Thank you for all of you who left comments in my
posts/sent me emails while I was in Japan/snatched
some fabrics from my etsy shop early in January.
I'm so sorry I have been gone for such a long time.
I love blog land - I really enjoy writing and reading
blogs and communicating with my online friends through
emails and flickr, but while I was in Japan, I made it
a point to spend as much time as possible with my
family and friends who I don't get to see very often,
which meant for me to spend little time on computer.
The Japan trip that lasted for a little over a whole month
ended a few days ago, and both Joe and I are trying to
catch up with stuff here and there, and to get over jet lag.
Just like any other times I come back from Japan,
I am feeling homesick. My life in the US is great, but I
can't help but keep thinking about how nice
it would be if I could move back to Japan with Joe where
I have my family and friends close by. I know that's such
a selfish idea. I should feel just fine and normal as I
get back to my normal life here. I'm sorry for bringing
up my negative thought to my blog where it should be
all about fun and happy crafting. Anyway, I want to
share with you lots of pictures from the trip today.
Separate from this post, I will have three more posts
about the Japan trip - 1) Tokyo Quilt Festival, 2)
Suzuko Koseki Project, 3) Fabric and zakka finds + etsy sales.
Today's post is probably the most boring of all, because
it won't have anything to do with zakka or crafts but
my personal stuff, so please feel free to skip or
just look though just the photoes, etc :)
It was Joe's 4th Japan trip. He had always been
my boyfriend but on this trip he was my husband :)
He probably likes Japan more than I do lol.
I have to introduce three cats who live with
my parents. I've done it before, but maybe it is
the first time to see them for most of you.
This is a Scottish Fold cat named Oto. He likes
to check out what we've been eating like this.
His favorite food is Edamame (soybeans). You can't
have an edamame dish on the table without him
trying to snatch it up from you. He is so cute!
Blacky, who is probably the most popular among the
three. He loves to be near you and meow at you
if you call his name while purring. Very sweet.
Shiro, who isn't as friendly as other cats, but
loves to get attention. When someone visits,
he is the first one to go to the door and show
visitors how he can roll his back to the floor.
Such a sensitive and shy boy.
For the new year, we went to visit seven temples
in Tokyo, each of them supposedly corresponding
to a god in "Seven Gods of Luck" which is one of the
traditional things to do early in January in Japan.
Joe was learning to read Japanese characters, so
we let him guide us with the map that has only
Japanese. He was so excited to do this!
But to tell the truth, we visited only six of them.
The last one had such a long line which made my
dad want to go home. lol.
On the way back, we stopped by a traditional
Japanese restaurant where we had an alive spiny
lobster. Poor lobster, he was still alive
after all his meat is gone.
Oh this is absolutely random but I wanted to
share with you how Japanese milk/juice packages
look like at a convenient store. After I posted
about the milk carton block, I received many
emails, especially from Europe that had
their local milk cartons pictures attached.
(Thank you for that!) I truly enjoyed seeing them,
so I thought you might enjoy discovering Japanese ones too!
Or is it only me who is this crazy about cartons?
Shameless, lol. What a mess we made in my parents' house.
We made a big mess in the small monthly apartment
in Tokyo which we stayed at for 8 nights too.
While we were staying here, Joe worked in
Shinjuku for a week and that was the best
time for me to go fabric shopping alone.
By the time we left here, I had waaaaay too
much fabric for the luggage we brought,
so I ended up buying a new suitcase to
fill it with just fabric. You have no idea
how annoyed Joe was when he came back
from work on Friday and saw the new suitcase
awaiting him to carry. lol. sorry, Joe!
We stopped by Edo-Tokyo Museum which seems to
be a pretty popular tourist spot for foreigners,
because there are English descriptions for each
exhibition and volunteers who can explain things
in English. Joe enjoyed learning the history in
edo period in Japan while I had fun looking at
and taking photos of artistic exhibitions.
Behind Joe is a very traditional thing for the new year.
In the middle is a lady's face with huge cheeks called
"Otafuku." I used to be very chubby as a kid and my chubby
cheeks were even chubbier back then. I had someone
who said her face looks like mine. How appropriate is that? LOL
What you'll find at every tourist spot in Japan are
souvenir shops. I found these bento box-looking
candies very adorable - couldn't help shooting a photo!
