents & DHL, the vouchers were sent to our first Hostel and arrived just 2 days after we did. Crisis of the trip #1, averted.
Other than the time I just left my purse (yes, passport, money, JR pass included, etc), sitting in the lobby of a hotel while we went to purchase tickets for the Robot Restaurant (more on that in a separate post), I don’t think we’ve actually had crisis #2 yet. Hopefully it stays that way for a while.
We’ve already had a handful of times having people ask us if they can take our picture (we always say yes), and we’re sure even more times of people taking pictures without asking. Not sure we’ll every fully understand why. Even more exciting, we ended up on a Japanese YouTube channel (check out the video, here) testing out some Japanese treats. We appear 3 times so definitely check it out.
As far as traveling as a couple goes -- so far so good. We are both waiting for the time that we’ll need to spend days in our own way, but that hasn’t happened yet. I think finding a balance of activity time and down time (like right now while I’m writing and Will is reading) helps.
I know everyone is wondering about workouts, so I’m happy to say that we have definitely found time to fit some big and small workouts into our days. Of course we have been walking a TON (I’m not sure how accurate my iPhone tracker is, but there was one day I walked over 34,300 steps! For reference, the previous week in NYC I wasn’t even over 10,000). There have been some hotel room workouts, but I was particularly excited today when we stayed at a place with a gym and I had some space to do a DanceBody online class. Not sure when I’ll have that opportunity again, so I’ll take what I can get!
Food & sweets in Japan make every day an adventure - even though a majority of our meals (breakfast every day at least, sometimes lunch) are from 7/11s (yup!) or similar convenience stores. Even on a budget we’ve been able to eat incredibly well and enjoy everything from Sushi, to Ramen, to Okonomiaki, to Yakatori, and on and on. The sweets here are insane, everything is made for Instagram though we have stuck to some of the classics like fun flavored KitKats and mochi treats. Matcha is everywhere, which I will definitely miss once we leave. More on some of our specific favs to come.
At this point in our trip we’ve stayed in quite a few places, 2 hostels, 1 guest house , 3 hotels & one Ryokan (the latter 2 categories all thanks to points!). We’ve done laundry twice (one of which is a story itself). We love the vibe of the hostels and have gotten spoiled by the comfort & good showers of everywhere we have been in Japan.
Packing wise I’ve been having a few regrets. Japan has definitely been cold, particularly for me. I ended up buying a pair of leggings at Uniqlo (fortunately there were only about $7), but am really regretting pulling a 2nd pair of leggings out of my bag when packing at the last minute. I also ended up buying a long sleeve & light tank from Uniqlo to help with layering. The other thing I’m already regretting is taking out while doing the final back back in Brooklyn is one of my normal bras. Our day to day wear will change a ton once we get to some warmer weather so who knows, so we'll see how that one plays out.
So, for those of you wondering about where in the world we were and how we are doing, this is a start and there will certainly be more to come soon!