Kyoto

Note the time to destination... You better believe I started to get antsy about 2 minutes later...

Note the time to destination… You better believe I started to get antsy about 2 minutes later…

United Airlines was clearly getting us in the mood for Japan...

United Airlines was clearly getting us in the mood for Japan…

Vegetarian's paradise... Not! We were especially curious as to what "Beautiful Memory" consisted of...

Vegetarian’s paradise… Not! We were especially curious as to what “Beautiful Memory” consisted of…

SAM_0457

The Japanese have a thing for pickles; they were served at every meal.

The Japanese have a thing for pickles; they were served at every meal.

Tiny door to our room.

Tiny door to our room.

_MG_3980

I absolutely adore the beautiful, simple, and clean Japanese architecture, and I espeically like how the walls are made of screens that slide open to create an indoor-outdoor living space.

_MG_3967 _MG_3982

Green Tea

Green Tea

Almost all the trees at this temple were supported with "croquet" sticks

Almost all the trees at this temple were supported with “croquet” sticks

_MG_3990 _MG_4000

Best lunch date ever.

Our tour guide’s half Japanese, half American daughter, and the best lunch date ever.

Unenthused Japanese dog

Unenthused dapper Japanese dog

SAM_0497

All of the temples we visited had mystical moss gardens that I’d like to replicate in the grounds of my future home.

SAM_0605

A koi pond in the grounds of a temple: so quintessential.

_MG_4017

Stunning icy colors.

SAM_0606

Monks used to tend to the gardens, but now payed gardeners do the job. It’s quite a shame, really.

SAM_0611 _MG_4010 _MG_4016 SAM_0602

Clearly not in America anymore...

Clearly not in America anymore…

Not quite sure what she's eating...

Not quite sure what she’s eating…

_MG_4021

These wishes are eventually burnt, at which point they come true.

These wishes are eventually burnt, at which point they come true.

Free tofu shooter

Free tofu shooter

Cucumber field for making their infamous pickles

Cucumber field for making their infamous pickles

"Bathing in a bucket" at an Onsen (hot springs)

“Bathing in a bucket” at an onsen (hot springs)

Thinly shaved raw fish

Thinly shaved raw fish

SAM_0594

Wearing bibs at the teppanyaki restaurant

Wearing bibs at the teppanyaki restaurant

Traditional Japanese breakfast. I had this 8 days out of 10, at which point I just HAD to have some cereal.

Traditional Japanese breakfast. I had this 8 days out of 10, at which point I just HAD to have some bran cereal.

SAM_0591

Following the custom of washing our hands before entering the temple.

Following the custom of washing our hands before entering the temple.

_MG_4029 _MG_4035

You gotta do what you gotta do...

You gotta do what you gotta do…

Stylin man in his glitsy hat

Stylin man in his glitsy hat

"Shark hats"

“Shark hats”

My friend and her packet of dried beans.

My friend and her packet of dried beans that she later threw at the devil for luck.

SAM_0583 SAM_0581

Throwing beans into the crowd at the festival celebrating the change from Winter to Spring. The beans were then thrown at the devils for good luck.

Throwing beans into the crowd at the festival celebrating the change from Winter to Spring. The beans were then thrown at the devils for good luck.

Interesting things everywhere...

Interesting things everywhere…

SAM_0626

I chased this Geisha down several tiny alleys before I could snap a picture of her. She was a quick one!

SAM_0585

When in Japan…

IMG_4047

Proudly returning to the group after catching the Geisha…

Check out the testicles on this thing! Impressive...

Check out the testicles on this thing! Impressive…

SAM_0561

Making Japanese pancakes

Making Japanese pancakes

IMG_4056

It seems that the Japanese prefer to name their stores and restaurants in French or English. Lucy and I particularly liked this little brick building and the sweet Jam House sign.

_MG_4057

Dried snake

Dried snakes- for eating, maybe?

More wishes

More wishes

_MG_4072

In Japan, there is hardly any English signage, which made for an extra exciting adventure.

Wishes

Personally illustrated wishes

IMG_3423

Love hotel: hourly rates and all-you-can-drink wine

Love hotel: hourly rates and all-you-can-drink wine

Making wafers in the shape of fox heads

Making wafers in the shape of fox heads

IMG_3477

Because we were watching the man making his wafers in awe, he kindly gave Lucy one for free!

Unagi (Eel)

Unagi (eel)

Mini beers

Mini beers- gotta love Japan!

IMG_3472

Channeling the cute Japanese girls with these classic bunny earmuffs.

IMG_3484

This winding “tunnel” went on for miles in the grounds of a temple. Owing to the sun and the vibrant orange color, it was stunning to walk through.

Making mochi

Making mochi

Restaurant's food display

A restaurant’s enthusiastic food display

IMG_3487

Classic street food. Quick eats are very popular in Japan.

IMG_3488

Issen-Yosyoku: a Japanese savory pancake containing onion, egg, bonito flakes, ginger, beef, tempura batter, Konjak jelly, dried seaweed, and grilled fish paste.

Issen-Yosyoku: a Japanese savory pancake containing onion, egg, bonito flakes, ginger, beef, tempura batter, Konjak jelly, dried seaweed, and grilled fish paste.

IMG_3492

Me with my uncle who generously treated my friend and I to the trip.

On the train to Nazawa Onsen

On the train to Nazawa Onsen

Tofu sushi at a ninja restaurant!

Tofu sushi at a ninja restaurant! It was the best sushi I’ve ever had; I think there was some mayonnaise in it, which actually worked really well…

SAM_0621

Fresh tofu

Fresh tofu

IMG_3496

Classy “graffiti”

"Accidental hipster"

“Accidental hipster”

Mini bath

Humorously mini bathtub

Sporting the pajamas provided by the Ryokan. We were also allowed to wear them to breakfast in the lobby.

Sporting the pajamas provided by the Ryokan (hotel). We were also allowed to wear them to breakfast in the lobby.

Circle K all the way over in Japan; made me feel right at home.

Circle K all the way over in Japan… Made me feel right at home…

IMG_3502

Our Ryokan was traditional with a modern twist.

IMG_3505

Walking around Japanese supermarkets was great fun. I loved looking at the pretty packaging, and it was interesting to see what they offered in terms of lunch food, which was so different from what the US sells.

IMG_3503

Lucy and I were infatuated by the process of fixing a ticket-gate thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s