Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Japan Highlights

I had a really, really awesome trip . . . on the go during the day, pooped out at night.  Riding trains and subways. Leslie, she's da bomb . . . so smart . . . and brave . . . figuring out how to get to places . . .  arranging and getting tickets to everywhere, even with limited understanding of the language . . . veeeeery amazing.  Then walking, walking, walking . . . up and down stairs, sometimes with heavy luggage.  It was pretty incredible.

I chose one picture from each day for today's post, just to give you an idea of what's ahead.  Please bear with me . . . it might take awhile at first.  I really, really wanna finish up getting Christmas card pictures to the families who are waiting first.

First Day:  On the plane to Japan.  Thank you for my mask Runa.  It worked.  I neva get sick!

Second Day: Kyoto Botanical Garden.  We also checked out Nishiki Market and hiked down Shijo Dori to Izuju Sushi for "the best kyoto-style sushi in the world".  Izuju Sushi was closed. My notes said that they close on Tuesdays.  We went on a Wednesday. Helloooooo!!  Bah!! 

Third Day:  Arashiyama.   We rode the Romantic Train, took a boat ride and visited a bamboo forest.  While we were walking around the town after the boat ride, a rickshaw driver told me that due to the warmer weather this year, the fall colors were only at about 70% so far. It still was pretty though.

Fourth Day:  Fushimi Inari.  We checked out the shrine early in the morning which was an excellent time of the day . . . good lighting and not crowded . . . perfect for picture taking.  We then took the bullet train to Osaka in search of "only can be found in Osaka" ume.  Turned out Leslie's friend gave her the wrong scoop. It's actually the "hard to find in Osaka ume" and "can be found all over in Tokyo ume".  Hahahaha!  Suckin' Uji or whatever his name is.

Fifth Day:  Tonki Restaurant. It was drizzling lightly when we left Kyoto and turned into a downpour in Tokyo.  We still managed to visit Tsukiji Market and then later in the evening braved the rain again to Tonki Restaurant for the best tonkatsu ever.

Sixth Day:  Ueno Park, Ameyoko, Ginza. I don't remember the name of this restaurant, but lunch was really ono.  In the evening we also ate well . . . we went to Negishi in Ginza. No wonda I gained 5 pounds on this trip!!

Seventh Day:  Shibuya.  This is one of the stairs in Shibuya Station. We purposely went during rush hour so that we could see the hoards at Shibuya Crossing, an intersection near the station where traffic stops from all directions to allow pedestrians to cross even diagonally. 

Eighth Day:  Araiyakushimae.  Our mission on our last day was to find some elusive candies which some people had asked us to bring back. Leslie searched online and discovered a candy and toy store in this small town.  Unfortunately, after we got there we discovered that the candy store had closed down last year. It really didn't matter though 'cause it was so worth meeting this sweet lady.  She kept talking and talking to us in Japanese even though we told her that mostly we couldn't understand what she was saying.  She would talk and talk and then say, "Wakaru (understand)?"  We would say, "No." And she would laaaaugh and talk and talk some more.  She was so cute. Les gave her some Hawaiian Host chocolate-covered macadamia nut candy.  She was so appreciative.  She said that if we're ever in the area again, to please drop by. 

That's it for now.  Please stay tuned for more later.


Leslie's pics said...

AHAHAHAHAAAA!!! soooo funny your comments! Damn Izuju Sushi!! But if I ever go back I can visit the ume store at the same time :) I shoulda bought more of that ume jelly....

so cute that old lady yah??

K and S said...

you guys are crazy to go during rush hour, but it looks like you had fun!

Susan said...

Awesome pics! Can't wait for more. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Jalna!

jalna said...

That WAS a fun trip Les. Thank you sooooo much.


Thanks Susan! Happy Thanksgiving to you too!!

Kalin's Mommy said...

Your trip sounds awesome! I miss Japan and can't wait to take Kalin one day...

Betty Townsend said...

Looking forward to see your trip pictures, these are great. I looked at Les's pictures too. I would have commented however she has that "word" thingy for her comments...being sight challenged, I can't see it. Please tell her the pictures are awesome! :) Glad you had a great time!

Erick said...

Sounds like you had a great trip, can't wait to see more amazing fotos.

Kimo said...

Darren and I will be going to Osaka in late December. Hoping to stay in Kyoto so I'm looking forward to your entries. Any places or shops that you recommend?

jalna said...

It was really, really fun Mich. Hope you guys can go someday soon!

I'm glad you got to see the pictures Betty. I'll relay your message to Les.

More to come soon Erick!

Kimo, you and Darren are going!! Oh, how fun!! Me and Les liked the alley-kine shopping the best. In Kyoto, Nishiki Market is a must. In Osaka, Doguyasuji and Dotonbori. If you get to Tokyo also, then it's Tsukiji and Ameyoko. A lot of the shops have samples for you to try, so you can eat and shop at the same time . . . dat's da best!!

SW said...

welcome back!!.. great pics.. more!! more!! more!!...the first pic is a hoot!!

jalna said...

Thanks Shun Wah!! I like that first one too! Hahahaha!!

celia said...

Beautiful pictures!!! I also had a hard time posting a comment on Les's pictures - so Betty is not alone. I have to agree with Shun Wah - your first pix is a hoot - I am glad it prevented you from getting sick.