Japan · 15 Days · 60 Moments · August 2016

Japan: Here we go!

23 August 2016

Last night in Japan, beautiful view over Tokyo, nice ๐Ÿ˜โœจ
Crazy indoor market at Decks in Odaiba!
Last meal. Tasty tempura! Destroyed the lot, no time for pretty Instagram pics - got eating to do!
Odaiba island. Very cool, slightly crazy playground for the residents of Tokyo.
I have loved the subway system here, even if it does seem like it was designed by Machiavelli and King Jareth.......

22 August 2016

Today was all about Meiji shrine in a typhoon! So wet...... ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ‹

21 August 2016

After the Ghibli museum we strolled around the park a bit and had an ice cream then got the train back to Harajuku and Shibuya. Oh! Found a really cool sticker store on the way back to the train station and bought a tee and some badges. Supper cool and lovely staff ๐Ÿ˜. Harajuku was more mainstream than I thought but maybe we were just in the wrong bit, as per.... But the Shibuya crossing was cool and even Dan was impressed. Saw the famous dog statue and of course there was a cat asleep on it!!! Lol! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ’ค๐Ÿ˜น Full day tomorrow I hope! All over the city for shopping and sights ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
Thursday: A whole day of travelling which was frustrating and I think really threw us off whack. The bullet train was cool tho ๐Ÿ˜ƒ and we saw Fuji from the train!!! ๐ŸŒฌ๐Ÿ—ป It was kinda awesome. Tokyo looked cool from the train and saw the tower for the first time. Tokyo station, however, is devised by Hell ๐Ÿ‘น, what a nightmare. So confusing and frustrating. Got to Hanzomon in the end tho, through the rain, and our apartment is supper convenient and nice. Plus Dan and I finally get to share a bed!!! Yay! Snuggles....... So good โ˜บ๏ธ.
Friday: first full day in Tokyo and Dan slept a lot in the morning. But then we went out to Ueno park which was cool and we hit the Met museum of Art and the National museum. There was a great exhibition on at the Art museum and I'm glad we went in tho it was 800yen. All about people and there relationship with nature/wood and expressions/uses of wood. Cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž. Saw some good stuff at the National museum but it was fairly standard museum you would expect. Nice to be out and about and not defeated by the metro, win!
Saturday in Tokyo: was a bit rough. We have not got the hang/point of city life and what's to see and do in Tokyo yet. The weather really threw us for a loop and the day never really recovered. My feet were wet and my plan for the day was ruined I didn't know what to do..... The day was saved by a boat ride up the river and around the bay a little bit to Asakusa district and shrine which was cool and the shopping street was full of lots of fun tat to look at. Italian for dinner at the restaurant downstairs was a little weird but tasty ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘
Today we went to the Ghibli museum ๐Ÿ˜ƒ. It was cool although all the information was in Japanese (as you would expect) so missed some of it o think. But they showed an ace short film about Mai and the Catbus. It was great to be there and so exciting!
Excited about Ghibli!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐ŸŽฌ๐ŸŽฌ

20 August 2016

Up the river! The Asahi beer building and the sky tree.
Tokyo tower โ›ด๐Ÿ—ผ
Thumb over the lens, stupid girl........ The park was ok tho some pretty views๐Ÿ˜Š
Day out in Tokyo! Yay..........

19 August 2016

Earthquake!!!!! Very far away but very scary!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
This was cool in Ueno Park just before we left for home.
A whole pond of lotus still in flower at Ueno park pond. Very cool and impressive sight to see the whole area covered in these.
Ueno Park, Tokyo met and the national museum. Very tired today. Had a cup of tea which was clearly made by someone with no concept of tea. Earl Grey - hot, milky, foamy and sweet....... ๐Ÿ˜ก
Had a little play and turned these awesome little guys from Arashiyama into groovy art...... (Sort of...)
Lazy morning. Sometimes having a rest on holiday is just as important as in your real life. You get tired. And Dan is definitely a bit touristed out..... ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ’ค

