January 13, 2014

17 days of Rice

Happy belated holidays!
Unlike most people, there was no Christmas tree in my house, no holly, and no wrapped presents. In fact, there were no presents, period. Instead, a few days before Christmas, mom and I jet set across the world to Japan.

After traveling 10 hours in the air, another 3 on the trains, a bus ride and short walk later, we arrived at our house in Tokyo. No time to think about jet lag because 2 days later, we packed our duffles and headed to Kyoto on the famous Shincansen (bullet train). The old capital city is full of shrines and temples older than the United States. Oh, and don't even get me started on how fabulous the food was...
View of Kyoto from the Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kiyomizu-dera Temple gates

Ginkakuji Temple + Rock garden
Nishiki Market - fish brain, anyone? 
Nishiki Market - Unagi stall
Gion. Trying to spot some Geisha.
Bamboo Forest 
Perfect Zen garden
Kinkakuji Temple -- the Temple of Gold
The best breakfast buffet EVER
Fushimi Inari Shrine

After spending Christmas in the old capital, we headed back to the new capital, Tokyo, for New Years.
Crosswalk Madness
Infamous photobooth-ing
....we turned out like Anime characters
Japanese Hot Pot
Baby cousin & I saying hi to the loyal dog in Shibuya
Shopping in Harajuku
The traditional 3-box New Years Day breakfast 
Imperial Family Shrine
Waiting to make some New Years offerings
Chicken Katsu, one of my favorites!

A sliver of view from the Tokyo Skytree
The Tokyo Skytree: tallest building in the WORLD

It was a fabulous trip, but after being away from central heating and a regular shower for two and a half weeks, it was time to come home. I think my jet lag has finally worn off, too. 


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