Thursday, April 25, 2013

golden week

I can't believe April is almost over--this month has been a whirlwind of activity!

My sister is coming to visit tomorrow, and my parents the week after that, so I will have much to blog about in a couple of weeks.

Enjoy spring, everyone!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

sendai run

This weekend I'm going to do a 5km run with my coworkers up in Sendai. I've been "training" somewhat, but alas, am woefully out of shape. I'm not looking forward to the run, but we're making a trip out of it; going sightseeing and staying at a minshuku (a more casual version of a ryokan or Japanese inn). Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

nara and osaka

The last stops on our Kansai trip were to Nara and Osaka. Nara, an old capital of Japan, is famous for a huge statue of Buddha, various temples and shrines, and...deer. Hundreds and hundreds of deer, all being eagerly fed by tourists.

We then proceeded to Osaka, where we visited the aquarium. I couldn't resist posting these pictures--aren't they precious?

Then of course, we had to go get okonomiyaki, a kind of cabbage and pork pancake that's famous in Osaka.

On our way back to Tokyo, we stopped by Kyoto again to eat...matcha parfait!

Needless to say, it was delicious.

Friday, April 12, 2013

kyo-ryori (in other words, crazy expensive but amazing kyoto food)

If you couldn't already guess from the post title, our trip to Kyoto was mainly about Kyo-ryori, or Kyoto cuisine. Our first stop was a restaurant tucked away in Arashiyama called Shouraian, which specializes in tofu course meals. I saw it on Tokyo Eats (really amazing blog!) and couldn't resist making a reservation.

Needless to say, it blew my socks off. We even had tofu ice cream at the end!

Then we did some sightseeing at the Golden Pavilion. We tried to go to the Silver Pavilion also, but by the time we got there it was closed. We strolled the Philosopher's Path instead.

Then we went to a Kaiseki restaurant hidden in this really shady alley in Gion called Gion Nanba. We sat at the bar and watched the chefs cook our meal.

I couldn't really understand what anything was, but it was all delicious. They were so nice about trying to explain the food too--they had a dictionary with food terms, which they kept bringing out to us. Sometimes I felt bad about eating the food because it was so beautiful! Like works of art. If you get a chance, definitely try a Kaiseki meal; I promise it's like nothing you've ever experienced.

Next, Nara and Osaka!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

spring in tokyo

Cherry blossoms peaked last week in Tokyo, and my boyfriend and I were lucky enough to catch them! We went to Meguro and Naka-meguro, where there is a river lined with these beautiful trees.

Naka-meguro is a really nice area filled with cute, hip cafes. We stopped by one called "drole" to take a break from all the walking.

Next up, Kyoto pictures!