In the past 6 years that James and I have been together, we've traveled a lot both on our own and with our families. While we love getting away together for 3 day weekend trips, we haven't gotten a chance to travel overseas together yet. This year, we finally made it happen and planned a 2 week trip to Japan!
P.S. if you're wondering how we took these photos together, you can check out this post for tips on taking vacation photos :)
We visited both Kyoto and Tokyo, and decided that Kyoto would be the better place to start since we were planning on shopping while we were in Tokyo. Since it was only 2 of us, finding an Airbnb in both cities was really easy. It's a little tougher with more people since most of the Airbnbs are really small. We saved a lot of money booking Airbnbs as well as using our Suica Card and JR Pass for public transportation. We were also able to get around a lot easier thanks to the pocket Wi-Fi we rented (everything was purchased through the Suica Card website). Both Kyoto and Tokyo are relatively English friendly compared to the smaller towns in Japan, so that also helped us get around.
I absolutely loved taking photos in Kyoto! There was so many great nature spots and temples-- I think I took most of my photos there. While we were there, it snowed! As someone who grew up in Southern California, I was, of course, FREEZING. I wore so many layers: thermals, sweater, jacket, scarf, hat, you name it! Luckily, there were a few days where it wasn't too cold, so I didn't have to feel like a snow man the whole trip. Here are some of the highlights from Kyoto!
So sad that we don't get these beautiful red trees in Los Angeles. Wishing we experienced the colorful seasons!
As you can see, the colorful trees always catch my eye-- the yellow leaves are so beautiful :)
I love all the colors from their temples!
All the walking was pretty tiring, but it was worth it to see everything :)
This looks like it could be a wallpaper!
Even though cold weather is not my thing, I think visiting in December was worth it to see all the Christmas lights. As you know, bokeh from the lights is my favorite!
One of my favorite things was seeing all the cute animals.
I look happy, but I was also freezing!
Fun fact: Japan actually has really good pasta!
This Kimono Forrest was at one of their train stations. Wish our Metro stops were decorated like this.
In the left photo, it looks like my camera was dusty, but those white spots are snow!
We only saw Mt. Fuji from the train, but it was so beautiful.
This was when we headed off to Tokyo. I bought all of my souvenirs while we were there. My favorite thing about Tokyo was all the food and activities. Some of the highlights were visiting the Ramen Museum, Tokyo Skytree Aquarium, Trick Art Museum, seeing fireworks at the Rainbow Bridge, the Ueno Zoo, and a cat cafe in Harajuku! Here are some of the highlights in Tokyo :)
The ramen museum was a noodle lover's dream come true.
Can you believe that their aquarium had this beautiful light crystal palace?
I've never been to a trick art museum, but I think I definitely need to check out some more.
We didn't plan to see fireworks, but happened to be visiting the Rainbow Bridge on their last night of the firework show.
This temple is where we spent New Years. I loved all the food stands and festivities that were there :)
We didn't plan to go to the Ueno Zoo because we thought we had zoos in the US, but it was worth it.
I didn't think we would see a cherry blossom tree since they bloom in spring, but we got lucky to see one while we were there.
My favorite thing was making friends with this cat that I wrapped up in a blanket at the cat cafe. We're both dog people, but these cats might have changed our minds!
The penguin is the Suica Card mascot.
So sad we had to leave, but we hope to visit Japan again soon!