South African personality Lalla Hirayama in Japan. Picture: Instagram/LallaHirayama
South African personality Lalla Hirayama in Japan. Picture: Instagram/LallaHirayama

How to travel Japan like Lalla Hirayama

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Oct 15, 2019

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“Delving deep into my Japanese heritage over the past few weeks has been cathartic, exhilarating and soul-stirring during this interesting time in life,” said South African personality Lalla Hirayama on Instagram. 

“Hard to believe so much culture can come from one place,” she added. 

Hirayama, who is of Japanese descent, travelled to Japan for the Rugby World Cup, which ends on November 2. 

On the trip, the 31-year-old beauty said: “This trip to Japan has been a blessing in so many different ways. I'm learning about my culture more and more each day.”

Here’s how you can travel to Japan like Lalla Hirayama: 

Visit Kagoshima

The Japanese city will always have a special place in Hirayama’s heart. She said on Instagram: “Kagoshima will always be home away from home.”

The seaside city on Japan's Kyushu Island boasts many attractions that will keep travellers occupied for hours. 

Get your camera ready to capture Sakurajima, an active volcano that faces Kinko Bay. According to, Sakurajima used to be an island in the bay until a mighty eruption in 1914. 

You can then explore the Sengan-en gardens where you will find the reverberation furnace ruins, Tin gate and Gangnam bamboo forest. Don’t leave the city without a visit to Kagoshima Bay. 

Snap a picture at Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing is one of the busiest intersections in the world, so snapping a picture may be trickier than one might think. 

According to Lonely Planet, Mag's Park, a 109-2 department store, offers some of the best views and makes the perfect place to capture a few images. 

Enjoy a night out at Shinjuku 

View this post on Instagram

The day after Super Typhoon Hagibis. The Japanese are some of the most resilient people. My heart breaks for those who lost their homes and loved ones 💔😔 _ Today was a new day in Tokyo. Watching communities come together to overcome such a big natural disaster has been... for lack of a better word, inspiring. _ No complaining, no drama, just working together to fix what needs to be and then keep it moving. _ Today the sky has been the most beautiful shade of blue which turned purple at sunset. The way Mother Nature can give and take away so quickly is incredible. We are completely at her mercy. We tend to forget that as humans with our big egos and money hungry mentality 😔🙏

A post shared by 平山 ララ Lalla Hirayama (@lalla_hirayama) on

If you are in the mood to paint the town red, your first stop should be Shinjuku. Here you will find a string of clubs, hotel bars, restaurants and karaoke rooms.

There are bar hopping tours for travellers hoping to navigate the bar and food scene. Before you let your hair down, watch the sunset at Shinjuku Central Park in western Shinjuku. 

Take a Top Deck tour at the Tokyo Tower 

One of the ways to enjoy the Tokyo Tower is via a Top Deck tour. Tokyo Towers, which feature in many of Hiryama’s images, is a landmark in Tokyo. The observation tower is estimated to be around 332.9 metres. The tour offers insight into the tower, and there are many photo opportunities. 

If a tour is not your thing, you could recreate pictures in front of the tower. 

Kaminarimon gate 

The Kaminarimon gate leads to the Sensō-ji, an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa. 

Tourists love to visit here to immerse themselves in Japanse culture, and for Kaminarimon picture-perfect lantern and statues at the entrance. 

Hirayama posted: “Flanking the lantern are two statues that give the gate its name; Japanese people commonly pay homage to these figures for peace, tranquility and abundant crops.

"The figure on the left is the god of thunder, on the right, the wind god. Guarding Sensoji from storm, flood and fire.” (sic). 

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