On day 5 I woke up, replied to some emails, released Episode 5 of Road to Fuji, had some iMessage conversations and napped a bit longer. We all got up around 630a re-organized our bags for checkout, ate breakfast at Starbucks and headed toward Kyoto to the Obubu Tea Farm which is in Wazuka, Japan. To be honest no one knew what to expect but this was an idea created by Rupert. We road from Osaka to Kyoto, took a local train, bus and walked before we reached our destination around 11am. From the time we entered to the time as left our host Manchu and his interns showed us nothing but hospitality. We tried 10 different teas that opened my eyes to teas outside of the usual strong bitter traditional Japanese tea. We ate tea cake and even had green tea noodles for lunch. We drove up 2 mountains to see and feel the tea fields. Although the tour was only to supposed to take 4 hours we spent an extra 2 hours learning more about tea, telling stories and buying tea. Monchu even gave us a ride back to Kyoto station which was about an hour and a half away. We talked to Manchu about Japan, his family, his business and life. We were sad leaving the farm, but even sadder to leave Manchu. Obubu has a website Facebook twitter and YouTube where you can watch the tea cultivating process!
We boarded a bullet train from Kyoto to Nagoya ate, checked in, debriefed about the day and slept.
Woke up at 5AM again and checked the social media. I found out through his instagram post Rupert got up in the middle of the night and explored Osaka by himself in the middle of the night. He even went to dinner alone. Once he woke up him and I would explore a rainy Osaka and failed in our search for sandwich bags (water resistant) but we returned made our way to breakfast. Before we did however we stopped a grocery store in the station and night snacks. I didn’t buy any snacks because the prices seemed high and I didn’t want to carry the snacks from Monday to Thursday. We ate breakfast at a place inside the station. I had pancakes and ham.
After breakfast we took the train to a temple
and attempted to go to the zoo not knowing it would be closed.Although we were disappointed we decided we would go to the aquarium instead. We stopped for ramen near by.
After eating we headed to the aquarium. Ironically this aquarium was the same one that I had been to on March 11, 2011 the day of the tsunami. I have a video of me there on that exact day.
The ferris wheel was right outside of the aquarium.
After the Ferris wheel we made our way back toward the hotel. We walked for what felt like miles until we found a currency exchange inside a store that looked like best buy, rei, Walmart and toys r us wrapped in one. After finally finding this place we had to find our way back to the hotel… We walked… And walked… And walked….. My legs felt as if they would give up on me. We finally made it to the hotel where I showered and lye down for a few minutes before it was time to go get sushi. We were recommended a place for sushi but after another long walk we gave up and ended up at a hole in the wall sushi place. The options were not so great and to expensive to fully enjoy. We would return to the hotel and crash.
WE WOKE UP STARVING!!! We ate breakfast, got dressed repacked our bags and headed towards the train station to use our bullet train passes for the first time.
We would take the local train one stop and then take the bullet train to Osaka for about 2 hours. After getting to Osaka we dropped our bags off and headed to Osaka castle.
Afterwords we made the mistake of returning to the hotel, determined NOT to fall asleep early. Everyone did, leaving me to go for dinner on my own. I had a beef bowl at Yoshino’s around the corner. Definitely not as good as I remembered. I came back to the hotel and went to sleep with the rest of the crew. #JetLagFail
Dez and Madi on our way to Osaka Castle. It was very hot and humid in Osaka.
Osaka Castle was pretty awesome, reminded me of Hamamatsu Castle. It’d be interesting to find out more about this history of these places!
So this man was letting people hold his birds for FREE! I saw an owl I wanted to hold but the owl didn’t look to happy and I didn’t want to get attacked!
The last time I was in Japan was March 2011. This was the same time as the infamous North Japan tsunami / earthquake. This time I am not by myself, I am with the brodies, Madi, Rupert, and Dez. While I am excited to share pictures, and videos I decided to write this so that I can do my best to tell this story in greater detail. Often times the book is better than the movie, right? Haha
We landed in Tokyo after flying almost all day. We flew from SeaTac to LA around 630a Thursday morning PST and left LA for Narita at around 130p. The second flight was 10.5 hours. Delta International was actually really awesome. They had a very extensive free movie selection and even had free Showtime and $2 HBO. The food wasn’t the best but we were fed quite often. We landed around 445p Friday evening Japan time (Wow we pretty much flew for a day in a half lol including time zones). Madi, Dez and I had the same flight, but Rupert flew straight from Seattle and landed about 30 min after us.
After landing it seemed like we were in the airport forever!! Customs was no problem, we exchanged some money, and exchanged our 7 day bullet train passes at and bought our ticket from the airport to Tokyo on the Narita express (¥ 3200). The exchange rate at the airport was better than the one at the hotel but not better than the one at the currency exchange place in Tokyo. After taking the 30 minute express train we arrived in Tokyo and found our way to our capsule hotels. I quickly regretted not packing the bag with wheels as walking around Japan with an overweight backpack is no fun.. The capsule hotels actually weren’t as bad as I expected. Very spacious, wifi, shower, tv (¥2200/night or about $22). We ate at a small restaurant with an English menu. I ordered gyoza and rice and shared fried rice and sweet bread. We headed back to the our capsules, showered and slept until the next morning.
WASHINGTON — Confronted with a mass hunger strike and the use of forced feedings to keep inmates from starving, President Obama broke a long silence on the military prison for suspected foreign terrorists at Guantanamo Bay , Cuba , declaring it “not sustainable” and making a strongly worded plea Tuesday for its closure.
I love the post about supporting local, and how we should support business and people that are giving back to their community. He said Target and Walmart are not going to save your small town, and when they kick out all the bodegas and farmers markets they will sell products at whatever price they want too. For me this struck a chord. I was recently talking to a friend about me shopping at Wal-Mart saying unfortunately I just don’t have the money to be picky about where I shop. This is complete bull and we are all lying to ourselves by saying it. The economy isn’t great but, as long as we make excuses and keep supporting these giant corporations the beast will only keep growing.