All posts filed under: Explore.

bamboo.

One of my favorite outings in Japan was our Arishiyama adventure day! We got up early to visit the famous Bamboo Grove! There is the main path with crazy tall bamboo – the one that is highly photographed. I wonder how old the bamboo is here. It seems they preserve a lot of the bamboo grove, but there are also areas where they grow and harvest the bamboo for building and craft material. We took our time taking it all in; it was so peaceful. You know us and crowds though – we left as soon as it got hard to take a photo without a photobomber. But not before having a panda photoshoot. 🙂 Ahh, where do you like to explore on vacay? In the natures? Share below!

temples and towers.

I’m not one for crowds, but sometimes you just have to see something. I wanted to visit at least one temple in Japan because they are a big part of the culture (and also because I wanted a goshuin temple book!) and at least one trip to the top of a tower to get panoramic views of Tokyo. We visited the Sensoji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo. The buildings are massive, and so are the crowds. I enjoyed admiring all the architectural details and taking in the history. Plus, learning about temple traditions, like the chozuya where you purify yourself with a water ceremony before approaching a shrine. My favorite part though was finding where they stamp your temple books and getting my first stamp! Each temple or shrine has their own custom mark. At Sensoji Temple they take your book to the back for stamping. Mysterious… The only other temple we visited was in Nagano. We passed through the Zenko-ji Temple en route from sakuras to miso ice cream. We weren’t planning to …

itadakimasu.

I travel for the food. How about you? Drool with me now; it’s time for my Japan food recap! Itadakimasu! Sushi for breakfast, Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo This is what dreams are made of. We woke up at 11:30PM Friday and waited until the Tsukiji Fish Market opened at 7AM Saturday. Yaa, we had reverse jet lag. Before breakfast we strolled the Kachidoki Bridge for some just-after-sunrise views. I had the maguro salmon don (left) and Hubby had a kaisen don (right), plus miso soup with a big helping of seaweed. That’s wassup. That fish was fressssh. And I am obsessed with sushi rice. Noodles for breakfast, Rokurisha, Tokyo I’m a big fan of being able to eat out somewhere I can have rice or noodles for breakfast. And if there’s a place open by 10AM in the States I am a super fan. It took Hubby and I a while to find the tsukemen (dipping ramen) restaurant on our must-list because buildings in Tokyo are confusing. I saw a line and no English restaurant …

sakura.

I went to Japan! Kicking off Japan posts today. 🙂 My number one reason to go to Japan in the Springtime: to see the sakura (cherry blossoms)! I followed the 2019 Sakura forecast on the interwebs and picked Nagano as my prefecture of choice for spotting the blooms (it worked out with the dates we were able to travel). I monitored the forecast up until we left for Japan, just in case we had to change any trips. The timing was perfect! We spotted so many different types of sakura. Here’s where we went: Garyu Park, Suzaka, Nagano, Japan The trees weren’t fully bloomed yet, but it was still worth the trip because the park was so peaceful. The reflection on the water made for some postcard-worthy shots. We enjoyed food on sticks from a local vendor and strolled around the pond. Ueda Castle, Ueda, Nagano, Japan Here, the trees were in full bloom. So impressive! We arrived in the afternoon so it was a bit crowded with both tourists and locals, but it was …

oh hi.

En route to Craftcation I pit stopped in Ojai for total fangirl moments! This was only my second time ever driving from Northern to Southern California on my own and my first time taking the ‘back freeway’ to Ojai – what an adventure! I almost drove the whole way non-stop, except I saw a vista and stopped for a photo. 🙂 When I finally made it to Ojai, I had three stops on my list (besides gas and a potty break!). First stop: Summer Camp. This store is so fun! I love that it’s filled with wanderlust goods (gimme all the things) and items made locally, I love the mural out back and the cacti that surround the grounds, and I love that this spot used to be a gas station (it still has the structure). Oh, oh, and I love that Ojai pun “oh hi.” I picked up one of their oh hi sweaters, plus a card and a locally made rope basket. Eee! My second stop was the Farmer and the Cook for …

las vegas: art and design.

This year’s girls trip brought me and my friend to Las Vegas. I used to visit a lot as a kid (my grandma liked celebrating birthdays here). I never really understood why people liked to come back, but now I realize it’s because you can’t possibly see the whole thing in one weekend. It’s like Disneyland. On this trip I was really fascinated by all the newer casino designs and attention to detail, and all the art! Here’s my Las Vegas Art and Design Lookbook! Our Hotel (Planet Hollywood) Even the tub tile was art. Chandeliers We spent a lot of time in the Cosmopolitan because they had all the food we were interested in consuming. But I’d stay for the chandeliers! Hotel Lounges The Cosmopolitan also had this cute Alice in Wonderland themed lounge. We spent two meal times here. My favorite detail: the cat on the ceiling. Ceilings, Walls, and Floors Make sure to look up, down, and all over for design inspo. Shopping This is by far my favorite H&M. There was …

good morning, lakeshore.

I love being a local tourist! Here’s a quick Saturday morning guide to the Lakeshore neighborhood in Oakland as explored by me and my crafty friend Angel and her littles! There are a number of food places in the area, but we brunched at Shakewell for some Mediterranean cuisine. They’ve got fun things on their menu like fried chicken and churros, chilaquiles, and shakshuka. Just a short trot south is the Grand Lake Farmers Market, where there is a bounty of fresh produce, prepared foods, music and dance, and knife sharpening services! And what maker friend weekend hangs would be complete without a trip to a shop that carries locally-made items? We visited Bay-Made which is filled with lots of plants, art, and home and body goods. We even spotted some of our maker friends’ goods in the shop. There’s lots more to see and eat in the area; you can discover and enjoy a lot of fun finds in just a couple of hours!