I am currently sitting at a Starbucks in Hong Kong, but I thought I would reflect a little on the last port we went to- Japan!
For the first part of my time in the land of selfie sticks and shrines, I explored Yokohama. I went to Chinatown with a couple friends, ate something that I can only describe as a delicious meat cloud, got Vietnamese coffee and enjoyed the free Wi-Fi for a little bit (a little ironic, but the ship coffee is not good- I'm not sure it is even coffee- and I was going through coffee withdrawal. It was good!). My friends had field programs that afternoon so I spent some time alone in Yokohama- I went to the Cupnoodles museum, rode the Cosmo Clock 21- a giant Ferris wheel overlooking the city, and walked around some shopping centers just soaking it all in.
Later that night, I met up with my friend Noble. We took a train to Tokyo and then wondered around the city looking for a hotel. The lack of Wi-Fi on the ship prevented us from booking a hotel beforehand, and we spend a good portion of the night trying to find a place. In the chaos, we ended up doing the iconic Shibuya crossing- So I guess it worked out all right! We eventually found a place and booked it for two nights. We were hoping to find a capsule hotel but the only ones we came across were men-only unfortunately.
The next day, we ended up going to Harajuku, which my guide book describes as the “teeny-bopper” part of Tokyo. The streets are full of cutesy clothing and all sorts of adorable things. Like this:
We also went to a robot restaurant that night- which was so strange and amazing i'm not sure i could actually describe it, the Tokyo Tower, and the Imperial Palace. We then took a bullet train to Kobe and stayed at a hostel called "Yume Nomad", which was really homey and cute. We also did a cable car up a mountain near the train when we arrived (it was raining but it was still a beautiful view!)
When we got back I had a field lab that went to Hiroshima and Kyoto. I wish I could have spent more time at both! I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention plenty of details, but now you have a brief overview of my time in Japan!
*The China post will be coming soon! I will try to do a follow up on Japan also- because of limited time/Wifi I haven't been able to post as much as I'd like!