Sunday, June 21, 2009

Erin in Japan Pt. 1

This post is a little late but better late than never. My sister came to visit in early May during the Golden Week holidays here in Japan. I took her around Tokyo, Kamakura, Ise, and Tahara. While we had fun sightseeing the whole week was really about having fun and seeing just how many crazy pictures of ourselves we could take.


We started out in Tokyo since that's where she flew into. We stayed in a ryokan in Asakusa just off the main street by Kaminarimon so that's where we started our sightseeing. We headed out really early due to Erin's jet lag so we were able to see Asakusa, Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shrine, Harajuku, and Shibuya before we came back and fell into our futons from exhaustion around 8pm. I had originally planned for us to go out to sing karaoke that night but since it was all I could do to keep Erin from falling asleep before 9, we decided to nix that idea. We did find plenty of geocaches while we were out though so we declared the day a success despite the lack of karaoke.

Our awesome room at the ryokan or Japanese style inn.

Erin is excited by Tokyo Tower.

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At a temple near Tokyo Tower.

At Meiji Shrine this old guy gave us cake and pictures and took a ton of pictures with us while his friend kept saying "hazukashii" which translates to "you're embarrassing me."

A traditional Japanese wedding procession at Meiji Shrine.

Random cuteness in Harajuku

Drinking coffees in Starbucks while watching people cross the street in Shibuya. This may sound boring but clearly you have never seen this intersection. It's insane!

Erin meets samurai!Col. Sanders.

Day two we got up early again (thanks again to jet lag) and headed to Kamakura to see the Daibutsu, or Big Buddha. We decided to get off the train at the Kita-Kamakura station and hike the Daibutsu trail. On our way we hiked over a mountain, saw a few shrines, including one where people wash their money for good luck, had lunch at a cute cafe on the side of a hill, and argued over whose dumb idea it was to walk so far.
Zeniarai Benten shrine is in a cave.

People wash their money in the spring inside the cave. They believe that when they spend the washed money it will come back to them several times over.

Hiking was all Erin's idea.



The guide said it took 90 minutes to walk the trail. We took 3 hours but we finally made it to the Buddha. After finally making it, we searched for a few more geocaches. Erin also got to try on a one piece kimono, which while it's true that it is easier than putting on a traditional kimono it still required quite a lot of maneuvering to get it on her. But she sure looked pretty in it.

Back in Tokyo we went to dinner near the hotel in a little streetside restaurant, where Erin wanted to play menu roulette by randomly pointing out some things on the menu. Luckily with the help of a kind woman sitting near us we were saved that ordeal and we ended up enjoying everything we ordered.



Our third day it started to rain but it didn't matter since our plan was to go to Oedo Onsen where after waiting in line for 45 minutes we enjoyed 17 different kinds of baths. Erin is a champion bath taker back home with music, candles, and cold cloths for her neck so she was in bath heaven. Even being naked in front of a hundred other women (it was Golden Week after all so the place was packed) didn't phase her for too long. After a relaxing few hours, we caught the shinkansen back to Tahara where our adventures continued, although unfortunately with a lot more rain than either of us wanted.

In our yukattas at Oedo Onsen.



  1. Aw, so fun! Can't wait to hear more!

  2. Hiking was your idea; you gave me the option I just chose it. :)