Page 2 of katybug Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Miyajima March 20th 2014

Miyajima Island is called "shrine island" because of the bulk of its fame resting in the "floating" torii (red gate) and shrine built into and on the water on the beach. It's not far from Hiroshima - only a 40 minute train ride and a 10 minute ferry - and tends to shut down completely after 5 pm. There are some ryokans to stay in on the island, but I did the commute thing for a day trip out to see the famous sites. It was easy to get to the ferry and from there, easy to get around the island itself. Deer roam freely through the streets, and I took some funny photos of them trying to get into a shop, and hanging out in a toilet on the mountain (later), and I made a ... read more

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima March 19th 2014

I woke up feeling ready to tackle the day after my first night's stay (though my hostel was wonderful and comfortable, a reoccurring issue with hostels in general is the other guests and how loud they are). I had an itinerary planned out so that I knew what I wanted to do, and my main reason for going to Hiroshima was to visit the peace museum and atomic bomb-related memorials. Since I'd walked through the remains of a concentration camp in Germany, I knew I wanted to do this to round out my World War II visitations, and to make sure that I never forgot the horrible things that humans can do to other humans. It's important never to let history die, lest we risk making the same mistakes again. Seeing as how Japan is my ... read more

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima March 18th 2014

Because I have three weeks off between school years, I decided to take a vacation completely by myself to see part of the country that I really wanted to get the chance to visit. I journeyed down to Hiroshima via shinkansen, a journey that still amazes me sometimes looking at how far I can go in just four hours after doing nothing but getting on a train. It's convenient, but very pricey, but it's worth it to not have to get on a plane to make that trip, I think. I set out pretty early and arrived in Hiroshima around 1pm, so I had the rest of the day to do some stuff around the city. The first thing I did was get lost (of course), but this is where having a smart phone really comes ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kanagawa February 11th 2014

It's been awhile since I did anything, mostly due to the weather - February is traditionally the coldest (and most miserable) time of the year, and this year was no exception: snow, snow, snow! It snowed twice here, which is perhaps higher than average, and the second snow was a record-breaking amount that ended up finishing at the most snowfall in 45 years. Tokyo traditionally does NOT get much snow, due to its positioning on the eastern coast of the country, so the ability to actually remove snow does not exist. As such, it was a slushy, slick, and not very fun few days while we waited for the majority of it to melt. But I did get some photos of the whiteness before it faded away. The snow also had the dubious timing of our ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kanagawa January 1st 2014

Happy New Year's, everyone! New Year's in Japan is quite different from Western traditions. Instead of parties and standing in the street, it's a family-oriented holiday, where most people travel to their home town to spend the holidays with their families (usually the parents). There is special food eaten during the holidays, as well, and a few other traditions to ring in the new year. As this was my first NYE in Japan (I was in America last year for it), I got to do a lot of fun things for the first time. For NYE, we decided that instead of going out and being surrounded by strangers, in the cold, without a guaranteed way home since trains ran later but not all of them and still ours didn't run all night, we would have a ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kanagawa » Yokohama December 18th 2013

As it's nearing the Christmas holidays and I am pretty sure only my family regularly reads this travel blog, I thought I would take just a little while to talk about Japan, life, and not seeing my family back home during this X-mas season. :) Life in Japan is both different and also just life - just living, day to day, and creating relationships and memories and enjoying every day. I am sad that I won't be able to see my family in America for Christmas, and I miss them dearly, but it was simply too expensive to go home again (with a ticket hitting nearly $1500). And since there is no current answer in sight for "when will you come home for good?" which is a question that I hear often but wish I didn't ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo December 2nd 2013

Since I know my family reads this and probably want to be kept up to date with things, here's my Thanksgiving entry - so there's a lot of stuff thrown in here. My friend Kelly and I actually had TWO Thanksgiving events: one on the 23rd and one on the 28th. We shared the Thanksgiving traditions with many of our Japanese friends, and it was very fun. On the 23rd, we cooked (and had help from said friends) and made stuffing, mashed potatoes, ham & gravy, and cranberry sauce, along with pumpkin pie we had bought from a local bakery. It was so much fun! The day we went into Azabu-Juban in Tokyo to get the necessary stuff is when we took the pictures of Tokyo Tower. Not much by way of autumn colors nearby it, ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Hachioji November 21st 2013

Not too exciting, since I visit Mt. Takao all the time, but I went last year to see the autumn foliage and wanted to make sure I went this year, too. Originally I had planned to go with Jocelyn, but she ended up bailing so I was sort of at a loss when I would take my trip when my friend Kelly said she was going the very day I was scheduled to go with another friend, Rie. Must have been fate!! Therefore, the three of us ended up traveling together and had a very wonderful time seeing the colors, eating dango, and buying good luck charms at the temple on our trip. ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Yamanashi » Fuji Five Lakes October 31st 2013

Due to a school festival, I ended up with a six day weekend on the last weekend in October. Since Rani normally has Mon-Tues off, she took Sat-Sun off and we got a four-night trip, Friday night through Tuesday afternoon, to do some exploring in this great country. This means we could go a little bit further than normal; it also meant that we were going to see the beginning of some fall colors at higher elevations. Clearly, this meant that we should take a four-day trip to the Fuji Five Lakes area, so we did! Of course, we came in during typhoon rains, since it's typhoon season here. That was unfortunate, but the worst of it was Friday when we arrived anyway, and it was too late to be a night where we were actually ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Saitama » Kawagoe October 1st 2013

I had today off because it was "Tokyo Citizens Day", so Rani and I went to check out Kawagoe, or "Little Edo", which was supposedly a half hour away from central Tokyo. Well, given our location and that by "central Tokyo" they meant Ikebukuro (which is not central Tokyo lol), it actually took us closer to an hour and a half to get there. Still, we left early enough that it was alright, and we were excited to see what the area had in store. Getting off at Kawagoe Station put us nowhere near the area we wanted to be, so we did some walking, which certainly wasn't bad. The weather was gray and it kept intermittently raining, but it wasn't enough to be really annoying and it WAS enough to keep the big crowds away. ... read more
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