You may have heard, my Wife and I went to Japan for ten days. We had a blast, and I took notes...
To answer your first question: What was Japan like? Well, it was a lot like this...
Since we've been home, I have been writing all about the experience. It was quite the undertaking too, a ten post series! I don't want to toot my own horn, but it was glorious. Insightful, humorous, fun. Probably pretty satisfying for you readers too, I bet. I know, I know, I'm being modest, but I just can't help myself... Anyway, much like the trip, this series of posts are now finished as well, Days One through Ten are all up and awaiting your attention. So, for your convenience, I've put together this handy-dandy little wrap-up, just so you can find them.
Our First Day in Japan. Ela and I arrive without incident and ride the trains to Yokohama. We find our Hotel. We meet up with Will and Kelly. We walk around the neighborhood, drink some Chu-hi, and sing some karaoke.
Buddhas and baseball. Our first full day in Japan was a day of full-on Japanese Culture. We enjoyed the first of many Viking Buffets. We saw several temples, not to mention the big Buddha himself. Then we watched some major league Japanese baseball, and I was very impressed with the general politeness of the fans.
Tokyo wandering. We took the train to Tokyo. We browsed some plastic food. We ate some delicious noodles. We saw some Sumo Champions. I wilted in the heat, and had to shove my way onto a packed subway car. Later that night, I discovered that tomato water is gross and weird.
Our last day in Yokohama. We see some of the places where my Grandmother walked as a young woman. Ela falls in a restaurant. English phrase t-shirts amuse me. There's a short digression on prostitution, and then we're off to Chinatown! Special Guest: Ooooh, Bay BEE Stah!
Ela and I go to Kyoto, but first we ride the big Ferris Wheel in Yokohama. When we finally get going, we end up on the wrong train. Eventually we make it to our fantastic hotel, but it takes a while. We reward ourselves with some awesome food at a close by restaurant.
The Kitchen of Kyoto. The vagaries of the train defeats our attempts to visit Hiroshima, so we ditch our plans and spend the day around our hotel instead. We browse in the Nishiki Market, eat stuff, and then tour the Manga Museum. At the end of the night, I nearly melt in a Sukiyaki restaurant.
Hiroshima. Getting there was an adventure. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial was amazing, but sobering, horrifying and really sad. Luckily, Ela decided to cheer us all up by falling on her face as she boarded the tram. We returned to Kyoto, had some sushi, and then got drunk in an Irish-themed bar. Later, I eat a waffle filled with ice cream.
The Ryokan. For our last night in Kyoto, Ela and I switch hotels. We see some amazing temples and some even more incredible gardens. We walk the Philosopher's Path, and eat in an excellent little Noodle Shop. The Hanare House at the Ryokan is an amazing place to stay during a thunderstorm.
Tokyo bound once again. We say goodbye to Kyoto, and fall backwards, spread-eagle into the opulent luxury of the Tokyo Park Hyatt. We wander the subways and streets, and end up shopping among the casually super-rich. Ela buys a sweater. Later that night, we eat a super fancy, and super delicious, dinner 52 stories above the city.
The Final Day. We have one last Viking Buffet with Will and Kelly, and then we all hang out in our super fancy hotel for a little bit, before final saying goodbye at the train platform like so many classic movies before us. Then Ela and I head home, enduring a series of airport trials reminiscent of the 12 Labors of Heracles.
And that's that. Read on and enjoy, my friends. And while I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again: Seriously. If you ever get the chance to go to Japan. Leap at it, kids. Leap at it. It was a blast.
Gochi so sama,