In early June, I spent a week in Japan on a family vacation. The bulk of our vacation was spent in the Mt. Fuji/Lake Kawaguchi area, but first, we had a few days to explore Tokyo!
In February, I was lucky to have the opportunity to spend 10 days in Japan. Although that isn't a very long time, it was enough for me to notice some interesting differences between Japan and the US.
I was in Japan for only about 10 days, but one thing that my aunty really wanted for me to do while I was in Japan was to get photos taken wearing a kimono.
After an amazing trip to Nagano, Dad and I continued our Japan adventure in Kyoto, the former capital of Japan. We also wanted to visit nearby Nara, famous for the wild deer that roam the streets. We ended up doing both Kyoto and Nara, and I'm glad we did, because I really wanted to see some historic sites and play with deer and I got my wish!
Dad, Aunty and I went to the Nagano prefecture to see the snow monkeys. This could have been done as a day trip, but to give ourselves a little time to relax, we booked a night's stay at a ryokan, or Japanese-style inn. It was a great opportunity to experience Japanese living and hospitality, and is one of me favorite memories from Japan.
It's a Japanese macaque monkey soaking in the hot springs and playing with a (presumably stolen) phone. These monkeys inhabit a park called Jidokudani ("Hell's Valley", named for the cliffs and the hot steam that rises from the water). When it's cold, they like to soak in the onsen (hot springs) that were built for them. I mean, come on... I had to check them out for myself!
One of my requests for food in Japan was tonkotsu ramen, a noodle soup with broth made from pork bones. Aunty and her husband took me to a small ramen shop on the outskirts of Tokyo.