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…

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…

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…

Messages from Lady Murasaki

Super Sake Boy proved his driving prowess yesterday, by driving us around Kyoto in Maki-san’s car. Now driving in another country is usually not too intimidating, even on the other side of the road… however, in Kyoto and surrounds, the roads were created as a complete afterthought. Most of the buildings were built hundreds of…

Urban Exploration, Kyoto

So, after wasting a half a day in bed and elsewhere….. I bounced back and we squeezed so much into our day yesterday, my feet are still hurting. Around 25,000 steps of exploration and fun. We started our day at Starbucks in Gion. A tradition for both SSB (Super Sake Boy), the kids and me…….

Clear Water Temple 清水寺 

Kiyomizu-dera temple is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto. Lancy had planned an afternoon with her friend, Shuko’s father, who is a professional potter, and we decided to spend the morning temple strolling and around the old areas of Higashiayama, on our way to her house. It was a perfect day for such…

Deer, oh deer

A not too early traditional Japanese breakfast (yum…. rice, miso, pickles, nori and fish) and we were off exploring again. After a quick Starbucks stop, and the biggest coffee I have ever had, we jumped on the rapid train to Nara. Nara was the original capital of Japan from 710-794, before it was moved to…

Serious Sakura

So, a little more than two years later and I am back in Japan. This time with a partner in crime, Super Sake Boy (what could possibly go wrong)…. and four teenagers in tow, Ewan, Abby, Mya and Harper. We arrrived on Wednesday, a little dishevelled and tired, having had a 4 and 1/2 hour…

First Day of 2016

Originally published on 7th January 2016 on Blogger So after a very late night, 2am, I think, we got up early enough to have our final traditional Japanese breakfast. We came downstairs to find a hive of activity. Mochi being made in the traditional way, with a large wooden mallet, called a kine, in a…

New Year’s Eve

Originally published on 1st January 2016 on Blogger New Year’s Eve started with Finn and I deciding that we would make the pilgrimage of his desire to see the great Mecca, NINTENDO. The Nintendo headquarters are in Kyoto, and although they are closed to the public, Finn wanted to see where the magic takes place….