Saturday, June 21, 2008

on our way home!

we r on the keisei skyliner on the way home to the u-s of a! it took us nearly 2 hrs just to get on this thing from roses and we have an hr to go to get to the airport. then a 14 hr flight home! wish us well that we survive all this traveling to get home. we miss you, love you and will c u soon!!!!!!

tokyo metro

this is just part of the metro map that we have been taking! there are so many lines its crazy! it was fun getting around @ first- then we had enough- especially @ rush hr.

kabuki theatre, ginza

we got tickets yesterday2 go 2 the kabuki theatre where men play all the roles in the performance and they perform 3 sets per show. u are allowed 2 buy tix to one set which lasts almost 90 minutes long. unlike plays and such in the us- you can bring in food and drink to enjoy during the performances, just no photography. it was cool to see this live, but it was slow moving and one set was about all we could handle! we did get headsets that had english interpretations-thank god because we didnt have any idea what was going on! but after talking 2 some japanese women about kabuki,turns out that they dont understand it either bc they speak in an old japanese language(like shakespeare).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

on the train...

see what i mean!

trains during rush hour!

trains during rush hour are nothing like u have experienced b4! men with white gloves will push crowds in the train and pack them in like sardines.cil, me and rach were shoved 2 one side of the train. there are hundreds of people on the train but noone talks- u can hear a pin drop. everyone texts on their phone, sleeps or just stands there. its crazy how quiet it is! i will upload video soon!!

o-torii's : fushimi-inari shrine

on the way back to tokyo, we made a brief stop in inari to see hundreds of toriis, which means gates to a shrine. we only made it half way up the mountain and clouds were rolling in n we thought it was going 2 rain! again, amazing views!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

the biggest buddah in japan : nara

it was such an incredible sight!

todaiji temple : nara, japan

this enshrines the largest wooden buddah in japan. his ear alone was 8 feet tall!!!!! it was an amazing sight. the original site had two 10 story high pagodas but they burned down in the 1600s.

"filth putting"

saw this sign in the bathroom in the museum in kyoto and had to blog it! gots to love japanese signage!

our first american meal!

sooo yummy! we found a cute little italian place in north east kyoto (we loved that area of town) and had something other than japanese food which was actually a nice change.

the golden pavilion:rokuon-ji temple

called kinkaku, this temple is covered with gold-leaf on japanese lacquer. shoguns lived here and the grounds are beautiful and the same just as it was hundreds of years ago, filled with ponds and tea houses.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

ties in vending machines?

they really do have everything in vending machines!

Our Trip So Far!

So- this is the first time that I have actually been able to sit and blog- and even now I only have a few minutes. These are pics of us in Hakone and Odawara- a trip that all 4 of us could do together. Now, we are in Kyoto and Rose had to work but we miss and love you guys!

a beautiful nite

walking thru osaka @ nite. we r staying in the biz and entertainment district- skyscrapers all around us.

osaka : japan

check out the view of our room here in osaka.

sanjusangendo temple:kyoto

this is one of the oldest temples in kyota where there are a thousand and one buddahs and the woodwork is completely amazing.

kiyomizu temple:kyoto

here is the entrance to about 10 structures-a mix of pagodas, temples and shrines. really amazing views! pics soon to be posted on flickr!

cafe du monde in kyoto!

can u believe we saw this in japan along with the statue of liberty, the golden gate bridge, bourbon street and now this! too funny!

Monday, June 16, 2008

walking sign

dont u love the detail in their signs!

center of our pool area

this doesnt do it justice but here is a pic from the center. there so much more from either side!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

pool at hilton odawara

our pool area is more like an amusement park! here is just part of it...rach relaxing after doing laps in the pool!

view from water side

thanks cil 4 taking these shots! the views r stunning!

last day in odawara

here is a pic of us on our balcony of our room! we are going 2 miss this place!

heading down sauzan:hakone

pic taken from the train going back down the mountain. we just ate black eggs that is supposed to add 7 years on our lives! we r now back in odawara- back 2 hakone tomorrow!

another view of our room:hilton odawara

here is a view from the other way

Saturday, June 14, 2008

view from our room:odawara

we just got to odawara and checked into the hilton, where they upgraded us to this suite! check out our view from one of our 2 balconies! we have an onsen in our hotel!we r now on our way to hakone to hopefully c mt fuji!

they do love 'hello kitty'!

we cracked up when this chick pulled out this huge hello kitty mirror out! ha!

funny purikura

more purikura

purikura: shibuya

we r on the train back to kiba and we just did purikura where u take pictures in this booth and then decorated them with funny icons. this was great fun-4 bucks (or 400 yen) for 30 little pics and a ton of fun!

