Japan. Day 3: Hanging-out with Snow Monkeys

On our third day in Japan, we left Tokyo for a day trip to Jigokudani Monkey Park, a home of the famous snow monkeys. It is located in valley of Yokoyu river in the Japanese Alps, near Nagano. This trip to one of the limited places in Japan where you can observe wild Japanese Macaques (nicknamed Snow Monkeys) in their natural habitat was at my bucket list since I first saw documentary about them years ago. Therefore, Jigokudani was simply a must stop on our trip to Japan.

Jigokudani Monkey

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Japan. Day 2: Exploring Tokyo

Day 2 of our Japan adventure started early in the morning. In Japan sun rises earlier than in Switzerland – already around 4.30 am. The night before we’ve admired the amazing view from our window and we forgot to shut the curtains. Our room was facing east and first rays of sunshine woke us soon after the sunrise. Still a bit jet-lagged, we couldn’t fall asleep anymore. We woke up, got dressed and went to the breakfast. As we expected, hotel offered a broad variety of Japanese and Western dishes. We were not yet ready to try Japanese breakfast, so we’ve grabbed some coffee, bread, croissants, butter, marmalade and some fruits. With our bellies full, we were ready to get out and explore Tokyo.

Night view from our room

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Japan. Day 1: It’s a long way from Zürich to Tokyo

The long-awaited day of our departure to Japan had arrived. Our flight was scheduled at 7:40 so we woke up early in the morning, after just few hours of sleep. We drove to the Zürich airport, where we went through all the airport procedures and stop by at the Lindt store/bar for delicious Lindt hot chocolate. If ever at the Zürich airport and you’re sweet-tooth as I am, you should try it!

Our boarding passes

With our bellies filled, we’ve boarded the plane to Istanbul. The flight was calm and we were pleasantly surprised by Turkish Airlines services. Nice comfortable seats, clean aircraft, friendly cabin crew and a good food. Used of getting just a small snack or a sandwich on our flights across the Europe, we were pleasantly surprised when they served us a warm meal with the proper cutlery and offered us freshly squeezed lemonade and orange juice. Perfect start of our travel! Continue reading

Counting the days till Japan trip


From 23rd May to 6th June 2015

Why Japan?

This year my boyfriend and I decided to spend our holidays overseas. We were open for different destinations and have pretty flexible timeframe. We’ve browsed the offers from different airlines. When we found Turkish Airlines would take us to Tokyo for 462,9 CHF, we both agreed Japan could be our destination. After some research, we didn’t hesitate much before booking the trip. Reasons?

  • Unique Japanese culture
  • Interesting history
  • Castles
  • Temples, gardens & shrines
  • Dark heritage of WW2
  • Mt Fuji
  • Sumo
  • Cat cafes
  • Hachikō the dog
  • Snow monkeys
  • Festivals
  • 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Excellent public transport
  • Food
  • Okinawa beaches
  • Onsens
  • Safety
  • Cleanliness

Japan has a lot to offer. More we read about it, more difficult it is to decide on how to spend our 14 days there. At this point I would like to ask YOU my dear readers, who already visited Japan, for some assistance. What are your favourite places in Japan? What attractions are must see? What restaurants have the best food? What hotels/ryokans would you recommend?

Any tip would be highly appreciated!