Go Tigers! and back to Tokyo.

I don’t know how to play baseball, I’ve never watched a baseball game, I never held a baseball hat… But I’ve read enough baseball mangas to get a feel of the game. Hanshin Tigers and the Koshien stadium where no strangers to me, ever since I was a teenager, so being able to sit there and watch this game was incredible. It was definitely one of the high points of our trip. We had great fun , we suffered until the very end, and we won, the very last minute. Just like in a manga!
We have to thank Atsuko once again, because she was the one who bought us tickets and took us to the stadium. We had a terrific time!

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more pics after the jump

Tea ceremony and an Izakaya.

I need to upload more photos and more posts, right? Well, here we go!

In Kyoto, we went up to the tv tower to see the city from above, and it’s quite impressive, to see such a massive city with all the mountains around.
Next we went to the aquarium where we got to see the huge salamanders! The aquarium was small but very cute and with very interesting animals.

By the end of the day we went to Camellia, which I’m going to do a whole post about when I get back. Camellia is run by Atsuko, who was going to be our host last year in Kyoto. We met her briefly in Lisbon, roughly a year ago, over a nice dinner at Petiscaria Ideal. Unfortunately, Atsuko had to cut her trip short so we weren’t able to stay in her place, but we continued to be friends.

The tea ceremony, led by Atsuko, was incredible. The movements, the ambiance, the smells and the flavors were amazing. But I don’t want to ruin the upcoming post about Camellia, so I’m saving the best for another day.

After the very relaxing and tasty ceremony, Atsuko took us to an Izakaya. An Izakaya is a traditional Japanese restaurant, that derived from sake shops. Customers leave their shoes by the door, sit on the floor and indulge in delicious food and drinks.
This moment was most definitely one of the very best in the entire trip.

Enjoy the iPhone photos for now!

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Kyoto from a bike.

I’m sorry for the radio silence! Honestly I am trying, as much as possible, to stay away from the web, and enjoy this beautiful country the best that I can. I will of course post a couple of photos on Instagram. I’m trying to check in every place we go on Foursquare, but for personal purposes… If only Foursquare hadn’t migrated to swarm? Or has it? I don’t get it…

Being in Kyoto last time was somewhat of a reality check. I went in thinking the city would top off the busy Tokyo, but that wasn’t the case. I felt like there were too many people, specially tourists, in one place. Kyoto is smaller than Tokyo and all tourists go to the same places, and, inevitably, you will bump into much more people. I didn’t feel the calmness I longed and dreamed of…

This time, however, things were different. We didn’t go to the same places as everyone, because we had been there already and, instead, we strolled around the entire city, just taking everything in.
And it was wonderful.

From my bike I saw the everyday lives of many Japanese, saw their homes and how they behave, and that’s precisely what I love most. From my bike, looking at the real Kyoto, I felt reinvigorated, inspired and peaceful.

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We started off with an excellent breakfast, western and traditional Japanese. more photos after the jump

Tadaima!

If you follow my Instagram account you have probably figured out where I’m spending my summer vacations. Japan. Yup. That’s right, Japan again. And if the obvious question (why??) is going through your mind, well… Give me one good reason why not.

We wanted to come back, and we couldn’t find a good reason why we shouldn’t, so we just did.

This trip is like an extension to the last one, as I can almost obliviate everything in between and collate both trips into one.

So far, we visited Tokyo, Takayama, Furukawa, Nagoya and we are now in Kyoto. And we’re still in the beginning! There was no typhoon nor earthquake nor tsunami that held us back and we’re thoroughly enjoying ourselves even more.

Enjoy the iPhone photos for now!

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