My impressions of Japan

Tokyo Travel Blog

 › entry 19 of 34 › view all entries
train platform in Kyoto
Today we are leaving Kyoto for Tokyo on the Nozomi bullet train. Kevin is flying home while I continue to Taiwan!
Since our hotel in Kyoto is right above the train station, it was a short walk to the platform. We took the fast Nozomi bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo, with very few stops. In the bullet trains, you can feel the train banking when it makes a long curved turn, pretty neat! At Tokyo station, we got on the Narita airport express to go to the airport. We were plenty early for our flights, so we were not in a rush. We had one last meal at a restaurant in the airport to use up our Japanese yens.

We had a very wonderful trip in Japan, I still have to write all the blogs and upload the photos, but I want to write down my impressions of Japan from this trip.
the roof of the Nozomi bullet train has this kind of connecting devices
They are:

  1. The trains are GREAT. Impressive, on time, efficient, frequent, convenient, and easy to figure out even for foreigners. Of course reading Kanji helps, but you can get by just fine with English. While we were waiting for the Nozomi in Kyoto, I counted almost 140 Nozomi's scheduled for the day. That is just impressive. We were actually a little early getting to the platform, being foreigners and all, so we saw 2 earlier ones go by. These were spaced only 7 minutes apart, and each stops and starts again in 2 minutes! How convenient can that be? Just imagine having to take a plane from Kyoto to Tokyo. You would have to get to the airport 1 hour ahead of time, go through security, what a pain and you would not get there any faster. Instead, I think after a little experience, especially at a familiar station, it's totally possible to get to the platform 2 minutes before the train is scheduled and be in no hurry at all.
    In Kyoto train platform, I took this photo of the train schedule for the day, each yellow colored one is a Nozomi, the fastest kind of bullet train. They went every few minutes!
  2. Japanese loves to eat and sweets in particular. Everywhere you go you find so many places selling sweets, pastries, cakes, restaurants, specialty of the city, etc, And the foods are so well presented that even if you don't know what it is, or like it, they just look great! But somehow they have managed to not get fat. You certainly will not go hungry in Japan (unless you don't eat fish, which may limit your choices a little). Try to check out the "food streets" underground or above in big train stations or department stores like Sogo's, I would be surprised if you don't find 20 vendors selling all kinds of yummies.
  3. Do get a Japan Rail pass if you plan to visit Japan and travel to more than one city.
  4. Do stay in a Ryokan (Japanese style guest house) at least once to experience Japenese hospitality in a traditional Japanese inn/hotel.
  5. Do try to go to a hot springs resort, it can be a very different experience and very relaxing too.
  6. You can actually eat very inexpensively in Japan, just don't eat at the hotel's breakfast buffet (unless it's free) which may be overpriced and not that good. Our only unsatisfactory meal was a breakfast buffet in Hiroshima, if we had gone out to Sogo's food street next door, we would have  done 1000 times better!

portia says:
there are different price levels of a ryokan, anywhere from 10-15000 Yen per person (double occupancy) to 30000 yen per person. I would say try at least one night somewhere special. The prices usually include breakfast and dinner, so it's a little less expensive than it first appears. Try to search for them.
Posted on: Apr 07, 2008
DefDulce says:
What is the average cost to stay in a ryokan?
Posted on: Apr 07, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
train platform in Kyoto
train platform in Kyoto
the roof of the Nozomi bullet trai…
the roof of the Nozomi bullet tra…
In Kyoto train platform, I took th…
In Kyoto train platform, I took t…
A train worker on the train, when …
A train worker on the train, when…
The tracks of the bullet train in …
The tracks of the bullet train in…
Our train coming into the station
Our train coming into the station
the controls on the arm of the Noz…
the controls on the arm of the No…
view out of the window from the tr…
view out of the window from the t…
photo by: maka77