Took Garrett with me to Japan this time.
3AM, pulling an all nighter so we could sleep on the plane.
After the night in Tokyo, we took a shinkansen down to Nagoya. I didn't take many photos during the first week, since it was all stuff I've done before. We bought 2 umbrellas because it was typhoon season, and it hit Tokyo pretty heavy. We were lugging around big old suitcases in the rain, it was kind of crazy.
At Minori's house, glad to not lug around all of our luggage.
As the sticker says...Don't outrun the constable.
Went to a famous chain store called Don Quixote, they sell really random stuff. I've got a rice ball on my head, while Garrett and Minori have some Takoyaki.
Good Old Face Masks.
Mihoko took us out, ooh my goodness I was so happy to gorge.
Ha this is at the Mall with Minori. Garrett hadn't opened his drink yet, but when he did, it exploded on Minori. A bunch of people offered us tissues and such. Which was random, Minori says they never would do that normally.
On the 8th floor of a huge building in the heart of Nagoya, at a restaurant called "Maru-ha", famous for huge prawns. Delicious!
Minori did face swap. I look Hideous ha ha ha ha!!!
In Kyoto, looking at Gorgeousness.
Our first hotel in Kyoto, a 200 year old house.
Peeked our heads through a few garden slats, and found some beautiful spots.
I finally got to see Kiyiomizudera's pagoda. Every time I've gone in the past, it's been covered up due to restoration. Wow it pops.
This was another Typhoon day, I didn't mind a bit.
A huge moving crab above a restaurants.
Heian Shrine. I'd never traveled this far into it before, and wow I wish I had. It's got an amazing garden!!
I thought it was cool how the moss was fusing the log and rope to the tree.
I've seen this part of the gardens used in a few movies, also the pond with the walking stones in it a few photos up. It was very empty, so it was perfect to wander in!
Early the next morning I went out for a walk up in the mountains and found a huge bell. The thickness of it was a bit thicker than me.
It also smelled wonderful, there was incense everywhere.
This is the back upper area of Chion temple. I've been there a ton, but never wandered through it fully.
Arashiyama bamboo forest. Love it!
Fushimi Inari Taisha. The mountain with thousands of red tori gates. It's spirit is a fox, a symbol of wealth. Everyone comes here to pray for help with finances. They write down their prayer on the back of one of these foxes, and then draw a fox face on the front. ....Or a different face. This one was my favorite.
Ok food. I wandered a lot in the treat section of a famous department store in Nagoya. Here are a lot of pics of the treats.
Yatsuhashi!!!!! I love this stuff.
Oh my goooooooosh these cheese tarts were amazing. Gouda, Parmesan and Cream Cheese. In all my gluttony, I bought all three.
Made it to our second hotel, my favorite. 9 hours capsule hotel. Garrett wasn't a fan, but I love it.
My only crappy thing that happened was I forgot to open my drink before I went into the capsule room. And this blasted water bottle made the crinkly-est sounds EVER. This is a room where you can hear everything. And I had a cough. I needed that blasted water. Stupid water.
We went South to Nara, first imperial capital of Japan.
It was super pretty. And it felt older than Kyoto, if that's even possible.
I knew it was too good to be tree. Cement! Excellently hidden I must say.
Garrett and I bought a little pack of deer crackers. He fed one deer...
...and they came swarming from who knows where.
The males are sweet. A few were muddy, but they were all very timid. It's those blasted females that were the sassy poops. My theory was that they were all on the same cycle.
I called these two Buttcrackers. Because if I didn't feed them, they would bite my freakin butt.
Those freaking females didn't give a hoot that we were there. This one stood on my foot for a good 30 seconds.
There were a few that I nicknamed "Garbo". Because they gave us looks of "I just want to be left alone."
We found a botanical garden. I love those, so we went in. They had a section where they grew all of Japan's different kinds of grains.
Had it been spring, we would have been able to walk under a very long path of wisteria.
This is the gateway to Todaiji temple. Nothing in Kyoto was as big as this.
Biggest Buddhas I've ever seen!
To put it to scale, I'm maybe a little smaller than the little gold Buddhas surrounding the big buy.
Then I found this creepy shrine outside the doors. You rub the statue wherever you have an ailment on your own body. Hmmmm.
Shinkansen to Nagasaki!!
We bought too much stuff again.
On the way to Nagasaki, we stopped by an island called Okunoshima. Aka Rabbit Island.
Took the ferry out. Although it was overcast, I had Bali Hai
The rabbits were adorable. They'd hop up to you, get on their hind legs, and look up at you like Puss'n Boots.
There were hundreds.
Everywhere. They'd start hopping over to me from 20 feet away.
I sat down and fed them some rabbit feed, and they just got cuter and cuter.
Glad we left early in the morning, cause there was a long line waiting for the ferry once we returned from the island.
We had so much stuff we sat on the floor in one of the middle cars of the train.
Okaasan made an amazing dinner for us. It was so good!
