In 2014 I went to Japan for three weeks, we visited Kawaguchiko lake (near Fuji), the ancient capital Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Matsumoto and Tokyo.

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Kawaguchiko

Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan. Around the base are fives lakes; Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Yamanakako, Shojiko and Motosuko. The lakes a popular tourist destination for Japanese and foreigners alike. We went here mostly because there’s not much to do which makes it a fantastic place to recover from close to 40 hours awake and travelling as well as jetlag from 9 timezones!

The hotel description promised great views of Fuji and most definitely did not disappoint! On the very first day we were up at 6am and were lucky enough to see Fuji poking through the fog. We thought that would probably be all that we saw of Fuji, but we turned out to be incredibly lucky with the weather and later in the day we were on top of a nearby hill just as the clouds were clearing and got some beautiful shots. Throughout the day the clouds slowly cleared and we got more incredible shots of Fuji.

Kyoto

Kyoto was the home of the emperor and the capital of Japan from 794 through to 1868. It’s a city absolutely packed with history - there are no less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city! We spent an entire week exploring Kyoto and I still feel like we barely scratched the surface of what there is to see here.

Hiroshima

We changed it up a little in Hiroshuma and stayed in a guest house 25 minutes out of the city by bus. It was a great place with a friendly host and it was nice to escape to the countryside a little after the crowds in Kyoto. After we left Hiroshima we stopped off on the way to visit an island which used to be used for making chemical weapons (before and during WWII). The island is abandoned now and nothing lives there except rabbits! With no predators to stop them there are just rabbits everywhere!

Nagoya

It’s a long way from Hiroshima to Matsumoto, even by bullet train! Nagoya is conveniently in the middle of the two and so we stopped off here for one night. The castle was one of the most important castles in Japan, being located right in the middle of the country and in a large and important city.

Matsumoto

Matsumoto is a 30 minute train ride away from The Japanese Alps. By this point in the holiday we were pretty tired of walking and so we didn’t really do as much climbing as we’d planned - it was nice to sit at the base of the mountain trail drinking tea and admiring the view though!

Tokyo

At the end of the holiday we had an entire week in Tokyo. It’s unbelievable just how crowded Tokyo is if London seems crowded with it’s population density of 5300 people per square kilometer imagine what Tokyo is like with 14,562 people per square kilometer!! Like Kyoto there’s absolutely loads to do in Tokyo and I feel like we barely scratched the surface.