What It’s Like In Japan

So, I feel a little bad.

At the end of my junior year, I informed you that I’d be taking an epic journey during the summer, traveling to San Francisco, New York, and Japan.

With a trip like this being probably the most epic experience of my life, I fully planned on creating tons of content around it.

Well… that didn’t exactly happen. While I did write a lengthy post about my San Francisco trip, and while I did write an in-depth analysis of health and eating in Japan vs. the U.S., I still didn’t do what I planned on doing.

I had all these lofty goals to write mega-huge posts on learning the language, hacking travel, and all kinds of other related stuff. But I never got around to it.

So, I’m sorry for failing to fill your brains even further with awesomeness. However, there’s one thing that I just can’t fail to do – and that’s to simply share a little taste of Japan. And so here we are.

This post isn’t about some tip to make your to-do list do backflips and make toast for you. It isn’t a list of apps that’ll beam test answers into your brain or make lecture less boring.

It’s just me showing you around Japan, because Japan is fucking awesome. So, if you’re interested in seeing this amazing country and learning a few things, let’s go!

Note: You can either scroll through this post, or you can click any photo to bring it up in an overlay, and use the buttons on the overlay to view the rest. If you’d like to see the entire 600+ photos, you can check out the album on Facebook.

This is what a Japanese train station almost NEVER looks like.

This is what I was greeted with once I exited Narita. As I soon found out, Japanese train stations are almost never like this (empty).

Japanese drinks. Better than American drinks.

The Haneda airport, very late at night.

Haneda airport. I waited here for about 12 hours for my friends’ flight to come in.

More Haneda

Yep, Japanese airports are way cooler than ours.

We stayed the night at this noodle shop because we couldn't find a hotel

We couldn’t find a hotel during the first night (we left the airport around 1AM), so we just stayed up all night at this noodle shop.

We found the Sega building!

Buyin' train tickets.

Buyin’ train tickets.

Japanese food!

This is more like it.

This is more like it.

“What do you do when literally every girl you see is the cutest girl you’ve ever seen…”

The Tokyo SkyTree

2nd-tallest structure in the world

The Tokyo Sky Tree had just been completed when we got to Tokyo. Aside from the Burj Khalifa, it’s the tallest structure in the world.

Omelette rice. This is delicious.

COOLEST THING EVER?

This is the coolest thing ever

Akihabara, empire of anime and manga.

Akihabara – the Mecca of anime and manga.

The arcades are nuts.

The arcades in Japan are insane.

And overwhelming.

Yup.

This is cute, admit it

When is the last time you say anime plastered on a building?

I freaking love this game.

Might as well plug it – you need to play Persona 4 Arena.

Yodobashi - the biggest store ever

Yodobashi – literally the biggest store I’ve ever been in. It makes Wal-Mart look like a corner shop.

Inside Yodobashi. These phones are kick-ass.

We weren’t really able to get many photos in Yodobashi, but here’s one. They had the biggest selection of headphones I’ve ever seen. (and I know headphones)

The temple in Asakusa.

More of the shrine

This is the Sensoji temple in Asakusa, which is the district of Tokyo we stayed in.

Angry god

Steets of Tokyo at night.

Tokyo is really quiet at night. It’s also a heck of a lot safer than most major U.S. cities.

Hostel beds, good for completely platonic cuddling

Mostly platonic.

Four to a room.

These are the kick-ass box beds at the Khaosan Tokyo Annex hostel, which is where we stayed for most of the journey. What an awesome hostel – everything was great and only 2000 yen (~$27 at the time) a night. Highly recommended.

Melon frakking soda. SO GOOD.

Melon soda is amazing.

Asakusa during the day.

Not really sure why I posted this one.

I mainly included this because I got the background out of focus like a boss. Also, Quinton is the unofficial mascot of College Info Geek, because A) it annoys him and B) he’s my roommate, so it’s my job to annoy him.

This place was cool

Cat cafe.

Japan has cat cafes. What are cat cafes, you ask? Well, they’re cafes where you sit, drink tea, and play with cats. Now which country is #1?

Awesome bridge.

The Gundam

It actually moves, believe it or not.

I am pretty sure it is mission capable.

I’m pretty sure it’s fully mission-capable and they’re just disguising it as a monument.

Awesome gundam game

This game is amazing.

Fun fact, American eyes are already big enough

So, Japan has tons and tons of these glamour photo booth thingies, which Japanese girls love to use. Not only do they take photos of you, but they also auto-edit them to make you look, erhm… prettier. Unfortunately both me and my friends already have big enough eyes, so the pictures turn out like this…

Yes, there is a Gundam museum.

