yokohama - spending quality time with my aunts, uncles and cousins. during the day we went to a beautiful garden and for dinner we went to a D-I-Y okonomiyaki place, which had the most amazing food.
(brandon & saori)
tokyo - meeting up with saori and going to a cat cafe. it's a place for people who can't have a cat in their place or don't have time to take care of one. the place sorta looked like a daycare and there were A LOT of rules i.e. not allowed to pick up the cats, no flash photography, 3 step washing hands process. it was one of our favorite places on the trip though and helped us cope being away from our own kitties for 2 weeks.
hakone - going on a loop through the mountains - switchback train, cable car, ropeway, pirate ship!?!?!?
one of the stops was owakudani - a place where they boil eggs in sulfuric toxic hot springs and the eggs turn black.
kyoto - we met with my parents and our family friends mr. & mrs. taguchi and went to the famous golden temple "kinkaku-ji". on our walk, a group of school girls stopped us to practice their english for homework.
nara - unfortunately i injured my leg at this point so i stayed at the hotel. brandon went with the taguchi's and my parents to nara park where there is an abundant amount of deer begging for food. brandon was bombarded by groups of japanese school kids. mr. taguchi translated to him that they thought he looked like a famous baseball player and wanted to shake his hand. then they gave him these zine-type things about their hometown. school kids come from all over japan to visit historical nara and kyoto. i thought it was such a sweet idea that they would write zines about their hometown so visitors can learn about other areas of japan.
shinagawa - my mom found a b&b in an old thatched roof home in this tiny town. it was such a cute place and the food was amazing - the owners of the b&b harvested their own rice! i guess it was the high/low point of the trip. the leg pain that started in kyoto wouldn't go away so we found a wheelchair for brandon to push me around in. but then the owner of the b&b let me borrow her son's bicycle and it made my leg feel so much better. i honestly think my body missed bike riding.
nagano - this was one of my favorite cities for nightlife. brandon & i could see ourselves living there. an hour outside of town is a monkey park. you may know of it from their 24/7 webcam. since you can't feed the monkeys, they're not trying to take your stuff like the monkeys in misauhualli, ecuador.
yokohama - on our last day, my family & i went to my grandma's house. she passed away back in '96 and her house has been vacant ever since. as you can see in the top photo, it's the only thing left standing next to all this new development. it's getting torn down next month.