The Wandering Suitcase update: June + July 2017

The Wandering Suitcase update: June + July 2017

Why hello my friends, it’s been a while since I’ve written a little update.

It’s been a crazy two months, and while I’ve been traveling, I’ve accidentally dropped the ball when it comes to all things blogging related. I know, I’m a terrible person, yadda yadda 😉

Where have I been over the last 2 months? (I know, I have a lot to fill you in on!)

 

I started off the month in Japan.

This is my third visit here, and I wanted to make sure I visited places I hadn’t been to before. This meant taking more complex transport options (hellooo highway buses!) and doing some intensive research – including getting advice from some friends who either lived in Japan or have traveled here countless times.

Want to read my initial thoughts from my first week here? Check out this post, where I talk about some popular stereotypes and my experiences traveling here.

The Zeniarai Benten Shrine in Kamakura, one of my favorite shrines in Japan

 

One major assumption from travelers is that Japan is SUPER expensive to visit.

It’s strange because I would have thought so initially and agreed a few years ago, but it seems when you’re based in a country for 2 months you get a little creative when it comes to saving money. I wrote about 10 of my budget tips for Tokyo, but to be honest, I’ve learned A LOT when it comes to saving money over the last few months, and have bucket loads more to share.

Traveling on a budget in Tokyo

Like all major cities – Tokyo has a reputation for being expensive!

One of my favorite and unexpected experiences here has been staying in an internet café.

These babies can cost you anywhere between $20 to 30 USD per night, include your own private cubicle or room, unlimited drinks, soft serve (hells yes!) and shower. One internet café I stayed at, even brought a bowl of ramen to my cubicle – talk about excellent service! I’m pretty addicted to internet cafes – they’re super budget friendly and are great places to wait while you’re waiting for an overnight bus/train or late night flight. Watch out for my upcoming post about all things Internet Café related!

 

Another thing I’ve recently become obsessed with is collecting Goshuin (temple and shrine stamps).

If you’ve ever visited a Shrine or Temple in Japan before, you may have noticed people lining up near the counter where they sell charms and incense. This is likely what they’re lining up for – Goshuin! I loved collecting Goshuin and seeing the beautiful calligraphy the monks would write in my book.

 

Some beautiful calligraphy from my Goshuincho

 

Expect an INFLUX of blog posts over the next couple of weeks – I’ll be writing about all things Japan related as well tips and advice for visiting Japan.

 

I’ve also started a new series on the blog, titled “Monday Musings”

I started these series because I wanted somewhere to share those earth shattering realizations, thoughts and late-night ramblings from my travels. Expect Monday Musings every Monday – save for the week I share my Monthly Updates!

In my very first Monday Musings post, I share my thoughts about fast travel, and how I never realized I was a fast traveler until recently!

What’s coming up in August??

Well, my friends, I’ll be finishing up here in Japan and heading up north to Hokkaido (which I’m super pumped about) before flying back to Boston.

It’ll be nice to be heading home after being away for so long, but I will definitely miss Japan. I’ll miss the cheap convenience store food, the delicious bowls of ramen, super quick public transport and most importantly… I will miss exploring this beautiful country.

I honestly felt before coming here for the 3rd time that I had already experienced Japan – I had visited all that was worth visiting. This trip proved me 100% wrong, and I loved exploring the little pockets of Japan that were so different to its larger, more popular cities.

One of my favorite spots in Japan – Shirakawago

 

Keep a look out for more of my Japan posts, and I’ll also be sharing my upcoming adventures in Montreal, Canada! This will be my first time visiting Canada after 10 years, and also my first time in Montreal, so I am super excited!

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