This Week on Instagram: 4/14/17

My efforts on Instagram haven’t been as successful as I would have thought, so it appears I need to experiment a little differently.  No new inductees to the 100 Club.  We’ll see what next week reveals.

Once again, I was surprised this first image didn’t get more love.  I absolutely couldn’t get enough of Landscape Arch.  I didn’t initially have this picture in monochrome, but I kind of like how it turned out.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

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Japan – Day 12: Arashiyama

Day 12 marked our last full day in Japan.  While we reconciled the fact that we’d be departing soon, we biked from monkeys to bamboo, from a castle to Japanese music videos.

I had one final must on my list that had not yet been reached: the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.  Aaron was also excited about the associated monkeys, though I didn’t remember that in the brochure.  We hopped our (t)rusty bikes and pedaled across Kyoto to Arashiyama.  Though we were out by 8am, I still felt it was terribly late; I was desperate to beat crowds to something I knew would be quite populated. Continue reading

Japan – Day 11: Kiyomizu & Osaka

Day 11, we left the ryokan, braved the crowds, and biked to a shrine.  We rounded it off with a trip to Osaka for their famed okonomiyaki and takoyaki with a good friend.

Two days at the ryokan really went by very quickly, and we were already to our last morning.  We packed up our things and headed down to our last fancy breakfast.  I was surprised to find they weren’t expecting us; the 7am memo must have gotten lost this time.  I felt bad as they raced to put everything out, nearly tripping in their haste. Continue reading

Japan – Day 9: City Hopping

Day 9 was a transitionary day, marking the end of our time in Tokyo and the introduction of a new city.

With a train leaving earlier than the hotel’s restaurant would open, we instead ate our Cup Noodles made the other day, along with some snacks purchased at the convenience store the previous night.  It was a measly breakfast compared to the mackerel to which I had grown accustomed, but it served its purpose. Continue reading

Japan – Day 7: Rainy Wandering

Day 7 marked one week in Japan.  It decided to grant us rain, so we mostly stuck to the indoors.  Fortunately, stores still have plenty to offer when the outdoors are less than inviting!

Having heard about it from a gal on our bike tour, I decided to try a Japanese beauty mask.  The most popular brand is Pure Smile, and they come in all sorts of patterns, from geishas to cats.  They can be found in any convenience store.  I didn’t notice immediately radiant skin, but it was a fun little pampering. Continue reading

Japan – Day 6: Ueno & Shibuya

Day 6 was much quieter, dedicated to parks and crossings.  It was a relief to take it easy for a day.

Aaron decided to mix the morning meal up by getting the “western-style breakfast.”  For reference, according to the Japanese, this is what an American breakfast looks like.  I think they give us too much credit. With Shibuya on the agenda, I was sure to grab my tripod, and we headed out. Continue reading