Posts Tagged ‘tokyo’

{ Japan 2009 }

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Where to begin? It felt so good to be back to visit and the trip unfolded beautifully! Being in Japan during the cherry blossom season is really an amazing thing. You go the whole year walking under and passing by trees that you don’t even realize are cherry trees, until spring comes and every tree around you suddenly becomes a bursting spectacle of light pink blooms. They only last a week, and we managed to fly in just as they were reaching their peak and the blossoms were starting to fall (which is the truly magical part!) In addition to soaking in the cherry blossom splendor, we experienced Tokyo’s luminous nightlife, inhaled the most amazing foods (ramen, katsu, okonomiyaki galore!), shopped til we dropped (Japan is definitely the land of colorful scarves – I somehow limited myself to three new additions), saw family and friends, and enjoyed the perfect weather. The humid summers can be brutal and we already know how I feel about cold winters, but the spring weather was juuuust right.

Although I was SO ready to come home 3 years ago after my year of living there, this past week reminded me that I could definitely fall in love with Japan all over again. Can’t wait to go back!

Peeking outside our hotel room, at the fabulous Hotel Pacific Tokyo. Highly recommended if you’re ever in the Tokyo area!

My little sis:

Crepes in Harajuku:

Businessman + Rob + sister on the train:

The flower shops in Japan are amazing! So many cute little plants and the most adorable and whimsical flowers! I SO wished I could pack them ALL in my suitcase and bring them home.

Asakusa:

With my sis & my mom – any resemblance? :)

A part of my heart was definitely left at LOFT – an amazing 6-story home goods store that had everything you could ever need in life:

Ueno Park – we rented a row boat!

In Kamakura we had a scrumptious meal of maguro over rice, cold udon, and mochi tempura. That’s right my friends, MOCHI!!

We landed back in LA on Sunday, took a quick nap, and then jetted off to an engagement session. I’m SO excited to share the images from the session with you – the location was breathtaking and the couple is just the sweetest! Stay tuned!

{ Japan! | Out of Office }

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

I will be flying to Japan in 24 hours and will be out of the office from April 5-12. I won’t have any phone access at this time, but will be checking email as regularly as possible. If anyone is around Tokyo and wants to meet up or is interested in a shoot, let me know! I leave you with a bit of background on my trip and if all goes well, will be updating with pictures and stories during our week there!

Sumeba miyako | “Home is where you make it”

After graduating from college I moved to Japan to live for a year. I lived in Maebashi, a windy little valley city 30 minutes north of Tokyo by bullet train. I was on the JET program, and taught junior high and elementary school students English, which consisted of a lot of holding up flashcards, handing out stickers, and being SO SO thankful that English was my first language (since it is just the most IMPOSSIBLE language to learn ever!)

I had been to Japan to visit before but living there proved to be quite a different experience. I have so so many fond memories and experienced so many adventures (crazy nights in Tokyo, riding my bike along the river by my apartment, picnicking under falling cherry blossoms, climbing Mt. Fuji, the experience of which can definitely be summed up with the famous quote: “one who never climbs Mount Fuji is a fool, but one who climbs twice is twice the fool”!) But when my one year was up, I was definitely ready to come home. For one, winter was cold and long and this California girl was no match for weather that you can’t wear flip flops in. I wore two pairs of pants for 6 months and debated just turning off my fridge and keeping all my food in a box by my doorstep. The language barrier was difficult at times, making things like paying bills, setting up a bank account, having furniture delivered a little awkward (for some reason they don’t teach you vocabulary for setting up your cable in Japanese classes?). Everyone in Japan was so sweet, but I got a little bit tired of being a “foreigner” and always being asked if I knew how to use chopsticks and if I liked sushi. I missed burritos and In-N-Out hamburgers and greasy late night delivery. I missed my family and friends.

It’s been about 3 years since I’ve been back in the states and about 2 years since I started really missing things about Japan. I’m lucky that I live right smack dab in a sushi-munching, ramen-slurping, green-tea-chugging city or it might have happened a lot earlier. I started missing the frantic streets of Tokyo. The hum of trains, the smell of the subway, and all the sleeping bobbing heads inside. The 7-11s on every corner where you could actually buy a delicious lunch at any given hour of the day. I missed the seasons and how they were celebrated so intensely – the leaves in the fall, the cherry blossoms in the spring. And I started missing the people – my host family, the teachers at my school, the students who tried so hard and made me laugh in class everyday. The one student who NEVER paid attention in class, but who tugged on my arm during my last day at school and told me “you can always come back to visit us.” I missed oily ramen and Gusto hamburgers and greasy food at izakayas. I missed my family and friends.

So after 3 years I’m going back. My mom wants to take my sister and I to see our grandmother and it just so works out that Scott and my sister’s boyfriend will be coming as well. “Excited” is an understatement! I feel I can appreciate Japan in a way I never would have if I hadn’t spent the one year there and am so excited to show Scott around, see familiar faces, and load up on delicious food! Will hopefully be updating along the way!

I leave you with a montage of pics from my year there of the river that ran by my apartment…