It was my plan to stay in different places when I was in Japan. Despite the fact that this trip took the longest time of research for my travel so far, I didn’t have very fixed itinerary. I started my journey by learning the language, which didn’t really succeed. I should have been more diligent. The last month before I took off I occupied myself mostly on browsing accommodation and interesting things about Japan, especially things I could find and do in Tokyo. Checking social media timeline was really bottom priority at this point. Which was really great. I didn’t regret single thing of my research time.
This might give you some idea where to stay in Japan. Well, this is far from Trip Advisor, for sure. 😛
So, in my first 2 days in Tokyo, I stayed at Sakura Hotel in Jimbocho –> http://www.sakura-hotel.co.jp/jimbocho I would prefer to call it a hostel. I booked my bed in a dorm for female only. There were 5 beds in my room. When I was there it was not always full, which is good. I noticed that not only foreigners staying there, but also Japanese. I talked to one of Japanese girls staying in my room because of her summer study at a school nearby. Her English was pretty neat. Oh yeah, she was studying English 😀 You don’t find the exciting toilet in this hotel, unfortunately, but basically this hotel was clean. And pretty close to the Jimbocho station. The air conditioner worked very well so I didn’t suffer from the heat outside. But it made me feel like taking my fleece jacket outside when it was actually 35 degree 😛
My second stay was the result of my thinking that this was my first trip to Japan but I would like to experience different things. I wanted to combine my stay in Tokyo, as big city, with some countryside experience. So I stayed in a farm in Chiba perfecture, about one and half hour drive from Tokyo centre. This was the time I felt I should have been more diligent in learning Japanese. Otosan (father) and Okasan (mother) who picked me up didn’t really speak English. When we were in the car, Okasan asked me something in Japanese. I had no idea what it means. But I knew the important word wakarimasen, which means I don’t understand. Which ended our conversation right there at that very second I pronounced the last syllable. That left me in awkward moment for another 20-30 minutes until we arrived. I really wanted to say something but I didn’t know how. 😦
I stayed at their farm for some days. The first evening I wasn’t even finished making my bed, I fell asleep already on the futon. They said that the band would come to rehearse that night downstairs. I was awaken by their singing but it was really nice. Later on I found out they sang some of Studio Ghibli songs. I put Ghibli songs right away on my Spotify playlist as soon as I got back home.
I wasn’t only staying in the farm, I also worked to help them. I picked tomatoes, eggplants, onions, some Egyptian salad leaves, sorted them out, and packed them. It was boiling hot out there but at least I knew Japanese words for some vegetables and fruits. 🙂 It was very good experience. I went to see Obon festival and dance nearby. They took me and other workers to Naritasan, the big shrine, and Aeon shopping centre to have our crepes time, it was Otosan’s treat! 😀 We were also invited by one of their relatives, who was also a farmer, to her home. She cooked noodles and we ate it Japanese style. We sat Japanese style as well, on tatami. Exciting! No wonder we took pics of inside of her house. 😀
This is our Suika (watermelon) break. It looks mouthwatering, doesn’t it? 😀 Cold watermelon inbetween our work in the middle of the heat. Heaven.
Call me lucky or what? During my stay here I experienced not only once but twice welcoming parties. 😀
All vegetarian foods. No caption of what kinds of foods they are, just guess! 😀 After long day with work, Okasan still had time to prepare all these! When we asked once, she said that it took 4 hours to prepare the food. We were very grateful.
This pretty much covered where-I-stayed-story for the first week I was in Japan. Wait for the part 2, will ya? 😀