Well we are on Day 12 of our round the world journey and so far so good. Japan has been an amazing place to start our trip! I can’t say enough about our experience. The food has been incredible – sushi, ton katsu, teriyaki, Japanese pancakes called okonomiyaki, and yakitori at a place that has been serving the dish for 80 years!! We navigated the subways and walked for miles to explore Tokyo – Harajuku neighborhood, Ghibli Museum, Tokyo Tower, an anime exhibit, giant pandas at the zoo and the Edo Museum. The girls did great, although we all had to get over the jet lag, which would hit at all times of the day. Thankfully we were staying the the Tokyo American Club which was a nice place to have some down time with a pool, a bowling alley and a library. We have also lucked out on the weather – it has been slightly overcast with some breeze most of our time here.
We left Tokyo yesterday to head out of the big city to the area around Mt. Fuki, Hakone. What an experience this has been! After taking a train trip up the mountain in a funicular, we were transported to the beautiful, scenic small town of Gora. We were taken to our Ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. The girls were ecstatic to get kimonos to wear all during our stay. They also slept on traditional Japanese futons atop tatami mats to add to the experience!
This area is known for hot springs, so needless to say, we soaked as much as we could in our own “onsen” on our deck. After all of our walking and touring, I could have soaked all day and night!! The highlight of our time at the ryokan were the meals. We were served a traditional 12 course Japanese meal that words cannot even begin to explain – see pictures below. The breakfast was just as amazing. None of us were sure how we would feel about starting off our morning with fish and miso soup, but we were all pleasantly surprised. And the girls were adventurous in trying all new things. Lauren loved the rice porridge for breakfast, Claire now likes raw fish, and Grace ate up the clams in the miso soup this morning! We are so proud of all they have been trying.
I could go on and on, but suffice to say that I think Japan is pretty great! Their attention to detail is incredible, they are so respectful and helpful – a woman on the street actually put an address for a restaurant we were looking for into her phone and walked us there!! It’s clean, it’s safe and super fashionable, which leads me to my luggage. Yes, I am living out of a carry on for 1 year. How am I going to do it it? I’m not sure. Things are already not fitting in the suitcase like they did the day we left San Francisco, yet I have nothing new in my bag. Go figure. The hard part is just seeing what other women are wearing and wanting to wear it too. But, no worries, I will survive with what I have…..I hope.
Hard to believe it’s only been 12 days and we have 11 months to go on this crazy adventure. We hope to keep blogging to keep you all up to date and to create a journal for ourselves of this amazing experience.