Friday, January 17, 2014

#232- My 40 days winter vacation in Japan… Part 2: Japan = Delicious

Today, I am working on the article about Summer 2014 L.A. Fashion Market Week.


Yes, the weather in L.A is also like a summer since I got back from Japan on the 14th.


But… my brain is still in the winter season in Japan…Here is my Part 2 story of my 40 days winter vacation in Japan.


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I would like to share my best part of my vacation in Japan.


My mom and younger brother are the best. They are good at “Omotenashi” (Omotenashi meaning… A heart felt welcome or hospitality).


They provided me “Delicious Meals” (Any Japanese food is like my daily food from Gelson’s or better!), “Comfortable Bedroom” (I wish I could sleep without any noise like my mom & brother’s house in Tokyo), “Comfortable Bath Time” (Automatic bath system gives me the best bath time), “Fun Trips” (They took me to many places!) and… “Unconditional Love”.


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Here is my Best 3 of my vacation.


#1: Chat & Eat… with my mom & brother




*** Ise Jingu (Ise Grand Shrine):


The most well known shrine in Japan. It is a Shinto shrine dedicated to goddess Amaterasu-ōmikami, located in the city of Ise in Mie, Japan. Every twenty years, the two main buildings inside the Ise Jingu Shrine are rebuilt. 2013 marks the 62nd undertaking of this major event.


I just realized that at this place…“Traditional Japanese life style is wonderful. I am very proud of being Japanese! ”




*** Toshijima Onsen (Toshijima hot springs) :


Toshijima is a small island near Toba-city, Mie, Japan.


We went to this small island by the small boat. We stayed at the nice hotel. We sat on the tatami mat and ate the traditional Japanese meal (raw sliced fish, boiled fish etc.) on the special plate (shape of the boat).


Our room had a nice view! (in front of ocean) Onsen (hot springs) was on the 6th floor (it was nice ocean view)


I just felt that… “I am glad that I am Japanese”.




*** Fujisan & Miho no Matsubara (Mount Fuji & Miho Pine Grove):


As you know Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft). It was added to World Heritage List as a Cultural Site on June 22nd, 2013 by UNESCO. Miho no Matsubara is a scenic area on the Miho Peninsula in Shimizu Ward of Shizuoka City, Japan. In 2013 the pine groves were added to the World Heritage List as part of the Fujisan Cultural Site.


We went to this place twice, because the weather was cloudy, so we wanted to see the perfect view of Fujisan & Miho no Matsubara.


I (actually my mom and brother also have luck for good weather) always have luck for good weather. I am a “Hare-Onna” (Hare-Onna is the Japanese term for a woman whose presence always seems to be accompanied by good weather), but I couldn’t bring perfect sun at this time in here...


Even though there were some clouds… it was so beautiful.

I felt like, “I am really in REAL Japan”.




*** Izu Nagaoka Onsen (Izu Nagaoka hot springs):


The Izu Nagaoka hot springs is located in the north central areas of Izu peninsula in Shizuoka, Japan. We stayed at the comfortable hotel.

Our room had a nice view! It was in front of the Mount Fuji. White snow was on the top of the Mount Fuji.


When I saw the beautiful Mount Fuji in the morning, I did “Gassho” (A position used for greeting, with the palms together and fingers pointing upwards in prayer position) in front of the window (in front of the Mount Fuji).

Roten-Buro (outdoor bath) was fabulous! I enjoyed natural hot springs and herb bath (Yuzu bath). I really realized that we really have wonderful bath culture!!!


By the way, just in case… most of the time I was wearing the surgical mask outside (for protect from the radiation), but I didn’t wear the mask during my bath time.




***Izu Atami Onsen (Izu Atami hot springs) :


Atami is a city located in the eastern end of Shizuoka, Japan. We stayed at the large historical hotel “Hotel New Akao”. We enjoyed the outdoor hot springs (located in front of the ocean, so we enjoyed the sounds of wave and view of stars).

Our room had a nice view! Ocean & Town (Atami) view. Night view was so gorgeous.


I didn’t fear that the hotel was on the ocean (I didn’t think about the earthquake or tsunami at that time).


Christmas dinner show by the Mexican band was great! I enjoyed my favorite Christmas song (Feliz Navidad). It was very nice Christmas Eve.




***Asakusa & Tokyo Skytree (Tower):


Asakusa is a district in Taito, Tokyo, Japan, most famous for the Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon. For most of the twentieth century, Asakusa was the major entertainment district in Tokyo.


Tokyo Skytree Tower is a broadcasting, restaurant, and observation tower in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan. It became the tallest structure in Japan in 2010 and reached its full height of 634.0 metres (2,080 ft) in March 2011, making it the tallest tower in the world, displacing the Canton Tower, and the second tallest structure in the world after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m/2,722 ft).


We stayed at the Asakusa View Hotel in Asakusa (it takes about one and a half hours from my mom & brother’s house in Tokyo).



We enjoyed the old Japan (Sensō-ji temple) and new Japan (Tokyo Skytree Tower).


Even though we are in Tokyo, we felt like a tourist like a foreigner.  




***Narita Onsen (Narita hot springs):


My mom and brother are the best for “Omotenashi” (hospitality).


They always let me stay at the hotel near by the Narita international airport.


At this time, we stayed at the Narita View Hotel (on Dec 7th and Jan 14th). They wanted me to relax after my trip (to Japan) and before my trip (to L.A.). They are so sweet.


My last day with my mom & brother was wonderful. We had a onsen time (Narita also has a natural hot springs!). My mom and I watched moon & star & airplane while taking an outdoor bath (Roten-Buro).


It was the best last day & evening in Japan.




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#2: No TV, No computer, No smartphone… instead of these, I walked walked walked…by myself.


During my 40days vacation, I didn’t watch TV, I didn’t use computer, I didn’t use smartphone(Oops…I finally gave up my policy [not working for 24/7]…I finally got an iPhone yesterday :)   )… I felt like… “I am so alive!”


I walked Tamagawa Josui side walk (Near my mom & brother’s house). It’s a beautiful place to walk.


Tamagawa Josui Channel is a water supply channel extending about 43 kilometers to the Yotsuya-ookido of Shinjuku Ward from the Hamura weir in Hamura City. It is recorded that the Tamagawa Josui Channel was completed in 1654, and served as a water supply from the Tama River to Edo (modern day Tokyo) and also had been used as the combined water supply facility for the land development and the irrigation of the Musashino Plateau.


I went to walk to this place often. Walking for one hour per day was just wonderful. Most of the time, I walked alone (only one time, my mom came with me). As I am a single, I love being alone :)


Blue sky, Orange sunshine, Yellow & Orange & Brown leaves were welcoming me. Sound of water (channel), song of birds and smell of trees were comforting me.




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#3: Tip, Tip…!  from My super boss


My editor of Senken-Shimbun (major Japanese fashion trade newspaper), Mr. Toshiaki Nagami took me to a izakaya (a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks. They are casual places for after-work drinking) in Shibuya, Tokyo.


He gave me many tip and advice for me as a journalist.


I ate my favorite yakitori (grilled chicken, is commonly a Japanese type of skewered chicken. (Especially I love liver!) I really had a great time.




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My 40 days vacation in Japan was amazing as usual.


How was your holiday season? I hope you had a nice one too.


By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles January 17, 2014
Copyright © 2014 Yoko Fujimoto