Aug 082017

Well, it has now been five days since being back to Tokyo and it is start to sink in. Having visited the office of my new/old company made it feel a little more real. ๐Ÿ˜€

Luckily, I have been walking a lot lately to fend off the lack of healthy eating for the past couple of months. Even since returning, I have been enjoying the cuisine of all that Japan has to offer. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, even though the humidity is absolutely deadly to me, I have been making myself walk to explore the city especially since we are so close to the downtown area. Yesterday I did about 6km walking around the area where M's office is. He's got a nice area near Shiba Park. This is a pic from the other side of the park from his office.

Today I got in about 5km so far walking from the new office toward 'home' checking out some shops and the area. Everything is very walkable despite the sweat that pours after about ten minutes outside. There is a nice breeze though today from the aftermath of Typhoon #5, so it is fairly pleasant and I am accepting the stickiness that occurs. Besides, if I walk between places, then I can afford all the coffee stops I make throughout the day to get work done and escape from the 40m3 1R/K place we are staying in temporarily. ๐Ÿ˜›

Still, we have agreed to make the most of our time here by ensuring that we go out exploring, travel and really enjoy our new life. We left behind a lot of negative experiences leaving us ready to build a happy life together here. So far I am enjoying it. Since I cannot work until my visa comes through I have plans to explore, drink coffee and hang out. My BFF and godson will be back soon as well, then the real fun begins!!! <3

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Aug 072017

The healing process begins. Thank goodness for the capacity of the brain to forget rather easily.

We have been in Tokyo for four days and already it feels almost as if life in Abu Dhabi was a blur…. Perhaps it really was – at least the past couple of years. My life definitely has changed drastically in the past three years since meeting M and joining our fates together. ๐Ÿ˜›

Each morning and throughout the day, we remind each other "We are in Tokyo! Isn't it wonderful?!"

I enjoyed my time in Abu Dhabi. I met some good friends. I traveled a lot. I had a lot of great laughs, celebrations and hold memories dear to me. Those whom are meant to be in my life will keep in touch always. At the same time, the time to close that chapter of my life was just waiting for me to take the leap. While we thought that we were going to end up somewhere else many times, it is fitting and ideal that we returned to Japan where my BFF and strongest support system lives.

BFF and I have been saying for a while that we needed to be in the same place together again. It is true. I need a safe place to reset my sanity. M needs a place where I am supported and comfortable to allow him to reset himself as well. This is it!

We are both excited for what our next chapter together is promising to give us. So far we are off to a wonderful start. As time progresses, I will begin to write about our experiences of late as I can sit back and breathe a sigh of relief that we are out of reach of the insanity that we faced. I hope that someday soon we will both look back and just laugh at the whole thing. For now, we have a sense of relief and anticipation for an even better tomorrow!

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Apr 032017

In Japan, the best seasons are the fall and spring. These are the times of the year when you can be outside and enjoy all that the flora can offer around town. Or, many people take special trips around this time. 

The spring offers views of the famous cherry blossoms where you can see people sitting under trees having picnics or drinking parties. This is known as hanami – looking at flowers. While there are many flowers to look at, THE flower is sakura or cherry blossoms

My hope this year was to get the timing right for the sakura, but due to the lingering cooler temperatures, they aren’t quite in full bloom yet. 

As today is my last full day of my visit, I made sure to take some photos where I could. 

Here are some from the weekend as well. 

Will keep these handy as I return to the beige desert sands – though the warmth will be nice. ๐Ÿ˜‰

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Mar 312017

Our last half-day in Kyoto was a cold and wet one. We put on our Oregonian minds and endured the rain drops enough to do the short walk along the Philosophers’ Path (ๅ“ฒๅญฆใฎ้“ๅ“ฒๅญฆใฎ้“) where we reminisced about the old days when J and I created our own pronunciation of philosophize to philoSOPHisize because we had trouble saying it correctly. Now, it will never be said properly…. ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

The Path leads to the Silver Pavilion (้Š€้–ฃๅฏบ) which is J’s favorite place. I think I had a new appreciation for it this time around, perhaps because the rain enhanced the “silver-ness” of the place.

Normally, it is meant to be a place of calm and zen. When I visited the first time as an exchange student I remember being told it was a place for contemplation and to be respectful to other visitors by keeping ย as quiet as possible. Well…the tourists of today no longer have received this message or perhaps do not care. We had a few moments with some of the other Asian country tourists, but worked hard not to let it ruin our mood and enjoyment of what the historical space offers. ๐Ÿ˜

Overall, it was a lovely way to end our visit, though it was not quite a long enough trip. Next time, we will try to make it a longer one especially since I also did not have the chance to catch up with friends there….๐Ÿ˜ช๐Ÿ˜“

~T ๐Ÿ˜€





Mar 302017

Nearly another 20,000 steps saw us with a “lighter” touristy day…. We decided to head out to Arashiyama since J had never been out there and it had been quite a while since I went out that way. It is not far outside of the downtown area and E was super excited about the train as it is some kind of special one – afraid it was lost on me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Arashiyama is more popular during the fall season for the changing colors of the leaves, but it was still rather popular and busy. The highlight definitely had to be the gardens of Tenryu-ji Zen Temple. We also hit a couple of the coffee shops that were listed in our guidebook at the hotel and were definitely not disappointed.

