Spring in Japan: My trips in 2012

Last, but not least here are some souvenirs that I bought during my last trip this month:

Maneki Neko, Japanese souvenirs

My Maneki Neko collection is growing bigger and bigger! Don’t ask me how many I have by now, I can’t count them anymore! *g*

Maneki Neko, Japanese souvenirs

Sakura-themed Maneki Neko that move with the power of (sun)light! So cute! And cherry blossom room sprays!

Japanese souvenirs

I love to buy good luck charms, wishing plaques and whatnot at temples and shrines!

Daruma, Japanese souvenirs

Much cuter than the usual type of Daruma, don’t you think?

Japanese souvenirs Japanese souvenirs

A handmade decoration fan of the Neputa Festival in Hirosaki.

Japanese souvenirs

And lots of other things.
What you see here is only about 20% of what I bought. Yeah, I’m kind of crazy about souvenirs. I do save a lot of money and don’t spend much in daily life, but when I go traveling I explode! *g*

Japanese KitKat flavors

And I’m truly turning Japanese as souvenirs also include food!
Each region has their own special KitKat flavor that you only can buy there. I grabbed the ones that are limited to Hokkaido and Tohoku, of course.
Haven’t tried them yet, so I can’t say anything about the taste!

Japanese souvenirs, omiyage

As I don’t really live close to Tokyo, I also grabbed something limited to Tokyo when changing Shinkansen at Tokyo Station! Usually I prefer the famous “Tokyo Banana”, but I’ve never tried the little “Witch Oven” thingies and I have to admit they were truly yummy!

cherry blossom flavored sweets

And of course I also bought a lot of sakura products! The cherry blossom donuts you see in the picture are so delicious!!! smilie
I also bought sakura tea and jam! The jam is yummy as well. Have yet to try the tea!~

I hope I got you into travel mode now!?! Don’t you feel that spring in Japan is a great time to come to Japan and travel?

Thanks a lot for reading!~smillie


  • It looks like an awesome trip. I have lived in Sendai for a few years now, and I haven’t gone to as many places as you did on that trip.

    I went to Kakunodate a few years ago, but I did not know it was a place to see cherry blossoms. I will have to visit there next year.

    • Really?
      Well, I’m kind of crazy about traveling, so you don’t have to compare, but I’d love to live up there and explore Tohoku some more! There are still so many great things I want to see!
      In autumn it must be heaven?!

      Kakunodate is quite popular in spring, but if you live in Tohoku anyways, I’d go to Hirosaki instead if I were you! :D

      • Hirosaki is awesome in the summer. Remember a few years ago when August was so hot? It was nice up in Aomori.

        I think Kakunodate would be good for me since my in-laws live in Iwate, so it would be a hop over the mountains to get there. Aomori is a little farther – but still a nice drive.

  • Whoahh!!! I’m loaded with your many beautiful photos. It’s as if I’ve seen the places myself, too. You really know which nice palces to go. :thumbup:

    Your blog is a very good source of information for people who wants to travel around Japan like me. Thank you for sharing your experiences to awesome places.

    I never knew there’s a Buddha statue bigger than the ones in Todaiji or Kamakura.

    I love Yokohama’s night view so much that I had to stop by there even just for a few minutes when I went to Kamakura last time.

    Your manekineko stuffs are cute. :fan: I’m into discovering new flavors of KitKat, too. :shiawase: But my first love is still the matcha flavor. :kyah:

    • Woah! Thank you so much!!
      Being a travel inspiration for others is exactly what I want, so I’m glad you see it that way! :hearts:

      You know there are SO MANY awesome places out there that people simply don’t know about although they are worth visiting – much more thand the “standard” destinations such as Kyoto or Tokyo, so I want to share that with other people and hopefully get them interested in those other places, too! :luvit:

      Well, they seem to differenciate here quite a lot!
      Todaiji’s is INSIDE, Kamakura’s is OUTSIDE so they wouldn’t fall in the same category anyways.
      I thought I had seen the biggest Buddha statue quite a few times already as it was also written there “Japan’s Biggest Buddha Statue …” – but I forgot to read the smaller printed letters such as “biggest sitting statue that is situated outside” etc.
      Confusing! :hihi:

      To be honest I’m not really a fan of all the KitKat flavors. Most of the time I’m just disappointed, so I stopped trying them all. The only exception I make is when I travel and find some “limited to xy area” stuff! :ehehe:

  • Lots of beautiful photos, as usual! You collect castles as I collect gardens…

    I am looking forward to your pictures of Tottori dunes. I only took one or two when I was there, as it was late August and terribly hot. I couldn’t stand being out in the open very long.

