Hey Everyone! Here’s the latest installment of our Adventures in Japan series. I finally got 2 consecutive days off so that’s allowed us to do some more travelling of late. This post will detail our trips to Odaiba, Nikko, and Atami. Three very different, yet equally awesome places in Japan. Our next trip upcoming will be to Korea and Taiwan so we’ll have to wait and see how that goes! (I will be going to Hakone, Nara, and Kyoto separately with my parents, but still plan to report back).
Odaiba, for those of you who don’t know, is basically a giant island in the middle of Tokyo Bay with several mall complexes and various other forms of entertainment. It’s very popular for dates apparently according to some of my students. To get to Odaiba, make sure you take the Rainbow Line train as it takes you past a gorgeous view of Tokyo Bay.
The pictures is a little glassy because I was taking it from behind a train window pane.
This was inside one of the super fancy shopping malls. For some reason it was modeled after a Roman plaza.
Also on Odaiba is the famous giant Gundam Statue. I wasn’t particularly interested, but then again I’ve never watched any of the Gundam series. In fairness, the size of the statue and the fact that it made whirring noises was kind of impressive–I guess whatever floats your boat?
You know, for those of you into robot butts, I’ve got you covered.
However, it isn’t enough for Japan to have all these shopping complexes and a giant Gundam, they also have to include something that is so representative of Japan that I think the picture speaks for itself.
Say hello to Lady Liberty: The icon of Freedom and Japan.
Seriously though Japan…what is going on here? Like I get that you’re just super jealous of Murica’s green toga lady, but you could at least be a little bit more creative with your harbor decorating. New York Harbor’s already got this one on lock.
To close off the wondrous and strange sights of Odaiba, I’d like to introduce you to:
Now we know what Santa Claus does for his summer job. Thank you, Japan, for making me feel so enlightened.
We also took a nice weekend trip to Nikko. While there, we enjoyed nature, visited Toshogu Shrine, and spent a solid 30 minutes trying to find a single damn restaurant that was open for dinner. Not sure why, but the latter was surprisingly impossible, but I think we had the (poor) timing to visit right before tourist season.
I’m such a foodie it’s terrible. My number one travel priority is good food most of the time haha. But enough of my complaining. There are sights to be seen!
Look! I did something new with the pictures!
The highlight of our Nikko trip was a visit to Toshogu Shrine. It’s a shrine from the Edo period, dedicated to the first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate: Tokugawa Ieyasu. Typically shogunates like to share names with the first shogun. If you want to learn more about him you can check out the link.
Also featured at the shrine are the famous monkeys:
We were warned there might be real monkeys in Nikko, but we didn’t see any while we were there. Probably better that way, apparently they’re known for stealing things from visitors…
And last, but certainly not least was our trip to Atami. We actually just got back this afternoon. Atami is known for beautiful nature and its natural hot springs. So if you’re looking for a nice day or two trip away from Tokyo to commune with nature or whatnot then this is the place for you!
On to the pictures!
Yea this was a thing. Atami is basically at sea level, so just be aware.
On a less scary note–Josh and I did a bunch of exploring in the day we were there. Unfortunately it was raining for the duration of our trip so we weren’t able to do as many naturey things as we would have liked, but we did our best even though Josh is terrible at holding an umbrella.
These pictures were taken in the beautiful Atami Plum Garden. Seriously it was gorgeous, even in the rain.
We also found a really cool indoorsy thing to do at Kiunkaku, which is basically an old villa turned into a hotel and then currently into a museum. It had some really beautiful rooms and architecture and was nice on a rainy day since we could stay inside haha. Apparently a bunch of artists used to live there, so there’s also a nice gallery with some ahem interesting artwork that will not be featured on this blog.
Also for any brave souls there is an “Adult Museum” in Atami. Josh and I didn’t go because I’m a prude, but just saying it’s there y’know if you wanna check it out or something xD.
The last thing worth sharing for our Atami trip is the troll-est onsen ever. Josh and I got a map from the tourism bureau and it told us that we could try a cool egg boiling experience so we were like ok let’s do it. So we hike up to the onsen and it turns out that it’s not really an onsen, but a waist high hot spring steam vent where you can boil an egg in a basket. So no, it was not an onsen, it was an eggsen and I was extremely disappointed.
Onsen. That’s funny. Maybe an onsen for ants.
Despite my bitterness, we did eventually get to a real onsen.
Anyway, that’s all for now! Let us know if you have any comments or questions about our travels! We’re also looking for more cool places to travel around Japan in the coming months so any suggestions are welcome!