Traveling, a mighty good test for any relationship. Multiple heavy suitcases, a cross-Pacific flight, hours of layover in LAX, connecting to trains, connecting to buses...and then add on the 85-95 degree weather plus humidity and an inability to speak Japanese, and sometimes I wonder how we managed to not drive each other crazy.
But what I think was really nice in helping us bond is that Japan was completely foreign to us both. Experiencing everything new together was fun, and I'm glad we got to share this mini-adventure.
For those of you planning a honeymoon/trip to Japan, this was our itinerary.
10 days, including travel time:
Flew into Narita
4 days in Tokyo
1 day in Hakone
3 days in Kyoto
1 night stay in Narita before flying home
I basically lived on tripadvisor for a few months planning, but I also consulted Mrs. Ant's posts on Weddingbee, because she had a very similar itinerary to us back in 2007, including the same hotel in Tokyo! I think her posts on Weddingbee are a great place to start for anyone planning a Japan honeymoon.
And now, for the first leg of our trip...TOKYO!
Upon arrival, we thought we had been transported to the future, complete with glittering skyscrapers, trains going here and there, and people dressed up in clothes that made our clothes look super.duper.boring. We stayed at the Park Hotel Tokyo (which was fantastic!) and crammed our four days with food, shopping, and sightseeing. One place we went to twice was the Tsukiji Fish Market, where we had sushi we could never get in San Diego. In fact one sushi stall just had a random fish on its doorstep--good sign that it's fresh!
[Sushi from Daiwa Sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market]
We also took advantage of department store basements which had all the food you could possibly dream of, all on display and ready to eat. Our favorites were the basements at Isetan and Tokyu Department Store.
[Green tea gelato from Tokyu Food Show]
We had an interesting day navigating Akihabara, known for selling electronics, anime, gadgets, toys, and home to a myriad of maid cafes. I surprisingly came out of there with no shopping bags, despite all of the stuffed animals and cute toys available to buy.
[Domo-kun wind-up toys]
[Gloomy bear stuffed animals in an arcade game]
We spent a much quieter day in Ueno Park, which had these amazing lily pads, and visited Asakusa to see the Kaminarimon. I had written a paper in college about Hiroshige's print, so I was especially excited to see it!
[Asakusa, "Thunder Gate"]
And, like any other time or place, I was always on the look-out for sweets! Here are a few of my finds.