While Vietnam was more of an adventure, Japan fell on the vacation side. The hospitality was incredible and the hostels felt like 5 star hotels. The cuisine was full of novel tastes and textures. The culture was quirky and energetic. Most importantly though, I got to visit one of my homelands, something I’ve always wanted to do.
The clouds over the Sea of Japan
Hong Kong Express saved me a lot of money this trip
The beginning of a long trip from the airport to hostel
We stayed at a hostel in Akihabara, well known for its Otaku culture. Walk a couple stories up or down and you’d start finding some weird stuff
Quick breakfast at our favorite 24 hour place before heading out to explore
Hachiko, after his owner died he continued to run out here day after day to meet him. Naturally there’s a film adaptation
Zach’s friend Mio took us to an Izakaya
Met Emi as an exchange student at UCSD several years ago, we met again in her territory
Apparently Spumoni’s are very popular in Japan
Roppongi is the party district of Tokyo. Clubs here stay open until 5am, just in time to catch the first subways
Kamakura trip out of Tokyo
Took a day trip to Kamakura. Tatsu, who Amber had met in Thailand (?), came and hung out with us. This was the largest buddha in the world when it was constructed in the 1200s.
Cute statues in the garden
Poor the water on the statue for good luck!
Met Mio and her friend for all you can eat and drink hotpot
Walked around in Shinjuku redlight after dinner
Subway brought us up in the center of a Japanese university, everyone was so fashionable!
Imperial palace, if you walk on the wrong side of the canal an alarm will go off…
Group shot at Imperial Palace
Nasty Crab Miso (sperm) sushi
Had to creep for awhile, but stalked ourself a Geisha
Walking through what seems like a Kyoto suburb
Lots of orange gates
Inari the fox
Arashiyama trip out of Kyoto
Arashiyama, land of the monkeys
Walking down the river
Can feed the monkeys from within the cage
Monkey Selfie with humans
Pond of Dragon, my phones new lock screen
Nara trip out of Kytoto
Nara, land of the deer
Randomly saw some turtles on the walk over
Selfie with a photogenic deer. They’re normally not allowed to have antlers but I guess this one was well behaved.
One of the big Buddhas inside
Morizuya Ryokan, probably the favorite place I stayed over the whole trip. Got to sleep on tatami mats and wear yukatas
They even gave me one
There was a private cave onsen in Morizuya itself
And they had a rock turtle who was about my age
Brought us breakfast
Satonyu, one of the four onsens we went to. Had outdoor pools, steam rooms, waterfalls, everything!
View over Kinosake and the Maruyama River flowing out to the Sea of Japan