I haven’t blogged as much I would have liked to these past two weeks. It was a bit of a whirlwind traveling with my parents: up and out rather early each morning to sightsee and taking lots of trains all over to different cities. In under two weeks we managed to visit Tokyo, Nikko, Kyoto, Shimoichi (where my sister lives), Hiroshima/Miyajima and Osaka. Phew! It was a lot, but if you ask my mom she’d say that we didn’t do enough. I had such a fun time seeing different parts, from busy streets of Tokyo to the picturesque island of Miyajima which is inhabited by tons of tame but hungry deer. Traveling with the parents was cool – and not just because we got sweet hotels (well of course that was a perk!) Japan is so different from Europe or other countries that my parents visit, and so it was a learning experience. There really isn’t much English around, most times you’ll find a sign that reads MAP or INFORMATION but then you can’t decipher places or streets because the only English was the title. Also, half the time we had to just guess about the food we were eating. We weren’t always right. Neefs has been a good tour guide, telling us all about the traditions and foods in each area and using her beginner language skills to translate whatever she can. She’s still learning but she still helped out big time! My parents left for home yesterday, even though my mom wanted to stay and backpack. It was fun having the family reunited again – that hasn’t happened for close to two years I think? And Neefs and I are both spending the holidays in home sweet home SoCal too.
Golden Shrine and Imperial Palace in Kyoto
Right about now a plane has just landed carrying one groggy, clueless American boy: Timmy is in the house! Japan, brace yourself. I don’t know how I managed to convince my best friend to fly out and travel with me but it’s happening. It’s his fist time traveling internationally and I’m also clueless about Japan so this should be interesting. We’ll be backpacking together for the 2 weeks that he’s in town – I’m sure I’ll have lots of great stories to report back. :) We’re heading to the island of Kyushu tomorrow! I think, anyway – I still have yet to book tomorrow’s hostel. Goodbye sweet fancy hotels, its back to backpacking for meee!