Back in July, on the 18th was Keoshi’s birthday, so we knew we had to push it to the limit, even if being in Tokyo was already pretty much doing that.
We strolled around Asakusa, bought a crazy amount of stuff, ending up with our hands full of bags right at the beginning of the day and just walked to the skytree area.
Besides the obvious places what I really love about Tokyo (and pretty much any city) is losing myself in it, and we know how to do that just right. The neighbourhoods we went through were amazing. Completely normal and average for Japan standards, but for us, totally awesome.
When we got to the skytree we went up and we saw a never-ending city from above, and that drew us in even more — so much to see, so much to get lost in!
The day was awesome, but what was about to come was even better…
The first day back in Tokyo we headed out to try something very different — Ramen. Ah but not the usual kind of Ramen, a deconstructed Ramen.
The flavours were incredible, and I can still remember how decadent that fried chicken was, how it fell from the bone, how juicy and flavourful it was and so so crispy on the outside. The bowl of broth was also packed with deliciousness, but it was so fatty, that I could not finish it — it was the very first time I did not end a meal in Japan, I honestly felt a bit embarrassed, but I just couldn’t sip more of that thick broth.
It was definitely an awesome experience, and a new way of eating something so traditional in Japan. Definitely a place to go back to.
After a quick stroll around Akihabara, we went to Ueno, and back to Akihabara (yay for JR passes!).
In Ueno we strolled around Ueno park trying to spot Shinobazu pound. It was tough to spot because it didn’t really look like a pound, due to the huuuuge water-lilies growing all over the water. It was so so beautiful.
We then went back to Akihabara, for another stroll.
Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period (…) in 798, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu. There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.
Kiyomizu-dera is not only a buddhist temple, it’s a wonderful communion between men and nature, built on respect and admiration by the first to the latter. It’s a place for peace of mind and where one can simply awe, taking in the surroundings.
This was our last day in Kyoto. We took our bikes back and had time for a nice dinner before we headed to Tokyo. Kyoto is definitely deeply rooted in us, and we will not forget all those bike strolls around such a unique city.
Everything about Kyoto was incredibly special this time around. I don’t know what it was — maybe last time our expectations were just way too high? But the bikes played a very important role. It allowed us to see more, more of what Kyoto really is, and that felt so very exceptional, echoing deep within our hearts.
Here are a few more shots around higashiyama.
Weeks have been flying by me lately. One minute I’m getting up from my slumber on a dreaded Monday and the next, it’s already Friday and I’ve got so much to do already for the next Monday! It’s crazy… but it’s crazy good.
But here I am again, back on track (well, sort of) and sharing some more photos from Japan.
Nishiki Market is a wonderful array of everything beautiful and delicious, that can be found in Kyoto. We strolled around for quite a bit, trying to get out of the rain outside, and that’s when you start paying attention to certain details.
How nice people are to each other and to you; how everything is just so simple and easy — like building tables out of empty fish boxes; how everyone goes about their daily life, happy and content.
After an absolutely unique experience at Camellia we were led by Atsuko to another wonderful experience, that we had tried to do before, on our own, but couldn’t. Simply, we don’t understand Japanese, and you need to at least understand somewhat what you have on the menu. An Izakaya is a tavern-like establishment, a place to enjoy some drinks with family and friends, and some really tasty food.
This was a beyond awesome experience. It was most definitely one of the most incredible moment we had in Japan.
And here we are once again with Japan pics, finally!
These are just a few pics of the streets in Kyoto. This day we went to the aquarium in the morning. Salamanders there were not your normal salamander. These are giant Japanese salamanders that can grow up to two meters in length. They’re huge. And a just a teeny bit on the fugly side
They are the mascot of the aquarium and you’ve got an amazing choice of figurines and stuffed salamanders.
Back from the beach! The weekend was amazing! Could have been better if it wasn’t for the funny fact that I forgot to put sunscreen on my belly, and now it’s a shade darker than the rest of my body — lovely isn’t it? I tan fast, you see, heck, I get tanned from crossing the street! No, no, no, that is not a good thing… I get crazy tan lines.
I am also confined to the sofa or bed, because I have been having this funny (ah ah) pain near my left shoulder blade, that really comes and goes, but evolved yesterday, while I was laughing like crazy, to a not funny stab-with-a-knife kind of pain… So yes. Fun, fun, fun!
Let’s talk about something else. Kyoto. Oh yes.
After Nagoya, we arrived in Kyoto completely devoid of any will to do anything but stay in bed sleeping, but alas, we did not do that. We did however get ourselves a really delicious breakfast served in our room, at Hyatt Regency. The hotel was pretty amazing: spacious and pretty room, with a huge bed and an awesome walk-in shower. Also you could open the blinds without the fear of people seeing you half-naked — that’s always a plus. The breakfast was incredible. We had a combined breakfast for two, with a traditional Japanese breakfast, featuring miso soup, grilled fish, vegetables, rice, etc, etc; and a western breakfast, with the mandatory eggs and bacon, pastries, jams, bread, etc, etc.
After a well spent day in between little towns, we headed to Nagoya.
Nagoya is big and very business-y like. One of the first things we saw when we go there was a lady laying on the floor and a few of her friends surrounding her. I got immediately worried, but figured the situation was completely under control — as in, calling an ambulance an such — turns out she was out drunk, and everyone was laughing and behaving as if that was completely normal! Turns out, it is…
We would only be in Nagoya for a day, to visit the castle. We were incredibly tired, and we just wanted to get a good night sleep — the hotel we stayed in for the night before was decent, just on the verge of bad and we couldn’t really rest properly.
The castle is amazing! It reminded us a lot of Osaka’s castle, but of course this one was completely different in every detail inside and out. Golden carps were everywhere and there was a reenacting of ancient times, with samurais strolling around and old shops all over.