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  • Writer's pictureSteve & Paul


Japan was an amazing trip with so much to talk about, that we've split it into heaps of articles that will split off from this page, so just click the coloured links to explore more. Most of the details are in these other links.

There are around 126.8 million people living in Japan with Tokyo being the most populous metropolitan area in the world and home to 8.3 million people.

We flew Qantas Perth to Singapore (QF71), on one of their A330-200's which took around 5 hours. We then flew on to Haneda Airport (Tokyo) with Japan Airlines (JL036) on one of their 777-200's for the 7 hour flight.

Our first few days were in Tokyo to visit TeamLab's installations there which are TeamLab Borderless and TeamLab Planets. If you are ever in Tokyo, you must visit both, but if you only have time for one, make it TeamLab Borderless.

We also did a night time walking tour around Shinjuku where the world's busiest train station is and Steve did a walking photographic tour as well. We did over 20,000 steps each day, catching trains and walking around, so we needed a pretty nice bed to sleep in each night and that's exactly what we got at The Pullman Tamachi.

We took a few hours to walk around Harajuku one day which is renowned for colorful street art and youth fashion, with quirky vintage clothing stores and cosplay shops along Takeshita Street, and traditional, upmarket boutiques on leafy Omotesando Avenue. Small, trendy bars fill the surrounding lanes, while dessert shops and carts specialise in sweet crêpes, donuts, and bubble tea. We didn't get to Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, which hosts cutting-edge temporary exhibitions, however we did find a great Onitsuka Tiger sneaker store where a couple of pair were purchased.

After a few days exploring Tokyo we headed south to Kyoto on the Shinkansen Bullet Train, which took 2 hours 40 mins to travel 513km (318 miles) for around 13,500 each for a reserved seat. Pretty pricey, but worth it. Click on the Shinkansen Bullet Train link above or the image below to see what it looks like inside and which seats to book to see Mount Fuji.

In Kyoto we checked in to the Kyoto Yura, which is part of the M Gallery of Hotels and this too was one of the nicest hotels we have stayed in.

Kyoto was a terrific city with about 1.5 million people, so it felt a bit easier and not so busy to get around.

We also did an 8 hour walking tour one day to visit some amazing temples and shrines including the Fushimi Inari Shrine.

At night it's safe enough to walk around Kyoto and explore the restaurants along the Kamogawa River. To find out which restaurant we liked the best, read our story on Kyoto.

Restaurants overlooking the Kamo River - note the spacing between couples on the riverbank.

Walking around Gion and seeing Geisha's and all the restaurants was an amazing experience.

Most of the temples and shrines seem to be open 24/7 so you can go for a wander after dinner to explore. We always felt safe in Japan. Can't wait to go back.

After a few days we headed to Kansai Airport (Kyoto) for CX-503 with Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong on a 777-300 with a couple of hours in Cathay's gorgeous new Business Lounge The Deck before boarding Cathay's CX-701 for our first flight on an A350-1000 from Hong Kong to Bangkok.


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