One week of big city life in Tokyo followed by a camping and hot spring experience on lonely Kozushima island
- + 9
Asia9 days / July 2017
Highs & Lows
Lonely beaches on a tiny island
Partially shaking ferry tour
Shortly after I moved to Japan for work, I went on my first trip in the country with my friend from India.
We spent one week exploring the huge city of Tokyo which was then to be my home for more than a year. In Tokyo we started off with the most crowded places during the day. We went to Shibuya with its world famous crossing packed with masses of people and to Shinshuku, famous for its endless stores and crazy night life. The center of Tokyo is a complete concrete jungle but organized and clean to an extend that other cultures cannot even imagine. It feels like an amusement park with endless sounds, lights and smells. One of Tokyos most impressive qualities is the train system and its huge stations that are visited by thousands and thousands of people on their daily ways. Around Shibuya there are more quite an stylish places like Nakameguro y Daikanyama with small, beautiful shops and restaurants of all kinds and sizes. Food is one of the highlights of the cities because the Japanese culture is very much in love with detail and perfection in food preparation (it's nice to not be too short on money in this city). In the following days we visited among others the manga quarter of the city called Akihabara and packed with manga stores (Japanese comics) and girls in manga costumes. This was a day in a complete parallel universe. I can also recommend to pass by Asakusa which is one of the bigger traditional temples of the city. To just see a bit more of the culture and leasure time in Japan, it is a great idea to hang out at Yoyogi park on a weekend day.
On Friday night we went to the harbour close to Tokyo bridge to take a all-night ferry to Izu island of which we chose Kozu-shima (there are more islands very close by and Kozu-shima is one of the small ones). The island is tiny with almost no tourism and free camping. The ferry trip was really nice as many people were just hanging out outside and had some beers but there was also a comfortable seat to sleep. After arriving in the morning we went to the free camping spot at a beach which was completely lonely and started to explore the small island with the local bus. The island has beautiful and completely empty beaches and incredible snorkle spots so we hung out a lot in the water. There are only few restaurants but we could always find very nice food. We spent the last day in the outdoor, nartural hot spring (Onsen) of the island with an amazing view and the sea. Hot springs are a big part of Japanese culture and have very relaxed and calm vibe that I can totally recommend. To reach back to Tokyo on Sunday we took the same ferry and arrived without any trouble.
Q & A
What would you have changed?
stayed 1 more day in Kozu-shima
How was the food?
small restaurants in Nakameguro (Tokyo) near the station
What tips would you give a friend?
get a SIM with internet connection for Tokyo
Excellent public transportation in Japan (trains, buses, ferrys)
No booking up-front needed for ferry or camping