Summer Vacay: Japan & China

JAPAN

Asia was a trip I have been wanting to go on for a looonnngg time. This year, my mom and I finally had the chance to visit Japan and China right before my internship in New York City. On the day of my last final of Junior year at SMU, I said goodbye to Texas (just for the summer!) and headed straight to Washington D.C. to meet my mom before our early morning flight to Tokyo, Japan. I knew the flight was going to be super long, so I prepared by downloading a bunch of movies and TV shows on my ipad and laptop. When the flight attendant woke me up to tell me that it was time for breakfast, I was so excited because that meant, we only had a few hours left. When we arrived in Tokyo, I had so much energy from how excited I was, we went to the Ritz Carlton, checked in, changed and went out to explore the amazing city. I knew that I really wanted to visit Harajuku while we were in Tokyo. I also wanted to buy every flavor Kit Kat possible since they are my favorite candy. They had green tea, mint, dark chocolate, strawberry, melon and other Kit Kath flavors. I was shooook! My mom bought me pink hair dye while we were in Harajuku because she knew that I would have totally died my hair pink like Kim K, if I didn’t have an internship at Chanel a couple weeks later. But I am getting my hair dyed pink this weekend when I go home! Thoughts? The people in Japan were so friendly, I did not want to leave. We had a super friendly and helpful tour guide on our first full day in Tokyo, Yoshie. We went to a cotton candy store, because I LOVE cotton candy and Yoshie tried it for the first time! She was the best!! We only had a couple of days in Japan because we had to meet our cruise group in Beijing, China! I 100% want to go back to Japan one day <3

Travel Tips:
  • Don’t Tip in Japan- it is considered rude, but instead you can give gifts as a token of your appreciation
Where to Eat:
  • Β Aman Hotel
    • The restaurant located inside the Aman Hotel had delicious Italian food, which is my favorite cuisine- even in Asia!
  • Bvulgari Restaurant
    • If you are into unique foods and are willing to try new things on their set menu, this place is a great choice for you!
  • Ninja Resaurant
    • This place is so cool! When you enter, you feel like you are going to a secret Ninja spot, all the tables are in a private room and there is a set menu of Japanese cuisine.
  • Robot Restuarant
    • I do not reccommend eating here, but it is fun for drinks and an awesome show. If you are clausiphobic and don’t enjoy loud noises, this is not the place for you. My mom and I had a fun time here, even though she was scouting how we would get out of there in case of an emergency 85% of the time. The show was fun, especially once you have a few drinks.
Photo Ops:
  • The Ritz Carlton Hotel
  • Tokyo Tower
  • Robot Restaurant
  • Harajuku
  • Tokyo Disney- I wish we had time to go, because I would have LOVED it!

CHINAΒ 

The Chinese culture is very different from that of the Japanese. In China, I often caught myself paying closer attention to my surroundings. From Tokyo, we flew to Beijing to meet up with our tour group from Uniworld Cruises. This included a lot of flying from city to city before we reached the destination of the river cruise in China. We knew we would not be able to go on the last leg of the trip, which was Hong Kong because my internship started on June 4 and that was the day the rest of the group was flying to Hong Kong. It was one of the cities I REALLY wanted to visit, but unfortunately didn’t work out with my schedule. My mom had been there before a few times and I had been when I was little. My mom is also going back to Japan and Hong Kong in September, so she was okay with missing HK on this trip. We did a lot of sightseeing, tours, and walking with the Uniworld tour guide.While I was in China, I walked part of the Great Wall of China, learned a little bit of Tai Chi, tried Acupuncture and Suction Cups for the first time, saw the Tarra Cotta Warriors, tried calligraphy, went to shows, visited a Buddhist temple, toured a private boarding school, went to the Three Gorges Dam, went to the Chongqing Zoo and saw pandas, and more. Being on the Uniworld tours was non-stop, but looking back, I am so happy that we were able to do so much. It was my first time not having control over my plans on a trip and having to go on other people’s schedules, and I didn’t really like it. We had to wake up at 7AM almost every morning. When we were finally on the cruise ship, my mom and I took advantage and relaxed. Overall, I am so happy and grateful that I was able to visit Japan and China this summer with my mom, we had such a great time experiencing new things together and I cannot wait for our next mother/daughter trip <3

Favorite Cities in China:

– Shanghai

– Hangzhou

– Hong Kong

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