Friday, July 26, 2013

Playing Dress Up

I love traditional Asian outfits and one of my favorites has to be the kimono. I've always wanted to wear one and was excited when my friends recommended Okamoto, a kimono rental shop, in Kyoto. There were numerous kimonos, obi, hair accessories, etc. to choose from. I went with Plan 3 which gave me the most selection. It costs around $60 to rent it for the day and getting my hair done was only an extra $5! I really love the whole process. It was interesting to see the amount of work that goes into wearing a kimono. It was beautiful to watch how they put the kimono on me layer by layer. There were many layers and each had to be folded and tied in different ways. It really is an art in itself. 

Btw, I love that my obi has the same pattern as the bottom layer of our wedding cake! I may or may not have chosen it because of this reason ;)

James was my photographer for the day and he did an amazing job! I'm usually the one behind the lens so it was strange to be in front of the camera for that long. It was a nice treat though :) Kyoto is beautiful and so picturesque. I'm happy to have these fun photos to remember our wonderful time there.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Nara, like many places in Japan, is very magical. As we walked around, I can't help but feel like we were in a mythical place. Walkways are lined with hundreds of moss-covered lantern structures. The temple and shrines are grand yet understated. Friendly deers roam freely around the city. They are loved by the locals because they are believed to be messengers to the gods. It is definitely one of my favorite places in Japan. 

I was in awe as we approached Todaiji. It is beautiful and serene. I especially love the golden horns on the rooftop. 

The deers are used to people petting and feeding them. This one followed me for a while :)
Large ornaments on the temple's door.

Todaiji's main hall is the largest wooden building in the world. (This picture is the view of the ceiling.)

(left) One of Japan's largest bronze statues of Buddha (Daibutsu) sits in Todaiji's main hall; 
(right) Lantern structures outside of Kasuga Taisha.

I felt like I was transported to a different magical. 
Hanging lanterns' silhouettes
(left) Taking a small break from all the walking; (right) Deers going shopping ;)

Friday, July 19, 2013


We saw cute signs, logos, and displays everywhere we went in Japan. Looking at them makes me feel so happy. Here are just some of the photos. Aren't they cute? Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Heavenly Parfait

We're having quite the heat wave here in Boston. It's going to remain in the mid 90s for the rest of the week. Hot days like these make me yearn for the cool fall weather. I find myself daydreaming about my favorite season and the wonderful honeymoon we had last year. I'm very late in sharing these pictures but I hope you'll enjoy these upcoming posts about the Japan portion of our trip :)

The hot weather is making me think of ice cream so I'll start our Japan recap with our trip to Gion Kinana :) Michael aka Kyoto Foodie wrote a great post about it. I knew we had to make a stop there. We got the seasonal chestnut autumn parfait and it was amazing! There was a beautiful balance of textures and flavors from all of the components of the parfait - the candied chestnut, the chestnut mousse, the biscotti, the cake pieces, the ice cream, and the mochi. Only twenty of these are made daily. James and I went to the shop right when they opened at 11am and all of the seats were filled within 30 minutes. (So remember to get there early if you want one of their seasonal parfaits!)

I love the presentation with the teacup and simple and pretty. 

We also ordered the highly recommended kinako (roasted soybean flour) dekitate ice cream. Dekitate ice cream are ice cream that are just made. Since they haven't been frozen yet, they are very creamy and super smooth. The flavor is delicate and unlike anything I've tasted before. Oh what I would give to eat it again!

The shop is easy to miss if you're not looking for it ;)
Thank you Michael for the wonderful recommendation. I agree that it's definitely a "do not miss" if you are in Kyoto :)