Misfits in Japan
Before anything else, let me greet you a very merry Christmas!!! I am sure that most of you, like me, are looking forward to this best time of the year. You see, Christmas is actually the reason that I am writing to you now. My family decided to spend a few days before Christmas in Japan this year. It was our first ever family trip to Japan, and that's what I wanted to share with you guys for now.
So let me get you off the honeymoon posts for awhile, and allow me to share with you a few of my travel tips and some photos from our family trip... You must be wondering what kind of misfits did we have in Japan, huh? Let me start off by saying that Japan is really a one-of-a-kind place. From the vending machines where you buy your dinner tickets, to their marvelous temples and breathtaking towers, there is really no place like Japan.
Our first challenge during this trip was the language barrier; you see not all Japanese speak the common English language. Don't get me wrong; the Japanese are very accommodating, friendlyand polite people. But, asking for directions and help from someone you encouter in the streets is actually easier said than done. And here's where Google Translate could be of some help, to those of you who are familiar with using it. Tip: you'll need a mobile internet while using this app if you need to translate from Japanese.
Which brings me to our next challenge: mobile wifi. We encountered barely a handful of restaurants that offered free (and fast) wifi service. Universal Studios and DisneySea Japan did not have free wifi services. And this was a major problem for us, since our itinerary heavily relied on Google Maps telling us exactly where we're heading and where we needed to go. Tip: if you already have a mobile internet device, consider buying one of those prepaid wifi cards that look like the ones below. We found this wide selection in Yodobashi Center near the Namba station in Osaka.
It was also a challenge getting the hang of their railway transport. Aside from the fact that their ticket vendo machines and their tickets and platform signs are all in Japanese characters (there's an English option though, which you'll need to find either on the upper left screen or left panel buttons of the vending machines), you need to know the difference between each railway system (they have the Toei, the JR lines, the subway and the Shinkansen). Tip: if you're unsure whether you're on the right platform or not, you may ask the train/railway conductors. You can distinguish them by their navy blue uniforms and caps. Most of them can speak English easily.
I have just one last tip that you might find helpful if you plan to visit Japan during the cold winter season. They have these heater patches that you can put against your undershirt or in your pockets, to help you keep warm while traveling (see photo below). I loved them!
So now here are our Japan photos, finally. Hope you enjoy! And Merry Christmas!!!
Thank you so much for reading! Have a merry and blessed Christmas!!
Photos by Troy M.
Shein gray coat • Prada tote • Topshop bonnet
Zara boots (old) • Topshop knitted pink sweater
Zara knitted green vest (old) • gray scarf from Topshop
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