That Time Someone Couldn’t Go Home

R’s stay was extended.
He lost his passport.
We spent the extra time
stopping by
1) the police box
2) the police station
3) the American Embassy.
On the one hand, so much to worry about!
On the other hand, more time with R!
I know R must have been beyond worried.
I mean, I was worried.
But we got to spend the extra days
doing regular Tokyo stuff.
Movie nights at home.
Going out to lunch.
Going karaoke.
It was like getting a fun roommate
and that was wonderful for me.
The embassy worked quickly
and before I knew it,
we were back at the airport.
Already looking forward to 
the next time R comes to visit.
But maybe without loosing the passport next time! x

That Birthday Climb Up Mount Fuji

Turning 29 is pretty big.
That last year in my twenties.
So when I looked at the calendar
and saw that my birthday was on a Sunday
I decided it was now or never…
to welcoming my birthday on top of Mt. Fuji.
My sister drove out from Ibaraki in her tiny car
and she picked me up and our amazing friends, K and T.
We set the car navigation and we were off!
Our plan was to start climbing from the fifth station
(which is where most people start their climb).
It’s said that it takes about 6 to 8 hours
for an average person to climb to the top of Mt Fuji.
So we started our climb at 9pm
to make it in time to see the sunrise at 4am.

Group picture at the start of the trail 😀

Here we are resting at the sixth station…still excited and full of energy!

We stopped often to rest
throughout our climb in the dark.

But truthfully it wasn’t dark at all
because we had a full moon (or nearly).

And thank goodness it didn’t rain
because we weren’t prepared for it at all.

But I was extremely prepared for the cold
(because I HATE being cold).

Unfortunately my pals weren’t as prepared.

By the time we got to the eighth station, it was extremely cold.
So we huddled together every time we took a break.

*Do Not Underestimate How Cold Mt Fuji Gets (even in the summer)!

We took a break and slept a bit under that torii.
From the ninth station, there was a HUGE traffic jam.
Apparently this is due to people, who were staying in the lodges
in the ninth station (there are two), that start their climb
in addition the the others already climbing.
Also the path gets quite narrow.
There was a lot of waiting around in line
as the sky turns lighter and lighter.
Perfect time to take photos, am I right?
That torii marks the peak of Mr Fuji.
We made it to the top with a million other people to see the sunrise!

My birthday sunrise was gorgeous…GORGEOUS!!!
Here we are after almost eight hours of climbing the tallest mountain in Japan!

The morning sunlight in my hands!

The sunrise was amazing.
It never occurred to any of us but
apparently depending on the weather
there are times when you can’t see the sunrise.
Thank goodness this wasn’t one of those days.
There were so many of us up there.
All looking towards the sunrise.
It felt amazing.


So happy we invested in climbing shoes.

There is an Asama Shrine at the top of Mt Fuji.
We were all pretty tired
but our eyes were on the prize.
Akai Kitsune udon!
This instant noodle is usually about 100 yen
BUT… here it’s a whopping 800 yen!
Although to be fair, it includes the boiling water, too.
And no one hesitates because we’re all too cold and hungry.
It was money well spent.

We were at the top of Mt Fuji for awhile.
I even got birthday presents!

I do realize I’m super lucky to have friends
who are willing to climb this mountain with me.

Not everyone would.

We had all gotten climbing sticks at the sixth station.

You can get it stamped at every station
but we were too intent on climbing to stop.

So we all decided to get a stamp at the very top, which we did!

We couldn’t really tell in the dark.

But when the sun came out…
it was clear that Mt Fuji is a volcano.

Look at that mountain side!

The moths up here are so bright and colorful!

You wouldn’t believe it but
I got altitude sickness…on the way down!
I felt awful.
I wanted to throw up but I couldn’t.
The headache was raging something fierce.
I pretty much cried my way down the mountain.
And my dear sister and friends
were cool with it.
You know you have friends for life
when they stick with you even when you’re gagging.
It was quite the experience.

You’ll notice I didn’t stop taking photos.
Even when I was feeling my worst
I knew that I would want photos of everything later.
Also, the process of taking a photo
kind of took my mind off of feeling like shit.
It was gorgeous though.
Seriously breathtaking views.
I loved everything.
Especially since the more we descended
the more I started feeling better.

Here we are on the same bench we started out
the night before at the sixth station.

So so tired.

But also super excited
that we actually made it up there!

And also made it back down!

Despite the cold, exhaustion and all the gagging
this was DEFINITELY the best birthday ever!

Happy Twenty Ninth Birthday To Me!

That Afternoon Exploring Kamakura

R is back in Japan!
My grade school friend from Michigan
came to visit Japan this month.
He used to teach English
in Hiroshima for a bit.
And this was his first time back since he left.
So he is going to be travelling around
catching up with friends…
and one of them being me! 😀 
I took a day off from work
so we could go explore Kamakura!
One of my favorite places.

We got off at Kamakura Station
and decided to find a place to eat lunch.
We wandered around a bit
but it was worth it.
We discovered a
tiny Japanese restaurant called
Hisa-moto (ひさ本).
They had only counter seats.
R got the Oyako-don
and I got the Tamago-don.
So good.
Of course R being who he is,
he befriended the man sitting next to us
And soon they were sharing sake! 😀

After a fun and delicious lunch
we hopped on the Enoden for Hase station.
I wanted to show R the Great Buddha at Kotoku-in (高徳院).
I’d actually never seen it before either.
Buddha looked very peaceful, if you were wondering.

We later hopped on the Enoden again.
Got off at Shichiri-ga-hama station
to hang by the beach to see the sunset.
It was the perfect place to relax
after a full day of walking.
And gosh the sunset was a stunner!

Exploring a place is always fun,
especially with friends.
But exploring a part of Japan
with my grade school friend from MI?
So surreal.
So fun.
Pretty much the best time ever!
We headed back into the city
and stopped by a small bar with live music.
R is an incredible piano player.
Seriously, he can pretty much play anything.
So of course we made him get up there to play, too!
Pretty lady singing jazz
salary men doing rock n roll.
It was a fabulous night full of music.
I loved every minute of it! x

2-10-9 Komachi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa JAPAN

TEL: 0467 22 1548

That Afternoon with the Handsome Asian

*Throwback Thursday: I’m slowly (very slowly) going to be bringing my old posts to this blog.

My grade school friend C was in town from New York!
He was here for work
 but we managed to squeeze in:
1. shopping in Harajuku
2. gabfest at Starbucks
3. paparazzi photo session
4. karaoke our heads off
5. go eat sushi
Not bad for only a short afternoon, right?
New York is so far away
and I rarely get to see him.
So I loved getting to spend time with this cutie pie! x