So by now you can probably tell that I am in love with Japan! It is one of those places you visit and you can't wait until you have another opportunity to go back. I love to travel but sometimes I visit places and I'll be glad I'm there, but have no desire to return. That was not the case with Japan. I love, love, loved every minute we were there. That is saying a lot considering we were there at probably the worst time of the year because of the heat and humidity! I can only imagine going back during a cooler time of year and that would just make me LOVE Japan even MORE!
Today I want to share just a little more about our final days traveling through Japan.
One of the things I loved about this trip is that we had the opportunity to experience a Japanese hotel, a traditional Japanese Inn and a Japanese apartment.
Our apartment was super cute and JUST the right size for all 10 of us. We each had our own air conditioned room, our own bathroom and each room even had its own washing machine! What a treat especially because we had packed so lightly!
The kitchen was so cute. Just look below, can you guess how many cooks can fit in this kitchen?
The answer is.... just ONE! It was super cute and although small, we managed just fine. In fact, it was really fun to have an apartment all together. Even though there are ten of us we all get along really well and genuinely enjoy spending time together, especially these two who have a budding #brumance, but that is another story!
The next day we walked from our apartment to the Ueno Zoo.
This created a perfect opportunity to take a photo of us wearing the cute masks Meg had sent me. These masks worked great for me on the airplane and also on the crowded trains. Other than that I was fine without one but very happy to share them with these two for this fun photo op.
We saw many beautiful animals at the zoo. Here are a few pics of my favorite ones.
It was fun to spend some time at the zoo and even though it was hot, we found the perfect way to cool off, with shave ice and green tea ice cream.
We may not know how to speak Japanese but by this time of our trip we all did learn the symbol for shave ice and would look for it often.
After the zoo we went to a delicious sushi restaurant.
We visited a very interesting museum.
We saw a beautiful display of Lotus Blossoms.
We took a stroll through some interesting markets.
We sipped on a refreshing Milk Tea.
We visited a temple where we tasted the most delicious Kibi Dango. My mouth is watering just thinking about how good it was!
One thing that was extra special is that we were in Japan on July 7th which just happens to be when the Tanabata festival happens. This festival celebrates the legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Bega and Altair). The legend says that the Milky Way separates these lovers and they are allowed to meet only once a year on July 7th. It was wonderful to be in Japan during this lovely festival. There were decorations everywhere as well as a celebratory spirit in the air!
We walked for miles on our final day with our Tour Guide Miko. In the evening before dinner she took us to a tourist center in Asakusa where we enjoyed a beautiful view of the city.
That evening we had a nice dinner together. We were exhausted from the long day which made for lots of tired laughter at the dinner table. We also blessed Miko with a hand stamped card that Lynsay had made as well as gifts that we had brought from home.
The next day we were on our own but we had big plans! We were heading for Disney Sea! This is my favorite picture of Tucker because he perfectly demonstrates how excited we all were.
In case you don't believe how excited we were, Meg tried to capture the moment as best as she could in this photo grid.
Once inside the park we headed straight for our favorite ride, The Tower of Terror.
It was interesting to me to see how people came dressed to the park. Many people dressed in traditional Japanese Yukata's.
I would say about 90 percent of the people there were dressed similar to the people they were with. We certainly missed the memo on this one.
I thought these two girls looked so cute. They were in line in front of me for one of the rides and offered to pose for a picture. See what I mean about "matchy-matchy".
We had a really enjoyable day at the park.
Some of our group even got some cute sovenier hats.
The next day was our last full day in Japan. We began our day at the Tsukiji Fish market which is the worlds largest.
There were lots of interesting things to see here.
We visited another market where we ate Mochi. My favorite was the Green Tea Mochi.
I wish I could have packaged up box loads of this and brought it home to share with family and friends.
It was time for lunch so we jumped on a train and headed for Harajuku. Don't Lynsay and Emily look like locals? They learned that riding on the train was not time to talk but to do work, take a nap, play games on your phone or check your email.
Did I mention that today was Emily's birthday? So we wanted to take her somewhere special.
We ended up at the Harajuku Monster Cafe. It was the perfect place to celebrate with Emily.
The rooms were all uniquely decorated. It was a very colorful atmosphere. Even the food was colorful. There were Harajuku girls everywhere. They not only waited on tables but they also did a little show where we all learned a special dance that we will probably always do in remembrance of our lunch festivities that day.
After we left there we passed by a Hedgehog Cafe. We decided to go and check it out.
It was extremely organized. We sat in a section and had a set time we could enjoy a drink and play with hedgehogs. The Hedgehogs came in various sizes... however this one was really big.
I wonder if He was HARRY the Hedgehog? It was a really interesting place. There were even hedgehogs that you could purchase. One cost over a thousand dollars!!! One of the rules written on the wall was that you were not allowed to EAT the hedgehogs!
Looks like the birthday girl was a little tempted to do that! But thankfully, she didn't.
Our evening came to an end with a delicious Japanese barbecue dinner where we grilled the most delicious waygu beef at our table.
After dinner we took a final stroll through the city on the way back to our apartment.
Once back at our apartment, we took a final group photo to commemorate the end of our adventures in Japan!
I think we did a pretty good job fitting in a TON of stuff in a week but I know we barely scratched the surface of the adventures we could share in this amazing country that I hope to visit again one day.
The next day we left our apartment and headed for the train to the Narita airport. Our adventures in Japan had come to an end and now we were off to the official start of our Stampin' Up! Grand Vacation in Thailand.
Thank you for allowing me to share my passion of traveling with all of you. I hope you enjoyed traveling through Japan with all of us. Be sure to check back to learn about the next leg of this amazing trip as we journeyed to Thailand together. More adventures to come!