But such is life. Either way it was an amazing month and I have about 5000 pictures to prove it. It was amazing to get to see my family again and I had soooo much fun traipsing around Japan with them! Below you will find a little sample of things done and interesting anecdotes.
I will start off slightly backwards, with the last night of my parents visit, mostly because the story behind it is hilarious.
By recommendation of my lonely planet book, we decided to get dressed up and head to the Park Hyatt for a drink. Now, if you have seen the movie 'Lost in Translation' you might like to know the Tokyo Hyatt is where it was filmed. Its pretty much the best hotel in Tokyo and the view alone leaves one feeling like they are standing on the edge of the world.
So anyways, we go in and are sitting for a while, when suddenly I notice a guy almost walk into our table. He looked surprised and ducked around us, and me, being insanely observant, thought to myself...hmm...he's kinda cute, but also kinda drunk....hehe
So no sooner does he scoot by our table, then the 2 girls sitting next to us begin to freak out. Still not thinking anything of it, we go about our business. A few minutes later a large entourage of people meander by and one the girls trys to latch onto the guy who almost walked into our table. My Dad, being ever so shy, leans over and asks "who was that??"
Well, wouldn't you know.....With Pirates 3 premiering just 2 days prior in Tokyo, ORLANDO BLOOM was staying at the Hyatt. ARGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Orlando Bloom pretty much walked into us and I didn't even notice!!!!!!
Meaghan and I were obviously quite upset at our lack of observational skills, and determined we WOULD get a picture with him before we left Tokyo.....
We were so cute that night too!!!! Its no fair..... : (
Anyways, we have moved on. Clearly he is just not good enough :P
Ok! So backing up a bit in time....
These next few pics are a sample from our visit to Kyoto...
Gorgeous as always, I think it is impossible to take a bad picture here.
This trip was interesting because we actually met a few local people who toured us around. As amazing as everything is to look as it all means so much more when you actually know the history behind it.
The first person whom we encountered was a University student names Hatsuka who was doing volunteer tours at Kiyomizudera (interestingly, this temple is in the running for one of the "new 7 wonders of the world")
After a failed attempt to spot a Geisha the last time we visited Kyoto, I was on the lookout, and sure enough, at the first temple we visited I managed to see one! We were pretty far, but given the insane shoes they have to wear I figured we would race and catch her. She was nice enough to pose for a shot with us. I have to say, they are amazing people to look at. Its a wonder how they manage to move in all the clothing they have to wear. She was absolutely beautiful though.
As our trip went on we actually spotted quite a few more geisha, each just as amazing looking. Totally made up for my miss last time!!
This next picture is from the Arashiyama area in Kyoto...my favourite place!!! You may remember the monkey video from way back.....that was in this area as well. Its gorgeous and surrounded by water and mountains and temples.....
I'm not even going to try to describe it any further...you should just come see it for yourself.
Ok, moving on to Tokyo. Like I said I have a ton of pictures and these are only a tiny sample to give you an idea of what we were up to...
Ok seriously the coolest sport EVER. I didn't even think it would be that interesting but we ended up staying for almost the entire thing. Its another thing that can't really be explained. In fact I still don't really know the rules, but its interesting to watch. Its all about psyching your opponent out and most of the time there isn't anything more than a staring match or salt throwing going on, but its intense.
This is the biggest paper lantern in Japan, and it is located right in the midst of Tokyo. Apparently one of the only places where modernization has yet to take a huge tole (in Tokyo). This was actually one of the most impressive temples I have seen and rivalled any that we visited in Kyoto. And being in the midst of the largest city in the world only made it all the more intriguing.
The rest of these pictures are from a little trip to Gifu castle, just 20 minutes from Ichinomiya. Ian and I had yet to visit and though the castle left a bit to be desired, the scenery more than made up for it. And being on top of a mountain just made it even cooler. Of course, that will seem only trivial in a week....
Why you say? Because next Saturday we will be going on a 19 km climb up FUJI-SAN!!!!!!!
More on that soon to come!
We aren't sure what was going on here....
Anyways there is lots more to come....more family pics, and our karaoke spree after they left!! Possibly some of the most entertaining shots yet to date...so check back soon!!!
Miss you all!!
Lots of Love