Tokyo—> Kyoto —> Tanabe —> Kumano Kodo Trail —> Osaka —> Kyoto —> Tokyo
A brief photo re-cap of our 18 day trip to Japan in June 2018.
After a 12 hour flight, we were initiated into Tokyo by arriving at Shibuya crossing where it’s rumored that at the busiest of times, over 1000 people cross the intersection at a time.
Before the crosswalk sign…
After the crosswalk sign
Checking out the Shibuya neighborhood
Yoyogi Park-a ‘locals park’ that reminded me of Prospect Park in Brooklyn in the sense that it was full of people just living their lives rather than tourists (except for us :P)
Meiji Shrine (first shrine of MANY on this trip)
Tsukiji Fish Market
You order ramen by selecting the type you want from a vending machine! You press the button, pay the machine and it gives you a ticket to bring to the counter. Fast, easy (except for not understanding Japanese!) and efficient. We learned that for the most traditional/classic option, select the top left button.
Nakamise Shopping Street; It’s one of the oldest shopping centers in Japan and leads up to the Sensoji Temple.
Standing Sushi in Shibuya. A tiny place with no seats, just room to stand at the sushi bar
First day in Kyoto! We stayed in Gion, the geisha district. There were so many ‘instagram photoshoots’ in this area! (Clearly Andrew’s photo went viral :P)
We got adventurous at the Nishiki food market. We ate a lot of things that we didn’t know what they were and later looked up. One of these was Takoyaki-Japanese octopus balls.
(It looks like we had it to ourselves until you see the next picture…)
We got to Kinkaku-ji as soon as it opened, but we still got to share it with a few of our closest friends! There were large school groups touring all of the shrines in Kyoto while we were there.
Ryōan-ji zen rock garden
Lost in translation
Ichiwa, a 17th century tea house
Aburi mochi-charcoal-grilled and skewered rice-flour cakes dipped in sweet miso sauce…my most favorite food I tried in Japan!
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Typically this shrine is PACKED with visitors but since we woke up naturally at 4am every morning, we arrived here before the crowds and shared the visit with only a few instagrammers
A surprise encounter with a monkey!
Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto
When you order noodles, you wear a bib.
Stocking up at Lawson’s (basically a 7-11 with decent food) for our hike
We stayed in Tanabe the night before heading to the Kumano Kodo trail
me pretending to be an instagram influencer
lost in translation part II
Kumono Kodo adventure begins!
The Kumano Kodo is a series of pilgrimage trails ending at 3 main shrines:Kumano Hongū Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha and Kumano Hayatama Taisha
The Kumano Kodo trail passes through small mountain villages along the way.
small shrines along the path
The path was well marked with ‘Kumano Kodo’ signs and ‘Not Kumano Kodo’ signs
Collecting stamps in our stamp book along the trail
After a full day of hiking through mist and rain we arrived at Chikatsuyu
A sign for our ryokan (guesthouse) for the night.
After dropping off our bags, we hopped on bikes, rode around the town in the rain and visited the local onsen (hot spring) to relax
The 'Happiness House’ provided us with a bento box dinner, breakfast and a bento box lunch to take on the trail the next day
After another full day of hiking we arrived at Yunomine Onsen which has the world’s only UNESCO world heritage hot spring
a traditional dinner served by our ryokan for the evening
Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine
Back to city life: Exploring Osaka, the city known for street food
We were ready for nature again and stayed in a traditional ryokan in Kyoto up in the mountains
They insisted we wear kimonos on the grounds
Heading back to Tokyo
no one locks up their bikes in Tokyo