As I sit in front of my laptop to pen my recently concluded trip to Japan I can’t help but look back at some of the best experiences of my life that I have had in Japan. From food to culture, Japan has so much to offer that you need a lifetime to taste the true flavor of this vibrant country. Hear it from someone who has been there thrice and each time I visit Japan there’s this natural inkling, desire to learn more about the country.
My Japan calling this time around was to attend Red Bull Air Race third stop in Chiba; a thrilling, supercharged, and world’s fastest motorsport series. When you think of Japan three cities come to your mind easily- Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. But there are other cities in Japan that may not be mainstream but offer great Japanese experience such as Chiba. A government designated city, the capital of Chiba Prefecture is an hour from Tokyo by train. This is the best city in Japan if you’re looking for some peace time. Makuhari Kaihin Park was the perfect escape from my hectic schedule in the evenings. For animal lovers like me Chiba Zoological Park was a must-visit-spot in Chiba. No Chiba experience is complete without paying visit to its cultural attractions such as the Chiba Castle and Chiba Shrine. I just wished my busy schedule had some room to visit Hoki Museum, Chiba City Museum of Science and Chiba Museum of Art. When in Chiba you can’t miss the Chiba Port Tower, a visually striking 360 degree view of the entire city and of neighboring cities.
While I would spend my mornings and afternoons in Chiba, I would catch the first train in the evening to Tokyo. The capital of Japan has so much to offer; every street speaks of a vibrant culture, every cafe has something new to offer…Tokyo is not your typical city but a city that will make you fall in love with its rather unusual yet pleasant offerings. The city is home to the busiest crossings in the world ‘Shibuya Crossings’ and you can only understand this hypnotic view over the crossing when you’re looking from the window of Starbucks on the 2nd floor of the Q-front building across the street (though it’s hard to get a seat). Shibuya with its giant video screens, loud music and crowded streets is guaranteed to give you ‘Wow, I’m in Tokyo! Feeling’ for sure. If you’re a seafood lover like me than Tsukiji Fish Market is the best place to satisfy your seafood cravings. Home to the world’s busiest, largest fish market, Tsukiji Fish Market offers live tuna auction (you have to be there at 5am to watch this) and sushi breakfast. Sensoji temple was another memorable experience in Tokyo. Also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple, Sensoji is a Buddhist temple coined as one of Tokyo’s most colorful and popular temples. On your way to the temple you can’t miss a shopping street of over 200 meters called Nakamise that is home to traditional Japanese souvenirs such as Yukata and folding fans. The Imperial Palace in Tokyo is a large park area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls in the center of Tokyo. It is the residence of Japan’s Imperial Family. Another must visit attraction is the Tokyo Tower, an Eiffel Tower inspired lattice tower located in the Shiba-koen district of Minato and is the second-tallest structure in Japan.
This is a country that you simply can’t get enough of! It may be one of the most technological advanced countries in the world but the fact remains that Japan is one of the few countries in the world that is true to its roots and offers a wide array of cultural aspects that is hard to find in this fast paced world we live in today. If you haven’t been to Japan then you haven’t seen anything yet; book your tickets now!