Fukubukuro- “lucky bag” shopping, 2016

Another new year in Japan, means another stab at fukubukuro, or lucky bag shopping! The gist of fukubukuro is heading to the mall on New Year’s Day, and buying a bag with unknown contents for a set price. The contents…

A visit with Grandma and Grandpa

We were so happy to find out that grandma and grandpa (Matt’s parents) were planning to visit Japan! It was their very first trip out of the United States, and we couldn’t wait to show them more of this wonderful…

Kamakura and Yokosuka Naval Base

Kamakura is a great seaside town, a few hours southwest of Tokyo, and was once considered the capital of Japan. It’s most famous attraction is Daibutsu, or Great Buddha. He is the oldest statue of buddha in Japan, and at…

Hiking Mt. Fuji x 3 = Perfection!

Call me crazy, but as hiking season was upon us, I heard the beckoning of Mt. Fuji again. This time though, I wanted to hike without the girls. I wanted to spend the day with Matt, enjoying his company and…

Gonpachi, A.K.A. the "Kill Bill" restaurant?

 Gonpachi is a restaurant in the fashionable Roppongi district of Tokyo, and is apparently best known to westerners, as the “Kill Bill” restaurant. I’ve never seen the movie, so I wouldn’t know, but many famous people have also eaten here,…

A mikoshi parade

A mikoshi parade is a very familiar sight at any Japanese festival. A mikoshi is believed to be a vehicle for the gods, to move them from the main shrine to a temporary shrine during a festival. Some of the larger…

Ukai-Toriyama, a traditional Japanese meal

My dear friend Kayoko, invited us to Ukai-Toriyama for lunch a few weeks ago. The restaurant is located in a beautiful, mountainous area of Japan, not too far from our home. The grounds were exceptionally beautiful, of course. One of…

Japanese street food

 In Japanese culture, it is considered rude to “eat on the go”. You always eat at the restaurant or eat at your destination, never while walking around (yes, this includes your coffee). For this reason, Japanese street food is pretty…

A very happy birthday in Shinjuku

To celebrate my birthday this year, we headed to the trendy and fashionable area of Shinjuku, for a short overnight trip. When we arrived at the hotel, there was a clown in the lobby making balloon animals for kids. Very…


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