Countdown to Tokyo: My Pre-Departure Bucket List

Sara Macconnell
August 22, 2018

こんにちは! My name is Sara, and I’m a senior at the Universtiy of Puget Sound studying Business Administration and Japanese Language/Culture. This semester I’ll be studying abroad in Tokyo, Japan, and running this photography blog for you to see what I see as I embark on the adventure of a lifetime! This isn’t my first time in Japan, or even Tokyo. In the summer of 2014 I visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Nikko, Hakone, Hiroshima, and Tono. 


Here's a few photos from that trip: 

(Top Photo: Kinkaku-Ji Temple in Kyoto)

(Middle Photo: Gion (Geisha District) in Kyoto)

(Bottom Photo: Miyajima Island near Hiroshima)

With my return to Japan just a little ways away, I’ve created a bucket list of the top things I want to see and do in Japan!

  1. Tokyo Disneyland

As a Los Angeles native and die hard Disney fan, I’ve been to Disneyland more times than I can count. Lucky for me, my apartment is only 20 mintues away from Tokyo Disneyland!

  1. Feed Deer in Nara

Deer, ('Shika' in Japanese) are one of my favorite animals! The last time I was in Japan, I met a few deer on Miyajima Island, and I nearly cried from excitement. The city of Nara has hundred of deer roaming it’s parks, with treats available to give them. I can’t wait to see them again!

  1. Tosho-gu Shrine in Nikko

When I was in Nikko 4 years ago, The Tosho-gu shrine was under construction and I wasn’t able to see it. Now that it’s open to the public again, it’s a must see for me!

  1. Studio Ghbili Museum

I grew up watching Studio Ghbili films like Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc., and they all hold a special place in my heart. This museum is supposedly magical, and I can’t wait to explore it!

  1. Zao Fox Village

My other favorite animal? Foxes, or kitsune as they are called in Japan. At the Zao Fox Village, you can interact with 6 different types of foxes, and watch them play with one another. Dream come true!

  1. Visit Sapporo

I’ve only every been to the main island of Japan, called Honshu. I’m hoping to get a chance to visit Sapporo which is on Hokkaido, Japan’s northern most island. Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido and is home to the Sapporo Beer Museum, great skiing spots, and beautiful parks

  1. Animal Cafes in Tokyo

Tokyo is home to many different themed cafes. The most well-known are the cat cafes, but Tokyo also has shiba inu cafes, owl cafes, rabbit cafes, and even hedgehog cafes! Are you getting the sense that I love cute animals?

  1. Try Uncle Rikuro’s Jiggly Cheesecake in Osaka

Osaka is one of the most famous food-centered cities in Japan. With endless options for restaurants and street food, the concept of ‘Kuiadore’ (eat until you drop) is very popular. The food that I want to try the most is from Uncle Rikuro’s. They have the fluffliest, most jiggly cheesecake you’ve ever seen.

Those are my top bucket list items for this trip. Make sure to follow along to see the pictures I take over the next four months!



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Sara Macconnell

<p>Hi! My name is Sara MacConnell and I'm studying abroad in Tokyo in Fall 2018. I've been taking Japanese classes since I was a freshman in high school, so I'm very excited to spend a whole semester getting to put my language skills to use! I'm a rising senior at the University of Puget Sound where I study Japanese and Business Administration. On campus, I'm involved in greek life, I'm the publicity chair for Students Against Sexual Assault, I do costume design for the theater department, and I work in my school's study abroad office. My favorite things to do are photography, hiking, cooking, trying new restaurants, and watching Netflix with my friends.</p>

2018 Fall
Home University:
University of Puget Sound
Los Angeles, CA
International Business
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