Headed to Japan

currently playing on my laptop: Endless Rain by X Japan

In less than two months, I’m off on an adventure to faraway Japan. It’ll be my first trip and I’m researching the heck out of the place because I’m nerd and that’s how we do.

Food is a big player in my research. I love food. I’m also a bit gluten sensitive, so I have get all my facts straight before making tough choices. Thankfully, there are great articles out there if you are like me. Here’s one. 

I also wanted to know how to eat sushi properly. I adore living in cultures different from my own and it kills me if I accidentally disrespect anyone while abroad. I watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi and was so wowed by the beauty of discipline and passion involved in his restaurant. I don’t want to do something that would be considered disgusting or offensive. Here is one article I checked out that was forgiving but also very honest.

My husband and I are going to spend two nights in Tokyo (we’re going to do our best to pretend to be Anthony Bourdain), then jump on the bullet train (Shinkansen) to Kyoto for the rest of the week. Kyoto didn’t suffer from the war damage like many spots in Japan, so there is much for the history nerd couple to enjoy.

The event we’ve always wanted to experience is seeing a nightingale floor. Nijo Castle in Kyoto has a great one, or so we’re told. These floors were like alarm systems, set up to make chirping sounds when one doesn’t know exactly where to place the feet. Very cool.


We’re going to see the Golden Pavilion, a zen buddhist temple.


Another point interest is the pine where the great warrior, Musashi, fought. We run a martial arts school so this is a biggie for us. He traveled about, learning how to fight. After defeating everyone so often he got bored with using a real sword and switched to using a wooden sword or bokken. The fighter loved calligraphy and poetry, a real well-rounded warrior. We are fans.


A lovely local woman named Hori will house us for our time in Kyoto, via Airbnb. She supposedly greets visitors with tea and I truly hope she shows me how to use her washing machine because I like to travel very, very light and I don’t want to shame America with foul clothing.

In a future post, I’ll tell you all about the specific period I’m going to research while there. I plan to use it as inspiration for a fantasy down the road!

Have you been to Japan? If so, I’d love to hear what you enjoyed!


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5 Responses to Headed to Japan

  1. You’re going to have a trip of a lifetime. Kyoto is so rich in history. Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion is probably the most zen place you’ll ever experience. That’s smart of you to stay at an airbnb in Japan. For an authentic experience, if budget allows, you might also stay for a night in a ryokan (they’re usually pretty fairly priced.)

  2. Japan is fantastic. If I could, I would live there for two to four years, teaching kids English. I went last year in September and it was certainly the trip of a lifetime. It’s a country where both the traditional and the modern blend in perfectly. I loved both the old history of the Samurai and the Shoguns, the shrines and the temples, as well as the modern pop culture of video games and anime. The cuisine was some of the best I have ever tasted as well. I hope you loved your trip.

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