For those of you who haven’t heard, I had a few visitors this past weekend!!! Renee, my friend and former roommate from college, and A.J. came to
to play! They came only for a week, and spent the first portion up in northern Japan with Jessica, my other good friend living here. AJ actually surprised Jessica, and I soooooo with we had video of that! The 3 of them then came to me for a night, before the 4 of us headed off to Japan . Still with me? Kyoto
|Jessica & AJ and his latest discovery,|
vending machine coffee!!
|Renee & I waiting for the ChooChoo|
|Outside the Ryokan|
We arrived at
We walked around the town for a bit, hit up some temples and a convince store. The convince stores, here known as ‘convienees’ have EVERYTHING and are an experience in themselves. They are actually where I pay all my bills as well, no joke. Then it was off to Gion, or the Geisha district. We watched a Geisha show which included some other Japanese art demonstrations like flower arranging and tea pouring. Not exactly an action packed show but still beautiful. We saw some Geisha, or Maiko the step before Geishahood, walkin around, and yes they were real. Though for 100 or so dollars you too can become a Geisha! When we saw the actual accompanied ones, Jessica did exactly what you’re not supposed to do…took a picture right in her face. Though I have to admit that now that we’re home, I am pretty excited we have it. Well done J Brew :)
|Geishas, mid dance|
We went to dinner that night and talked about this magical Geisha land. I am fascinated by them, just as I am the Amish. I don’t really think of myself as someone who is all about girl-power, but man I wouldn’t last a day as a Geisha. We joked that they would tell me to pour the tea and I would simply say, “no”. I do realize there is much more to it than that, trust me, I was Google-ing Geisha’s every spare chance I got, and I understand the art behind it all…promise.
After dinner and some Geisha talk it was karaoke time! In
you generally get your own private room, usually with some sort of drink deal involved, so it’s a flat rate making payment much easier on everyone. Japan
|Beautiful Renee, I look mad at the words.|
|Yes, people on the |
street could see them...
|Check it out!|
Funny Story: So, during karoke, on the TV as the lyrics are rolling there are always these super cheesy videos playing in the background. During one romantic beachy one, a
Hermosa Beach sign came up followed by a sign! There were a few pictures of the pier and our little area, I was sooooo excited to see home! Pretty random, huh? Redondo Beach
|Wanna take a guess...|
|At the rock garden, it appears the |
usual route is our only option, good
thing there was a sign.
to every temple. Though usually there is only one, this time there were, I think, over 1,000 and they were all bright orange. If you saw the movie Memoirs of a Geisha, there are few scenes filmed here where the little girl runs through them. Which is exactly what I wanted to do. We walked and walked, and only went a fraction of the way into the path that is miles long, which, in case you are curious does actually lead to a temple, tucked inside the mountain. It was AMAZING and my favorite place in
For dinner we found an Irish bar, and I had pizza and beer. Needen’t worry, that American side of me is very much alive and well.
The next morning we took the Shinkansen back to
where we parted ways with Jessica, our friend and travel agent. She was headed to board another 3 hour Shinkansen back home and I was staying with Renee and AJ, playing with them for the afternoon in Tokyo . Renee works at the Four Seasons hotel in northern CA and gets a few comped nights at other Four Seasons, ergo, for their last two nights our round eyed visitors would be sleeping in luxury. I was just there to take advantage of some MTV, the hotel onsen, a fabulous shower and lovely dinner before I headed back home and off to work the following day. Tokyo
|View from the room, very Thomas |
the Train Engine isn't it?
|Love those robes!|
It was a great trip and soooo good to see them! I forgot how much fun it is to travel with a little group of friends. You end up with pictures that are WAY more fun and more memories than just the buildings you saw!
Love you guys so much! Miss you already!