How can you travel through Japan and don’t stop to admire what an ancient civilization such as the japanese one has to offer ? That is why we have developed an itinerary where we would have the possibility to explore the many sites available to us.
In this relatively small country the number of ancient Samurai villages is amazing. We therefore decide to stop at one of the best preserved according to the “lonely planet”. Kakunodate is where you can find the old Samurai residences and a pretty good museum collects many original costumes and weapons. After a beautiful drive we arrive in Nikko, a sanctuary town that with its many temples, is keeping the “Edo” eravery much alive.
Traveling south and keeping our preference in smaller roads we pass through many national parks like the Japan Alps National Park. After a few hours of beautiful scenery we arrive in Kyoto, which is known to be the centerfold of the Japanese culture. In Kyoto we only have time to visit a minority of things, but we try to do the best we can and decide to go visit some other great temples and neighborhoods. Kyoto is also famous for its traditional Japanese gardens. Matteo and myself can wander around the street of Kyoto forever as they are full of colors and delicious food smells.
You can’t talk about the Japanese culture without mentioning Mt Fuji. Since the 8th Century this sleeping volcano and the tallest mountain in Japan, has been considered a sacred mountain by the Japanese themselves. Still today thousands of people try to make it every year to admire this truly magnificent volcano. It is rare to see it full due to the poor weather conditions that most of the time covers the peak. Well guess what ? Not only we managed to drive from Italy to Japan without getting a traffic ticket but we were so lucky that we got to see it. We also put our tents for the night right in front of it. We both feel so fortunate.