• Esther Leong

Catching Cherry Blossoms in Japan

My first trip to Japan and i loved it.

The sakura period was a peak season and it was hard to find available apartments (with separate rooms) for the duration we needed, hence we ended up having to move. Our first apartment was in Shibuya, which was a great location to start with.

This apartment was super cool, it was double storey (giving us the privacy we needed)

clean, heating was great and was an interesting stay in general! The toilet and shower were all on the 2nd floor.

My only complaint is that its also located on the 3rd floor, so if you're carrying alot of luggage it can be inconvenient to move in.

Experiencing Shibuya Crossing.

Proposal at Shinjuku Gyoen Park that i wrote about in my previous post.

After the proposal, we moved out of Tokyo to head for Kusatsu Onsen to experience snow, onsen and the cold!

Oh before leaving, i went to the salon to re-dye my hair from a bad session done back home and they turned me into a japanese doll!

Communication was difficult as they didn't speak a single speck of english, so i'm glad i didn't turn blond or something.

The bus ride up took about 5 hours, and we stayed at a Ryokan called Kiyoshigekan.

Request for a room facing the back, and you'll get good views of the mountains from your window!

My experience with the onsen was fabulous, it was quite private as there were not many people checked in at that time.

We considered ourselves lucky as the day we checked out, a group of school students checked in, bleah.

The next day, we went to the Kusatsu kokusai Ski Resort!

I picked this place mainly because it was good for beginners.

Okay it was looking rather bare with dry patches of land everywhere because it was nearing the end of the ski season!

If i was not wrong, the ski resort was about to close for business after we left.

We booked a 2 hours class with an instructor who could not speak english, so it was equally challenging trying to learn.

(all the english instructors were taken)

I heard Skiing is much easier to learn but there are certain sports I'm forbidden to do due to a knee injury years back.

Snowboarding was hard! The board is rather heavy and once you reach the bottom you had to lug it back up. The snow boots also locks your ankles so it was difficult to walk! We were actually sweating in this cold.

Please excuse my extra high pitched voice, i get excited whenever i take a video. i don't actually sound like that. lol

My mom managed to film a snippet of my beginner attempt. haha.

I swear i got better after that, and learnt to put in more effort in getting up.

All warm and shopping for food after snowboarding!

Walking around Kusatsu town before heading back to Tokyo! It's a small compact town with lots of onsens and lovely knick knack shops that you can visit. I simply just love the tranquility of walking down the street, with the occasional wind in your hair and lots of fresh air. :) Oh i did forget to mention that everything is by foot because the roads are quite small and there isn't quite enough space to allow cars in most alleys, then again, that's the beauty of exploration right?

When we went back to Tokyo, we had to move into another apartment, because our previous Shibuya apartment was fully booked.

I didn't capture pictures of our 2nd apartment but i must say i loved the space of the living room.

It's also rather convenient being near to the station. We stayed here for another 3 days. Here's the link to the apartment if you're looking for a spacious place to stay!

Suginami Apartment

The next day, we planned a visit to my boyfriend's japanese ex-colleague's place for lunch! He lived on the outskirts, so the train journey took almost 2 hours? I can't imagine taking a crowded 2 hour ride to and fro everyday.

On the way back, we popped by Disneysea!

For some reason, it went extra extra cold that day (on the only day i wore semi opaque tights, great) So practically all the windchill was getting into my legs and my jacket had almost no insulation, i was just wearing an inner heattech and knit tunic.

It was really crowded and we barely took any rides because the queue was too long (typical of any theme park)

I think we managed 2 rides? Watched a live show with fireworks in the freezing cold and had dinner in this posh titanic looking ship.

Not much of a disneyland experience but at least we visited.

To fully appreciate the Sakura before we left, we visited the human and flower filled Ueno Park. Yup, it was super crowded...

Our last stop was the Owl Cafe at Asakusa! Japan has lots of these animal cafes where you get close up encounters with these rare animals. The baby owls are the cutest! They are so soft like a furball, it reminds me of that star wars character.

This sums up my lengthy post! Japan has so much to offer, and there's something about their culture and environment that makes it such a pleasant country to visit, i can't wait for my next trip!

#travel #japan

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