Travel Video

TBT: A Trip to Japan (with photos and video)

August 27, 2015


Happy Throwback Thursday!

Before Fox was born, Tyler and I made it our mission to cast aside beach vacations and head straight for city centers. Japan was technically Tyler’s pick and while I was so very excited to go, I craved another European getaway and wondered if I would feel comfortable getting around there.

We stayed for about nine days and filled our schedule airtight with activities. It was SO fun! And I quickly learned that one of the best things about Japan is the people. Exceptionally polite, kind, and welcoming.

Here are a bunch of my favorite things that we did.

Tokyo

Hamarikyu Gardens

Hamarikyu Gardens

The tea house at Hamarikyu Gardens

The tea house at Hamarikyu Gardens

Matcha ice cream before catching the ferry

Matcha ice cream before catching the ferry

Wandering the streets

Wandering the streets

Visiting Asakusa Shrine

Visiting Asakusa Shrine

O-mikuji, or fortune strips, at Asakusa Shrine

O-mikuji, or fortune strips, at Asakusa Shrine

More Asakusa Shrine

More Asakusa Shrine

Meiji Shrine

Meiji Shrine

Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, at Shinjuku Gyoen

Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, at Shinjuku Gyoen

Pretending to be Bill and Scarlet at the New York Bar in the Park Hyatt Tokyo where Lost in Translation was filmed

Pretending to be Bill and Scarlet at the New York Bar in the Park Hyatt Tokyo where Lost in Translation was filmed

Robot restaurant deserves...

Robot restaurant deserves…

...not one...

…not one…

...but three pictures!

…but three pictures!

Tip: Stay at the Park Hotel Tokyo and pay the small upgrade fee for a room with a view.

Tip: Stay at the Park Hotel Tokyo and pay the small upgrade fee for a room with a view.

Japanese Cooking Class Tokyo with Mari - private class that comes highly recommended

Japanese Cooking Class Tokyo with Mari – private class that comes highly recommended

Photo booth near Shibuya Crossing

Photo booth near Shibuya Crossing

Not pictured in Tokyo: Visiting Akihabara to play games at the arcades and see the department stores, Andy Warhol exhibit at the Mori Art Museum atop Roppongi Hills Shopping Center (GREAT view at night), conveyor belt sushi, buying all the Japanese snacks and street food in sight and doing a taste test
My Tokyo favorite: Waking up at the Park Hotel. We had gotten in so late that the lights of the Tokyo Tower were off so our view was pitch black. When I woke up it was like Christmas morning and seeing presents under the tree!
Tyler’s Tokyo favorite: “Robot Restaurant because it was the most over-the-top, sensory overload experience of my life.”

Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha foxes

Fushimi Inari Taisha foxes

*The Fushimi Inari Taisha is where Fox got his name. Read more about that here.

Toji Temple

Toji Temple

Toji Temple

Toji Temple

Sakura blossoms

Sakura blossoms

Tyler with the sakura blossoms

Tyler with the sakura blossoms

Traditional matcha tea ceremony

Traditional matcha tea ceremony

Staying at a ryokan in our yakatas

Staying at a ryokan in our yakatas

Tea shop

Tea shop

Taking in the peaceful scenes at temples and shrines

Taking in the peaceful scenes at temples and shrines

Eating with our shoes off at Yasaka Shrine

Eating with our shoes off at Yasaka Shrine

Beautiful scenery outside the Yasaka Shrine

Beautiful scenery outside the Yasaka Shrine

Sunset and cherry blossoms

Sunset and cherry blossoms

Food vendors outside the Yasaka Shrine with amazing candied strawberries

Food vendors outside the Yasaka Shrine with amazing candied strawberries

More matcha ice cream

More matcha ice cream

Geisha viewing at the Gion district

Geisha viewing at the Gion district

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Arashiyama Monkey Park

Arashiyama Monkey Park

Arashiyama Monkey Park and Kyoto setting the scene

Arashiyama Monkey Park and Kyoto setting the scene

My favorite thing we did in Japan hands down - rowing down the Katsuragawa River

My favorite thing we did in Japan hands down – rowing down the Katsuragawa River

More rowing

More rowing

And more!

And more!

Absolute best vending machines around - hot creamed corn and (not pictured) hot milk tea

Absolute best vending machines around – hot creamed corn and (not pictured) hot milk tea

Not pictured in Kyoto: Eating traditional ramen, zen meditation, and milling about with our amazing guide (I highly recommend!), Kyoto Tower (store your luggage at the train station lockers if you want to explore before hitting your hotel), Heian Shrine, Shimogamo Shrine, Tenryu-ji Temple, Tofuku-ji Temple, Shokoku-ji Temple, Imperial Palace, an adorable little handmade paper shop, learning the word oishi (tasty, and for obvious reasons), traditional onsen
My Kyoto favorite: As I said above – rowing a boat down the river. We had just come from the Monkey Park (another must-do) and had a bunch of temples and shrines to go see, but the water tempted us. We brought on sake and matcha ice cream and cruised around for an hour.
Tyler’s Kyoto favorite: “Beer, sake, and an impromptu market experience right outside of Yasaka Shrine.”

Osaka

Purikura - so fun!

Purikura – so fun!

Karaoke in Osaka

Karaoke in Osaka

Tyler's favorite was The Little Mermaid - we sung it several times -_-

Tyler’s karaoke game was strong

Dotonburi at night

Dotonburi at night

The Instant Ramen Museum - I couldn't help it, I had to go

The Instant Ramen Museum – I couldn’t help it, I had to go

So excited about ramen

So excited about ramen

We even got to make our own cups!

We even got to make our own cups!

Not pictured in Osaka: More conveyor belt sushi (this time where it was invented and one other delicious place), Umeda Sky Building (click this link, you have to see it) where we had champagne and fastened a love lock to the top, pachinko, tons of games at Round 1 and SEGA Joypolis where we left with as many prizes as we had luggage
My Osaka favorite: Karaoke. For under 2300 yen we rented a room for an entire 24 hours. The memories I have of Tyler singing The Little Mermaid will forever be emblazoned in my memory – ha!
Tyler’s Osaka favorite: “Endless hours in the arcades; specifically the pseudo-gambling ‘medal games.'”

Let me know if you are interested in a trip to Japan and have any questions! I can talk your ear off with suggestions, tips, and stories.

XO, Sarabeth

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