After our beach excursion, we headed back to Tokyo. We got in a quick nap then headed out on the town to meet, Hiro, a local who shares a mutual friend of ours. He took us to a fabulous restaurant in the shinjuku district. I particularly enjoyed the dumplings and bamboo shoots, but not so much the raw chicken. After dinner, we headed out to take in the karaoke scene (huge in Japan). Far more fun here than in the US-costumes & ur own private room make for hilariously-bent over, can't breath from laughing-f-u-n! What a treat for Jenny's 34th bday. After an hr and a half of Mariah Carey-esq vocals, I.e., tone deaf, flat tunes, we ventured to the golden gong district where you find sprawls of teeny pedestrian only streets lined w the smallest of bars (street level, above, and below), fitting only 5-10 patrons. This area was once known for illegal activity-drugs and prostitution-reason for such small spaces. It is now quite charming and very old school Tokyo. Great last night!
13 July 2017
Since leaving Siargao, I've been excited about new adventures, but cont to miss the waves. Yesterday, Thursday, Jenny & I decided to head to Yuigahama Beach to feed our hunger for more surf, about 1 hr 45 min on the train from Tokyo. We arrived to find the cutest little Japanese beach town-so neat to see. We hopped on the bus & immediately began looking for a surf shop. We found it in a 3 story building complete w cutesie shops and yummy restaurants. We ate on the balcony facing the waves, & immediately decided to spend the night. This cute beach town had the nicest hostel (far nicer than many US hotels). We arranged a room, 2 board rentals, and headed out to catch more history, shopping, & of course, sushi. The biggest sign for me that I'm in Japan is the eel. It. Is. Melt. In. Ur. Mouth. We went for a beer on the beach & nestled for sleep. 5:30am surf time. The waves were small & short. But I loved being on the board again. From now on, I think waves will be calling my name. 🌊💙
12 July 2017
Yesterday was a fun filled day of culture in Kyoto, a city abt 2.5 hrs away by train. A prior Capitol of Japan it is filled w history and Japanese tradition. We started at the imperial palace park(think samurai) a beautiful palace surrounded by gorgeous green space and so many diff types of trees. Then we headed to Fusimi Inari-Taisha, a Shinto shrine w thousands of torii (entrance gate to a Shinto shrine) that cross cross the mtn. They were the coolest shade of orange that popped against the surrounding greenery of the mtn. We hiked up to a temple along the vast and thick sprawls of bamboo. Very cool. Jenny, PB, & I then hopped back on the train to the Gion District. I really loved this area. (A&Z u 2 would be all over it). Adorably old streets filled w restaurants & shops-all w slidding doors, many w hanging lanterns out front. Here is where we watched a geisha show and had delish sushi. Best eel I've ever had! Long day in heat but worth it! If u come to Tokyo-take a day in Kyoto!
A long day of travel (left Siargao hotel @ 6a got to Tokyo Airbnb @ 11p), filled our Monday. Upon arriving to our place, Jenny & I tossed our luggage & headed to try to find food. We ended up walking around the corner to 7-11 (nicer than us). I grabbed a veggie pasta dish w soy looking sauce & some tortilla looking chips (just in case). When we got back home, I heated it briefly & poured the sauce into a small to go container for dipping (just in case). Jenny got the same and gave an accurate description, "Not terrible, but not pleasant." Our place is small, but very efficient. Not a sq of space to spare. We have a washing machine 🙌🏻& hanging lines on the balcony. I'll take a photo of the tub/shower combo for u guys to see. Baby Ray may be the only person who could fit in the tub. Jenny & I share 1 of the small bdr. Has 2 twin (seem bigger) beds & a fan that oscillates. Def gets warm as the only ac unit is is a maze away. We're a close walk 2 train-perf. Time for much needed sleep ?
11 July 2017
Tuesday was a Tokyo filled day. Woke early & began laundry 🙌🏻, showered, and headed to bfast w PB. Amaz pastry shop on our walk 2 the train. Pastries w red beans baked in are pop here. I didn't catch that @ the x, but will likely try soon. Then we caught the train & explored the city. This place is insane. It's like Times Square on every corner, but sprawling w intersecting alleys of food stalls, teeny (7ish seat) bars& restaurants,& markets. We stopped for ramen @ 1 of the teeny, but a/c-ed places. My choice had pork back fat, seaweed 😋, and other items (?). Not my fave, but Eddie swears by another place close to our Airbnb. After walking a bit more, we headed back to prepare for ROBOT show. Guys, this was such a treat. Def a production of highly talented dancers & performers & SO out there in the absolute best way poss. Fave part of the day. After the show we hit up 1 of the teeny rest/bars. Meat wrapped mushrooms & sweet peppers 4 me. I also tried pork tongue. Tough texture but