I got to travel to Japan with two of my closest friends: David and Jonathan. The three of us have never traveled together before, and this was the first international trip for either of them, so this was a trip of many firsts. I can’t speak for them, but I thought we made great travel partners. I’d love to take more trips together. These are some of the photos I took with my iPhone while in Tokyo and Kyoto. Some. I didn’t think you needed to see all 130 photos. I figured 39 was plenty for now. Oh, don’t worry! There are several Japan posts with photos from my “real” camera in our future!
I have an accidental tradition of having my first meal in a foreign country at a British or Irish Pub. It just so happened that my hotel in Paris was across the street from one, my hotel in Rome was down the street from one, and I was so exhausted once arriving at each hotel that familiar food sounded like a good idea. I was delighted when we walked up to this hotel and found it nestled together with a small British pub! Guiness and french fries became my first meal in Japan.
Of course we had conveyor belt sushi!
There is no shortage of beautiful gardens in Japan. Keep scrolling for more!
Hello Kitty doughnuts because: Japan.
We stayed in a Ryokan in Kyoto, a traditional Japanese hotel. I finally got the boys to wear the robes and ninja turtle socks. We dressed this way to go to our Kaiseki dinner, too. Maybe they’ll let me post photos of them in their robes in a future post. I took a photo with our host at the ryokan. The cutest little old Japanese lady ever!
We opted for the “western breakfast” a few times and this is what we got. Every. Single. Time. Omelet with ketchup, salad, toast, coffee. Sometimes fried potatoes and orange juice. Interesting what other cultures think are typical of Americans.
Murin-An was this amazing little garden near our ryokan. David suggested we check it out as we were walking by, and I am so glad we listened to him. It was absolutely breathtaking.
Nijojo Castle was probably one of my favorite places because on the grounds were blooming cherry blossoms!
As Jonathan and I sat in blissful silence surrounded by falling blossoms, David joined a cherry blossom photographer group. He got so many great shots with my camera that I can’t wait to share.
Sushi Bar in Kyoto. These guys can work FAST, and make delectable sushi.
Sky View bridge in Kyoto Station.
Even the train station has a garden!
Views of Kyoto from the top of Kyoto Station.
David opted for the most permanent of souvenirs. A tattoo. It came out looking great and is a pretty cool way to document a trip. Check his blog soon for the full update.
Our final breakfast in Japan was accompanied by this awesome view. We saw and did so much in Japan. We’ve been home almost a week now and I am still processing the trip and reflecting on it all. We tried lots of new foods, found our center walking through beautiful gardens, got a taste for city life, strolled through countless shrines and temples, and even got yelled at on the subway. More on that later.