18 August 2016

Today was mostly about travelling to Tokyo and being thoroughly flummoxed by the subway system or Tokyo station more to the point...... So busy, too tired......
Off to Tokyo on the bullet train! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿš„

17 August 2016

Out for sushi with Pete, Ayumi and Luke tonight followed by a bit of arcade action. ๐Ÿ‘พ๐Ÿ‘พ๐Ÿ‘พ Also, Dan received the gift of two sake glasses, his and hers chopsticks, and a bottle of sake from Pete and Ayumi for best man duties rendered. Very lovely and generous gift. Xxx
Konpeito!!! ๐Ÿ˜
Today we took a trip up to Ohara on the bus to see something a bit more countryside-y. It was nice there, lots of moss and cool forest. Plus the views across the valley were great. It was more peaceful than yesterday and a lot cooler after the rain and out of the city. Dan saw a lizard and a tiny land crab. ๐Ÿฆ€๐Ÿ“ฟ There was also a very quiet Shinto shrine we found up the hill. ''Twas good ๐Ÿ˜Š. For luck we had soba noodles and a great Honey and ginger drink that was super tasty. The food here has been great but my Udon belly is growing alarmingly!
Still lightly smoking. The site of one of last nights hill fires on Kyoto.

16 August 2016

Popped out in the torrential rain to see the hill fires. Sort of saw one from our neighbourhood viewing point though it failed a bit in the rain and there was not too much to see. Still, I can appreciate it would be cool if not for the rain..... And I'm glad I saw it. ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐ŸŒง๐Ÿ”ฅ
Taking some time, while Dan is off in Uji looking for tea to do, some plotting for tomorrow's day out๐Ÿ˜Š
Went to Fushimi-Inari shrine today, or at least the first part of it. The shrine there is sprawling and involves some mountain hiking.....(too hot). Had a great lunch in Inari though, tempura prawns with soup and Udon noodles, and rice of course. Best meal we have had since we arrived. The food here is soooo good, well on my way to a big old Udon belly ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿค
Fushimi-Inari was well busy. Not as busy as the first temple of the day but still. All the tourists trying to get -The- shot. Le sigh.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple all sorts of an architectural wonder up on stilts. Beautiful views across the hills and Kyoto, so worth the hike up the hill for that but geeeee talk about busy..... Was also suffering with my cold a lot here and was not my finest self. ๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿ˜’ Did have shaved ice tho! Melon and, strawberry and condensed milk (sweet!). Really tasty and so what I needed. ๐Ÿง slowly ticking all my Japan food boxes ๐Ÿ˜Ž

15 August 2016

Beautiful views from the Arashiyama bridge. Could have stood for hours watching the light and the birds but dinner and karaoke bars called! The Karaoke bar was really fun! Expensive. But worth experiencing and was definitely better than the restraint which was apparently not very good. Poor service, loud neighbours and it keeps throwing me off that you can smoke in restraints here. Pete and Ayumi were very unhappy and I don't think they'll be back there in a hurry.
Also saw this wall at the temple gate. Very cool with re-used materials โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
Monday! Tenryu-ji temple and gardens with the bamboo forest walk. Felt like the first properly touristy place we've been too, so busy. But the temple was beautiful and could have been so peaceful. Top views from the gardens too, plus celebrity heron who was in all the photos lol! Great day out with Pete and Ayumi and Luke ๐Ÿ˜Š
So cute!!!!

14 August 2016

Went to Gion. Saw a Meiko which was cool, she popped out of a taxi and into a little private club. There seems to be almost as many of these in Gion as there are tourists. (clubs that is not Geisha)
Today was about accidental Okonomi pancakes for dinner.
And rain........
It's raining! Finally feels like home, hot sticky home! ๐ŸŒง๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ˜Ž
Nijo Castle was cool. Not what we would call a castle, more like a fortified mansion and also very different from what Osaka castle seems to be. But cool walls and carp in the moat. Great views and awesome gates. Definitely worth the trip. Oh! And the nightingale floor!! So pretty and really sounds like birds singing. Don't know if I could live with it but great to experience. ๐ŸŽผ๐Ÿค
Lazy morning trying to decide what to do today!