I wasn't expecting anything like this, but we were
so lucky to have some folks celebrating our wedding
with a little surprise - this cake from my friend Koto's
family was one of them. I 'met' Koto through Japanese
blogs and we became really good friends in real life.
Since Joe and I decided not to have a formal wedding
ceremony, it was our very first ever experience to
cut a cake together. What a nice surprise! Thank you, Koto!!
Maybe you can't tell from looking at what these
people are wearing but this day was SO COLD!
We were hanging out with my friends in Tokyo,
and the only thing we could think of to do is
to head over a hot spring called Spa LaQua that
is located next to Tokyo Dome where the quilting
festival took a place (I'll blog about it later ;) )
At my friend's place, we had a little sushi party
that night. I love hanging out with these girls.
We chatted until 3 am. It's so nice to have friends
like them that I feel so comfortable and happy with
who are so nice to have us stay at their places
every time we are in Japan.
A few days later, we were back to my parents'
house in Gunma. One of the first things we did
was to go Strawberry pick up with my cousin.
She is the same age as mine, and we grew up
together like real sisters.
These strawberries were the sweetest ever!
I was so excited to munch on tons and tons
of fresh strawberries, but they were a lot more
filling than I expected! In just first 15 min,
we were all full. It was lots of fun though!
One of the biggest events on this trip was
a trip to Okinawa that is a little island located about
two and a half hours by plane from Haneda airport in Japan.
This is a place my parents took their honeymoon.
They gifted us this trip and later decided to
come along with us. So I guess I can say this
was our honeymoon also..?
Last time I had visited Okinawa was over 10 years ago
when I was in high school. Lots of things looked
very different from the past and fresh.
I really enjoyed this dolphins and whales show.
This made me miss Sea World in San Diego.
I LOVED the place!
Okinawa is much warmer than the main land in Japan,
so pineapples are something Okinawa is famous for.
We stopped by Nago Pineapple Park where we got to see
may different kinds of pineapple plants. It was fun!
My mom was so happy to see cherry blossoms there.
It's usually around April when you can expect
cherry blossom tree blossoming in the main land,
but it is a bit earlier in Okinawa.
Joe wasn't as excited as my mom about cherry blossom,
so he was experimenting with goldfish at a vendor nearby.
Toward the end of the Japan trip was really busy.
We had our professional wedding photos taken
and a informal wedding party with just families.
This photo was taken when we were trying out
our traditional Japanese wedding clothing.
My mom is pretty laid-back and easygoing who
lets me make decisions about most things, so
I was surprised when she begged us to take
professional wedding photos. I guess it means
a lot to parents to see their kid getting married.
The warmth of my parents made me feel very good.
I let my mom pick my kimono and Joe's clothing
(called Monpuku) was chosen accordingly to match my kimono.
And here is a picture taken by a camera man
with my camera. On my finger are an engagement
ring and a wedding ring passed on from Joe's
great grandmother. I know I am so lucky.
Here is a western version of our wedding photos.
When Joe tried out the tuxedo, he looked amazingly
amazing and everyone applauded. I am wearing a
purl necklace my mom gave me to celebrate our wedding.
A few days later, we had a small informal wedding
party where we invited families only. Joe had seen
most of these people, but there were some people
who hadn't seen Joe, so it was really nice to
introduce him to them. A funny thing at this party
was that there were several people who totally mixed
me and my sister up. One of my sisters
(the second from the left) looks a lot like me
according to many folks. I even saw my uncle
congratulating her, making her feel... um..what? lol
After the wedding party was a get-together at
my cousin's house. Guys drunk and girls chatted.
The last trip we took while we were in Japan was
Ikaho hotspring in Gunma. It was definitely the
coldest weather we experienced in last few years.
The Cleansing fountain over there was totally frozen.
It was nice to see the steam coming from
a hotspring river though.
It was way too cold to do anything so we hung
out at a cafe while Joe went up a mountain
to take some pictures - this is one of them.
Ok, I am getting tired of writing now so you
must be really tired of reading this LOL!
Thank you to all of you who took the time to
read/look at this post :) Come back to see
photos from Tokyo Quilt Festival next week :)