The Table Project’s travel guide to Japan
First of all, I love Japan and its people. Although I have been there several times, I always leave wanting more. To me Japan is a living adventure and there’s always a new story to tell. However, it can be difficult to find out where to start so here I share some inspiration from my latest trip. Enjoy!
Tokyo street life
Shop with brushes on Kappabashi street
Evt Nezu museum? / Street food?
Tokyo, is where it all begins when most people travel to Japan. We like to stay at smaller hostels where you meet other travellers and get good personal service. We like to stay at the Share Hotels hostels. We have stayed at Lyuro in Tokyo, Rakuro in Kyoto and Kumu in Kanazawa. All cool, japanese and rooted in local community. I can also recommend a stay at the small family owned Ryokan Sawanoya in Tokyo. This Ryokan is in the Yanaka area, the oldest district of Tokyo. Really nice for local sightseeing, historic buildings, shopping and eating in the cozy narrow streets.
In Tokyo take a trip to the Kappabashi street, where you can find Japanese ceramics, kitchen goodies, baskets, knives and brushes. Take a walk down the side streets and have lunch with the locals in one of the many really small family restaurants where no one speaks English, but the food is just amazing.
Visit the Nezu Museum, where a private collector of ceramics has created a beautiful museum and garden with a lovely café.
Book a training session viewing with the sumo wrestlers, also a really cool and fun experience, but must be booked a long time in advance.
Second largest buddha in Japan
Kamakura. A day trip from Tokyo to the beautiful Kamakura by the sea was one of my favourites. Nice small town, with wonderful shops, cafes and temple with an ocean view and the second largest buddha in Japan.
The garden if Ryosoku-in Temple?
The famous matcha roulade at café Marukyu Koyamaen (andet billede?)
Kyoto has the beautiful old town which is a must see. Take a walk and just explore what’s around the next corner. There are many small amazing shops and cafés. A genuine Japanese experience is café Marukyu Koyamaen. Staff in beautiful uniforms, beautiful tearoom and garden and they serve a prizewinning matcha roulade and I loved the matcha soda. I stayed for hours and tried several servings. TIP… their green tea is amazing, so buy yourself a small can of matcha or sencha to take home.
Another fantastic experience in Kyoto is the Kennin-ji temple. It’s the oldest Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, very beautiful and nice visit. In the same area there’s another smaller Zen Buddhist temple Ryosoku-in Temple, owned by a modern monk Ito Toryo-san, who among other things do changing art exhibitions. They have a beautiful garden where you can take a walk and find peace. Tip…buy one of their quality incense boxes made from the garden herbs and plants.
Uji, is the second largest historic city in the Kyoto prefecture and have been the most important producer and distributer of green tea for centuries. Take a day trip here, walk along the scenic riverside, drink tea in a teahouse and enjoy. Very beautiful and nice place to go. Tip…there’s a really nice antique shop close to the river.
Sika deer / Street Food
Nara, a lovely daytrip from Kyoto goes to Nara. Here the Sika deer have moved into the city and live in the parks and streets. They are tame and can be fed with special animal crackers sold along the way. There are souvenir shops, cafes and really good street food. In Nara there is also a beautiful Buddhist temple with a huge golden buddha, really worth a visit.
Soft ice with real gold in Kanzawa historic samurai district
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
Kanazawa If you have the time, you must take Shinkansen to the city of Kanazawa. Stay at The Share Hotel, Kumu. Kanazawa deserves two days, it’s a big city with lots to see, and the trip on the shinkansen is really cool. The old samurai district in Kanazawa is super nice, and I have bought many beautiful lacquer bowls here. On the weekends the Japanese go here in their formal kimonos.
Don’t miss the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, the castle and the finest Suzuki museum. There’s a fish market where you can have really delicious sashimi on plastic stool with the locals. Tip… In the historic samurai district, you can have soft ice with real gold and there is a gold museum.
Old city of Arita
Arita is of course one of my favorite places. A small town in western Saga Prefecture on Kyushu. We love the porcelain and the craftsmanship from Arita and most of the attractions are related to pottery here. In the area they also have amazing onzen hotels and public baths. You can take the shinkansen train from Tokyo to Arita, a trip of nearly 8 hours, but I promise it will all be worth it.
Old city of Arita
Mountains is of course one of my favorite places. A small town in western Saga Prefecture on Kyushu. We love the porcelain and the craftsmanship from Arita and most of the attractions are related to pottery here. In the area they also have amazing onzen hotels and public baths. You can take the shinkansen train from Tokyo to Arita, a trip of nearly 8 hours, but I promise it will all be worth it.