I love the smell of Japan. I remember memories best with smells, and whenever I breathe in the scent of seaweed, hot rice, dry air, that sweet hay scent of tatami mats, and the heady perfume of warm soy sauce I just know that I’m back in my second home.
Our Japanese faltered, our sense of direction was awful, our reading comprehension failed us, but my sister and I had a wonderful time eating our way through central Honshu. With cousins acting as our guides, we spent three days in Tokyo and the rest of the time with our ever-growing family (and our ever-shrinking grandmother). Here are a few photos from Japan (taken mostly on a Canon EOS M & some with a Nikon D700). With captions for clarity :)
Rainy day in our old neighborhood. The streets are tiny (my sister is 5’2″).
Food. Food. Food.
A big tuna caught fresh that morning, and cut up in front of us at a supermarket demonstration. Fun fact: viewers could guess the tuna’s weight before they started slicing it up, and I guessed 32.7kg. At the end of the display, they revealed it had been 32.6kg and I got ¥1500 worth of raw fish (and it was amaaaaazing). My one superpower (or fluke), apparently.
This is my grandmother. She’s 85 years old and has never been sick in her life. She never drove, just rode her bicycle everywhere. She even delivered newspapers daily by bicycle for the past 40 years, until recently, when she found out she has colon cancer. She’s going through chemotherapy now and is such a trooper. She’s in high spirits most of the time and eats bananas after her chemo treatments, noting that they taste different but that she’ll “be around for a while yet.”
She loved giving us tomatoes. And she hacked bamboo shoots in the backyard with a knife and her bare hands, like a boss.
Shinkansen (bullet train) to Tokyo with my cousin and her impeccably cute style.
UNIQLO in Tokyo.
GHIBLI Museum in Tokyo. They don’t allow photography inside, so you’ll just have to go on your own to see what happens there!
And home again :)