Apr 6, 2013 by Krysta
Greetings from Osaka, Japan! We are a week into our trip and it's safe to say that we love this country. The people, the food, the technology... Everything is amazing here. We've crammed a lot into our visit so far, in typical Ryan and Krysta style.
Our journey began with a nearly 11 hour flight from Seattle to Tokyo. I've done longer trips in the past, but it's a whole new ball game when you are 4 1/2 months pregnant. I probably managed a total of 40 minutes of sleep the entire flight, and found myself pacing up and down the aisles, bloated and uncomfortable. When we landed, I was huge. I've always been bloated after hours in the sky, but never to this extent. There was no mistaking the fact that I was pregnant. Fortunately I was far less puffy and much more rested the next day. We spent our first day exploring Tokyo in all of its chaotic glory. We squeezed onto jam packed trains and crossed the busy Shibuya Crossing. I could watch the people swarm like ants all day long.
We headed for Nikko National Park that afternoon, where we spent a couple of days exploring the sights of the area and trying to keep warm in the cool temperatures of the higher altitude. With no central heating, we relied on a heated blanket and space heater to keep cozy at night. Getting out of the shower into a 4 degree room was quite unpleasant.
After Nikko it was back to Tokyo for more city madness. My doctor gave me the go-ahead to indulge in sushi, contrary to everything that Google warns against during pregnancy. Japanese women have been eating sushi and having babies for many, many years and the fish here is far more fresh and expertly handled. With permission granted, we sought out a sushi restaurant near our hotel and happily chowed down.
The next day we had big plans for a day at Fuji-Q Highland, a theme park that is home to many extreme rollercoasters that hold world records for various reasons. I knew that I couldn't go on the rides, but I was happy to go for the day while my husband had fun. What we'd failed to anticipate was the fact that it would be pouring rain and that the good rides would be closed. We were at the base of Mt. Fuji and unable to see the mountain. It had took us nearly 3 hours of train rides and transfers and we'd planned to spend the night, but with miserable weather we made the decision to head south for sunshine. We got on a train bound for Hiroshima and several hours later we arrived.
Hiroshima won my heart with the friendly locals, small city atmosphere, and delicious food. It's hard to believe that the thriving city suffered such a devastating past. We spent a couple of days shopping, eating, and exploring, taking in the Atomic Bomb Dome and Memorial Peace Park as well as gorgeous Miyajima Island.
Our next stop on the journey was Osaka, which brings us to today! We arrived yesterday and did a bit of exploring and of course, eating. We discovered an incredible sushi train with prices that blew us away and made us eat more than necessary.
Today was the day that inspired the entire trip. We were so happy to be able to attend the wedding of my former colleagues and good friends Naf and Sayaka. It was very interesting to attend a Japanese wedding and experience the different traditions of another culture. It was a beautiful wedding and I could not be happier for them. I was also able to reunite with many of my friends from Dubai, which was great after nearly 2 years.
The adventure continues tomorrow, as we head to Kyoto! I have so many photos to share, but since I'm blogging from my phone they'll have to wait for our return to Canada!
Sayonara for now!