So, just about now my first real trip to Japan (almost three months) has concluded. It certainly has given me lots of inspiration for blogging – but since I am still traveling, blogging is not so convenient now.
It was good to get out of Taiwan. I love Taiwan … but it is only about the size of Kyushu, and for three years I did not leave even once. It was getting to the point that I was starting to feel that the rest of the world was unreal.
I would like to thank Queenie for her advice about Kansai.
So, where did I go? Here is a snapshot:
Prefectures where I spent at least 9 nights:
Prefectures where I spent at least 5 nights:
Prefectures where I spent at least two nights:
Prefectures which I visited, but did not stay overnight:
As you can see, I went to a lot of places, which makes it hard to pick favorites. These, however, are some of the highlights for me:
– Iriomote island! Even though the weather was not so good … this place is unique. It has the same latitude as Taiwan, from which it is only a couple hundred of kilometers away, is a part of Ryukyu, and legally now part of Japan, yet it is very different from Taiwan, Japan, and the other Ryukyu islands. I am convinced that it is unlike anywhere else on earth.
– Zamami island is the most beautiful place I went to during this trip.
– I found that Yoron island is a really cool place – beautiful coral rock beaches, the friendly people and their unique language (it was fun to see how they reacted to me speaking a little Yoron-hogen), etc.
– Shiratani Unsuikyo and the walk to Jomon-sugi goes through fantastic forest.
– Beppu: a fun onsen town
If I had to pick one region as my favorite, it would definitely be the Ryukyu islands. The Ryukyu archipelago is much less convenient than Japan, but certainly worth the extra effort. I would also rather live in the Ryukyu archipelago than mainland Japan.
Expect more commentary … at some time.