    I was very impressed by the Akiyoshi caves. I found it a little difficult to take decent photos because of the light there, though I managed a few. And the ascent to Tsuwano’s Taikodani Inari shrine is delightful. Tsuwano in fact I thought a very pleasant small town.

    Your photos from Hakodate are superb! Maybe I should plan a visit to Hokkaido one of these days…

    • Thanks so much!
      I love gardens, too, but I don’t specifically hunt them. I certainly hunt castles and always try to squeeze in as many as possible! :satisfied:

      I went there in spring, but it was still very cold, yet beautiful weather that day. I have far too many photos of that day, so you can certainly look forward to that. I also was able to see a beautiful sunset back then! :music2:

      I took my tripod with me when going to the Akiyoshi Cave, so it wasn’t as difficult. I’ve been to another big cave in Gifu once without a tripod and it was almost impossible to take any decent photos, so I know what you’re talking about.

      Glad you like them. I wish I had more time in Hokkaido. I’ll definitely go back there one day. Ideally once in autumn and once in February for the Sapporo Snow Festival! ^-^

      I’m really thankful for all the travel experience that you have and always share with me!
      I think we inspire each other a lot when it comes to travelling.
      Furthermore we have been to the same places and I just love talking about our experiences.
      Thanks so much, serisoulsy!!!! :luvit:

  • Hey there! I love your blog and your travel experiences seem fun!
    I wanted to ask if you usually travel alone in Japan? I’m currently in Japan now for exchange and I want to do a Kansai-Hiroshima-Kyushu tour. I’m not sure if I can find someone to travel with me yet I’m also contemplating to do a solo trip!

    Do you have any advice for me?


    Keep up with the amazing entries!

    • Hi janz! :D
      Thanks so much, glad you like it! ^-^
      I do travel mainly alone, yes. At this point I think nobody could keep up with my crazy schedule anymore. Or rather, nobody would enjoy that kind of traveling, I think.
      I did some of my travels with friends or family members, but that was earlier on when I wasn’t THAT crazy about traveling yet. My friends couldn’t keep up with it anymore and needed a lot of resting time. My brother was the only one who could keep up with my crazy schedules.

      I don’t mind traveling alone at all.
      I think from time to time it’s nice because you’ll notice so many details and can enjoy your destination to the fullest if you’re alone.
      I wouldn’t worry about traveling alone if you can’t find anybody to go with you. It’s really not difficult at all – and it’s safe!

      I’d love to give you some (hopefully good) advice! :luvit:
      When do you want to do your trip? In summer?
      Anything in particular you want to know?
      How much time do you have available for this trip?
      You can also send me a message / e-mail instead of commenting here! ^-^

      Sounds like a fun trip already! :D

    • It is really beautiful and most definitely worth a visit, especially in autumn. I’ve been in Tohoku in winter and in spring now. I want to go back in autum one day! :D

  • Oh wow. Somehow it’s relaxing to know that I’m not the only one immensely behind on updating my travel blog :) I’d love to read about Tashirojima and Ishinomaki as it’s one of the places I want to go to next and I am/was worried about how acceptable it is to go “sight-see” in such a hard hit region. Glad to hear, that tourists are still welcome there.

    • Immensely is an understatement, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to catch up. ;P
      I’m looking forward to hear more about your latest vacation, though!!

      Well, I didn’t go there for the destroyed houses. In fact, I thought there wouldn’t be any damage visible anymore. I just went there for Tashirojima.
      There are also many things how you can support the city. They sell some postcards or books and other things specifically limited to the city and the money will help to get the city back how it used to be. I’m glad I could help at least a little :(

    • Hello there! :D
      I’m glad to hear you love it! :happy:
      Take your time, but don’t worry. The blog is still relatively new, so you didn’t miss much yet! :thumbup:

  • lovely…. seriously,, i wanna go to japan. i have plan for next year to go to japan.. and after read your experience in japan, it’s make me really wanna go there immediately.. :fan:
    thank you for your info..

