On a weekend in August, Nate and I headed out in search of the famous Heart Rock of Okinawa, located on Kouri Island.
Nate and I took a short flight over to Taipei so we could watch the Pingxi Lantern Festival, one of the top 14 festivals in the world according to Fodor's Travel. We arrived on a Friday night, checked into our hotel, and then set out in search of one of Taipei's many night markets.
After visiting To-ji, we had a quick train ride over to Osaka. We put our bags in a coin locker at the train station near our hotel and headed off to go explore this culinary, modern Japanese city.
Not gonna lie, it was a bit of a rough morning after our big karaoke night #worthit But we got some toast and coffee in us and head out. On our walk to the metro station, we had to do a double take... is that Coy?!? We recognized Coy in the advertisements ALL over this suit store - we couldn't believe it! #quitethefamousmodel #weknowhim Naturally, we freaked out a bit :)
On our 2nd full day in Kyoto, it was Monday, February 6, which meant it was Superbowl 51 time! So I set my alarm and got up early so I could head down to go watch the game at Man in the Moon at Kyoto Station. I ended up seeing this great couple Paige and I had met Saturday night, who recently moved to Japan, and got to enjoy watching the game with them. I enjoyed a nice breakfast of fish n chips, a Guinness, Irish coffee, and a hangover shot to wash it all down (yes, Japan sells hangover shots - this have been put to good use by Nate and I). Paige was finally able to drag her butt out of bed and join me once the game was in overtime :)
While enjoying the game, I met another group of travelers who were also heading to Nara for the day, so we decided to team up and go exploring together! #lovenewfriendsmetinbars
Paige and I decided to head to Kyoto early and made our first stop in the city at Man in the Moon pub at Kyoto station to visit my friend Kei. Nate and I met Kei last time we were in Kyoto (Nov 2015) when we went to Man in the Moon and another bar he worked at, Jelly Bean Rocket - we've kept in touch on Facebook since. #gottalovetechnology
Since it was Saturday night, the bar was pretty packed, but this led to a fun, festive atmosphere. After catching up with Kei, and meeting his new girlfriend :), we were asked if we didn't mind if some people shared our table due to the crowd. #noproblem #themorethemerrier This led to Paige and I sharing some drinks and laughs with some locals - which is always more fun! We got to try some yummy sparkling sake with one couple, and after they left, another was sat at our table. The guy had pretty prayer bracelets and I commented on them. He said he made them and then gave me one! #what?! #peopleherearesonice! I was surprised and happy, and of course, wore my nice, handmade prayer bracelet the rest of the trip. Finally, around 12, we had to catch the last metro to our hostel and settle in for the night.
Paige and I took a quick day trip over to Miyajima, formally known as Itsukushima, literally translates to "shrine island" in Japanese. It is primarily known for it's floating torii gate, ranked one of the 3 best views in Japan. After a quick 45 minute trolley ride and a 10 minute ferry ride, we were greeted by deer walking freely all over the island. Right away, one came up to Paige and tried rummaging for food in her purse. #nosydeer #butstillcute The deer on the island are though of as sacred in the native Shinto religion because they're considered messengers of the gods.
When Paige invited me to come meet her in mainland Japan, one of the first things she said she wanted to see was the famous snow monkeys in Nagano - it has been on my bucketlist since we came over here! #ilovemonkeys #istillwantapetmonkey
So basically this blog is a bunch of monkey pictures from our day trip up to Nagano to see these little guys.
Our Tokyo adventure continued in Harajuku, where we visited the Kawaii Monster cafe. This cafe is an overload of cuteness, color, sweets, and animals. It is supposedly meant to represent the inside of a monster's belly - a monster that has a strict diet of kawaii cuteness. The restaurant is split up into 4 zones of the mushroom disco, milk stand, bar experiment, and the mel-tea room. Even their menu has all types of colorful food and drinks from rainbow spaghetti to rainbow cake and even menu items with the name "color poison cake" #what? #isthatlegal #translatefail
This place was completely overwhelming but in a fantastic way. We enjoyed a little afternoon coffee pick me up and even a got to watch a show performed on the main carousel with the kawaii monster girls!
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!