Japan Recap

I think I'm finally, officially back at full capacity.  In addition to the slow start caused by Superstorm Sandy, jet lag all but brought me to my knees last week.  I think my sleeping is back on track now, though, so hopefully I can step my blogging game back up...but not without the obligatory travel recap.  I can't go halfway around the world and not force you to look at some of my favorite shots, can I?

And what better place to start than my oh-so favorite optical illusion shot...
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan 1
Yours truly at the Toji Temple in Kyoto.

If you want to see more shots and thoughts, read on.

Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Neighborhood Festival
A Neighborhood Festival in Tokyo  - This was really a cool and unexpected experience.  Apparently, these neighborhood festivals happen all the time.  This one was streets upon streets of food kiosks.  
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Kyoto
Kyoto at Dusk from Kiyomizu Temple
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Nara Bronze Buddha
Michael with the Virocana Bronze Buddha at Todai-Ji Temple in Nara - Easily one of the most majestic sites I've ever seen.  A photo really cannot capture the grandeur.  
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Deer at Nara
Deer at Nara - Seriously, I could not get enough of these little deer, which were EVERYWHERE.  I mean, I really feel like the guide books should be emphasizing these deer more.  They just lounge about.  They'll eat from your hand, and some will even bow for food.  It's adorable.  My understanding is that they were once considered holy and have now been designated as National Treasures. 
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Kyoto at Night
Temple lanterns at night in Kyoto
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Futons at the Ryokan
Our Futons at Yuzuya Ryokan in Kyoto - Gion
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Tokyo at Night
View of Tokyo at Night from the Observatory of the Tokyo Municipal Building - Tokyo is one of those cities that wherever you go, you utter, "Oh, this must be the downtown spot," because every little corner is tucked full of hustle and bustle and tall buildings and lights and people...people everywhere. 
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Fish Market 1
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Fish Market 2
The Fish Market in Tokyo - This was probably among the top three things we did.  You can't even imagine the size of this place and the amount of action that was going on.  Incredible.
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Shabu Shabu
Shabu Shabu - You cook the raw beef and vegetables in boiling water at the center of your table.  Delicious, interactive, and one of my favorite meals for sure.
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Blessings at the Temple
Blessings and Prayers at Meiji Temple in Tokyo (including one for my mom)
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Ginza at NIght
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Ginza at Night 2
Ginza at Night - This was another one of my favorite and easily most memorable experiences.  Michael, his aunt Vickie, and I stayed out late hopping from bar to bar, all tucked away in little storefronts under the train with makeshift sidewalk tables, all offering delicious selections of yakatori (i.e. food on sticks).  
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Electric City
Akihabara (i.e. "Electric City") at Night, Tokyo - I have to be honest.  This place freaked me out a little.  In addition to offering all kinds of electronics in highly-specialized shops (a shop for wires, a shop for fluorescent lights, a shop for jacks of sorts), this area was also a hub for anime-lovers.  There were anime cafes, where girls dressed in anime costumes (think dolled up maids and school girls) serve you food and drinks.  There were girls standing on corners, dressed in their school uniforms with their skirts hiked up, handing out fliers.  The thing that got me was that the sexuality of it all was very ambiguous.  I mean, at the very root of it, it wasn't clear what was meant to be (or taken) sexually and what wasn't.  We were assured that the cafes were for and attended by anyone, but then there were obvious sex shops located right nearby.  In fact, I would say that I got this vibe in a few places we went.  For example, we went to some kind of store that offered all kinds of things (toiletries, costumes, candy, etc.) and I AM NOT KIDDING YOU, sex toys were in the same aisle as kids' toys.  Toys for all ages, I suppose.   
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Craft Shopping 4
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Craft Shopping 2
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Craft Shopping 1
Fabric Paper Glue in Japan - Craft Shopping 3
Craft Shopping - Of course, I did my fair share of DIY shopping.  I'll tease you with these shots for now, but stay tuned to Luri and Wilma in the coming months, where I'll be doing a full spread on DIY shopping in Tokyo.

Mandy P
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  1. Wow, really neat. I can't imagine how big and bustling it is.

  2. Looks like an amazing trip. I can't wait to read more about the craft shopping!

  3. this looks so amazing. Japan is never a place I've really had a huge desire to visit, but now I want to go!!


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