Category: Japan

Posts about traveling in Japan. These posts cover all the various things you could possibly do during a trip to Japan.

Learn to Be a Samurai at Samurai Kembu Theater in Kyoto, Japan

Learn to Be a Samurai at Samurai Kembu Theater in Kyoto, Japan

At the Samurai Kembu Theater, visitors get to learn about “Kembu,” the traditional sword art practiced by the ancient samurai of Japan. It traditionally uses a katana (long, curved sword) and fan to convey poems and stories. Visitors can watch performances by masters of Kembu, and then they can even try it out for themselves. It’s definitely a unique, must have experience in Japan for those interested in Japanese culture, history, and society.

A Day Trip from Tokyo: Things to Do In Nikko, Japan | Footsteps of a Dreamer

A Day Trip from Tokyo: Top Things to Do in Nikko, Japan

Nikko, Japan isn’t quite as popular as some of the other bigger cities in Japan, but don’t let that dissuade you. Nikko is full of rich Japanese culture, and you’ll find that it’s much less crowded and not as touristy as some of the other big cities, making it the perfect place to get a first hand encounter with Japanese culture. It’s also a great day trip from Tokyo, so you don’t even have to go out of your way to get there. If you’ve got the time, here are some suggestions for things to do in Nikko, Japan.

Parks and Gardens in Tokyo | Footsteps of a Dreamer

Must See Parks and Gardens in and Around Tokyo, Japan

I’ve always loved taking a stroll through a garden, particularly a Japanese garden. It always just feels so peaceful. It’s not surprising that, when I finally made it to Japan, I spent a great deal of time exploring the many parks and gardens of Japan. Without any further ado, here are the parks and gardens that made the top of my list.

Bowling at Round1: Moonlight Strike Game - Footsteps of a Dreamer

Bowling at Round 1: The Moonlight Strike Game

I went bowling at Round1 Entertainment for the first when I was studying abroad in Japan. I lucked out that there was a Round1 close to my dorm and close to my university, so I found myself there quite frequently. Despite my troubles trying to convert American shoe sizes to Japanese shoe sizes so I could rent the correct bowling shoes, I thoroughly enjoyed bowling at Round1 because of their unique Moonlight Strike Game.

Essential Apps for Travel in Japan - Footsteps of a Dreamer

Essential Apps for Travel in Japan

I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea how to read a traditional paper map. There’s no point when I can have all the same information and more in the palm of my hand! If you are planning on traveling to Japan, there are a lot of apps out there that can help you not only navigate the train system, but also find where to eat, learn some survival phrases, and more! Before you go, make sure you download these essential apps for your trip!

Navigating Japan's Train System

Navigating Japan’s Train System

Are you planning to take a trip to Japan? Do you find Japan’s extensive public transportation system more than just a little intimidating? No need to fear! Japan’s public transportation system can be a little overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually incredibly convenient and easy to use! 

Must See Shrines and Temples in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan is full of rich culture and history. It was largely untouched during the World Wars, meaning many of the traditional architecture remains. If you are looking to experience the traditional styles and culture Japan is famous for, you’ll definitely want to check out these shrines and temples in Kyoto.

You Will Never Be Japanese - Footsteps of a Dreamer

You Will Never Be Japanese

If you are not Japanese, you will never be Japanese. This may seem like such an obvious statement. Duh, of course if I’m not born Japanese, I won’t magically become Japanese. To most people, that’s not a big deal. However, it is a fact you have to learn to accept if you intend to live in Japan, because it will come up again and again even after you’ve lived there for 20 years. You can walk like a duck, quack like a duck, but you still won’t be a duck. Sorry.

Heading Home

Heading Home

The day I left my dorm, I said goodbye to many of my friends, and spent a good part of the train ride in tears. However, I was on my way to Chiba with one of my friends, so I had that to hold onto. I spent the day with his family as he showed me around his hometown, and he and his family took me to the airport when it was finally time to board my plane.


Mt. Takao, Kawagoe, and Chiba

The other day one of my friends invited me to go hiking at Mt. Takao. Then yesterday I went to Kawagoe with my Rikkyo buddy. He also invited me back to his hometown in Chiba to stay with his family since my flight will be leaving from Narita airport, which is only a few minutes from his hometown.

Himeji Castle


Today, I was off to see Himeji Castle and Kokoen, but before I did that, I also stopped at Kyoto Tower since it was closed the first time I went. I’ll admit that when I learned about Himeji castle in my Japanese classes, I wasn’t overly interested in it, but I ended up deciding to go mostly because it isn’t that far from Kyoto and because it’s such a popular place. In the end, I’m super glad I went. I think it’s my favorite out of all the castles I’ve been to.

Samurai Kembu Theater

Kyoto – Round Two

This is actually my second time in Kyoto. Despite the fact that I’ve been here already, I decided to go again simply because I didn’t get to do everything I wanted the last time I was in Kyoto. There’s just so much to do here, especially if you’re into traditional Japanese culture.