cherryfume 2014

10

Toshiharu, our ryokan in Kyoto, is a cosy and beautiful home built in the Meiji era. The family that run the ryokan were the nicest hosts we could ask for, always taking care of our every needs and there to greet us with a smile whenever we made our way back after a long day out. We were checked in with a cup of hot matcha and warm sakuramochi (sweet pink rice cake wrapped in sakura leaf). Had the best time lounging around on our futons wearing cute sleeping robes after soaking in the hot Japanese cedarwood bath. I want to go back. T_T

7

Ginkaku-ji (Temple of the Silver Pavilion) & Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion). It took an hour by bus to reach Kinkaku-ji from central Kyoto, but I felt I couldn’t go to Kyoto and not make the pilgrimage. The garden at Ginkaku-ji is spectacular!

3

There’s something about Tokyo. A constant crush of people and endless concrete stretching far out to the horizon. A part of me will always fall in love with that frantic oppressive overwhelming tidal wave of the city crowd and neon lights, pristine minimalism and bone-deep exhaustion warring against each other every step of the way.

4

ORD —> LAX —> NRT. People always express disbelief at 30 hours of total travel time for a week-long trip, but long haul flights aren’t too bad if you plan them right. Got lucky this time and was seated in an exit row with nobody next to me so I had plenty of room to stretch out. Kind of surprised that no one (not even my parents!) asked about who’s traveling with me in Japan, but I’ll chalk that up as another lucky break because I’m not sure how I’d explain @teafume anyway (´・﹏・`)

6

The reception of the hostel we were staying at in Tokyo was a cafe by day, extremely popular bar for young Tokyo hipsters by night with occasional live music. The bar doubles as a breakfast counter in the morning. It made for a charming base, and the young staff were super cute. Thanks for the memories, qt hipster hostel.

4

What’s a trip to Tokyo without an X/1999 tour stop at the Metropolitan Government Building? (Still holding out hope that the final chapters will get released… before I die… ㅜㅜ) Supposedly you can see Mt. Fuji in the distance on a clear day, but the overcast had other plans. Made for a dreamy atmosphere at least.

8

A vscocam set of Tokyo to cap off my Japan travel log. Apart from the Metropolitan Gov’t Building, Meiji Temple, and Asakusa, we didn’t do a lot of traditional sightseeing in Tokyo (though we did spend a surprising amount of time in bakeries and cafes). Mostly we occupied ourselves walking around Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Harajuku. First picture is the front of our hostel NUI! Wish we could’ve stayed longer~

6

Meiji Shrine, nestled peacefully in a forest in otherwise chaotic Shibuya. By luck we arrived in the middle of a traditional wedding procession; the bride had no less than four handmaidens circling nearby to adjust her kimono whenever she had to move. And, of course, we couldn’t leave without adding our own ema to the wall of hanging wishes.