Cil is here!

we just got done getting cil from the ueno station n heading back to roses! she got here safe and sound!

Ads on handles!

this pic was taken on the subway. i thought ads on the tray tables on airplanes were a stretch!
man, what would i do on the trains without this thing!i would b forced 2 read or something! ha.... miss and love u all

Japanese have manners!

check out this sign. we need this in the states!this was taken on the subway heading towards yoyogi park and then to oeno to go get cil @ 6pm!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Earthquake!!!!!

we just went thru an earthquake here! we all just got up and all of a sudden we could feel the building swaying and the clothes line moving outside! it seemed like it lasted forever. even in the 2 yrs ive been in cali, ive never felt an earthquake before!

Senso-jo Temple : Asakusa


Rach and I went around the imperial palace (not shown) where the emperor lives and then headed over to asakusa to see the 5-storied pagoda and the temple that enshrines the buddhist goddess of mercy. this was a very cool experience-video to come on vimeo!

vending machines around japan

i love the vending machines around tokyo! they are literally everywhere! u can find anything from water to sake and all kinds of food. these saved us a few times!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

r we in new york?

ha! we are actually in odaiba which is on the outskirts of tokyo. we went to the miraikan, the national museum of emerging science and innovation which was 5 floors of amazing technology! the weather is clearing up too- it was a beautiful afternoon!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

rose with her students

arent they cute? they can speak good english too and they are 3!

aeon : toyosu

this is my sister rose and her co-workers brent and marico. we are here in toyosu @ her work aeon. we will be having dinner with her students and co-workers on friday! its so cool to finally see what she does!

view from our room: miyojima

we stayed @ a traditional japanese hotel called a ryokan (more expensive than a regular hotel room). this one had an onsen-hot springs. now isee why these are costly, its like having spa treatment included in ur stay! this is the view from our room-you can see the water, the torri and walk right outside our hotel and shop!

japanese signage: hiroshima station

check out some of these sayings on this poster! too funny! we are now on the shinkasen (bullet train) from hiroshima back to tokyo. its been a long day and we wont get home until after 1am! cant wait to lay down.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Our run in kiba park

rach and riza

Our Trip to Tucson!

This blog post is a little bit late but definitely worth posting nonetheless. Last month, Kevin and I flew to Tucson, where he grew up, to spend some time with his mom and dad. We flew out of LA on a Friday night and took the short flight to Tucson (our first flight together.... I know, we're dorks) and checked into the Embassy Suites. That next morning, we met his mom at her house to go for a hike up Sabino Canyon, part of the Catalina Mountains. I had met Kevin's mom once before and she is a terrific lady! She has a great place close to where we were staying and we hiked for a couple of hours that AM. It was so nice, I saw different terrain and couldn't believe how much life was actually out in the desert! It was a perfect time to come, the cactus were flowering and the weather was hot- but not unbearable! The views were stunning and it was fun to see where Kevin grew up and spend some time with his family- they are all really great. That night, we met his dad at Flemings Steakhouse for a fantastic steak dinner and this was the first time meeting his dad. He was so warm and welcoming and very funny. Now I see where Kevin gets his jokes, his laugh and sense of humor- definitely from his pops. We got to see his dad again the next day for a little bit (we stopped by his house, where Kevin grew up) but hope to spend more time with him on the next trip in! The next day, Shirley (Kevin's mom), Kevin and I went to Mount Lemon and went all the way to the top for lunch (we drove that part, not hiked! It was too far up!). It was weird to see all the ski runs with no snow and the dead trees and motionless ski lifts. At the top of the mountain are a few runs for the locals to do and a nice little ski lodge where you HAVE to eat the homemade chili and get their corn bread- delicious! We spent all morning exploring the cool canyons, babbling brooks where crazy bamboo was growing like wildfire and checking out the amazing views! I could have stayed and wandered around all day. I bet it would be cool to come at night... but there aren't any lights I don't think around.
On Sat night, we also visited my friends Tod and Kenya who are my friends who used to live in New Orleans. It was so surreal going to Tod's house in Tucson... out of all places! It was a nice night with some excellent liquor, sharing old memories and having them meet Kevin. I am glad that we had that time to reconnect. Looking forward to seeing Tod and Kenya again soon-- maybe in September at the Monterey Jazz Festival!It was such a fun weekend and many more to come I hope.