I think it has started to sink in that I’m leaving Japan this week.
Almost a whole year has gone by (excuse the dates on my blog, I definitely miscounted somewhere so my blog dates are a few days ahead of real time…) and it seemed like only yesterday when I entered university and was looking forward to the year abroad exchange.
But this post isn’t about sappy things like that! This a summary of what I’ve been up to in the past two weeks leading up to my departure!
I’ve been going hiking because I know that isn’t something I’ll be able to do that often when I’m in London. Japan’s terrain is very hilly and is full of mountains so I’ve been doing day hikes.
The first hike I did was Mt. Oyama. It took me over an hour to get there from the dormitory by train to Isehara Station. From there you take a bus to the bottom of the mountain, where there is the option to take the cable car to the start of the climb, or you can walk.
As I’m a stingy student, I decided to walk instead of take the cable car as it costs money, but I was already tired by the time I reached the start of the hike! If you don’t take the cable car, that’s another 40mins of trekking before you’ve even started which I didn’t know about haha!
On the day I went there were quite a few people who took the cable car because at the cable car terminal on the mountain there is a temple which is where the hike begins. They were there to pray, rather than climb Mt. Oyama.
Anyway, it was a pretty tough hike. The ascent took me almost 2 hrs and the descent took just under an hour. The humidity at the base was a real killer but it was cool and misty near the summit. There wasn’t much to see as it was really foggy.
It was a great way to spend the day, away from laptop/electronics and other distractions. Since I had a great time hiking, I went on another hike the follow week!
This time I climbed Mt. Jimba. This mountain was a lot easier than Mt. Oyama since it isn’t as tall. The day I went was also less humid, which helped. Mt. Jinba was easier to get to but still pretty far away (over 1hr and 40mins).
You know when you’ve reached the summit of Mt. Jinba as there is a huge white statue of a horse. If I had more time I would like to go there again and hike all the way to Mt. Takao from Mt. Jinba. It is possible but it takes over 7 hrs and I left the dorm a bit late that day so I wouldn’t have been able to make it by sunset.
In between all these day trip hikes, I’ve been doing a lot of eating and sightseeing. Last week I went to Yokohama for the first time. I’ve been to so many places that are further away from Tokyo than Yokohama, but somehow I had never been there since I’ve been in Japan. It’s only a half an hour train ride from Shinjuku so it’s really close.
Yokohama is famous for its port and it also one of the world’s largest Chinatowns. We did a day trip there, where we headed to Chinatown first and then hit the bay area in the afternoon.
London also has a Chinatown, but this one is a lot bigger. It felt kinda weird to be there as I felt like I was in the Chinatown in London but all the street vendors were speaking in Japanese with a Chinese accent haha.
We hadn’t had lunch yet, so we had a snack to tide us over until dinner.
The port area in Yokohama reminded me of Canary Wharf in London – it felt a bit artificial with these high rise office buildings. There was hardly anyone around despite it being a Friday afternoon, so it was pretty dead and quiet…
Dinner was at a restaurant underneath Yokohama Station, in the shopping complex. It was a sort of curry/soup dish with some rice and vegetables. I opted for the spiciest dish but it wasn’t that spicy so I was a bit disappointed 😦 still tasty nevertheless!
So apart from that, I’ve been stuffing my face with all the food that Japan has to offer before going home. It’s been a challenge, but not an impossible one! Here is a glimpse of some of the things I’ve been eating.
For the first time, I had McDonalds in Japan! It was on my bucket list of food to eat here, just to be able to say I’ve had it. I opted for the teriyaki burger set. The burger was alright but the chips were a disgrace – so soggy and kinda raw. I’ve been told they aren’t that great, so the Japanese are really missing out on good chips!
I am leaving Japan in 4 days.
I honestly can’t believe it. It’s all coming to and end and my feelings are everywhere. I’m going to try and do another blog post before leaving, but don’t hold your breath.
Thank you for reading!!