"Paul's Journey Through Japan" Japan by Paul2001

Japan Travel Guide: 21,927 reviews and 63,476 photos

Way back in 1990 I decided to take the accept a close friend's invitation to visit him in Japan where he was teaching English. I thought that this would be a great opportunity to visit a country that we see and read so much about but really very few of us actually experience first hand. I found this to be a very unique adventure because much to my surprise, though many Westerners live in Japan, very few seem to actually visit it as tourist. In fact I was the only unguided traveler that I came across while in Japan. I assume that the legendary great expensive costs of the place is partly responsible for this, however I really did not find it that expensive. At least not in 1990 when the Yen was trading somewhat more favourably against the Canadian dollar. Still the place is not cheap but there are tricks to keeping the cost of a trip to Japan in order. Avoid taxis, eat where the Japanese eat, stay where the Japanese businessmen stay. At the time I was paying about $60.00Cdn a night for a room.
Overall I think that the trip proved to be very educational and overall very successful. As it was at that time the first country that I visited where I was a racial minority, spoke virtually none of the language and knew little of the culture and history. All this had both its good and bad effects on the overall impressions that I now have of my journey. Actually my worst experience was with the weather because it was very hot (38C in Hiroshima) and at times quite rainy. However overall I do not regret for a moment that I went to Japan and I highly recommend it as a travel destination.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great cultural and historical sites, Fantastic scenery.
  • Cons:Japanese xenophobic racism.
  • In a nutshell:An Educational Experience
  • Last visit to Japan: Jun 1990
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (49)

Comments (26)

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo
    Jul 27, 2008 at 2:33 AM

    my second comment on this page. Very good tips on the relatively unknown but it is historically interesting. I am watching birds in Molde, Norway now. The snow-covered mountains are beautiful.

  • mad4travel's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2007 at 2:31 PM

    Great Japan pages. My favourite place. Looks like we've been to a lot of the same places. Brought back good memories.

  • Pixiekatten's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2006 at 2:58 PM

    Great tips and photos! Brings back so many good memories. Greetings from Sweden! :)

  • nepalgoods's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2006 at 11:24 AM

    The Big Buddha of Kamakura was the highlight of my trip to Japan in 1991. And i liked Kanazawa also very much. Great page!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 18, 2006 at 2:46 PM

    Interesting descriptions of the many temples and also of the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima. Too bad you had such an extreme heat wave when you were there.

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2006 at 2:21 PM

    an interesting page & great pics ! It is always great to see this Japanese architecture !!

  • Nov 24, 2005 at 11:38 AM

    Great Japan tips! The Torii Gate at Miya-jima is on my to see list for my next J trip!

  • basak's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2005 at 7:09 AM

    Hi Paul, I enjoyed your Japan pages very much. I had been to Japan as well, but i am too lazy to prepeare my VT pages. Your site made me remember by Tokyo days. Thank you.

  • vaticanus's Profile Photo
    Jul 22, 2005 at 5:38 AM

    Enjoyed your VT tour of Japan and pleased to know about the Tori Gate and Nikko- not that I'll ever cross the Intnl Date Line this lifetime.

  • Wild_Orchid's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2005 at 6:24 PM

    excellent tips - sounds like a great trip! :D


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