All posts tagged: japan

sweet treat.

Taste test time! We gathered many treats from Japan and we brought them home for sharing and taste testing. We finally tried them all. First up: Tokyo Banana. These things were everywhere. I had to try one for myself. Opening this box was a delight. It was beautifully packaged. Branding: on point! There are eight Tokyo bananas individually wrapped. They look like Twinkies. They have a Twinkie texture, too, but there’s a legit fresh banana inside! I was surprised – how do they keep that fresh for so long? Sorcery! The banana was covered with a thin layer of sugar glaze, and then somehow placed in a fluffy yellow cake which was subtly shaped like banana. Green tea brownie. The Nagano treat box gift sets are insanely beautiful. Look at this box! The green tea brownies came in a pack of four, and each came with it’s own mini fancy box and mini spoon. The brownie was decadent and I actually enjoyed the green tea flavor on this one. Not too bitter, not too sweet. …

moxy.

I had big dreams for our last day in Japan, but let’s face it – we were so tired from all the non-stop adventuring. Plus, we arranged to stay in a fun hotel on our last night in Tokyo and all I wanted to do was hang out there! First off, they let us check in early – yessss, more time for relaxing. This room was my favorite out of all the places we stayed in Japan. It reminded me of Basecamp in South Lake Tahoe. The bed was so comfy, and we got two pillows each – every where else gave us one tiny pillow each. The style minimalist, but way cute, and a lovely light shined in. Also, I finally got to watch some Japan TV. The best part though – the bed has a built-in night light that senses when you get up when it’s dark. It lights up at the foot of the bed and then automatically shuts off. Gimme one of those! When there is foosball, we play! I love …

tokyo farmers market.

The Tokyo Coffee Festival we visited happened to be next to a farmers’ market, and you know how much I love farmers’ markets! This one was held at the United Nations University campus in Aoyama. There were a handful of vendors – lots of veggies and fruit, local honey, flowers and plants, and food trucks. Everything was perfectly packaged, neatly organized, and super adorable. Look at the carrots! Why are they so chubby and cartoon-like? Also spotted: wasabi! Yay, produce! Where are some of your favorite farmer’s markets? Share below!

bike | bloom

This is a simple post. It’s about Tokyo bikes and flowers. We visited in the Springtime so all the blooms were majorly beautiful, and I was fascinated by all the bikes parked outside without locks (it’s honest there). Here are a few snaps from our stroll through Taito City and Sumida City in Tokyo. Enjoy. Shoutout to the simple things in life! Do you stop to photograph flowers, too? 🙂

coffee, tea, treats.

For someone who doesn’t drink coffee I had my share in Japan. The coffee scene is on fiah and the attention to detail makes the experience so much more special. A few coffee (and tea!) explorations to follow. My favorites were the spots with coordinating tiny treats. & Coffee by Maison Kayser was one of our first stops. Hubby had an espresso; I had a lavender milk tea. We also ordered a pain du chocolate and our beverages came with little chocolate treats. It was quiet when we arrived (before 8AM on a Saturday). This was our in-between spot after sushi breakfast and before Itoya shopping. We heard about the Toyko Coffee Festival from a local magazine ~ I like to pick those up from airports; sometimes you get lucky with ideas. En route, we ran into a cousin-in-law who at the time lived in San Diego – so random! So we all tasted cups of brew together. There were over a dozen coffee vendors, mostly from the Tokyo/Kyoto area, but also a few international …

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 …