Sunday, April 29, 2012

And Moving On.

Sigh.  Thus ends an era.

I've officially started a new blog.  And am finally owning up to the fact that I can no longer claim the nickname "Kernal."  It's time to embrace the new, married name, so find me here with my new, married self. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April Showers Bring.

Navy life can throw you for a loop.  Nothing is certain, and things can always change.  In fact, most times, they do.  We're not staying here in Japan as long as we anticipated, but I'm thankful for being able to see Japan in a full year.  For now, that means sakura.  Cherry blossoms.  These are what drive everyone's plans.  Even the Japanese.  They plan picnics and festivals and base any theme upon this ... phenomenon, I'll call it.  Because it's stunning.  Here's my take.

Fantastic, no?  Sakura are in perfect bloom for only about a week, so you have to catch it when you can.  The petals are already falling.  But we get them for a blink.  The perfect introduction to spring.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Exploring Our Home

For living in Japan, my husband and I don't get out much.   I do my exploring with American and Japanese friends, and he uses the weekends to rejuvenate.  Or has to work anyway ;)  But this past weekend, we packed up, stayed in Yokohama, and scurried around Tokyo.  We've been around the Tokyo metro quite a bit, but we were more ambitious this time around.  Here are some of the things we saw.  

This is Yokohama’s beautiful skyline.  Gosh, I love this city.   On the left is Landmark Tower.  The group of three descending towers next to it is Queen’s Tower, and the fin-looking tower is Queen’s Square.  The ferris wheel in the background is Cosmo Clock 21, at once the biggest ferris wheel in the world.  The red building on the right side is the Red Brick Warehouse.

Yokohama’s Chinatown is the largest in all of Asia.  It’s full of red craziness. 

My favorite part of Chinatown is Doctor Kiss Fish!  You put your feet in a tub full of baby carp and they pull off your dead skin in search of food.  Best pedicure I’ve ever had. 

This is the best depiction of Yokohama Station I’ve ever been able to capture.  What you see here is what it feels like ;)  I love it!

Haha, my rat of a husband.  Too much train time, I guess.

We went up to Shimokitazawa for Bear Pond Espresso.  They serve only 20 shots of their specialty espresso per day.  We got there 45 minutes after they opened, and were too late!  It was perfect, because the shop was tiny and full of fisherman-looking raggedy Japanese, and rugged outdoorsy tourists. We came back earlier the next day and got ourselves some of said espresso.  It was so ristretto.  Bold, thick, and packed with a kick.

We also hit up my favorite kaitenzushi (sushi-go-round) in Meguro.  Simply delicious!  Someone needs to introduce the States to sushi-go-rounds.  Let’s start a petition. 

I was floored by Tokyo Tower.  It is big and bright and beautiful.  When on the observation deck, you can see Tokyo in all directions as far as the eye can see.  Makes you realize how enormous Tokyo actually is.  Unfortunately, my camera died before I had the chance to capture it.  Wah wah.  

This is the Nikolai-do, the Orthodox Cathedral of Tokyo.  We worship here when in the area.  Otherwise, we have a (much) smaller parish in Yokohama.  Beautiful, hey?

No Spring Sunday would be complete without a walk in the park.  We chose Yoyogi Park in Harajuku.  Inhale, exhale. 

It just so happened that the Fertility Festival (Kanamara Matsuri) was going on in Kawasaki.  Good for a laugh, and definitely nothing I’ve ever seen before.  Yes, this actually exists.  Avert the kids’ eyes for this one!


Japan is simply great.  Full of history, rich culture, and reasons to celebrate.  There are times you want to run away, times you can’t believe your eyes, and times you wish to never leave.