夏の旅updates: Overdue overview of summer travels

Places Visited (or scheduled to visit)

  1. Tokyo (Machida (where I’ll work), Shibuya, Shinagawa, Ueno, Asakusa, Akihabara, and soon Harajuku and Ginza)
  2. Yokohama (highlight was the top of “Landmark Tower” (great name!))
  3. Osaka (Hirakata & Kansai Gaidai, Umeda, Kyobashi, Moriguchi)
  4. Kyoto (Gion-Shijo, Kawaramachi, Kyoto Station area)
  5. Hokkaido (Sapporo, Otaru, Asahikawa)
  6. Hakone (soon- where we’ll stay at a ryokan!)
  7. Nagano (hopefully! I want to get out of the cities and see the mountains~)

Hotels stayed at: 10 (1 being a hostel w/ a private room)

Friends who’ve let us sleep on their floors/guestrooms: 3 (in Machida, Kyobashi, Moriguchi)

Sleeping arrangements: hotel bed, blanket on floor, futon on floor, squished into lofted twin bed, hostel bunk bed

Favorite hotel: Cerulean Tokyu Tower Hotel – suuuuuuper fancy hotel in Shibuya that Ken got for 50% off… it was amazing to see so much of Tokyo after I’d just arrived! Also it’s right in the middle of everything, which was kind of overwhelming, but I suppose it was best to just throw me into one of the most populated parts of Tokyo before I was even over jet lag..

As for a more affordable hotel: Hearton Hotel, Kita-Umeda – my mom and I stayed here when she came to visit between my two semesters abroad. 🙂 Super nice staff too! One lady tried to help fix my suitcase wheel, which broke AFTER ONLY ONE WEEK OF USE! boo~ cheap bag.

Favorite place: Hokkaido!! not only because it wasn’t humid like the rest of Japan, but also for the answers in the next few categories…

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field of lavender at Farm Tomita

Favorite (and only hostel): Morinoki in Otaru –

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they have a pet corgi (!!) named Hug and a cat named Momo! ❤ They also bake fresh bread in the morning.. yum.

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this bread was so ふわふわ (fluffy) I could die…from eating too much of it.

Favorite dish so far: too many to count, but mostly everything I ate in Hokkaido, including kani kuri-mu korokke (crab cream croquette) in this fancy restaurant Aburiya, which was the only restaurant that ever charged us for more than just the food (seating charges, service charges, eek!)… also corn cream croquette at Farm Tomita in Hokkaido, which has famous flower fields. Also lavender soft ice cream.

Also (from non-Hokkaido) “Beard Papa”‘s shuu kuri-mu (“choux creme” or cream puff) with freshly-made puff. xP I mean pastry. Mmmm.. Also the workers wore name tags that said “Beard Master” xD

Though we’ve ALSO had some really zeitaku (luxurious) dishes when treated out by friends, including a traditional course in Kyoto.

ALSO Tsujiri’s original maccha parfait ❤ mmm!

Favorite snacks: anything maccha flavored. Panda shapes =plus.

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I spend most of my time… eating and taking pictures of food. Also traveling from one destination to another to eat some more.

Worst moment: Being stuck in bed all day after waking up lightheaded and dizzy… perhaps from low blood pressure and dehydration

Most grateful moments: when Ken canceled his plans to stay with me, then went out into the heat to buy me a bento to eat 🙂

also when friends let us stay over and or paid for a meal, or in one case, not only let us stay over but also fed us, did our laundry (ah.. ashamed T_T) and lent her higasa (sun parasol) for all the hot days in Kyoto…

Bizarre but wonderful moments: meeting up with Oberlin friends in Osaka and Tokyo!

Favorite fun experience: feeding chipmunks sunflower seeds at the top of Tenguyama in Otaru, Hokkaido.

chipmunk in a bush!

chipmunk in a bush!

this little guy peed and pooed on Ken.

this little guy peed and pooed on Ken.

Biggest inconvenience: not having a set home (until Aug 1), not being able to get a smart phone, and not being able to recover the password for my old bank account here until my visa is changed… so basically: not having my working visa.

Most disgusted moments: walking through “adult sections” of stores in Akihabara out of curiosity and seeing how almost all the media was about rape.

2. a. watching TV and hearing people ridicule a voluptuous and funny woman and demand her to get skinnier (which she did)
b. seeing a late-night special about cheating wives that asked 「あなたの妻、大丈夫?」 (“Is your wife okay?”) and thinking that viewers might have doubted/interrogated their wives who had just washed his clothes and cooked his dinner.

Favorite person: KEN! for being with me, putting up with me, and enjoying all the strange sounds I’ve started making this month (“meep!” “bwehh”)

MORE PICTURES LATER!

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