July 16th, 2009 Posted in Travel | No Comments »


In addition to the art museum, another must see while we were in Kanazawa, was Kenroku-en. Touted as one of the top three gardens in Japan, we were told it was something that we couldn’t, rather shouldn’t, miss. So, we went.

While I’m not sure that I agree that it is the most spectacular garden that we’ve been to, it all seemed a bit dried out and there was a lot of work going on on the Monday that we visited, it was definitely worth a stop and a wander.




Heart in Tree


Garden Pond

Gravity-fed Fountain


Stone Lantern

Anniversary Travel

July 9th, 2009 Posted in Travel | No Comments »

This weekend we found ourselves in Kanazawa celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary. Six Years!!

One of the highlights of the trip was an afternoon spent at the modern art museum. Originally we simply went into the museum to escape the warmth of the afternoon sun, but it ended up being one of the highlights of the trip. And here’s why . . .


Where else could you get the chance to ride a tricycle like this, through the halls of the museum?!

Danielle in the Trike

Serious Business

Breaking the Rules?

Aaron and I had a lot of fun on the bikes, and many Japanese people really enjoyed watching us. So much so that the following day we were spotted at another tourist attraction by someone that watched us on the bikes. She came up to say hello and told us that she saw us. I know that we are conspicuous, but I didn’t realize we were that conspicuous. I guess . . . foreigners, with an incredibly cute and popular baby, riding giant trikes through a museum.

Of course, there were other cool things at the museum as well. Most of which couldn’t be photographed, but we did get a few shots of things that could be.

The Pool



This was a pretty fun piece. In the courtyard of the museum, there is a swimming pool. The water is on top of a piece of glass and is fun because you can look down and it seems like the people are under the water, then you can go underneath and look up and out at the people above. So much fun.


Then there was this enormous labyrinth made entirely from salt. Don’t sneeze!


And I absolutely loved this mural and the cool matching rocking chairs. A perfect place to sit down and take a little rest.

Haiku Posting

May 29th, 2009 Posted in Haiku Posting, School Life, Takayama | No Comments »

I have not posted.
Summer heat brings an idea,
Haiku Posting!

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Ghibli Museum

February 27th, 2009 Posted in Tokyo, Travel | No Comments »

One place on our list of places to visit since before we came to Japan was the Studio Ghibli Museum. Now that our time is starting to wear down, it is becoming more important that we visit the spots sooner rather than later. So, just about two weeks ago Aaron and I hopped on the shinkansen (oh, shinkansen, how I will miss you) and made our way up to Tokyo.

We were only spending one night, two days and we wanted to make the most of our time. We splurged on a nice place in Shinjuku, a very central area of Tokyo. We bought advance tickets to Cirque de Soleil (more on that another day) and to the musuem. Actually, you have to buy tickets in advance for the museum because they regulate the number of visitors each day and during each time slot to ensure the enjoyment of each visitor. If the place was too crowded it would be unmanageable and a lot less fun.

The entire museum is dedicated to the work and art of our favorite Japanese animator, Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is notorious around Japan for the films he has made. The intended audience of his films varies from small children through adults, and the stories are well-crafted enough that almost anybody can enjoy them. One of my personal favorites, and perhaps the most popular in Japan, is “My Neighbor Totoro.” So, I couldn’t help but get my picture taken next to the giant Totoro at the museum.

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January 8th, 2009 Posted in Fukuoka, Travel | No Comments »

Whenever you travel anywhere in Japan, the Japanese will always remind you what that place is famous for, and upon your return they will surely ask you whether you experienced that particular famous thing (whether visiting or eating). So, before we went to Kyushu we were given a long list of things that we simply must do. For example, Fukuoka is famous for ramen, so we knew we had to try it. Nagasaki is famous for castella (a type of cake), so we would eat that as well.

Fukuoka is also famous for Dazaifu Tenman-gu, a Shinto Shrine that is frequently visited by students, hoping to gain wisdom and success for their entrance examinations. So, we knew we wanted to go there as well. After all, we could all use a little extra wisdom.

Dazaifu is about an hour train ride out of Fukuoka and a perfectly pleasant place to spend a half-day or so. We did visit the shrine, but after that we found something which we thought was a little more spectacular.

