Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Japan Photo Diary

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll probably know that I recently took a very last minute trip to Japan. Although it was a lovely trip and I got to visit some great spots during my two week stay there, the reason for going in the first place was actually far from pleasant. About a month ago, my  family found out that my grandfather in Japan tragically passed away. And because the funeral was scheduled to take place shortly after receiving the news, we basically had to fly over there ASAP so that we could attend the services on time. It was definitely an emotional experience for everybody, especially for something as sudden and unexpected as this. While these sorts of situations are never easy to go through, the ceremony itself was very beautifully put together and I was amazed at how detail-oriented, spiritual and just overall touching the service was. It spanned over a course of two days and after attending, I felt a better sense of closure towards the whole situation. I really do wish I could have visited my grandfather more often and had been able to communicate with him better (the language barrier made this a bit difficult. My Japanese is ok but definitely not bilingual status.) But I'm thankful to have been able to spend the time with him that I did, and I know he is at peace in a better place now. Rest in paradise, Papa.

After the services, my family and I stayed in Hamamatsu (my mom's hometown) for a few more days. I always feel a comforting sense of familiarity whenever I'm there and this time was no different. As a kid and a teenager, my family and I would visit my mom's side in Hamamatsu about every two years or so and stay in town for around a month. I even lived there for over a year when I was little. So it's definitely always been a close place for me growing up, and a place that I will always consider to be somewhat of a second home to me. After Hamamatsu, we went to the gorgeous city of Kyoto. I had never been there before and had always held an interest in going, especially after seeing how beautiful it looked in Lost In Translation. And once I arrived, I was certainly not disappointed. The city is a harmonious blend of urban meets rural. It has bustling streets with tall buildings and a lively atmosphere, but it also has some of the most beautiful shrines, temples and castles I've ever laid my eyes upon. Kinkaku-ji was definitely one of my favorites, with its beautifully tranquil atmosphere and stunning architecture (it's literally made out of gold). It's also surrounded by the most beautiful and serene Japanese greenery I've ever stepped foot in. I'll definitely be making another stop there when I go back to the country in April.

After Kyoto, we concluded our stay in my all time favorite city: Tokyo. As always, it completely took my breath away and I loved every single moment spent there. It really is just as lively, lit up and beautiful as it's made out to be in popular culture. I've been visiting Tokyo ever since I was a little girl and it always manages to amaze me in new and exciting ways. Every single time always feels like the first time, and I hope I get the chance to live there sometime in the future. Some of my favorite areas include Shibuya, Omotesando, Roppongi, Akasaka, Shinjuku, Ginza and of course, Tokyo Disneyland. While I didn't go there on this trip, you know I'll be going to both there and Disney Sea for my next one. We also got to visit Tokyo Skytree at the end of the trip and I would highly recommend it to anybody else visiting the area. It is basically the most gorgeous viewing deck of the Tokyo skyline you will ever find and it also just happens to the tallest tower in the entire world. Yes, the world. I'm pretty scared of heights and was actually a bit nervous when I first saw just how ridiculously tall this skyscraper was. The nerves were immediately replaced with awe however when I stepped off the elevator and was welcomed with a million glittering city lights shining my way. It's safe to say I've never seen a view quite like it before.

As for all of the food pictures (because you know I made sure to take plenty of those) - I'm actually going to be making a new post dedicated entirely to the food alone, seeing as Japanese cuisine is a wonderful delicacy that deserves its own special spotlight. Expect it to be live in just a few days!

Overall, my time in Japan was well spent. Despite the somber start, my family and I were able to make the best out of our time there and I left feeling a lot more excited to go back in April. I hope you guys like the shots and maybe even consider going to Japan the next time you have an adventurous opportunity. It really is an amazing place, as you'll see in the pictures below.

Sushi plushies at a little shop outside of Kinkaku-ji. I literally can't get over how cute this is.

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!