  • Wooow!
    I love your photos!! So wonderful!
    Especially the mountain temple one! What an incredible nature!! :sparkling:

    Also I want to go to the Penis festival so badly!! It was in Kawasaki?
    I always thought thats some other place further away from Tokyo?! Hmm..

    The cat houses are adorable too. It such a pity.. :teary:
    Cant wait to see more!!

    • I can only give the compliment back to you, dear! :luvit:

      It is in Kawasaki, yes, every year on the first Sunday of April!
      The reason why I haven’t participated before WAS that it was so close to Tokyo and thus too far away from me! ;P

  • hello, i’m Japanese guy who has living in Hokkaido.
    i really really like to read your blog (but, this is the first comment)
    In GW, I also went to Hakodate and some cities around there, but i didn’t have a time to trip to Honsyu; therefore, i envy u so much!!

    I have visited 46 /47 pref, so i have to go to Okinawa asap…’s a long trip from Hokkaido lol

    please let me know when u come to Hokkaido. i can give u information where u should go!
    at last, i don’t used to use English, so maybe there are so much mistakes. i hope u can read out from this….m(. . )m

    • Hello! :D
      I’m so glad to hear that, thank you very much!

      You’ve been to 46 prefectures already? I’m the one who’s envious!!! Woah! :whyohwhy:

      I’ll definitely want to visit Hokkaido again. After all I’ve only seen Hakodate so far.

      私も英語が母国語じゃありません(ドイツ人ですから)。 :hihi:

      • actually, Hakodate is one of a great city in Hokkaido, but there are so many beautiful places (maybe u can only see in Hokkaido in Japan) in 北の大地.

        I’ve lived Shiga pref from 18 to 25, then ‘ve lived Vancouver, Canada for a year. That’s why I can read and write English a little.
        also I’ve visited in German ( I forgot where I went, cos there were so small cities.) for 2 ~3 weeks when I was 17 years old. It was an awesome! Especially, Mercedes-Musium was GREAT lol

        Ich mag Ihr wunderbares Foto……Mmm, I can’t recall German…..

        • There are many natural parks and beautiful nature in Hokkaido! I want to visit in autumn next time! The colors of autumn must be so beautiful!

          I’ve never been to Canada! I’d love to visit one day! :D
          You’ve even visited Germany? Wow, seems like you like traveling, too!? :hihi:

          写真褒めてくれて、うれしいです! :happy:

          • I recommend going Hokkaido in Summer. Here is much cooler than Honsyu, and there are a lot of beautiful flower park. Autumn is still good, but if u like to eat any seafood, u should come to Hokkaido in winter.

            I’m a keen traveler lol
            I wanna live and work in EU for a while, but (Let’s be realistic.) it’s a hard decision for me to make.

            ドイツ語はなんとなくしか覚えてないです。自己紹介とか簡単な会話程度なら話せますけど、書くのは全然ダメですね~ orz ドイツ語やフランス語は、英語よりかなり難しく感じます。

        • I will definitely visit Hokkaido (Sapporo) in winter for the Snow Festival!!

          To be honest, I haven’t been traveling a lot through Europe. So far I’ve only been to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Italy.
          I want to visit Sweden, Norway, Holland, the UK, France etc. one day!


  • What an epic travel post! I’m soooo jealous! Wow you managed to get to Tashirojima? :thumbup: That’s one of my dream destinations in Japan since I’m such a cat lover, but getting there is such a pain, wasn’t it? Please post about the cat island soon! :kyah:

    • If I ever happen to make an “all time travel post” featuring all the destinations I’ve been to in the past 5 years, it would turn out as a book rather than a blog post, I guess. :reading:

      No, it wasn’t that bad to go there, esp. not if you’re somewhere in Miyagi Prefecture anyways (e.g. Matsuhima or Sendai). Ok, I’ll try to post about it in the near future! ;P

  • ahhh..cherry of the many reasons why i want to travel and stay in japan..
    Thank God i found this blog..

    • Spring can really feel like paradise!
      Autumn is also very beautiful.
      Both seasons are perfect for traveling in Japan.
      I hope you’ll get a chance to come and visit soon!

      Thanks so much! :music2:

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