A Trip to Japan

Hello, again! I’m finally back from my trip to Japan. Jet lagged and completely loopy, but back nonetheless. (Is this real life???) I’ve had a lot of great travel experiences in my day, but this was definitely a trip to remember.

It all started when my grandma turned 80 a couple months ago and wanted to visit some old friends in the Japanese countryside. As a gift, my family bought her a ticket to Japan. Unfortunately my grandma is not currently in the best health–despite her feelings on the topic. So my sister and I traveled to Japan with her and spent some time in a town called Fujioka in the Gunma prefecture, about three hours outside of Tokyo. My sister and I then traveled to Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka before rejoining with our grandma in the countryside. It was a pretty last minute trip, but one that I’ll never forget. We had the most hospitable friends in both Fujioka and Tokyo, which made the trip extra special.

Here are a few snapshots from our trip, most of which are of food. Would you expect anything else from me?

Our first home cooked breakfast in the countryside. Saba shio, miso, tamago, hijiki, gohan, nori….and some clam thing that I can’t pronounce, but tasted mighty delicious!

Our friends took us to this tiny sashimi shop on the side of the road in Fujioka. They chose the fish they wanted and the shop owner cut and beautifully organized the sashimi on a platter to take home.

Our friends also took us to an amazing all you can eat shabu shabu restaurant in Fujioka. Side note: the beer was all you can drink as well.


We stayed in Shinjuku while in Tokyo–which I highly recommend!


We took sushi lessons near the famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. I made the plate above full of rolls and nigiri. If you go to Tokyo and love to cook, I highly recommend walking around the Tsukiji outer market and taking a cooking class.


Obento on the Shinkansen on the way to Kyoto.


If you love to cook, you have to swing by Aritsugu in Kyoto. The store itself is tiny, but Arisugu is very well-respected for their handmade knives, pots, scissors, and other utensils. The best part is that you can get anything engraved on the spot. Not by a machine, but by an actual artisan–it’s seriously amazing. We bought a knife for my dad and had our last name engraved in Japanese on it.


Tasting green teas at Ippodo, one of the oldest tea shops in Kyoto.


Love the Shinkansen!


Quail egg and yam sushi at a conveyer belt sushi place in Kyoto Station. I don’t know the name of this place, but it’s across the way from McDonalds in Kyoto Station, if that helps. Every plate (yes, every single one) is 137 yen, about $1.80 US. We nommed here on multiple occasions, I can’t lie.


Shinto shrine in Kyoto.


Takoyaki in Osaka! “Tako” means octopus in Japanese and takoyaki are basically octopus dumplings topped with everything from mayo and teriyaki sauce to poached eggs and green onions.

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6 thoughts on “A Trip to Japan

    • You might move to Japan?! How lucky. 🙂 If you do, we will definitely need to schedule a little food blogger meet up there! BTW, when I was staying with friends, I asked the wife if she could teach me how to cook something. And she taught me how to make nikujaga! It totally reminded me of your post a few weeks ago. I can’t remember the exact ingredients by heart, so I will definitely be revisiting your recipe soon.

      • LOL, how neat!! 🙂 Well, you will have to add a little more or less of some ingredients to get the exact taste of the one she made for you/taught you to make but other than that, its a pretty good base recipe! Good luck with it, I can’t wait to see your own post on it!
        Yeah, we might be moving there… we will find out in about a month for sure or not, if not, I will be back in the Pac NW and maybe we will have the chance to meet at some foodie thing or another or just in Seattle to enjoy Seattle for Seattle’s sake! 🙂

  1. Wow, that’s so exciting–I hope you end up where you want to be. If you do end up moving back to the Pacific Northwest, we will definitely have to meet up in Seattle!

  2. Wow looks like you really had a wonderful time! It’s still before rainy season so I hope you had a good weather while you were there. I had never heard of the cooking lesson in Tsukiji. That is fun! Thanks for sharing pictures… I miss home!!

    • Overall the weather was great–I think we just missed the rainy season! We took the cooking lesson at a sushi school located a couple blocks from Tsukiji. It was a lot of fun and very, very hands on. Japan is such a magical country, I miss it too and I was only there for two weeks!

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