Five Crazy Days in Tokyo with Four Kids… part 2

Our second day in Tokyo was crazy busy and fun. We started out the day catching the train to Harajuku station. I love Harajuku. It is right next to Yoyogi Park and the Meiji Shrine, the station is old and quaint, and the shopping is bonkers. Our first port of call was Takeshita Dori. This…

Thatched Rooves and Earthen Floors

Our last day in Takayama, we decided to visit the Hida Folk Village. We had toyed with the idea of visiting Shirakawa-go, a very picturesque and historical mountain village in the Northern Alps. However, there is no way to access the village without booking a formal tour, and it is a reasonable distance to travel….

Uniquely Japanese- Yugen 幽玄

Like many Japanese words for which there is no direct translation, yugen is dificult to translate. I just finished reading a very funny thread on reddit asking advice on kanji for a tattoo. The person wanted to tattoo yugen onto his shoulder. A respondent to the thread suggested that unless the person fully understood the…

100 Things I Love About Japan

So, this is my 100th blog published, and I thought it would be fun to list 100 things I love about Japan…. maybe with a few pictures, here and there. Food- the food in Japan is insanely good, even from the convenience stores. Sake (Nihon-shu) – a no brainer for anyone who knows me and…

Uniquely Japanese- Hikikomori 引きこもり

Feature image credit: http://www.ejcrim.com The Japanese word Hikikomori, which literally means “pulling inwards” is used as a noun, as well as a verb, to describe adolescents or adults who choose to withdraw from society and lead reclusive and isolated lives. This is quite a big social problem in Japan, where it is estimated that as…

Five Crazy Days in Tokyo with Four Kids…. Part 1

At the end of our last trip we spent five days in Tokyo. I didn’t blog at all during that time as we were crazy busy, exhausted and trying to squeeze a lot into a few days. Tokyo is busy at the best of times, and when you are trying to cater to everyone’s wishes,…

The Old Town

Many of the buildings in Takayama’s Old Town have been preserved from the Edo Period (1600-1868). It is like walking through a historical drama movie set. Only it is beautifully maintained and many of the buildings are working sake breweries, so it was a little like Disneyland for Super Sake Boy and I. When we…

Up in to the Northern Alps

Sunday morning we had to say goodbye to Kyoto, again. It is always a heart-wrenching goodbye, on many levels. This was the first time that I didn’t cry. Maybe because Super Sake Boy and I booked in to stay with Maki again when we return in October for the Jidai Matsuri (Historic Festival) on our…

A Whirlwind Tour of Hiroshima

When we planned our trip, we tried to limit the period of time we would need JR Passes. We knew we wouldn’t be day tripping from Kyoto too much and that after that we would only need it for a few days, so we decided on our last day in Kyoto, to do a day…

Sake, Shrines and Shopping…..

Despite what the children think, we have had opportunity to drink sake, but little time to explore it any further. Today we headed out early-ish to check out the Gekkeikan Sake Brewery Museum. Fushimi, in Kyoto is an area where sake has been brewed for hundreds of years, as the quality of the water is…

Just Hanging Out in Kyoto

Yesterday we went with Maki and the girls, first to the most interesting pet store I have ever been to… which I will save for a seperate blog, as it was completely mindblowing… and then to a local udon restaurant for lunch. Apparently the udon were very good, Shikoku style, a little firmer and chewier…

Gion, Ponto-cho, Sake and Gin

Written by Super Sake Boy As the evening fell, Nihonshu Girl (aka Blossomkitty) and I set out for a little exploration on our own. Our plan was to wander the back streets and laneways of Gion and Ponto-cho, spot some Maiko (aka Geisha), sneak in some street photography, and settle down in a small timeless…