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…
Vegetarian’s paradise… Not! We were especially curious as to what “Beautiful Memory” consisted of…
The Japanese have a thing for pickles; they were served at every meal.
Tiny door to our room.
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.
Almost all the trees at this temple were supported with “croquet” sticks
Our tour guide’s half Japanese, half American daughter, and the best lunch date ever.
Unenthused dapper Japanese dog
All of the temples we visited had mystical moss gardens that I’d like to replicate in the grounds of my future home.
A koi pond in the grounds of a temple: so quintessential.
Stunning icy colors.
Monks used to tend to the gardens, but now payed gardeners do the job. It’s quite a shame, really.
Clearly not in America anymore…
Not quite sure what she’s eating…
These wishes are eventually burnt, at which point they come true.
Free tofu shooter
Cucumber field for making their infamous pickles
“Bathing in a bucket” at an onsen (hot springs)
Thinly shaved raw fish
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 bran cereal.
Following the custom of washing our hands before entering the temple.
You gotta do what you gotta do…
Stylin man in his glitsy hat
My friend and her packet of dried beans that she later threw at the devil for 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…
I chased this Geisha down several tiny alleys before I could snap a picture of her. She was a quick one!
When in Japan…
Proudly returning to the group after catching the Geisha…
Check out the testicles on this thing! Impressive…
Making Japanese pancakes
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.
Dried snakes- for eating, maybe?
In Japan, there is hardly any English signage, which made for an extra exciting adventure.
Personally illustrated wishes
Love hotel: hourly rates and all-you-can-drink wine
Making wafers in the shape of fox heads
Because we were watching the man making his wafers in awe, he kindly gave Lucy one for free!
Mini beers- gotta love Japan!
Channeling the cute Japanese girls with these classic bunny earmuffs.
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.
A restaurant’s enthusiastic food display
Classic street food. Quick eats are very popular in Japan.
Issen-Yosyoku: a Japanese savory pancake containing onion, egg, bonito flakes, ginger, beef, tempura batter, Konjak jelly, dried seaweed, and grilled fish paste.
Me with my uncle who generously treated my friend and I to the trip.
On the train to Nazawa Onsen
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…
Humorously mini bathtub
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…
Our Ryokan was traditional with a modern twist.
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.
Lucy and I were infatuated by the process of fixing a ticket-gate thing.