A short walk away is Komyozenji, a Zen temple famous for having the one-and-only dry garden in Kyushu. Aaron and I have always been a fan of these types of gardens, and this one was no exception. Even in the middle of winter, an ordinarily gray and bleak time of year to visit a garden, it was still a peaceful and beautiful place.

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Buddhist Statue Men

December 13th, 2008 Posted in Kyoto, Travel | No Comments »

While visiting fall in Kyoto a few weeks ago, I happened upon this little area that was just jam-packed with all these statues of various men doing and holding various things. It was outside of one of the temples that we visited, forgive me, I can’t remember the name at the moment (I totally blame the pregnancy – I can’t seem to remember anything these days).

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December 3rd, 2008 Posted in Shikoku, Travel | No Comments »

Shikoku is most famous, perhaps, for the 88 Sacred Buddhist temples present on the island. Thousands of pilgrims each year visit Shikoku to complete the circuit which is said to help rid an individual of the 88 worldly passions and help them get closer to enlightenment. Despite the fact that there are 88 Sacred Buddhist temples on the relatively small-ish island of Shikoku, we didn’t visit a single one.

Nope, instead we went to a Shinto shrine quite famous for the massive amount of stairs leading you up to the Inner Shrine.

Kotohira is about an hour train ride from Takamatsu, the city we were based in during our stay in Shikoku. We arrived at the station shortly after 10am, making sure we had more than enough time to complete the ascent and descent before evening.

The station, and town, were small and unassuming. It was clear that almost everyone passing through the station was there to do the same thing as us, climb the stairs to the top of the famous shrine. I couldn’t really see any other reason why people would make the trip out to Kotohira.

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Modern Art Island

December 1st, 2008 Posted in Shikoku, Travel | 1 Comment »

One of the perks of visiting Shikoku the weekend before last was the chance to cross the Inland Sea. There are a few ways to get to Shikoku overland, all of which involve crossing – via ship or bridge – the large, beautiful inland sea. When we crossed during the day, we were treated to upwards of 20-minutes of admiring the ocean waters simply peppered with small, tiny islands. It is a real treat.

Since the inland sea has so many islands within it, we knew that we wanted to get out to at least one of them during our stay. With so many to choose from, it was almost as though we simply had to pick one from a hat. We ended up picking Naoshima, largely because I was interested in seeing a Monet exhibit at one of the art museums, and I am happy that we did!

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November 26th, 2008 Posted in Shikoku, Travel | No Comments »

Shikoku, the smallest “big” island of Japan, is most well-known for its access to the inland sea of Japan. In order to get to Shikoku, you have to cross this sea by boat or on a bridge and the sea is filled with tiny, beautiful little islands.

One of the most famous of those little islands is Megijima (often nicknamed Onigashima) which is just a short ferry ride from Takamatsu, our base city on Shikoku. Onigashima was made famous by the popular story of Momotaro and is believed to be where the Oni (loosely translated as demon or ogre) lived in a cave.

While we didn’t get a chance to make a trip out to Onigashima, we opted to visit a different island instead, we did enjoy all the little references to the story about town. Including this big statue outside Takamatsu station.

This statue definitely shows the Oni’s softer side, he really doesn’t seem that ferocious at all! I could defeat him!

Just a Bit of Fun

September 4th, 2008 Posted in Hokkaido, Travel | No Comments »

So, it has been a super busy week (and that’s why I’ve been a bit quiet). The culture festival and sports day were held at my school and, just like last year, we had to work on Saturday last week to make up for all the fun we would have this week. So, I have been working my tail off and am totally glad that today is Thursday and I don’t have to work for the next three days. Finally, some much deserved rest.

Anyways, since I don’t have time to write much today, I thought I would share some photos with you from Hokkaido. Some funny ones.

This character was everywhere in Hokkaido. He seemed to be some sort of mascot, although Aaron and I never quite figured out what the deal was. We saw big posters, little cell phone charms, towels, and just about every other little bit of Japanese paraphernalia with this guy on it. Sadly, we didn’t buy any “Green Bulgy Man” souvenirs. Next time . . .