Some of our friends from when Josh was in the Air Force Academy came to visit us in early March!
We had such a fun and BUSY time, here is a recap of our adventures in a THREE part series! Today is part one, check the bottom for links to part 2 and 3!
One of the first places we went was the Happo-En Tea Garden!
We had a traditional Japanese Matcha Tea ceremony (besides the fact that they let us westerners sit at a table instead of on the ground) and we enjoyed two types of “Matcha Sweets” the first was a bean paste cake and the second was basically solid sugar in the shape of a flower! The tea is supposed to be bitter, and the sweets are supposed to compliment that…
We learned that at the tea ceremony, the server puts the “most beautiful” part of the bowl toward you. When you go to drink, you turn it away from you twice (90 degrees each time) so that this part ends up opposite from where you drink (to show respect).
Luckily we had Ari with us to translate! She set everything up for us (you can make reservations here in advance, but their website says they also take walk-ins) and it made everything so relaxing!
The garden here is BEAUTIFUL and they have a display with all sorts of different bonsai trees, some of which were over 500 years old!
After the Tea Garden, we went to Asakusa (pronounced uh-sack-sa)…
This is the entrance to the shine
The market as you walk to the Sensoji Temple building wayyyyy at the back. It was a little crowded.
Here you can see the smoke from the giant incense burner.
We then walked down the road to see the Asahi Beer Headquarters. The golden thing on top is supposed to represent the foam on top of a mug of beer… but the Japanese refer to it as the “golden poo”
These guys got crepes on the way to Tokyo Tower…
The next day, I had to work in the morning, so here are some pictures Josh took up at the Meiji shrine…
Our Crew 🙂 love this picture!
These are Sake barrels (Japanese Rice Wine)
We had Yakitori (we call it meat on a stick) – but there was much more than meat! We all liked the meatballs on a stick with some sort of cheese/cream sauce… even thought we were unsure about the appearance at first 🙂
Our next adventure was…
We were all so thankful for such a beautiful day to view Fuji! Besides the fact that we accidentally looked up the weather *ON* Mt. Fuji and not at the base so we were WAY too hot! I laugh to think about how much we layered up, prepared gloves, hats, scarves … and then sweat it out all day! You got us this time “The Fuj”… lesson learned.
We parked at Lake Kawaguchiko (one of the Fuji Five Lakes). There is a LOT of FREE parking!! We were amazed! There are also a lot of cute little gift shops here. In the picture above we are on top of the Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway witch you can see from the parking lot next to the lake…
You can also smell a heavenly scent coming from that direction which can be attributed to this…
I got the Earl Grey flavor here! The are like little shortbread cookies, when Josh’s parents were here they got “sakura” flavor ones (cherry blossom flavor) too. I liked mine, but some of our visitors thought they were just ok.
There is also a Japanese Cheesecake place just down the road (where John bought his cake for White Day… but thats another story ❤ ). Japanese Cheesecake is a lot more “cheesy” tasting than what we’re use to in the States … but I like it better!
Here is our gang minus one (we missed you Arissa!)
And that is Part 1 of our adventure!