japan + guam
From Palau we moved on to Guam. Guam is an American territory in the Pacific which is a popular holiday destination for the Japenese why it is only fair to mention it in this post. We only stayed for three days anyway. You wouldn’t be able to stand it much longer if you want to stay sane.
After we met a German friend of ours at the airport we explored the parks and tourist attractions in Tokyo (A) and of the old cities of kings (Nikko and Kamakura) which are both good for a day trip from Tokyo. Then we took the bullet train straight down to Hiroshima (B) and had a look what sort of sh** the Americans did at the end of the World War II. We also went to the island of Miyajima which is overflowing of temples – when you arrive you get greeted by a huge red gate standing in the water. In Kyoto (C) and Nara, two cities that aren’t too far away one temple is stringed to the next. But unlike Tokyo this area is also home of the ninjas – which we certainly met. I was over cultural things by then and happy to get to Hakone (D), an spa and ski town close to Tokyo to recover from the Gods. The last days we spent back in Tokyo (A) studying pop culture.
Japan is really expensive. I mean REALLY expensive. It is not a budget travel country even if you stay in the Japenese versions of B&Bs (even though there is usually no breakfast). The Japan National Tourist Organisation has a great search engine for accomdations on their site. We used it to organise the trip. We also bought a Railway Pass in advance. You should be able to get vouchers for it in any travel agency and then you exchange them for the pass once you are in Japan. There is a map of all the train routes here. And you can search the timetables here. We also bought rechargable metro cards for Tokyo (called SUICA) - it is very hand because you will use the metro a lot. Japan is a really safe country to travel and even though you most likely want be able to read any signs it is still very easy to get around – people are very helpful even though most of them want talk English. But they are very patient and you can explain them in gestures where you want to go or what you are looking for.