Zana Travels – Visiting Japan

In May I went on a 2 week trip to Japan. It was an incredible trip, something unusual that not many South Africans do. I mean, its not the most common holiday spot. I thought I would share some of my pictures & tips for anyone who may want to visit in the future!


One of my favourite areas in Tokyo was Shimokitzawa, I read up on it a little before going to Japan and it lived up to my expectations. Coffee shops, tons of vintage stores, tiny streets and a great break from CRAZY inner Tokyo.




Our first hotel was in Akasaka where I took this yellow wall photo. It is on of the business districts of Tokyo, but quite close to the attractions with nice & affordable hotels. Very central, our hotel in particular was SO convenient. Not the height of luxury but great for an easy traveller, the entrance to the hotel was literally next to a subway exit!


Ueno Park was incredible. We unfortunately didn’t get to go on the swan boats as we decided to go to Japan in Golden Week and the queues where long! It was still a beautiful sight.



We spent 3 days in Osaka. They were gloomy days but we mainly did what Osaka is known for, EAT! I would recommend HEP5 (big red ferris wheel,) Osaka Castle and Dotonbori Street.



In Kyoto we did what I like to call ‘geisha paparazzi.’ We found a map before hand on where to stand and at what time to have the best chance of seeing a geisha. We were lucky to get some great shots and sightings before all of the crowds arrived. It becomes a chaotic scene, everyone trying to get a photo as the geisha glides by at 100km’s per hour, in the narrow Gion District streets.


N A R A 

We took a day trip from Kyoto to see the deers at Nara (30 mins by train from Kyoto Station). This was a once in a lifetime. The boys I travelled with were more interested in the nearby temples whereas I was filled with pure deer feeding joy. They actually chase you which can be a little scary, but all in all it was such a special experience. Just LOOK at the pictures!


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K A W A I I // L I F E


Purikura is what you call the booths that make these photo collages and strips. It is an unreal & VERY first world experience. You put 400YEN (R40) into the machine and then step inside big lights come on, the camera moves and it has a screen (no English, be warned) which has models guiding you how to pose. Then after the series of photos have been taken you move to the next booth where you decorate the pictures, add makeup, stickers, text, filters and then they print and come out of a slot on the side of the machine.

It’s really out there! I would recommend the Purikura in Harajuku especially if you want to do it as a group where there might also be men in the group. Some places where they offer Purikura machines do not allow men.


M A I D // C A F E

We went to Maid Dreamin in Akihabara. It was expensive, the food was questionable (rice omlette with brown sause) and for ‘maids,’ their service was terrible. Around R1000 for 2 people. Thats 2 sodas and 2 rice omelettes. That being said it was definitely a one time thing. I am happy we did it, it is a novelty!


Japan is a special place! We travelled as a group of 3, see all of our pics here:

Hope you’ve enjoyed my pics. Let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to help! 🙂

x Robyn