2016 Travel Plans


Japan travel

I've seen a few blog posts like this recently so thought I would jump on the bandwagon!

2016 is going to be a busy year for us over here and we're hoping to cram in a decent amount of travel around the area while we can. Okinawa is a strange place. It's located closer to Taiwan than it is mainland Japan, and there are not a huge amount of destinations you can get to via direct flight because we're so isolated.

We already have a couple of trips locked in, but there are many more we are planning. You will notice the trips we've actually confirmed are all Tokyo. Tokyo is my favourite city in the world (apart from Melbourne) and I could go there a million times and never get sick of it. Even though we will be there so much, the three trips are all completely different.

Tokyo - 1 night - Confirmed
I will be heading to Tokyo for just one night, just to see Madonna at Saitama Super Arena. I cannot wait!

Tokyo - 3 nights - Confirmed
H's family will be coming to visit so we will be meeting them in Tokyo to show them "real Japan" for 3 nights before we all come back to Okinawa to show them our home. Because this trip involved children, Tokyo Disney is likely to be included in the itinerary. We will be staying in the Asakusa/Ueno area

Tokyo - 3 nights - Confirmed
Yes, yes, Tokyo three times in 4 months! We have some more great friends coming to stay and at the end of their trip we are going to go to Tokyo and hang out together. This is an adults only trip so will involve food, drinks and shopping! We will be staying in Shibuya.

Korea - 5 nights - Confirmed
We have just booked our first non-Japan trip for the year. We will be going to Korea over my birthday! We're going to spend 3 nights in Seoul and 2 in Busan (near where my brother lives!)

Osaka dotonbori
Osaka- Dotonbori

Other trips we are considering/planning

Fuji Rock Festival - End of July
I have always wanted to attend Fuji Rock, and let's face it, we'll probably regret it if we don't go. Also living in Japan makes it much more feasible to attend than when we are living back in Australia....

My family visit - August
My family will likely visit in August, so as well as showing them around Okinawa, it might be nice to make a weekend trip to the mainland, such as Kyoto or perhaps Fukuoka.

Kyoto and Koya-san for autumn leaves - Definite, just waiting to book
We went to Kyoto for the cherry blossoms last April, and really didn't have enough time there so we are going to go back for the autumn leaves season this year. We are planning on 3 nights in Kyoto, a one night temple stay at Koya-san, and one night in Osaka on the end before flying home. This trip is a definite, we are just waiting for the cheap airlines to release flights for this time of year so we can book. If anyone has done a temple stay at Koya-san I would love recommendations on the best place to stay.

Hokkaido - winter
Seeing as we won't be going home for Christmas this year, I would love a white Christmas (obviously never possible in Australia) so we are thinking of making the trip up to Hokkaido for this. I briefly went to Sapporo for work during the summer and really enjoyed it so would love to go back in the winter.

Hakone/Mt Fuji
I recently read a blog about doing this as a self-drive trip, which I think could be really fun. (I took the photo below in 2007 - I still can't believe I was lucky enough to see Fuji on that perfect day!)

Mount Fuji Hakone

Taipei is so close to us (about 1 hour flight) so we would be stupid not to fit a trip to Taipei in at some stage. It's just about finding the right time to do it.

Hong Kong
Again, it's only a 3 hour flight away, and H has a friend there.

Obviously, it is unlikely we would be able to fit everything on this list into this year (or afford it!), but I'm hoping to at least get a few of the above into the second half of this year!

If anyone has any amazing trip recommendations, please let me know!

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  1. What an awesome post Rachael! I hope you get to get to do as many of these trips as you can!! I'm dying to go to FUJI FEST!!!! Mumford & Sons (one of my favorite bands) played in 2013 i think and we realized it too late to go, but I would love to go! I'm also wanting to go back to Kyoto, to do Iwakuni/Hiroshima/Miyajima and to do the Snow Festival in Hokkaido (i'm planning on going in Feb. 2017). I'm also hoping to do either Bali or New Zealand in the fall of this year!!

    May 2016 be a super travel year!

    1. Thanks Laura!
      And yes, there is too much on my list to actually get done this year, but right now we're trying to prioritise what we want to do most. I can't wait to see what the line-up for Fuji Rock is going to be this year!
      Hiroshima/Miyajima are definitely worth doing if you can make it there, and yay for Bali or NZ!

  2. What a beautiful photo of Mount Fuji!

    We've got a very similar travel list to yours (we've already done all of Kansai, Tokyo, Beppu, Hiroshima, Okinawa, Hong Kong), and are going to Taipei and the Philippines in a couple of weeks time. There are so many interesting and beautiful places in Japan and within a couple of hour flight from it. I love it!