NÓMADAS #1 - Diogo and Joana in JAPAN

In the impossibility of being able to travel and live our adventures and dreams, I decided to create this new item on my blog (NÓMADAS) so that we can travel a little on the sofa and meet these adventurers, who, like me, cannot be stopped in their continuous desire to absorb and get to know our world.
Meet some of his craziest trips here.

The first adventurers are Diogo and Joana, a young traveling couple whose motto is to travel and get to know as much as possible, spending no more than € 10 a day. They have traveled across continents, visiting countries such as Iran, Pakistan, China, India but one of the destinations that most marked them was Japan.

Why choose this destination?

Japan started as an idea on our trip, 9 months earlier I was in Tbilisi, Georgia, about 8000 km from Tokyo, I was alone drinking a beer in a bar while thinking about how far I could get on this trip that I still had ahead. I called my traveling companion who was still in Portugal and we decided that Japan would be the final destination, both one and the other we have a passion for Japanese culture, be it for its super famous animes, for its magnificent cuisine or for everyday Japanese, everything indicated that it was the final destination indicated.

Short itinerary and points of interest for your trip?

We had 3 weeks to tour Japan, we started in Tokyo and then we went to Mount Fuji, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Kochi, Matsuyama, Hiroshima and returned to Tokyo. Japan is a fascinating country, all places can be formidable points of interest, but without a doubt Tokyo to begin with, personally I am not a big fan of big cities, but Tokyo is another level. As I said, I am a big fan of Japanese animation and when I had the opportunity to visit an entire neighborhood dedicated to animation, I was speechless. Kyoto was also fascinating, I remember being in the middle of the street and saying: “One day I’m going to live here, it looks like I’m in a Miyazaki film.” I still think about it today. Finally Hiroshima, visiting the memorial to the victims of the atomic bomb was shocking, I was not expecting to be so touched by a museum, it was definitely something I will not forget.

Two or three moments that marked you the most during the trip?

This whole trip was made by hitchhiking, and undoubtedly one of the most remarkable moments was my despair in the rain with no hope of escaping. When I was about to give up, I saw a giant blue "Monster Truck" and thought: "- Well, I'll see if it catches us." The guy who was driving did not hesitate, pulled over, and offered us a ride right away even though we had a card saying we wanted to go to the suicide forest. The guy who picked us up was one of the friendliest people I met during the whole trip, took us for a ride around Mount Fuji in his gigantic 4x4 that consumed 50 L at 100KM, had the whole day with us from side to side and at the end of the day he still gave us 100 dollars because he wanted to help us in a certain way, since we were two vagabonds walking around in the rain and offering him company all day.

Another thing that marked me was order, civility, everything works too well. Everyone is extremely well educated, everyone has a huge respect for each other. Coming from countries like India or China, which are the countries with the largest population in the world, arriving in Japan and seeing something so organized and coordinated was undoubtedly remarkable, no one skips a line, in Tokyo for example, smoking on the street without being in a smoking area it can be considered offensive, and a trip to the supermarket is an ultra respectful monologue on the part of the cashier who thanks you a million times for shopping there

The biggest difficulties you faced?

Being one of the most expensive countries in the world and the most expensive I have ever been to, one of the biggest difficulties was simply making the trip and being comfortable. When I arrived in Japan I was already in “penury” so I had to adapt to this country, which for backpackers with little twitch like me, is not the best. Of the 3 weeks I was in Japan 80% of the time I slept on the street, in gardens, service stations and I almost always ate at convenience stores, I always had to do everything depending on where I would sleep, where I would get dinner, etc. It was a bit difficult but I can't say that I see it as a real difficulty, perhaps as a challenge.

Curiosities about cultural differences?

The Japanese are the most respectful and civilian people I have ever met, despite my tired backpacker and jagunço air I never felt that side look as I felt elsewhere, many of the people who gave us a ride made detours for many kilometers just to be able to talk one little more with us and get to know us better, also because they are extremely friendly and available to help. One of the big differences was this: availability, kindness and respect taken to another level.

What not to forget to take to this destination?

This is very subjective, for me the answer is without a doubt: a tent! Japan is a country full of gardens where you can set up a tent and spend the night without spending 1 euro, as long as you respect the space around you.

What time of year did you go? Do you advise this or another time?

I went in May, I think it is the best time of the year, April is also good because it is the beginning of spring. Japan has a fantastic nature, one of the highlights of this time of year is undoubtedly the blossoming of the cherry trees, the so-called “Sakuras”, the trees get pink petals, it is definitely something to do!

If you came back what would you do differently?

I would like to travel only to Japan without having come from another trip, maybe with a little more money too, to be able to waste on Japanese food. Other than that it didn't change anything, making the trip with little money allowed me to meet a lot of people and see places I wouldn't see if it came well "loaded"

For those who want to follow more adventures of these nomads:


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