Japan Trip 2010 – Thanks and Final Thoughts

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.

Day 1
Little did I know the awesome that Japan had in store for me.

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

Japan Trip 2010 – Day 14

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.

Day 14
Pretty much everything we bought was either edible or Ghibli.
Day 14
I finally ate this ice cream I bought when we first got to Japan. It was surprisingly soft and creamy despite how rigid it looked.

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Japan Trip 2010 – Day 13

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.

Day 13
Finally, mayonnaise and sauce bottles small enough for Dude to use!

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Japan Trip 2010 – Day 12

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.

Day 12
Someone in Japan did their homework. This was the most American looking bar I saw while in Japan.

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Japan Trip 2010 – Day 11

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).

Day 11
Mmmmm, I love Japanese breakfast.

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

Japan Trip 2010 – Day 10

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

Day 10
Delicious traditional Japanese breakfast.

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Japan Trip 2010 – Day 9

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.

Day 09
Hikers preparing for the big hike. It was still very dark outside.

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