A couple of weeks ago, I met up with a friend at a coffee shop and talked about our apprenticeships and travels. I spoke about my experience in Japan and he couldn’t believe it was all planned independently and not by a travel agency or tour group. I also had the chance to reflect on my experience in solo travelling; I went on to explain more about the people I’ve met on the road and the benefits I’ve gained during my travels such as personal growth from getting out of my comfort zone.
Spontaneous travel is a topic I’ve read a lot about and wrote about a few times on this blog. I had a few fair goes at putting this into practice when I was in Japan and here I am going to share a story of my experience of Hakone.
Tokyo overwhelmed me with its modern skyscrapers, Electric Town, and robots. Most of all, there were so much more people and it felt like a crowded place to be in. It was Golden Week and I did not know what to expect.
I still had some time to make my way to the observation deck where I’d see the night views of the city. A gentleman who I spoke to by one of the public baths told me about a shuttle bus that goes back to Nagasaki station. Not knowing this, I thanked him, got changed and asked the staff members at reception about it.
At first, I didn’t know how to explain it but there was a poster of a shuttle bus displayed at the entrance. I pointed at the poster and then at my wristwatch, to ask for the time of the next shuttle bus. A staff member looked at the poster and wrote down a time on a post-it note. The next bus was leaving in 5 minutes – I was very lucky to have known this.
After eating a delicious bowl of champon at the Ringer Hut, there was a lot more that I still planned to do today: finding an onsen and climbing a mountain.
However, what I didn’t know was that I had to climb up the same mountain twice; the onsen sits on top of one side of the mountain and observation platform for the Nagasaki night view is on the other. This means that I had a lot of walking to do for the rest of the day.
It was my second day in Nagasaki.
Having been to the Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park the day before, I wanted to explore more of what Nagasaki has to offer. There was much more exploring to be done.
After a well-deserved lie in, I had no set plan in mind with what I wanted to do today. Speaking with Marie, a German friend I made at the hostel, we arranged to climb up Mount Inasa together with, Rafael, her newlywed husband in the evening for its great views over the city – believed to be ranked as one of Japan’s best night views.
Our plan was to be at the summit at 18:00 to watch the sunset and the city lights turn on.
That’s the evening sorted, but what about during the day?
I admit it.
I didn’t know a lot about Nagasaki apart from the nuclear attack during World War II.
Since yesterday marked the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bomb hitting the prominent port city, I’d like to share my experience exploring the furthest point of my solo travels in Japan.
I haven’t done much research, but sometimes that can be a good thing. Let yourself be surprised.
Welcome to part five of my first-hand experience of solo travel in Japan! This is the fifth part of my series giving my full and honest opinion on the idea of solo travel, hoping that it can help you to decide whether or not it’s right for you.
One of my popular posts on this blog is about the planning and spontaneous side to travelling. This part focuses a lot more on this as it is about my experiences of adjusting plans when I was in Japan.
Throughout my time in Japan, I followed a structured itinerary but I kept it as flexible as much as I could to allow some time for spontaneity and adjustments to my plans. It was my first solo trip and I wanted to minimise the risk of things going wrong and not going to plan.
Welcome to part four of my first-hand experience of solo travel in Japan! This is the fourth part of my series giving my full and honest opinion on the idea of solo travel, hoping that it can help you to decide whether or not it’s right for you.
This is a continuation of my last post where I wrote about how I overcame loneliness during my trip to Japan. In this post, I’ll be writing about some of my moments of solitude and how I managed to enjoy my own company. Featuring food, onsens, temple-hopping and history, check out what I’ve been up to during my solo travels in Japan.
Welcome to the third part of my first-hand experience of solo travel! This is part of my series, giving my full and honest opinion on the idea of solo travel, hoping that it can help you to decide whether it’s right for you. You can read the previous parts here:
[The featured image is of the path covered in sakura (cherry blossoms) heading towards the castle and gardens in Kanazawa, Japan.]
Last month I turned twenty years old. It feels quite significant to me and it feels more personal to me than turning 18 or 21 years old. Although I don’t feel any older, I couldn’t believe it’s the start of a new decade, and in some ways, it feels like the beginnings of significant change.
I’m not at school anymore, but instead starting my career from the ground up as an apprentice. With a thirst for travel, I’m hoping to adapt my commitments and responsibilities to help fulfill my future goals and travel plans; these may change in the next few years as anything could happen, but as long as I’m positive with the decisions I make, I shouldn’t feel any regret.
So much has happened these past few years – so many life-changing decisions have brought me to where I am today. There’s so much more I am looking forward to in the next few years too as I grow in my career and also personally from life experiences.