Yikes, Japan has been over for two weeks now but these pictures make me feel like I was there yesterday! I’ve never been to Japan before and can honestly say it’s one of my favorite places I visited so far. Although, I will say that I wasted the opportunity with food because I don’t eat much seafood so that means no sushi and sashimi for me. There are so many pictures, so I will let them do the talking!
We had six days to enjoy Japan and I had a few must to-dos I came equipped with before we landed. One of them was enjoying as many Buddhist temples as possible. Although I wouldn’t exactly call myself a strict Buddhist (although I agree with many of their morals), I absolutely love the history, sculptures and temples scattered throughout Asia and make it a point to visit as many as possible.
We went to the Sanjiusangendo temple (strictly no cameras allowed) where they had over 500+ Guan Yin statues lined up in a long hall. It was incredibly phenomenal and breath taking.
The buses in Japan are also so convenient, I never had to wait more then 5 minutes for a bus. You also pay when you get off! That was a little bit of culture shock, since I know that wouldn’t fly in America.
More temples, this one was closer to Shigo St, a very popular street in Kyoto.
My cousin and I, who actually is half Japanese and lived in Kyoto for 7 years. Thank goodness for him, because he brought us everywhere and we didn’t have to worry about getting lost.
We also went during a festival weekend, so everyone was dressed in their kimonos. I loved that! I wanted to bring one home but seriously, when am I ever going to wear a kimono?
What was the most fun about this trip was the bed and breakfast we stayed at. Our room was tatami style, meaning it was very traditional Japanese. The beds are on the floor and you sit on the floor to use the table. Anyone traveling to Japan, please e-mail me so I can recommend this type of living situation! Five stars.
Yes, that is a koi pond in the middle of the BnB.
What would Japan be without food? I had some of the best ramen of my life.
And also enjoyed outside dining right by this river. Walking by, you can tell there were a lot of first dates sitting by the bank. How romantic!
Lots of walking through alley filled restaurants.
My mom and Nakahiro ate a lot of sashimi in the short six days,
while I had a noodle extravaganza. This time, udon. Look at that egg, their chicken’s yolks are so much more orange-red then ours in America.
The fried tempura was a soft boiled egg, gang of mushrooms, chicken and pork.
The weather was hot and a bit humid, nothing like China though. There was actually sun and I got a little tan, which was a nice plus.
This picture below was at a Zen temple where I haven’t felt the same intense peace in so long. I would pay for a plane ticket just to go back to this place.
If you get tired, you can even hire these guys to run you around town. PS: I think he could run a marathon without trying, his legs were on a million.
Then, we met up with my little cousin (Nakahiro’s younger brother) who is currently studying 30 minutes away from Kyoto. I haven’t seen him 12 years and this fucker went and grew to be 6’2”! He’s the tallest guy I’ve seen in Japan, literally.
The picture doesn’t show how tall he is because he was bending his knees almost to a squat but he use to be a good foot shorter then me. My, has times changed.
The only reason we went to Kobe was so I can eat authentic Kobe beef, which is the second to-do when we came to Japan. We took the bullet train (which was so cool) and got to Kobe in a little more then 30 minutes. Nakahiro had a friend who lived there, so he showed us around their side of the ocean.
We ate the Kobe beef at a hibachi style restaurant (think of Benihana’s). Rumor has it that they massage the cows, feed them beer and sing to them. That’s what makes it taste so good! Who knows, though.
This right here was $150 USD, along with rice and veggies. The flavor was intense, in a good way. The meat literally melted in your mouth!
You even get a balloon, which was funny. I didn’t take a picture but they gave us a certificate telling us which cow we ate at the end of the meal. It felt a little sad to have a personal connection with the cow. I feel a little better know that they are raised in the best conditions possible. The Kobe people treat their cows like part of the family, it’s easy to tell they really respect the animal by the way they talk about them.
Yummy ginger garlic rice.
After Kyoto, we took an eight hour over night bus to Tokyo. I must say, Tokyo really fell short of my expectations, maybe because I had such a good time in Kyoto. When I thought of Japan before leaving the states, I thought of this cultured, little hub and Kyoto hit the memories perfectly. Tokyo seemed like a huge generic big city, which wasn’t bad.
We made sure to visit Tokyo’s famous fish market, which was also shown in Jiro’s Dream of Sushi (one of the best documentaries I have ever watched).
Yes, the buildings do have anime all over.
The lights are no joke in Tokyo, we walked around Shibuya and Shinjuku districts the most. This part I enjoyed a lot.
A friend of mine recommended a tonkatsu (pork cutlet) restaurant that is over a hundred years old. They really nailed everything because I left so full I couldn’t walk, yet I could of ate more just because of the flavor.
Just to polish this post off with a pictures of the mosquito bites I acquired from the long days of walking. I had a total of fourteen, I have never been so itchy in my life!
Hope you enjoyed this recap!
I am actually in NYC right now for a wedding, I’ll have more news when I come back on Wednesday!
Have you ever visited Japan? What would you like most about the country?