13 August 2016

Today we went to Pete and Ayumi's wedding, it was at a beautiful hotel way to the north of town. The Mums looked awesome in there kinono and Ayumi's was stunning. ๐Ÿ‘ฐ๐Ÿป. We had a wonderful meal and there were many emotional speeches,so touching and what a privilege to be involved. Dan was so sick today though and we had to brave the pharmacist to get some drugs and other bits. But we did it! Go us and our handy phrase book (courtesy of Mr Burge). ๐Ÿ˜ท We went on the bus again today too, it was less busy but still pretty full. Goon seems to be the place all the tourists want to be, Japanese or foreign. Hopefully we can go there soon but maybe later in the day and hope it's quieter.... Hope we see a Geisha while we are there though! ๐Ÿ‘˜ Finally, I had Mochi balls on the way home! On a stick in three colours so cool and so cute! ๐Ÿก
On our second day in Nara we went to the Park all day! It was exhausting, which is why no post then, but we saw deer and an awesome temple which is a world heritage site. Also in the evening they had the Festival of Lights on in the evenings and it was so beautiful!!! ๐ŸŒ™โญ๏ธ๐Ÿ•ฏThere were candle later a everywhere and everyone was in there kimono for the special occasion. So lovely, so tired but well worth staying up for.
Oh! And that's the Kyoto tower in the background.

12 August 2016

Our neighbourhood in Kyoto. It's really quiet but cool to be out of the tourist spots a bit.
We arrived in Kyoto and went to this super cool temple, we met a lovely man called Taka here who was very chatty. Things I have learnt about temples in Japan: they are all on a scale of cool to totally awesome.....!
The temple!

11 August 2016

Some deer.
This rice paddy was on the centre of town right along the street from our apartment! It's a crazy country ๐Ÿ˜
Morning of day 2: the cicadas are all sorts of on it today, though we are less so. Time to hit the park.

10 August 2016

Like Mai from my neighbour Totoro (so cute!!!๐Ÿ’•) - I ate a lot of great food - beautiful houses. - a paddy field in the centre on Nara, close to our apartment ( which is awesome FYI) - and so much more!!! Also I heard cicadas!!!! ๐Ÿœ๐ŸŒณ It's finally ( oh my god thank goodness for that) time for bed now. I'm still super excited to be hear and still can't believe it. I'm really here! Off to Nara park tomorrow but here are some of the other photos I took today.
So today/yesterday we left the UK and headed out for Japan, I was totally hyper then and I still am. Although there was a brief period in the middle when I couldn't sleep on our 9 hour (!) flight when I was definitely not OK. We left London at 10am on the 9th (yesterday) and arrived at 8.45am on the 10th (today). Suffice to say it has been the longest day ever or at least has felt it. But we did get to ride the train all the way from Osaka airport to Nara and it was incredible to see the towns, countryside, mountains and paddy fields, shrines and levees all exactly as I had imagined them. I was beyond excited and both Pete (Burge) and Dan thought I was hilarious. Other amazing things I saw include: - some ladies off for a night out in Nara in their kimonos - school kids exercising in a playground netted for shade - Lots of Ramen shops - a castle! - more folks in Kimono - a lady on her bike riding along a levee - Japanese school kids riding the train - a little girl who looked just
So far I'm mostly living on some ,fortunately, very good food! I have had no sleep since 5am yesterday......... Thank god for curry ๐Ÿ›
Saw some paddy fields too. The trains are ace.
Reindeer Pizza in Helsinki airport, tasty good ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ
Finair all the way! On board and ready to go ๐Ÿ›ซ

8 August 2016

Packing completed. Host gifts are packed. Only one more sleep!