Nara: Rain and Wandering

So, after two days, we’ve decided we really like Nara. It’s a small town, with a lot of history, good restaurants, and wonderful roads to wander.  That’s pretty much what we did today. Even the sewer covers are festooned with deer! Our first real stop was lunch, at a place called Edogawa Grilled Eel. As…

Nara: Ami almost gets eaten by deer

OMG, you guys. I guess we’ve been pushing our toddler hard, because today she woke up just before 11. My toddler is a teenager? Well, she’s at least a tween, if that look on her face is any indication. We gathered ourselves and left our apartment, stroller in tow, to find some lunch. On the…

Leaving Osaka (and friends)

Today was our last day in Osaka, and our last morning with Jody and Tori! Big old sad face on both counts.  Tiny was being particularly adorable. (Less so right now, at 10:38, when she won’t go to sleep…) The morning started with a search for big, fluffy Japanese pancakes (after a search for coin…

Osaka: Taking it Easy

Unfortunately, when you’re traveling, somebody is bound to get sick. And today, that somebody was Logan. Poor guy woke up this morning feeling just awful! The rest of us hung around the apartment this morning, resting and/or getting some work done, while he convalesced. In the early afternoon, we left him to get some sleep…

Osaka: Tempozan and Baseball

Tired tired tired! But we had another great day. We got a bit of a late start this morning (much-needed). Our first stop was Tempozan, near Osaka’s port. And our first first stop after getting out there was an early lunch at a kushikatsu joint in the kitschy restaurant area inside Tempozan Marketplace. Kushikatsu is…

Sayonara Kyoto

We had to say goodbye to Kyoto today. 😦 Fittingly, the day started super rainy and gray. Tori and Jody took a day trip to Hiroshima today, so we were on our own. We slowly packed our things, hating to leave the super-comfortable Westin Miyako (and hoping that maybe if we stalled long enough, it…

Kyoto: Fushimi Inari and Strolling

Kyoto, Day 3 of not nearly enough! Today started with a trek to Fushimi Inari, a shrine with lots and lots of bright red gates stretching up a mountainside. It’s an iconic view you’ve probably seen before. Because today was the vernal equinox, the site was really crowded with domestic tourists. It was neat, though,…

Kyoto: Arashiyama, mostly

Another title for this post: Way too many pictures of bamboo. We slept in today! Boy, did we all need it. Then, we hopped a series of trains to far northwest Kyoto, to an area called Arashiyama. It’s famous for being home to several temples and gardens, as well as the iconic bamboo forest. Our…

Kyoto: In Which We Immediately Realize Our Folly

Folly is: OMG this place is amazing and we are only here for four nights. Clearly we have lost our minds and need to just sell our stuff and move here so we can wander tree-lined canals, admire stately temples, and soak in the light of a moss-covered traditional garden until we burst, or at…

On to Kyoto!

We woke up in our ryokan one last time today and presented ourselves for breakfast. Because apparently this wasn’t enough food for us, we supplemented with our black-shelled eggs from yesterday in Owakudani. After breakfast, we shut our eyes tight and paid our bill, and then grabbed a bus down into town to do some…

Hakone: “Ami like flying car!”

Hakone! This is our only full day here, so we made the most of it. By oversleeping our 8:30 breakfast. One week in, and I guess we’ve finally acclimated! Breakfast was at our ryokan and was super traditional. Lots of pickled things and small bites, a soup, and a fish. After breakfast, Ami wanted to…

On to Hakone

I am exhausted, and my wireless keyboard died, but I know if I don’t write up each day as it happens I’ll fall behind and never catch up and totally forget what we did on each of these amazing days! So please excuse brevity, typos, incoherence. We started out today with with lots of packing….