ok, are you all ready for some Japan photos?!

OH. my GOODNESS! i took way too many photos.SO… I apologize already for a massive photo dump over the next few japanese posts. i’m really excited to share them with you though! :)

we traveled to Japan to visit my little sissy who is teaching english to a bunch of junior high kids in Yabu {a tiny little town outside of Osaka and Kyoto}. my parents were super kind to offer to take me along! it was such an adventure!

we start with photos from our first breakfast on the morning after we arrived in Osaka. i know, weird way to start a blog post about Japan… but you guys, this breakfast was just so different than what we were used to! Dad was excited about it though:
IMG_1153_Breakfast1 please note: only chopsticks to use.

please note #2: they don’t use napkins. they give you a wet washcloth or a toilette at the beginning of the meal to wash your hands… and that’s it… kind of difficult for a my super-uncoordinated-self. just saying. ;)

please note #3: about all you recognize in the picture below is the rice and the tea… right?! :) hahah. ya, me too.  lucky for us there was also salmon, steamed eggs, pickled plums and vegetables,  some sort of meat that had the consistency of worms, miso soup, and more pickled some sort of vegetables.  hee hee. did i mention this was an adventure? from the very beginning! IMG_1155_breakfast

my little sis is already becoming japanese. peace signs all around!  i love how you can see my dad in the reflection of the wall next to us. mom LOVED the pickled plum and had one every single day!  {slight sarcasm there}IMG_1156_breakfast

our tour for the day started out with a trip to Osaka castle. smack dab in the middle of the city there is a big moat and a few towers:
IMG_1167_Osaka1

some very large, impressive gates:IMG_1175_gate

that lead to this castle: {i think i remember that our tour guide said this wasn’t the original castle because the original burned, but the walls and gates are! }IMG_1187_osaka castle

and look at that: so picturesque! a real japanese garden! and the castle reflected in the pool! IMG_1197_osaka castle nice

what’s funny is that while we were trying to take our pictures a sweet elderly japanese man was determined to help these foreigners get a good picture. but he didn’t speak english. so, he spoke rather loudly in japanese and made gestures that we should turn our camera vertical so that we get a better picture! haha. i did that to appease him, but i actually like this one above the best and guess what… it’s landscape… lol.

again, Becca shows off her ability to fit in: 

IMG_1203_osaka castle and fam these fish are like 4′-0″ tall! they are adorning the castle because it was believed that since they are water creatures they would protect the castle from fires. {since the original building was all wood… and apparently the fish worked so well the first time…}IMG_1208_osaka castle fish

it was impressive and really cool to see the unique architecture. what we later found out though, was that the japanese culture takes so much from the chinese. throughout history japan copied a lot of chinese culture because china was such a large civilazation! i was fascinated by that. our tour guide said that this style of architecture really came from china but was slightly adapted with longer eaves and a few other things because of the rain that japan gets.

it was a museum so we actually got to go up in it! very interesting. IMG_1212_osaka castle

you’ll notice throughout my next few posts about japan that i seemed to have a fascination with the different roofs that we encountered. they are all so beautiful and i love all the different lines!
IMG_1217_osaka castle rooflines

i loved the corner details:IMG_1219_osaka castle

as we finished the tour of the castle we walked around the other side of it. these are the “defense towers”. but they are so pretty:

IMG_1226_osaka castle towerthe cherry trees are just starting to blossom in Osaka. we were so lucky to be there at that time!!

my family walking {with the tour guide} off to our next adventure:IMG_1224_family walking

{to be continued} 

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