The best adventures are shared with family and friends. We loved exploring so much of Japan this past year, and look forward to more in 2019!
We have been trying to make the most of our time in Japan to see all that we can here before we move. It’s been fun looking back and remembering all the new things the kids have tried; from trying new food to braving heights, from snorkeling to long car rides and longer flights, they have been troupers!
We love Iwakuni and Japan and extended for a second time, putting us here until 2020. However, at the end of the year we were told that that we would be leaving in 2019! Now our time left in Japan is half of what we planned and we are in a hurry to see everything on our bucket list! Here is our recap on a few of our favorite things from 2018! You can also follow join_the_kellys on instagram to join us on all of our adventures!
Rabbit Island/Okunoshima – 2 trips
Rabbit Island is pure fun! Go feed the bunnies and explore the island’s history!
Fukuoka – 3 trips
Fukuoka is famous for their ramen, but try to plan a trip to see the seasonal wisteria tunnels – just the scent from the flowers is worth the trip!
Miyajima – 3 trips
Miyajima is beautiful, sacred and worth visiting again and again!
Kyoto – 2 trips
There is simply too much to see in Kyoto in even a dozen trips. Even if you make it just once, you will come away in awe of this beautiful city.
Osaka – 3 trips
We go to Osaka for the food! Dotonbori Street is lively night or day and rain or shine. Be sure to try the okonomiyaki!
There are plenty of places to go camping in Japan. You will be amazed at how respectful and quiet your fellow campers are…if they are Japanese, that is!
Hiroshima – countless trips!
Living so close to this wonderful city, we enjoy learning its history, eating its food and exploring the countryside. There is so much to offer, and this is right in our backyard!
Tsunoshima, Tawarajima, Motonosumi Inari Shrine, Akiyoshidai – 2 trips
Western Yamaguchi Prefecture has a ton to see – islands, caves, shrines and castles. Some of our favorite places in Japan are on this coast.
Japanese cuisine…words can’t do it justice. There is plenty that is new to our American taste buds, but they have become some of our favorite foods ever. Wagyu from Niimi, ultra-fresh seafood at Soso, Matsusaka steak (it wins versus Kobe beef!), or even just sushi down the street – we will miss the food here!
Family reunion – Park City, UT
We loved the chance we got to see Matt’s family this summer and have fun in Utah. The kids loved having cousin time, and we can’t wait to see everyone again.
This port city has a fascinating blend of foreign influences. We especially liked learning about the Christians that lived in secret in the area for over a century!
Japan’s rugged mountains create beautiful waterfalls and great trails with beautiful views. The kids have hiked to some pretty exciting spots with us!
The kids worked hard at Ini-no Tanada, and we hope to be part of the planting in 2019.
Close to town and an awesome place to spend a hot summer day – bring insect repellent!
What a treat!
Shikoku – 2 trips
Shikoku is magical. One of our favorite trips was staying in this old thatched-roof farmhouse. It was updated with luxurious features, and a local villager prepared us some amazing food right in our kitchen!
The area to the south and east of Nara/Osaka is filled with things to see, from ninja villages to stunning Nachi Falls.
Shodoshima – 2 trips
Shodoshima has our hearts. The people are warm and welcoming, and the island is gorgeous with stunning natural features like Kankakei Gorge and Angel Road. There is great food to top it all off! Go in October for the drum festival!
Definitely a highlight of the year was seeing both kids pick up snorkeling. We are so proud!
Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea
Disney parks in Japan are even more magical than in the States. We stayed at a Disney hotel and it was a fantastic experience, one we hope to repeat soon.
Island life is amazing. We relaxed, snorkeled, ate good food and enjoyed the warmer climate.
Number 1 trip from 2018! Ishigaki was relaxing and adventurous at the same time. The kids had a blast and we hope to go back some day.
Wow! It’s hard to believe we did so much in one year, and these are just some of our favorites! We look forward to sharing more with you this coming year and hopefully inspiring you to get out and travel as a family!
What’s on your Japan bucket list? We will try to add it to ours!
Plan your trip(s)
Click on any of the links in this post to see how you can plan your trip. If there’s not a link, we haven’t written about it…yet! Stay tuned!