Otousan's old family house. It's been in his family for a while, and they had it fixed up before they moved down there last year. It gorgeous, feels very spacious, but also secretly super automated. Okaasan called me on the BATHROOM phone while I was taking a shower, I jumped. When you open the door to the toilet room, the toilet lid pops up. It flushes when you stand up, and lowers the lid as you leave. I wanted to give it a name, it felt like a robot.
Garrett and I slept in the tatami room. We kept the screen door open. We were told that there are snakes and warthogs in the area, that are kind of dangerous. I woke up in the middle of the night, hearing a loud whooshing sound. I looked outside, thinking it was a wart hog, but it turned out to be Garrett's snoring.
Garret was a big fan of Otousan's massage chair.
Breakfast outside. This was definitely the most relaxing part of my trip. I loved it.
The neighbors were crazy! moving equipment on that thin slice of concrete!
Wart hog trails. They were digging for worms.
Otousan and Rin-chan.
We hiked up to the top of their mountain.
Saw some boys doing some bug catching. CUTE.
On our way down, we met one of Otousan's friends, a kiwi farmer.
These are some of Otousan's orange trees.
And his crazy garage. He likes to tweak with gear.
In their backyard, cute little Tetsu's grave.
We thawed some persimmons that had been frozen for a while. Had a yummy treat!
Went to the Nagasaki Aquarium
Garrett happened to be wearing pants that made his legs look short. Otousan called him penguin for the rest of the day.
I saw this guy and thought of Kronk pressed up against the wall.
I'd never seen the underbelly of a live horseshoe crab before.
These huge fish are known as messengers of the Gods. They look more like grumpy old men to me.
How cute is this. In the winter, they let the penguins outside.
Garret is a big fan of Potstickers.
We tried some famous local dishes. Chanpo,
And Sara-udon. Both very yummy.
When visiting the ocean, I noticed lots of crazy cement shapes.
Just after the onset. Garret went in with Otousan, I went in with Okaasan. Lets just say I'm glad I thought to shave this morning.
This is Gunkanjima. When they first showed it to me, I thought it was a ship. Nope. It's an abandoned island. There are a lot of them apparently. About a hundred years ago, this island got moved onto, and for 50 years a community lived there, mining coal. But then the coal dried up and everyone left. Crazy.
A fun day at the beach.
The shells were beautiful.
The night view of Nagasaki.
A yummy traditional japanese breakfast.
We took a walk by the house, and saw a hoot of a picture on a dam.
I love the Higashi family!!! I wish I could have my whole family meet them, they mean a lot to me.
A really special moment to me. Rin is NOT a social dog. She barks at you and won't let you touch her. I've met her a lot and she's always been like that. But on my last day, she hopped in my lap and wouldn't get up. It felt super special.
Otousan liked the hat I got him ha ha ha.
This is a very very handy chart to have when getting on a Shinkansen. You don't just get on and sit down. There are reserved cars, green cars, smoking cars, and non-reserved cars. Fun stuff.
I found the Japanese equivalent to a chicken sandwich!
When we got back to Nagoya, Minori and Konan wanted to go to a park and do a Korean BBQ. It was super fun. We only had an hour, and we didn't bring enough wood, so I went gathering twigs while Konan used his little flame thrower. It was a hoot.
Right outside of the subway stop by Minori's house, the birds gather waaaaay too much. You seriously feel like you're in a scene from The Birds. Personally, I run.
Bought another wig. Konan thought it was funny lol.
In a very crowded train, people were too nervous to sit next to the bearded foreigner lol.
Goodbye Nagoya, JR Central Station!
Ok back in Tokyo. We planned on going to the Park Hyatt Hotel, to the New York Bar on the 52nd floor. A scene from Lost in Translation was filmed there. We get on an elevator and I'm immediately freaking out because of how dim it is and these creepy face thingies looking down at us. I was thinking it was possibly one of those elevators they use for pranking people on those japanese shows. I plugged my ears and closed my eyes a bit.
Here, I've brightened the picture so you can see the creepy faces.
Oh, we got on a different elevator at floor 32, this one with dog heads.
On the 41st floor we had to get out and go through a labyrinth of rooms to get to the elevator that takes you to the 52nd floor.
A really great Jazz band.
If you've seen Lost in Translation, you'll get why I wore stockings, and why I let Garret "Lip" them.
Our last morning in Japan, we went walking to Asakusa and a street called Kappadori.
Kappadori is for everything kitchen related.
I want one of these huge teapots.
Ok so every restaurant you pass in Japan has windows with their dishes sitting in the windows so you know what their meals look like. At one point Garrett asked me how they keep the food looking so fresh. I told him the food was fake. We found 2 stores where they sold the fake fresh food.
We got some of the famous Tokyo treats, Tokyo bananas. Super good.
Saw a poster for Female wrestling. EEEEEK.
Remember the Don Quixote store? They have aquariums at the entrance with eels, puffer fish, and lion fish swimming about.
Ah. This is Kappa. He's a Yokai. A yokai is a japanese ghost. This one is friendly, but most of them are creepier than any American ghost.
Just an example of the huge amount of vending machines. 7 here alone.
At the airport, Garrett found another massage chair. That man's addicted.