Nicks Octopress Blog

A blogging framework for hackers.

Backpacking Japan

While Vietnam was more of an adventure, Japan fell on the vacation side. The hospitality was incredible and the hostels felt like 5 star hotels. The cuisine was full of novel tastes and textures. The culture was quirky and energetic. Most importantly though, I got to visit one of my homelands, something I’ve always wanted to do.

The clouds over the Sea of Japan

Hong Kong Express saved me a lot of money this trip

The beginning of a long trip from the airport to hostel


We stayed at a hostel in Akihabara, well known for its Otaku culture. Walk a couple stories up or down and you’d start finding some weird stuff

Quick breakfast at our favorite 24 hour place before heading out to explore

Hachiko, after his owner died he continued to run out here day after day to meet him. Naturally there’s a film adaptation

Zach’s friend Mio took us to an Izakaya

Met Emi as an exchange student at UCSD several years ago, we met again in her territory

Apparently Spumoni’s are very popular in Japan

Roppongi is the party district of Tokyo. Clubs here stay open until 5am, just in time to catch the first subways

Kamakura trip out of Tokyo

Took a day trip to Kamakura. Tatsu, who Amber had met in Thailand (?), came and hung out with us. This was the largest buddha in the world when it was constructed in the 1200s.

Cute statues in the garden

Poor the water on the statue for good luck!

Met Mio and her friend for all you can eat and drink hotpot

Walked around in Shinjuku redlight after dinner


Subway brought us up in the center of a Japanese university, everyone was so fashionable!

Imperial palace, if you walk on the wrong side of the canal an alarm will go off…

Group shot at Imperial Palace

Nasty Crab Miso (sperm) sushi

Had to creep for awhile, but stalked ourself a Geisha

Walking through what seems like a Kyoto suburb

Lots of orange gates

Inari the fox

Arashiyama trip out of Kyoto

Arashiyama, land of the monkeys

Walking down the river

Can feed the monkeys from within the cage

Monkey Selfie with humans

Bamboo Path

Pond of Dragon, my phones new lock screen

Nara trip out of Kytoto

Nara, land of the deer

Randomly saw some turtles on the walk over

Selfie with a photogenic deer. They’re normally not allowed to have antlers but I guess this one was well behaved.


One of the big Buddhas inside



Morizuya Ryokan, probably the favorite place I stayed over the whole trip. Got to sleep on tatami mats and wear yukatas

They even gave me one

There was a private cave onsen in Morizuya itself

And they had a rock turtle who was about my age

Brought us breakfast

Satonyu, one of the four onsens we went to. Had outdoor pools, steam rooms, waterfalls, everything!

Freaky sandfish

View over Kinosake and the Maruyama River flowing out to the Sea of Japan