Honeymooners: Flights, Family and Ferris Wheels

During traditional tea ceremony and kaiseki, or traditional Japanese dinner, I was slamming down matcha like it was nobody’s business. I ended up wired & blogging about Cherry Blossoms, Kiyomizu-dera, bamboo forests and monkey parks until the sun nearly came up and I got very little sleep, so I was thankful that we had nothing but packing and heading for the airport planned for the day–which wasn’t until the evening. The one thing I hadn’t done that was crucial was some wandering.

Westin Kyoto view

the view from our room in Kyoto, Japan

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Honeymooners: Fushimi Inari Shrine and Japanese Street Food

Our first order of business on day three was to get our butts over to Fushimi Inari Shrine. This shrine is in honor of Shinto, the God of Rice, and if you’re married to an Asian like I am, you’d totally understand why this shrine would just HAVE to be a big deal. It’s one of several thousand shrines dedicated to the god, but by far the most important. Though we arrived early, it was crowded right away.

Shinto God of Rice, Tea Ceremony, Traditonal Japanese meal (4 of 51)

Shinto God of Rice, Tea Ceremony, Traditonal Japanese meal (1 of 51) Continue reading

Honeymooners: Kyoto Cherry Blossom Viewing, Philosopher’s Path & Kiyomizu-dera

Technically, day one of our honeymoon was when we arrived at Kansai International Airport in Osaka. We were completely disconnected from the modern luxuries that allow us to stay out of panic and not get lost when Mark and I realized that I completely failed to write down the address of our hotel–in English or Japanese–which was a good 102 kilometers away. (To Americans like me, I’ll save you the Googling: 63 miles!) We took the train according to my half-finished notes, found ourselves in Kyoto station, and I found myself nearly hyperventilating as we tried to figure out how we were going to navigate this city based on my half-finished notes. Always a problem solver, I managed to find tourist information and a shuttle service to Westin Miyako Kyoto.

It was about 6 p.m. Kyoto time when we were in our hotel room, but about 4 a.m. Houston time. Though I had slept for hours upon hours on the plane, I still was exhausted and promptly PASSED OUT with the lights on.

Our first full day, however, was far more eventful and without any panic. (PHEW!) Continue reading

Homemade Sushi in Houston: No Class Required!

I’ve failed to mention it thus far, but Mark and I have our honeymoon booked. We’re heading out to visit his father and extended family in Manila and a couple of other Philippine Islands, but on the way we’re stopping for five days in Kyoto, Japan.

In my research for things to do in Japan, I found classes on how to make sushi. It seemed like an awesome idea: I’d learn how to make it the legit way, from REAL Japanese people. How cool, right?! But come to find out, I don’t need a class at all. And neither do you! We have resources here in Houston, and it is SO simple to make sushi, the hardest part is stepping out of your comfort zone. Continue reading