Sunday, January 27, 2013

Japan #1- Tokyo, Kamakura

How in the world am I going to tell you all about our trip to Japan?  We did and saw so many amazing things!  We had the time of our lives, definitely the best trip that Joel and I have taken just the two of us.  We were there for 11 days, starting on our 4 year anniversary (Sept 27th).  We flew into Tokyo airport and took the train into Japan to our hotel, The Conrad Tokyo.  
Hello Tokyo!
We landed early so we had plenty of time to get settled in and clean up for our fancy anniversary dinner!  We had Champagne first at the hotel and then went to a small sushi restaurant in the Ginza district of Tokyo called Seamon.  It was delish, and we loved having our first real sushi experience!  We sat at the sushi bar and our chef spoke some english so we were able to talk to him a bit.   It was a set menu, and he asked us if there was anything we didn't eat.  We said no, hoping none of it was too weird!  It wasn't.  It was amazing.  We tried all different kinds of fish, I even had my first oyster and it wasn't too bad!  The only thing I didn't love was a bowl of rice topped with giant fish eggs.  They were salty and warm in the middle and burst in your mouth when you chewed them.  The flavor wasn't terrible but I wasn't feeling it so Joel had to eat it for me.  Can I also tell you how spoiled I am?  Not only did my husband plan our dinner but he surprised me with a ruby and pink sapphire ring that he bought on a recent business trip to India.  What an amazing husband!
Champagne at the hotel.

Anniversary gift!

After dinner we took a walk around the Ginza district of Tokyo and bought a few Japanese snacks to try later.  One of the things we tried was a rice pocket filled with unknown things.  We obviously don't read Japanese so we had to guess what was in it.  We tried several through out the trip.  Most were vegetable but we did try one that we think was spicy tuna.  Some were good but some were a little strange.  

This one was veggies.
Our first day in Japan we took the train to Kamakura.  It was a short subway ride from our hotel.  Kamakura is a really cute smaller town that had a beautiful temple and touristy walking street.  

Waiting for the train. 
We first walked through the main street to the temple, it was a beautiful warm day and it was so cool to see all the architecture

Joel at the entrance to the Temple.

At one of the shrines.


Flags at the shrine.

How many cross walks does one intersection need?

A funny sign while walking around.

In Kamakura we were able to see the second largest Buddha in Japan.  it was pretty large!

Joel picking his nose.
Kamakura is also known for its beaches and surfing.  It was a little chilly to swim for us but we hiked down to the water so we could see it.  It was beautiful, so different from China where everything is dirty and there is trash every where.

Joel looking at the waves.
After a long day of touring, but before we headed back to Tokyo, we stopped at a local place for lunch.  We had soup, Joel had a tempura Udon noodle soup and I had soba noodle soup (noodles made from yams).  It was so expensive!!  For two soups and a beer for Joel is was almost $45.  Not something we were prepared for.  Not everywhere we ate was so pricey but we definitely had sticker shock coming from China where you can get a huge meal for $2.  The soup was so good though and it actually became a staple for us through out the trip.  We probably ate it 5 more times we liked it so much!

Joel loves soup!

Close up.
Catching the train back

After our long day we went back to Tokyo to rest and to see the city at night.  We explored one of Tokyo's bustling neighborhoods, lots of lights and street bands.  It was fun to see all the people!

Joel enjoying Tokyo.

One of the street bands and dancers.
I think that is enough for one post, I will try not to drag out all the pics from the trip but will share more in a few days!  I hope you all enjoyed the beginning of our trip!

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