Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tokyo, Japan

I just got back from this years big vacation, a once in a life time trip to Tokyo, Japan.  I spent an amazing two weeks exploring Tokyo and the surrounding area with my very good friend and her two children.  My friend, Marcia had been an exchange student living with a family in Tokyo when she was in college, she has remained very close with her host family.  Her host family has made several trips to Oregon over the past few years and so I've been able to get to know them as well, so when Marcia told me she was taking her two boys to Japan for a few weeks, I jumped at the chance to tag along. 

Japan was an amazing experience, and nothing like I imagined.  I assumed that Tokyo being such a large city would be crowed, noisy, & dirty.  It was actually none of these things there were times & places that were crowed but not uncomfortably so, it was never very noisy, and it was super clean.

The family we stayed with lived in the Ohsaki area of Tokyo, they have a small house with a roof top patio, with a very nice skyline view of the district.  The weather was beautiful for most of the trip, there was just one rainy afternoon, when a Typhoon was approaching.  Otherwise it was sunny and in the upper 70's.

I was a little worried about traveling to a country where I did not know the language at all.  But I did not really have any problems.  While not very many people spoke English, a lot of the signs were either in English or had the Japanese words spelled out using the western alphabet. Luckily every restaurant we went to had pictures in the menu, so I had no troubles ordering. We ate some amazing food!  The Japanese people in general eat a huge amount of food, and several times a day.  It was crazy to see the serving sizes that we were given, and almost all meals also came with a bowl of rice AND a bowl of ramen soup.  After the first few days I had to explain to our host mom that I could not eat this much food it was making me sick, and after that she helped me find the smaller children portions.  My favorite thing we ate was Japanese Beef Curry, it was sweeter and more mild then middle eastern curry.  The weirdest thing we ate was coffee jello.

We did a lot of shopping, hitting the majority of major shopping areas in Tokyo.  My suitcase departed Japan almost twice as heavy as when it arrived. We also, traveled to Kamakura which is about 31 miles south of Tokyo and was the former capital of Japan during the 12th century.  We visited a few Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, and also visited one of the last Bamboo forests in Japan.  It was here that we also tried freshly made rice crackers.

One of our last big adventures was visiting Disneyland Tokyo.  I have never been to any of the Disneyland resorts, so I was extremely excited to go.  It was very fun, and it was also interesting how they built the park catered to what Disney movies were popular with the Japanese .

It was a wonderful trip and I am hoping that I will be able to revisit one day and explore the rest of Japan.


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This blog is about three sisters!