I know each blog post has been a retrospective, but I thought I’d put some final thoughts and thank you’s into one post. If anything, it reminds me that we really did everything we blogged about. It seems like a dream at this point, but we really did it thanks in no small part to friends and family on the trip.
This was my second ever trip to Japan. My first was sixteen years ago when I was thirteen. That was a very different experience because I knew very little about Japan, hadn’t traveled outside of the country and I had no idea what to expect. Something I saw a lot of during that trip were more American celebrity advertisements. I think at that time it must’ve been at its peak because it was unavoidable. This time around I only saw half a dozen ads. Continue reading →
Well, this day wasn’t really a full day, it was just our trip to the airport and back to New York. Japan was so much fun, even beyond what I thought it’d be before we went. I love the food, the convenience, the service, the cleanliness and just so many fun things to do. That said, I was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, and not having to worry about what was on the agenda for the day.
Today was our last full day in Japan! It was hard to believe and kind of sad. Considering how much we did it’s amazing that it didn’t feel stressed while doing everything. Very rarely were we rushed or had a sense of urgency to the point of being detrimental to our fun. I guess I just wanted to spend more time in Japan because there’s just so much to see!
Anna packed our bags because a courier service was picking up our luggage and delivering it to the airport. Thankfully Anna’s brother was going to be hanging around at home all day which meant we were free to meet some of her former co-workers for lunch.
We woke up around 6, did a little tweeting and headed to the station to drop our luggage in a coin locker. The previous day we saw that in the middle of the day every single coin locker is taken up, so we were a little worried about how soon they fill up. Turns out that early in the morning they’re all empty so we had our choice of what locker we wanted.
Today was the day that we were headed to Kyoto! We woke up and had a nice breakfast made by Anna’s mom. Some tamagoyaki, sausage, potato salad and salmon (the last are two of my favorites).
We got to the train station at 9:15 and headed off to Kyoto! The whole ride including stops and transfers was about five hours. This time I was able to see more of the countryside since on the way to Kumamoto it was pitch black outside. During a transfer we saw the CUTEST train which was going to Miyazaki. It was a different kind of cat train😛 It was so cute I wanted to cuddle it. Continue reading →
We woke up at 6:15 to get packed and check out. I brought a backpack, but Anna went without hers since we knew this trail wasn’t nearly as hard as jomon-sugi. I had raincoats, first aid, candy, a cup, towels, money, dude plush, umbrella and tissues.
Went to the dining area for breakfast which was a very traditional Japanese breakfast with lots of little things. There was miso, fish, sausages, beans, umeboshi, tamagoyaki and natto. It was all delicious, and despite my best efforts I couldn’t finish the natto. The squishy slippery texture is just too much for me T_T
Today was the big day! The big hiking day that is. Of all the plans for our vacation, we knew this day was going to be the most strenuous. After we woke up very early around 3:00-3:30 AM I went to the dining area where our breakfast and lunch bentos were waiting for us next to some bento for other people in our hotel who were also doing the climb to joumon-sugi.
After suiting up we headed to the front of the lodge to meet our guide Wada-san who was already there. We found this guide via a friend of Anna’s. He lived in Seattle and Canada in Seattle for a few years so his English was pretty good, he just had difficulty remembering some words, but I had no trouble understanding him at all. The drive to the area where we’d take our bus to the bottom of the trail took almost an hour. It was still very dark because it was so early in the morning. During the drive it rained a bit, but later stopped. Continue reading →