Disclaimer: The following is thorough…extremely thorough. I write so much on my trip reports (and always have – I’ll probably post some retro reviews when things get slow) for several reasons: As a journal/report for myself, to help others who may be planning trips to the same destinations, and (now) to benefit anyone who finds our blog while searching for specific terms (I know I relied on others’ blogs in planning). The point is, the post is long. If you don’t feel like reading, scroll through and find the pictures you like then read about them…there will not be a quiz when I return…unless that is a trick. So here it is, the Japan wrap up:
Arriving in Japan after a 2 hour 45 minute flight in Cathay Pacific business class (which was excellent), it quickly became evident that we were not in Hong Kong any longer…The country’s respective cross walk sounds do a better job of describing the difference than I could: Hong Kong was like an old time bell/ringing fire alarm going off when it was time to cross the street; Japan was like a pleasant, occasional intercom chime.
Here are our Tokyo pictures. I took a good bit of Mt. Fuji/the sunset…probably uploaded too many of that. The link is below, and I’ve also included some pictures in this post.
Well, we are on the fourth leg of our journey. We left Tokyo around 6:15 this morning and took a bus to the airport. Then we look a flight from Tokyo to Bangkok. It was about 7 hours, but the time passed pretty quickly (I watched Harry Potter, Kindergarten Cop, and a few episodes of Modern Family).
Then, we had a connecting flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. As soon as we stepped off the flight from Tokyo, I could tell that Thailand was going to be a much different experience than Japan. Japan is so orderly, organized, and disciplined. The airport in Bangkok was difficult to navigate and poorly labeled. I’m not going to fuss about this too much. We were able to make it to Chiang Mai without any major issues and our bags were there too (my biggest fear!).
Although, I couldn’t believe some people’s behavior in the Chiang Mai airport. I actually thought a few people were going to get in a fight at the baggage claim area. It was pretty crowded and there was some pushing and shoving going on. Unfortunately, I think these people were Americans, and they were being extremely rude to a couple of Asian men. It was disgusting.
Yesterday, we went to watch some Sumo wrestling! This happens three times a year in Tokyo (and three times a year in other locations throughout Japan). Luckily, we happened to be here during one of the 15 day tournaments. It was sooooo cool.
Well, we made it to Tokyo a couple of days ago and it has been great so far! There is something about the Asian culture that I absolutely respect. The service, cleanliness, and hospitality is something that I have never experienced. After the bullet train, we took a taxi to the Park Hyatt. WOW!! This hotel room is AMAZING. We are staying in the Park Suite, and we are loving all of the space. Our hotel room overlooks Mt. Fuji, and it is so beautiful. Justin said that we will probably never stay in a hotel room this nice again, so I better enjoy it……let me assure you, I am LOVING it. Everything about this hotel is incredible. Apparently, this is the same hotel that the movie Lost in Translation was set in. I never saw it (because I don’t like most movies), but Justin seems pretty excited about it.
We had a few glasses of wine at the New York Bar on the 52nd floor before our first Tokyo dinner at Yoro Niku. This restaurant uses a cooking method called Shabu-Shabu. Basically, they brought out raw meat and cooked it for us on a fire grate built into the table. Everything was delicious. We ate heart for the first time!! The idea of this kind of grossed me out, but I did it anyway. It was good but sort of chewy. We also had tenderloin, shoulder, tongue, thigh, and a few other things. Most of it just melted in our mouths. We also tried a few different ice creams at the end.
Taking pictures in Japan is kind of tough. You have to balance taking pictues with not wanting to intrude upon people by taking pictures of them – especially in the reserved Japanese culture. Alyce is able to get more in the action with the small camera, but there is no mistaking what I’m up to when I pick up my camera.
Anyway, here is the link to our Kyoto pictures. Pictures sizes are availble up to the original size, as before. I’ve also included some pictures in this post.
It snowed in Kyoto today! It was so so beautiful. I have never seen snow (other than the “snow” that we get in New Orleans). Although it wasn’t enough for any to accumulate on the ground, it made this amazing city even more special for me.
We spent pretty much the whole day outside (Brrrrrrrr!). I was completely bundled up, but my toes were still frozen.
This is what I had on: T-shirt, wool shirt, fleece, down jacket, rain/wind jacket, wool socks, fleece tights, jeans, 2 pairs of gloves, headband that covers my ears, a wool hat, and a scarf. Somehow, I was still cold. Justin said that he was never taking me skiing!!! I’m surprised that I could walk. Really, I just waddled around all day like an Oompa Loompa. Also, I had my scarf wrapped around my nose and mouth so that only my eyes were showing. So, I really looked like a Muslim Oompa Loompa!
I’m a little embarrassed to post after Justin’s eloquently written and thorough Hong Kong wrap up (damn Justin, always showing me up!). Oh well, y’all will have to suffer through my terrible writing for a little bit until Justin can compose his next beautifully written thoughts!
We got to Kyoto a couple of nights ago. Our plane from Hong Kong was delayed about 2 hours, but we didn’t mind at all. It gave us some time to do some writing. Also, refer to the pictures of the Cathay Pacific lounge…we weren’t struggling! The flight was great. We were both disappointed that it was only 3 hours. However, we got a full meal, wine, champagne etc. Again, Justin got a Bailey’s on the rocks (I had no idea that he liked that so much…..I guess after 9 years together, you can still learn new things about each other!).