Five Crazy Days in Tokyo….. Part 4

Our last full day in Tokyo we started by dropping Ewan in Akihabara. He was on a mission to find a figurine, and the rest of us were not keen for the noise and crazyness of Akiba. We continued on to Asakusa. Senso-Ji temple is amazing, and I wanted to show Harper. We started at…

Five Crazy Days in Tokyo…… part 3

The only thing driving me out the door on our third day in Tokyo was coffee. We found a very cool little cafe, but sadly their coffee machine was broken. The owner, was however, making drip filter coffee, which is very popular in Japan. It takes an extrodinary amount of time to make, and is…

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…