Of course there’s a Gundam museum.

...with Gundams, of course

We found Palette Town! Now, where is my mom...

We found Palette Town! Now, where’s my mom…

View from the top of the huge ferris wheel

Dont even ask

Don’t even ask.

Of course there was DDR

Of course there was DDR. Lots of it.

A lot of time was spent on trains.

We spent an awful lot of time on trains. Fun fact: Japanese trains are about 1 zillion times better than NYC trains, though they’re also more expensive.

Tokyo at night.

SkyTree at night. So pretty...

Yup, there are beer vending machines on the street.

Beer vending machines on the street – this really is a paradise…

Hachiko statue

We spend way too long looking for the Hachiko statue, but dammit we found it.

I bought this.

I bought this.

He bought this.

He bought this.

Why the fuck did he not buy this.

Why the hell didn’t he buy this.

Cat.

Japanese joke shops are fun

In the joke shop.

A random magician showed up at the bar we went to.

This guy was a badass.

Landmark Tower is the coolest building I have ever seen.

Yokohama’s Landmark Tower is one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever seen.

Kick-ass art

Awesome food

That moment.

We elected to title this piece, “That Moment”.

Shopping arcade

Street parade on a Saturday, just cuz.

Streets in Tokyo become parade grounds almost every weekend, just ‘cuz.

Ghibli shop in Kamakura.

We found a Ghibli museum in Kamakura while out exploring temples.

Had to get my Impossible Shirt pic.

Had to get a pic with my Impossible Shirt for Joel

stairs...

I warned you about stairs bro

The giant Daibutsu in Kamakura

The giant Daibutsu in Kamakura. The gate closed about five minutes before we got there, and I was so mad. I was able to find a gap to get a picture through, however.

We made it!

After about 1 trillion stairs, we made it to the top of this place. There really wasn’t anything up here, but the view was cool.

Hell yeah

Railway leading up to Mt. Mitake

Ryan and I travelled to Mt. Mitake on one of the days we didn’t have anything planned in the city. This is the railway that goes a little ways up the mountain to the shrine base.

Awesome view

Chillin

I thought this forest was cool

We had to climb up this

...to find the diety at the top

freakin fun.

Beautiful waterfall

This is where I got my current CIG author picture

Wow

It was like being Crash Bandicoot.

Or Sanic

I felt like Crash Bandicoot while hopping these rocks.

Kyoto's train station is amazing.

And huge.

Kyoto’s train station is absolutely massive

Osaka aquarium

His name is Derek, and we want to steal him.

His name is Derek, and we wanted to steal him.

Scary as fuck

SCARIEST THINGS EVER

Yakiniku is the most delicious thing ever

You really need to try yakiniku. Also, I’m pretty sure having a grill in the middle of the table here in the states would be just asking for trouble…

Disneyland face.

The Disneyland face.

Yup, there's pizza in Japan - but the sausage is weird.

Pizza at Disneyland. The sausage there is weird.

Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain.

At Disneyland with new friends

Wow, you actually scrolled down this far!

I hope you enjoyed these pictures. If you think they’re cool enough, share this post using one of the buttons in to the left!

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

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8 Comments on "What It’s Like In Japan"

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Sanjay Sanjel

Japan is one of the countries that I’ve always dreamt of visiting. Since it is close to us(I’m from Nepal), it will be something I’ll be able to offer after a couple of years. It is really difficult to get a part-time job that pays well so I’m having quite a difficulty saving the amount of money. Hope I’ll earn it and will be there soon. Hey Thomas, do you have any tips or guides for the Japan Trip?

Victoria Hill

You’re so lucky to get to visit! One day I’d love to travel there. Also thank you soooo much for what you do. You’re the best!

Frankie Rendon

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting 13 countries in my short amount of time on Earth and I’ve always had Japan in the back of my mind. And I’ve gotta say, WOW, after looking through these pictures and the set on FB, I’m in love! I’d go tomorrow if I could. Thank you for sharing, Thomas!

Chavisa Thaveesupsoonthorn
Chavisa Thaveesupsoonthorn

Awesome post! I really enjoy reading your story and looking at all of your cool pictures. I have been to Japan five times and Japan is my favorite country. I’m also planning on going to Japan after my graduation in May and I can’t wait to go back there!

Pamela

Don’t rip on NYC trains — they are the model most trains in Asia were built after! You can’t help but be the grandaddy of modern train systems and look a little inferior to modern technology 😛

Also, nice.photos. I will be spending a week in Japan next spring, so excited!

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