The first was % Arabica Coffee, which has a Hawaiian blend, but was started in Kyoto. We were surprised to find that it has become a chain in countries around the world. The simple branding of it makes sense why it was so popular that lines were consistently formed outside of it throughout the time we were there and probably the whole open hours. We were satisfied with our wait for it too.

The second coffee stop was at Togetsu Cafe on the other side of the bridge. It was less crowded and had a nice modern feel to it. The coffee was also nice, though probably average in taste. Still, coffee breaks are always wonderful.

Our other main pastime aside from cafes and walking to enjoy the scenery is eating. For two nights in a row we have managed to wait in line for dinner. Last night’s was a bit over the top with a nearly two-hour wait at a ramen shop – run by a cute older couple who are making a killing thanks to TripAdvisor. Tonight was just under an hour. Of the two, tonight’s was definitely more worth the wait – though both delicious.

So, aside from putting on about 5kilos this mini trip alone, we have definitely been enjoying our time! ๐Ÿ˜€

~T ๐Ÿ˜€


Mar 292017

It’s been many years since I made a visit to Kyoto again after living there for three years in 2001-2004. 

Sometime ago I made a short visit as my first time back since my divorce. I wanted to remember my love for the city outside of the time being unhappily married during those years. 

Now, I am back again wishing my new hubby was with us, but loving the trip down memory lane with my BFF and godson – who is experiencing it for the first time at 11 years old. 

Our first day was pretty full on especially since we were all up at 4:30am to get ready to leave and catch our 6:50am bullet train from Tokyo station. 

Twenty-three thousand plus steps later, we had toured my favorite part of the city:  Chionin Temple to Yasaka Shrine Park to Kodaiji along the Sannenzaka path which leads up to Kiyomizu Temple. Sadly, Kiyomizu was under construction so we did not go in, but we thoroughly enjoyed our walk stopping in the shops, eating and remarking on the new “kimono experience” craze by so many tourists. 

Overall, despite being exhausted we had a great first day in the old capital city of  Japan ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต! 

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Mar 282017

Today was a day with my godson since J had to work. So, beforehand I gave him a task to organize something to do for us.

He had a good plan that we set into action. We headed to Roppongi to start our adventure at the Hedgehog Cafe. 

Only in Japan would there be a place that they charge people to come in and pet hedgehogs with a time limit even…. It was an interesting experience and we were both glad we went though it was a little boring given that hedgehogs tend to sleep 80% of the day!

Afterwards E had found a ramen place nearby that has history going back to 1975. It was a large portion and though we could not share our usual gyoza plate, we both walked away with very full bellies.

We made our way back and are bonding over some TV/computer time. Overall I’d say it has been a successful Ethan day! <3

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Mar 272017

The warmth of Abu Dhabi is starting to be a little missed, but for the past few days the desert has been full of thunderstorms, lightning and rain. The only difference is the temperature. ๐Ÿ™‚

While I miss my big teddy bear warmer known as my hubby, I am staying warm with the company and spoiling of my BFF and family. <3

So, not too much to say at the moment as it has been a nice quiet few days. The weekend went quickly and I was not good at taking pictures, but it was lovely. A new week has started so will be updating on more activities soon enough.

For today – I am warm in heart and spirit if not physicall! ๐Ÿ˜›

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Mar 252017

Missed posting yesterday because J and I took a girls’ trip out to higher elevations, colder temps and warm hot springs in Gunma’s Ikaho Onsen area. 

It was a short trip out of Tokyo (about 1.5hrs from Ueno Station to Shibukawa). We did the famous 365 steps up and down from the shrine to the bottom and back. It is a popular tourist location in the fall, but it was still a lovely trip – even more so because it was a free stay due to J’s hubby’s family. (ใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ—ใŸใ€‚) 

Pictures probably say more than I can, so will let the pictures speak for themselves! 

~T ๐Ÿ˜€


Apr 092014

It was back to the real world for the Suzuki household yesterday, so I took the time to actually get some PhD work done. Yep, you heard that right, I worked on my PhD!!! The morning was fairly quiet with that. Then, I headed out to meet J for lunch as our last lunch date for my visit. Of course, before I got on the train I needed to indulge in a little treat….

08-Apr-2014 12:31, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.4, 2.15mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 50

Then, we met near E’s school for an organic lunch, which was really tasty and I got to satisfy my curry craving. I think I’ve eaten nearly everything I possibly could here!

08-Apr-2014 13:23, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 32
08-Apr-2014 13:22, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 40

After that, I headed in to Shinjuku, which was not exactly planned before, but as I was meeting a grad school mate and former colleague in Yoyogi, it seemed worthwhile to make a stop. I had waaaaaay too much fun shopping at BicQlo (Bic Camer and Uni Qlo). I got to see the weirdness of Tokyo (see dog pic) Plus, then I went to Isetan’s B2 Beauty Apothecary for the organic health and body care products – wow!

08-Apr-2014 15:52, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 40
08-Apr-2014 15:56, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 32

So, I came back with quite a bit of loot and all caught up with Ro, which was really nice. Overall, a pretty good day survived in the pits of Tokyo central! ๐Ÿ˜›

Sadly, just one more day left and then it’s back to the Dhabs….

-T ๐Ÿ˜€