From February 1st to the 5th, my family and I went on a trip to Japan. I’ve been to Japan a couple times before, but never to Nagoya or the other landmarks we visited, so it was quite the novel experience. Albeit very very very cold. I definitely do not do well in cold weather, thank goodness for indoor heating. Also, the beautiful snow covered scenery made the freezing temperatures worth it, well kind of.
We landed rather late in the afternoon to the airport in Nagoya on the first day, that plus a 2-3 hour busride (guesstimate, my memory is quite bad) meant that we arrived at our hotel just in time for dinner. Japanese cuisine sure is delicious and I might have put on some weight thanks to all the amazing food, not that I regret a single scrumptious bite I had in Japan.
Afterwards, we had the chouce of staying in our roons and resting our a soak in the hot springs. I’m not a big fan of nude bathing, honestly I’m not a big fan of hot springs in general. Therefore, I didn’t go to a single hot spring on the trip, despite the fact that every hotel we stayed at had them.
As a side note, we spent loads of time on a bus on this trip, not that I’m complaining or anything because it’s toasty warm in there and enabled us to visit many places within a pretty short time frame.
On the second day, we visited a couple of old streets in the morning, and I was quite amazed by how well they are preserved, it was like stepping into ancient Japan!
That afternoon, we saw monkeys enjoying hot springs, which is a scene I never thought I’d see. The monkeys there are of a different breed from the ones I saw at Monkey Forest in Bali. Even though these monkeys couldn’t compare in quantity to those in Bali, they certainly held their own in terms of novelty. The slight caveat is that you have to take a 20 minute hike up the mountain to get to the monkeys. The road wasn’t very steep, but it sure was slippery. As for the view, well snow covered mountains and trees are simply breathtaking!
Day three involved a cable car ride to an altitude of more than 2000 meters, a walk in the snow, a hearty steak lunch and a walk along an ancient street.
The final two days were the highlight for me because we got to spend the night at Shirakawa-go（白川鄉）and stay in traditional houses built in the architectural style of gassho-zukuri (合掌造り). Shirakawa-go is truly like a scene out of a fairytale with beautiful snow covered cottages, small roads and adorable shops. My favorite part was the home-cooked meals we had for dinner and breakfast. Those two meals were the best ones I had on this trip and it probably has something to do with the fact that the cottage owners’ are licensed chefs.
And that’s a wrap for my account of our trip to Japan this winter!