I've been here for 11 days already, and I don't think my parents realize how difficult it will be to get me back on the plane to Utah. Any good vacation should start out the way ours did - Disneyland.
Sure it was cold, and sure we didn't understand half of it because it was in Japanese, but we had two baby Tiggers that made it all worth it.
The day after Disneyland we spent walking around our old neighborhood reminiscing about growing up. I won't bother you with those pictures - since no one really cares but us.
The highlight of the trip thus far was our next event. We went up to Tohoku prefecture. Doesn't sound cool? Remember in March when an earthquake and tsunami destroyed part of northern Japan? That's where we were, and we got to do service and play with some of the kids affected by the tsunami. It was devastating and heart wrenching, but my appreciation for those people (and the amazing volunteers of the Helping Hands group) jumped a couple levels up.
This second story floor and roof came from who knows where, and plopped down where a lot of other buildings had been washed away.
Pretty much we were Santa & family, playing games and passing out toys to the children.
After 2 exhausting but rewarding days, we went back home to Tokyo and headed out the next morning to the heart of Japan. Kyoto - the only place that the Americans decided not to drop fire on during the war.
Good choice Uncle Sam.
Apparently, being the only one without children in my family - I need a little help from Japan's version of Cupid. Yeah, I walked from one love stone to the other with my eyes closed. This means that my wish for love will be granted soon... holler. Yeah right, sorry RM's it's gonna be awhile before I'll consider any rings.
And we wouldn't be the Welches without creating some ruckus at the temple of peace.
I'll wrap up since any blog post more than 3 pictures long already seems overwhelming.
*Disclaimer: TOMS are not all weather shoes. If you wear them in the snow, not only will your toe bones freeze, but snow sticks on the bottom of them - making it feel like you're ice skating with shoes on. The 600 some odd stairs we encountered were a death zone. If it wasn't for my dad, I would've fallen down each and every one of them when my feet slipped out from under me at the top. Thanks pops. Oh yeah - and Japanese shoe/feet warmers take about an hour to warm up so plan ahead.